Krka National Park Croatia
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most visited natural attractions and is a stunningly pretty place to visit. For families, Krka is a guaranteed fantastic day out and navigating with kids is easily manageable.
Krka is easily covered in a day trip from either Split or Zadar but Skradin is also a really warm and hospitable place to stop for a night, with friendly locals, good restaurants and homely accommodation options. Skradin is also where the national park boats depart from on the northern side of the park to transport you into the waterfalls so you are well located to make a jump on the crowds by arriving early or staying late.
Getting to Krka National Park
If you don’t have a car for your Croatian holiday the public transport options to Skradin are plentiful, with reliable, high quality bus services operating from all major cities. We took the short trip by bus from Split to Skradin which had us arriving nice and early to head into the National Park.
A little note of advice if you catch the bus! The bus stop is located outside a small tourist hut which sells national park tickets however is only manned by one person. Amusingly we watched many busloads of tourists hopping off the bus and lining up for very long periods to purchase tickets from this hut rather than the well-manned and air-conditioned tourist office fifty metres further along the main street where tickets can be bought in a matter of minutes.
Visiting Krka National Park – a guide for families
The boats from Skradin to Krka depart on the hour (in mid-June) and drop you off right at the start of the boardwalks that encircle the main waterfalls and lakes.
For interactive maps and some great information before you set out for Krka make sure you also visit http://www.np-krka.hr/en/
The boat ride itself is very relaxing and scenic and once you disembark at the National Park entrance it is just a few minutes’ walk to the main waterfall, Skradinski Buk.
You then follow the crowds as you head over the main bridge and begin the counter clockwise walk around Krka. We didn’t venture further to Visovac on this occasion as there was plenty to fill our day in the main section of the park.
The walk is very easy and of course seemingly prettier at every turn. The biggest hassle is dodging the crowds in sections where trying to get an uninterrupted photo can be a challenge. There are some picnic areas, small cafes and ice cream and drink stalls along the way if you need a short break. Taking a slow and relaxed kids pace you can finish the loop in approximately two hours and will finish-up back at the main picnic area.
It was a hot day when we visited so we relished the opportunity to don the swimmers and cool off under the main waterfall and swimming down the Krka river.
Sadly, due to environmental degradation the option to swim at Krka is no longer possible which is a shame as it was really refreshing and invigorating. Nonetheless it is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and a cool drink while you watch the impressive waterfalls.
Plitvice Lakes v Krka
I know before we visited Croatia I did a lot of research about whether it was worthwhile to visit both parks or whether it was better to visit one over the other. In the end I am really happy that we chose to visit both but if I had to choose to only visit one of the parks then Plitvice would win easily.
Krka was unique and lots of fun cause after spending the morning sight-seeing the kids loved being able to cool off for a swim. Of course, now that the no swimming rule has been brought in this option no longer exists.
Whilst I found Krka to be exceptionally beautiful it is much smaller than Plitvice so I found it hard to find our own little piece of quiet to enjoy the beauty. Plitvice on the other hand due to its sheer size means that you can find some peace and stillness amongst the tourist chaos if you venture onto some of the lesser travelled trails. Plitvice in my opinion is just more impressive overall so if you are short on time then my recommendation would be to travel to Plitvice over Krka.
Where to Stay in Skradin
We were very fortunate to find one of our favourite places to stay in Croatia right here in Skradin. We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment at the Apartments and Rooms Formenti and had an absolutely fabulous and comfortable stay for a very reasonable price. The apartment itself isn’t fancy but was very spacious and clean with a full sized kitchen and a balcony with great views over the water. Most importantly, Dino, the super friendly and hospitable owner went out of his way to make our visit as enjoyable as possible and was nice to chat to whenever we ran into him.
A short walk to the best restaurants in town, the bus stop and the boat dock made for a perfect stay. The icing on the cake at this place was that our kids absolutely adored Ooley (not sure how to spell this properly!) Ooley is the resident golden retriever who lapped up loads of pats and cuddles from our girls during out stay!
Where to eat in Skradin
For our night in Skradin we opted to test out the number one ranked Skradin restaurant on trip advisor, Konoba Dalmatino and had a lovely and relaxed dinner. Konoba Dalmatino is tucked away in the centre of the village and is very quiet and romantic in its setting. The food was really delicious and the service was friendly so we happily recommend this as a great place to eat.
Things to do in Skradin
Skradin is a very small village but is interesting in it's own right. If you have a spare hour or two a short climb up to the Trdava Fortress in the centre of town affords some great views back over the Krka river, the town of Skradin and out to the main bridge separating Skradin and Sibenik.
There are also some fun swimming holes and kids play areas along the river or some quaint village shops selling local crafts, fashions and souvenirs.
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