Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Complete Guide to KRKA National Park and SKRADIN

(Edited November 2018)

The Krka National Park, nestled between the hills and mountains of Central Dalmatia, is not very large, but still rich in various types of habitats with many endemic species.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Center of attention: The Skradinski Buk waterfall.

While around the majestic waterfalls there is no escape from the crowds, along the way from Skradin, the wanderer still can enjoy moments of serenity - and, of course, fantastic views if the grand scenery.

Skradin


It was amazing to see how during the bus ride from Plitvice to Skradin the landscape changed from lush green forests to stark, stony mountains that made you wonder how the plants do survive on the rocks. However, the sights is absolutely exquisite and fascinating.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
What a brave little fellow.

The main attraction of the Krka National Park, the Skradinski Buk is, obviously, named after Skradin, a town with about 4,000 inhabitants.
It is located on the Krka river and since the entrance to the Krka National Park is only a couple of miles away, it's the perfect gateway.

Besides the National Park, Skradin has a small but pretty posh sailboat marina.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Skradin with the yacht harbor and the iconic tower clock of St. Spiridon.
(Photo: Jozef Kotulič, Krka13Chorvatsko9, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Walking along the river towards the entrance of the National Park, you will even spot a pretty long and not so bad beach area - actually better than many of the beaches I've seen in some of Croatia's designated beach destinations.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Take me to the river - to the tranquil beach in the outskirts of Skradin.

Spending a couple of hours stretched out in the sun, taking a refreshing dip from time to time - life can be pretty good in Skradin.

Another nice activity is just strolling through the town, admiring the number of different fruiters and olive trees in the lovely orchards.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Beautiful old structures surrounded by sumptuous orchards.

There is a medieval fortress from the turn of the 14th century. You can take a walk uphill and enjoy the view - or you don't. Believe me, you'll see more impressive sceneries during your stay in Croatia.

The most iconic sight of Skradin is the tower clock, built in 1872. Because of its weight, it was built it was not built next to the church of St. Spiridon.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Entrance to the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But there is also the Baroque Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 18th century, famous for its pipe organ being part of the national cultural heritage and finally, a teeny-tiny church located right in the cemetery, the church of  St. Jerome.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Hard to believe that this tiny building is an actual church. St. Jerome on Skradin's cemetery.

Close to the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and next to the parking lot, you can buy a ticket at the information center - you have to buy it on the same day, it's not possible to get it in advance.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Walking back from the National Park to Skradin town - all bye:myself.

Then you can take a boat that takes you to the entrance in about 25 minutes. It's a very scenic ride - but as I returned walking, I enjoyed the austere landscape without the crowds much more.

Krka National Park


Anyway, Skradinski buk, the big waterfall you can even swim in is one of the most attractive parts of the park. It is a massive, clear, natural pool with high waterfalls at one end and cascades at the other. It is the lowest of the three sets of waterfalls formed along the Krka river.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Part of the system of cascades.

While in Plitvice - despite the crowds - you can walk on secluded trails where you meet like three people in one hour, here you have to follow a trail of wooden planks that are bridging the small lakes and creeks; hence you never walk alone.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
The biggest fall of them all - Skradinski Buk - where people take a refreshing dip.

However, it is beautiful but if I had time to do only one of the parks, I would definitely opt for Plitvice. Also, it is not necessary to spend the night in Skradin as the park is about one hour from Split and buses are going by the hour.
So Krka is definitely an attraction doable as a day trip.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Yummy regional souvenirs: Olive oil, sundries, and nuts.

A very popular extra-tour is the visit to the island of Visovac also located in the park.


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Extra tour to the Visovac Island.
(Photo: Saxum, Visovac2, cropped to 7:5, optimized dynamic and contrast, CC0 1.0

On the island is the Roman Catholic Visovac Monastery founded by the Franciscans in 1445. Since the iconic view of the island is always from above, I don't know if it's worth the extra tour - and the extra fee.

Best place to sleep:


Well, definitely not the hotel that I had booked. Although it seemed to be the first house in town, the service was incredible - respectively there wasn't any.
While the room seemed to be freshly renovated and - although very small - quite nice, for instance, the breakfast was terrible. Really terrible.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels - Krka Nature Park Krka Waterfalls Croatia
Renting one of the private sobe, rooms, or an apartman is certainly a better option.

It was interesting to see this phenomenon that I experienced in Cuba: As soon as there are employees, the service goes down the drain. If you stay at an apartman, the host makes sure you feel like a royalty - they get out of their way to make you feel comfortable. But at a hotel - who gives a damn about these tourists?! I get my salary no matter how I treat them.

So I would definitely recommend you book an apartman in Skradin - I only cannot recommend one since I stayed at this service-hellhole.

Best place to eat:


I've met these lovely guys at my hotel - the one I cannot recommend - and they said that the food there was really good. Since I personally did not eat there, I cannot confirm or warn you. However, this is the address

Hotel Skradinski buk *
Burinovac 2
22222 Skradin
Phone: + 385 - 22 - 771 771
Email: skradinski-buk@si.t-com.hr


Do you want to read about all the other beautiful places I've visited in Croatia? 
Then go to the main post and take your pick!


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