Krka National Park Croatia
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most visited natural attractions and with very good reason at is a stunningly pretty place to visit. Krka with kids is a brilliant day outing as the Krka National Park is easy to navigate for families and can be done either as a day trip Split to Krka or by staying in Skradin for a night or two to enjoy more of the local area.
If we were to compare Krka vs Plitvice we also think that Krka is probably the far simpler choice particularly for families with babies and toddlers. More on that later!
Day Trip to Krka National Park or Stay in Skradin?
Krka is easily covered in a day trip from either Split or Zadar and there are a number of tour operators to select from. Click on the link below for a couple of highly reviewed options to include the Krka National Park as well as an optional side trip to Sibenik.
The great part about doing a tour is that you will receive a lot more background information from your guide as to the significant features in the park.
If you prefer to visit independently I recommend Skradin as a really warm and hospitable place to stop for a night, with friendly locals, good restaurants and lots of interesting places to wander and discover. Accommodation in Skradin is varied and good quality and we found one of the loveliest places to stay for families.
Skradin is where the National Park boats depart from on the northern side of the park to transport you to the waterfalls so you are well located to make a jump on the crowds if you stay in Skradin - head into the falls earlier than the tour groups or perhaps stop in for a late afternoon visit to see the beauty with the fading light.
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. Of course the other option is to join an organised tour to Krka which will include transportation in airconditioned coaches.
A little note of advice if you catch the local 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-staffed and air-conditioned tourist office fifty metres further along the main street where tickets can be bought in a matter of minutes.
There are two entrances to Krka National Park with the Losovac entrance providing good access to the upper sections of the falls and the Skradin entrance being better for the lower falls, in particular Skradinski Buk which is the main section of the falls.
Krka for Families - how to plan your day
The boats from Skradin to Krka depart on the hour through the summer period and drop you 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 the Krka website or speak to the staff at the tourism office before jumping on the boat.
The boat ride itself is very relaxing and scenic with loads of families all chatting and enjoying the trip to the park. Once you disembark at the National Park entrance it is just a few minutes’ walk to the main waterfall, Skradinski Buk.
Follow the marked signs (or the crowds) as you head over the main bridge and begin the counter clockwise walk around Krka. We stuck to the Krka Lower Course trail and didn’t venture further to Visovac on this occasion as there was plenty to fill our day in the main section of the park.
If you have a stroller or pram you will find that much of Krka is accessible with perhaps just a few sections requiring you to lift over bumpier parts. As with Plitvice the trails over the river and water sections themselves are timber palings so it wont be the smoothest of rides if you dont have a buggy style adventure pram.
The walk is very easy and seemingly more stunningly beautiful 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 for the kids. Taking a slow and relaxed kids pace you can finish the Krka Lower Trail Loop in approximately two hours and will finish-up back at Skradinski Buk and the main picnic area.
It was a hot day when we visited so we relished the opportunity to pop on our swimmers to cool off under the main waterfall and do some swimming further down the Krka river as well.
Sadly but understandably, due to environmental degradation the option to swim at Krka is not going to be possible for much longer so check with local authorities at the time of your visit. Nonetheless it is a great spot to grab a bite to eat from the local vendors and a cool drink while you watch the impressive waterfalls from the grassy riverside.
Plitvice Lakes vs Krka
I know before we visited Croatia I did a lot of research about whether it was worthwhile to visit both Krka and Plitvice or whether it was better to visit one over the other. In the end I am really happy that we chose to visit both as they are both so strikingly beautiful however with their own nuances.
Krka was unique and lots of fun cause after spending the morning sight-seeing and hiking the kids loved being able to cool off for a swim.
Whilst I found Krka to be exceptionally pretty it is much smaller than Plitvice so I found it hard to find our own little piece of quiet to enjoy the scenery. 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 more impressive overall so if you are short on time then my recommendation would be to travel to Plitvice over Krka. However, if you have an extra couple of days a stay in Skradin and visit to Krka is also a fabulous way to spend a few days.
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. They have a number of different room types so you can select what option suits your group best.
The apartment itself was homely and 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 his name!) 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 and agreed with the reviews they have earned.
Things to do in Skradin
Skradin is a very small village but is interesting in it's own right and has a number of cool things to see. 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. A lovely walk is also around the small boat marina where lots of sailing boats come in for a few days.
If you are planning a trip to Croatia with kids ensure you read my other Croatia articles for ideas on the best places to visit. Next:
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