A trip to Croatia is not complete without heading to one of its beautiful National Parks.
One of the most beautiful and accessible parks to visit is Krka National Park, located in the Dalmatia region of the country.
You can visit Krka National Park from Split (or other nearby cities) as part of a day trip, or even stay overnight in the nearby town of Skradin.
This overview will give you a complete breakdown of what Krka & its waterfalls are all about, and how to go about a visit for yourself.
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1) Overview & Helpful Facts
To start, below is an overview about Krka National Park, along with some helpful facts about the park itself.
→ Krka National Park comprises 142 square kilometers in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. The park is named after the Krka River, much of which flows through the park.
→ The main town just nearby Krka is called Skradin. This is where busses from other cities will drop you off, and it is also the closest place to the park if opting for an overnight (instead of a day trip).
→ When it comes to entrances, there are two main ones to consider – one in Skradin and one in Lozovac, right next to Skradinski Buk (the main waterfall – more on that soon!).
• The Skradin entrance is great because you actually get to take a boat ride (included in your entrance fee) to Skradinski Buk.
• The Lozovac entrance may be easier for those driving on their own and who don’t want to opt for the additional boat ride (although it is recommended!).
→ While Krka is quite large, many people focus their visit around this Skradinski Buk area. Here is where you will find the waterfall that makes Krka so famous.
→ In addition to the waterfall, there are also additional pathways, viewpoints, & smaller waterfalls that can be found all around Skradinski Buk.
→ Now, if you want to have a longer day in the park, then you can opt for three boat tour routes that leave from nearby the Skradinski Buk area and further up the river.
These boat rides will take you deeper into Krka National Park, where you can visit other top highlights such as Visovac Island, Roski Waterfall, and the Krka Monastery.
If you happened to have your own car, then driving to some of these highlights on your own is an alternative option.
Read on to learn much more about all of the above, and how to go about a day trip to Krka National Park from Split.
2) How to Get to Krka National Park from Split
In general, there are three main ways to go about a Krka National Park from Split day trip.
You can drive on your own, hop on a bus, or take part of a tour.
Choosing between the three will all depend on your overall travel preferences & what you would like to see in the park.
The mainland of Croatia is a great place to head on a road trip (check out this Croatia itinerary for example). By doing so, you will be able to visit cities & attractions at your own pace without the worry of public transport.
If you do have your own car, that means you should easily be able to make the day trip to Krka National Park from Split.
The drive is just about an hour between the two, and you can set up your day trip as you see fit.
You can just visit Skradinski Buk, or you can opt to head further into the park with your car as you pass by other highlights.
Be sure to check out Rentalcars.com for car rental options when going about your trip. This way you will be able to see a whole variety of car options to choose from based on your needs.
Split to Krka National Park Bus
Another way to get between Split and Krka, is to utilize the Croatia bus network.
This is not only a great option for this route, but also for many other routes around Croatia.
Feel free to check out the BusCroatia, where you can find the various bus routes that will take you to and from Krka. Remember, you will want to look for bus routes to “Skradin”, which is the closest main city center.
I would recommend booking your busses ahead of time and not waiting until the last minute (mostly relevant for peak summer season).
This way you will not need to worry about getting back & forth for your Krka day trip.
Split to Krka National Park Tour
Lastly, you can opt for a Split to Krka National Park tour. Whether you choose a private tour or group tour, these full day trips will have everything taken care of for you.
With a tour you won’t need to worry about logistics, tickets, or getting yourself around.
You simply can show up and be guided through your day from beginning to end. Many of these tours offer “free time” as well.
So, you will still have the freedom to explore the main parts of Krka at your own pace before heading back to Split at day’s end.
Some top Krka National Park from Split tours to consider include:
3) Krka National Park Map & Location
To better help you understand the park layout, I wanted to layout a map of Krka National Park.
Now, during a day trip, you will most likely not explore it all, but you certainly will be able to visit many of the top highlights.
I will touch upon many of these throughout the remainder of the guide.
4) Krka Park Entrances
As mentioned, there are two main park entrances to consider – one in Skradin and one in Lozovac.
If you are taking part of a day trip with your own car, you can choose from either one (similarly, Krka tours could utilize either entrance).
However, if you are heading to Skradin from Split by bus, then you will be using the Skradin entrance.
Starred down on the map is the town of Skradin. This is what most would consider the main town of Krka.
If you are taking a bus or you opt for an overnight, you most likely will be doing so by getting yourself to Skradin first.
The unique aspect of entering Krka from Skradin, is that you can hop on a boat ride that will take you right to the National Park. This boat ride is included in your entrance ticket!
Alternatively, you could also walk a two-mile route alongside the lake, that will get you right to the boat drop off point. Ideally, you can take the boat one way and then hike the other way.
If driving or taking a tour, you may start your day from the Lozovac entrance instead (also pinned on the map). This entrance does not require a boat ride.
Simply get yourself to the main parking lot by the entrance, and then walk down to the Skradinski Buk area (10 minutes), or hop on the quick bus ride.
Note: you can drive down directly into the National Park but only during off peak season.
5) Krka National Park Tickets & Hours
Below you can find the Krka National Park ticket prices & hours.
Always be sure to check out the latest hours & fees in case these change over time.
Krka National Park Entrance Fee Tickets
The normal entrance ticket to Krka includes access to all areas in the park. In addition, it includes the boat ride from the Skradin entrance to Skradinski Buk.
On the other hand, if you would ALSO want to take part of one of the three longer boat tours, then you will need to pay an extra fee.
November – March: 7 Euro
April, May & October: 20 Euro
June, July, & September: 40 Euro
Boat Tour Add On
Skradinski Buk to Visovac (2 hour round trip): 15 Euro
Skradinski Buk to Visovac & Roski Slap (4 hour round trip): 20 Euro
Roski Slap to Krka Monastery (2.5 hour round trip): 15 Euro
Krka National Park Hours
Opening hours for Krka change depending on the time of year. Here is a monthly view of the latest hours:
January: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
February: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
March: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
April: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
May: 8:00AM – 7:00PM
June: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
July: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
August: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
September: 8:00AM – 7:00PM
October: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
November: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
December: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Be sure to check the latest schedule for the boats that run from Skradin to Skradinski Buk (usually the first boat leaves right at opening time). Note that these do not run in the winter months (in addition to the three boat tours).
6) Things To Do & See
When visiting Krka on your own, you can decide how much (or how little) of the park you want to see.
Below are some of the top things to do when it comes to Krka National Park.
Skradinski Buk Waterfall & Boardwalks
Within Krka, there are many various spots to visit throughout. However, the “main” area will be around the famous Skradinski Buk waterfall.
This is where you will find both of the main entrances (the Skradin boat drop off point and the Lozovac entrance).
Skradinski Buk is the waterfall that you will see in most pictures of the National Park.
In addition to the waterfall itself, you will also find a whole array of boardwalks that head further up the river.
These boardwalks take you to more waterfalls, viewpoints, and rivers, as you get to enjoy some of the best areas of the park.
As you walk along these boardwalks, you will come across the St Nicholas Church, Jaruga Hydropower Plant, the Blacksmith Shop, historical ruins, and more.
Krka National Park Swimming
Many people ask can I swim in Krka Waterfalls? Unfortunately, starting in January 2021, swimming is no longer allowed at the base of the Skradinski Buk waterfall.
This was done to protect the beautiful natural landscape and avoid any further disturbance to its waters.
Hike from Skradinski Buk to Skradin
When getting yourself back to Skradin, you can opt for the boat ride or the hiking trail.
It is an easy 2 mile route from the waterfall back to Skradin as you get to enjoy various viewpoints of the Krka River.
If you are entering from Skradin, I would highly recommend taking this hiking trail in either direction.
Now, if you want to see more than just Skradinski Buk and the boardwalks, you will need to either drive yourself or hop on a boat tour that heads further up into the park.
Altogether, there are three main boat routes to consider.
The first heads to an island called Visovac, the second also includes a visit to the Roski slap waterfall, and the final tour heads all the way to the Krka Monastery.
While the boat from Skradin to Skradinski Buk is included in entrance ticket price, you will need to pay additional fees if you want to take part of any of these boat tours.
Located further up the river from Skradinski Buk, you will find a small island called Visovac. On the island itself you will comes across a Franciscan Monastery & Church, which can be visited during a trip.
If you would like to visit Visovac during a trip to Krka National Park, expect the round trip ride from Skradinski Buk to take 2 hours.
Included in the boat tour is a 30 minute visit to the island itself, where you will have some free time to explore it all.
You can also visit the island from some nearby villages on a shorter boat ride, but that will only be possible if you have a car.
While Visovac is one beautiful place to visit during a trip, you also have the opportunity to head even further upstream.
At the end of this part of the river, you will find the Roski Slap waterfall.
Roski Slap is a sight to see within itself, but during a visit you can also take part of a short hiking trail near the waterfall.
If you opt to visit Roski Slap from Skradinski Buk, you will want to set aside 4 hours for the round trip excursion.
This will include the boat trip to Visovac (with a stop on the island), and a further boat ride along the Medu Gredama Canyon towards the waterfall itself.
Once near the waterfall, you will have some free time to explore the “Necklaces” hiking trail, and take in some views from afar.
Note, you can also visit Roski Slap with your own car, and avoid the boat ride to the area.
The final boat option takes you from Roski Slap to the Krka Monastery.
If you take part of this excursion, you will need to head on a different boat from Roski Slap upstream.
The round trip will take 2.5 hours, as you also get to visit the medieval fortresses of Trosenj and Necven.
Taking part of all of the above on a day trip is probably not possible for most people. However, if you did have your own car, it would be a more feasible option.
7) Krka National Park from Split Day Trip
For most people, a day trip to Krka National Park from Split will be more than enough to enjoy many of the various highlights. Whether that means you are visiting by bus, car, or tour.
A one-day itinerary could look something like this:
1) Bus from Split to Skradin
2) Boat ride from Skradin to Krka (drop off: Skradinski Buk)
3) Skradinski Buk Exploration & Boardwalk Walk
4) Optional: Boat Tour from Skradinski Buk to Visovac
5) Boat ride or hike from Krka (Skradinski Buk) back to Skradin
6) Bus from Skradin to Split
If you did have your own car, then I could recommend driving towards Visovac, Roski Slap, and the Monastery as you don’t need to worry about the longer boat tours.
8) Krka Weather & the Best Time to Visit
While Krka National Park is open year round, it is best to visit during the warmer months of the year.
Even though swimming is no longer allowed, you will still find it more pleasant to walk around and enjoy the waterfalls during more comfortable weather months.
I would recommend heading to Krka during the shoulder season around the months of May, June, September, and even October.
During these times, you are still able to have that warmer weather but you do not need to worry about the crowds as much.
In the peak months of July and August, you will find the boardwalks and waterfall areas overwhelmed with people. If you can avoid these months, that will be best for an overall Croatia trip in general.
I will also say to try and get to Krka as earlier as possible in the day to avoid the influx of tourists. This way you can enjoy the area a bit more to yourself, which is sure to be a more enjoyable experience altogether.
9) Which is Better Krka or Plitvice
If you are not aware, there is another beautiful national park further north in the country called Plitvice National Park.
At Plitvice you will find many waterfalls, lakes, boardwalks & views spread throughout the area.
In my opinion, if you had to decide between the two, Plitvice would be my choice. The reason being is that you can get much more landscape and hiking trails in a more accessible area.
With Krka, you are more so confined to the one area around Skradinski Buk, and to get to other areas, it can take some time (without a car at least).
Feel free to read this guide about Plitvice National Park to learn more about all that it offers.
Now, if you have the opportunity to visit both, then go for it! You will find these to be similar but different experiences, with both well worth the visit.
10) Is Krka National Park Worth It
Although swimming is longer allowed, I still believe that visiting Krka National Park is worth it.
The natural landscape of the park is beautiful to take in and enjoy. You will find lakes, waterfalls, rivers, boardwalks, trails, and more to visit during your time there.
It is a perfect addition to any Croatia itinerary and visiting from Split is a great way to go about it.
11) Where to Stay in Split
Since nearly all the attractions and things to do are located centrally in the downtown “Old Town” area, that is where I would recommend you stay during a visit. This will give you the ability to just head out your hotel door and be right in the center of the action.
You will be close to all the attractions, the top dining options, and the riverfront promenade. This will also take away any hassle of worrying about taxis as everything will be in walking distance.
Learn More | One Day in Split
You can find a whole variety of hotel options around the city – everything from high luxury to cheap hostels. Below are some of my top recommendations by price point.
If you opt for an overnight in Skradin, take a look at Hotel Bonaca.
That about does it for a Krka National Park from Split day trip. If you do have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out the other Croatia itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!