Krka National Park

Krka National Park, located in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, takes its name from the Krka River that elegantly winds through it. Since it was designated as a national park in 1985, it has enchanted visitors from around the world with its dazzling natural beauty.

Located near the charming city of Šibenik, Krka is a destination that cannot be overlooked by nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Its crystal-clear waters flow with a harmonious melody, creating a series of stunning waterfalls. Standing out among them is the main waterfall, which rises mighty with a height of 21 meters at the start of the swimming area.

A historical fact that adds to its charm is the presence of the second oldest hydroelectric dam in the world, the Jaruga Hydroelectric Dam, founded on August 28, 1895. This historical milestone is a testament to human ingenuity that has coexisted in harmony with nature for over a century.

Krka National Park Information

Established in 1985, Krka National Park extends over a vast area in central Dalmatia, near Šibenik. Known for its spectacular waterfall systems, this park is accessible by road and offers several routes for visitors. Here, history and nature intertwine, offering an impressive setting to explore.

Krka National Park

Establishment of the Park

The initiative to establish Krka National Park was driven by a group of scientists and conservationists in the 1960s, leading to its official declaration as a national park in 1985, a few decades after the well-known Plitvice Lakes National Park.

History of the National Park and the Original Initiative

The original initiative to protect the natural beauty of Krka National Park dates back several decades when locals and environmentalists recognized the need to preserve this unique area. The park’s abundant biodiversity, its impressive waterfalls, and its rich cultural heritage made it an ideal candidate for conservation efforts.

Declaration as a National Park in 1985

Krka National Park was officially declared a national park in 1985, after years of initiatives and efforts to protect the natural beauty of the area. The declaration marked an important milestone in the conservation of Croatia’s natural resources and cultural heritage.

Historical Timeline: From Prehistory to Industrial Development

Krka National Park has a rich and diverse history that spans from prehistory to industrial development. The record of human presence in the park’s cave dates back approximately to 5,000 to 1,500 BC, with evidence of religious rites and hunting activities. During the reign of Louis I in the 14th century, Krka National Park was mentioned for the first time in documents. Later, it became an important strategic location for various armies during conflicts in Croatia.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Krka National Park not only houses impressive natural wonders but also boasts a rich cultural and historical heritage. The park features several archaeological sites, including the prehistoric settlement of Bribirska glavica and the Roman-era ruins in Burnum. One of the most notable historical monuments within Krka National Park is the Visovac Monastery. Founded by the Franciscans in 1445 AD on an island in the middle of Visovac Lake, the monastery has been a religious center for centuries. Over time, it grew into a library with thousands of volumes collected over generations.


The park has five entrances: Skradin, Lozovac, Roški Slap, access from the Krka Monastery, and access from Burnum. The two direct entrances are Skradin and Lozovac, making them the most popular access points.

If you choose these entrances, keep in mind that they are busy, so it is advisable to arrive early to secure parking.

Once there, head to the Skradin Visitor Center, where you can buy your park entrance ticket and boat ticket.

After that, I suggest someone in the group stays in line by the pier, as access to the boat is on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is important to note that the boat service is only available during the peak months, from April to October (inclusive). The journey takes less than half an hour and will drop you off near Krka’s most famous waterfall: Skradinski Buk.

If you prefer to avoid the boat or suffer from seasickness (although the trip is usually calm), then the best option is to enter the park through Lozovac.

In this area, there is free parking where you can leave your vehicle. The next step is to buy the park entrance ticket at the designated ticket booths.

How to Get to Krka National Park

The coastal town of Skradin acts as the main entrance to the park and is located near one of the two main entrances. From here, you can access the park via a charming ferry ride that follows the course of the Krka River. The other main entrance is in Lozovac, about 7.3 km (4.5 miles) south of Skradin. It is important to note that there are more parking options available at the Lozovac entrance.

How to get to Krka National Park in Croatia

Access to the park by road is straightforward if driving or taking a private transfer. Additionally, there are numerous buses offering regular services to Skradin from Šibenik, Zadar, and Split. The Skradin bus stop is just a short walk from the park entrance. However, there is no option to travel to Krka National Park by train.

From Šibenik

Duration: 20 minutes – 1.5 hours

There is a quick 20-minute trip from Šibenik to Lozovac, one of the two main entrances to Krka National Park. Taking a private transfer is the easiest and most convenient way to get there, and you don’t have to worry about finding parking once you arrive, as your driver will take care of it.

There are also several regular bus services connecting Šibenik with Skradin and Lozovac. Autotransport Šibenik has up to five buses traveling daily to Skradin and up to six daily services to Lozovac.

During the summer months, private tour operators offer boat trips from Šibenik to Skradin, a journey that takes much longer than by road (approximately 1.5 hours) but is especially scenic.

From Zadar

Duration: 1 hour

Many visitors from Zadar combine their trip with a day excursion to Krka National Park, located 76 km (47 miles) away. It is an easy one-hour drive by rental car or private transfer. Traveling by bus is an economical and comfortable option: up to 12 buses daily make the trip to Skradin from Zadar’s main bus station.

Learn more about traveling from Zadar to Skradin.

From Split

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

A day trip to Krka National Park can be easily combined with a stay in Split, as the park is only 93 km (58 miles) away. If you take a private transfer or drive yourself, the journey should take just over an hour. There are up to 16 direct buses daily connecting Split with Skradin, and the number of services increases during the high tourist season.

Krka Wildlife

Fruit bats in Krka National Park, Croatia


To date, 46 different species of mammals have been identified in the surroundings of Krka National Park, with approximately half of them considered endangered. For this reason, it is important to be as discreet as possible when trying to photograph any of the various animals within Krka Falls.


Among the protected mammals in Croatia is the wolf, whose population has increased in recent years, which is a joy for animal lovers. The jackal, a close relative of the wolf, is very active at night, so it is not uncommon to hear their howls if you seek accommodation in the Krka area. Deer, badgers, dormice, and fruit bats also inhabit the area around Krka Falls.

Forest Wildlife

The forests of Croatia can be dangerous due to the presence of wild boars, especially when they are with their young, so it is advisable to avoid them as much as possible. Given that Krka National Park is a karst environment with numerous caves and pits, it is not surprising that it houses a large number of bat colonies. A tour of Krka Falls from Split may offer the opportunity to observe some of these creatures. Therefore, if you are an animal lover, consider hiring a private transfer from Split to enjoy everything Krka Falls has to offer. Besides the wildlife, the national park also features unique tropical nature. Take a tour of Krka from Split and discover the sights for yourself!

The park is home to several endangered species and other animals that make the trip worthwhile for any nature lover. The tour of Krka from Split is one of the most popular, both for young and old, as it offers numerous opportunities to enjoy and explore this magnificent natural environment.

Flora of Krka

The park area is located in a transition zone between evergreen Mediterranean vegetation and sub-Mediterranean deciduous vegetation and is filled with diverse forest communities. Below are the most important ones.

Forest of Krka National Park in Croatia

Downy Oak and Oriental Hornbeam Forests (Querco-Carpinetum orientalis)

These forests develop under moderately warm climate conditions with gentle slopes and plateaus. They are found on red and black soils over limestone, mainly in the form of low forests and shrubs. Characteristic species include the downy oak, oriental hornbeam, flowering ash, Montpellier maple, and service tree.

Holm Oak and Manna Ash Forest (Fraxino orni-Quercetum ilicis)

This community develops in a zone between evergreen and deciduous vegetation. Along with holm oak and flowering ash, the strawberry tree, heather, downy oak, and oriental hornbeam are also found. It occupies small areas in various states of degradation, with the most beautiful stands in places like Mačkovica and Obla glava.

Downy Oak and Hop Hornbeam Forest (Ostryo-Quercetum pubescentis)

In this area, the downy oak and hop hornbeam mix with other species such as the manna ash, Italian maple, and service tree. They are found in the canyon area and north of Roški Slap, in the lowest positions and with gentle slopes.

Flooded and Wet Forests of the Salicetea purpureae Class

These forests develop along river valleys, with an abundance of moisture in the air and soil. Predominant species include narrow-leaved ash, black alder, and common elm, with a mix of grey willow and alder buckthorn.

In addition to these forest communities, Aleppo pine and Austrian pine forests predominate in the park’s surface area. The target habitats of the ecological network include mixed alluvial plain forests and evergreen holm oak forests, as well as Mediterranean maquis dominated by juniper species.

What to See and Do in Krka National Park

Skradinski Buk Waterfall

Skradinski Buk Waterfall, Croatia

Also known as Krka Waterfalls, Skradinski Buk is the most striking waterfall in the park with its nearly 50 meters of height and more than 800 meters in length. The color of the water is special and bright, ranging from green to turquoise, with plenty of vegetation at its base.

Circular Route and Lookouts

A few meters beyond the waterfall begins a circular route that partially runs along wooden walkways and passes through beautiful lake areas. From its lookouts, you will see the best waterfalls and water jumps in the park.

Points of Interest Outside the Main Circuit

All the points listed below are away from the main circular waterfall route. If you want to visit them, you will need to take the boat to reach them or, in the case of the following, access by car around part of the park.

Krka Monastery and Roški Slap Waterfall

First on the list is the Krka Monastery, one of the oldest in the country that preserves an ancient catacomb area. Roški Slap is another waterfall in the park, about 30 meters high and the most voluminous of them, as the park has a total of seven waterfalls. Part of the travertine barrier is formed by a series of small waterfalls known as necklaces. The canyon extends, taking on a funnel shape where the waters of the Krka River fall onto Visovac Lake from a height of about 15 meters.

Ancient Fortresses and Historical Remains

Krka National Park has several ancient fortresses and historical remains that are part of its rich cultural heritage. These historical structures offer a fascinating insight into the region’s history, from the medieval period to the modern era. The fortresses situated along the Krka River and its surroundings served as important defense and control points over the territory throughout the centuries.

Among these structures are the ruins of medieval fortresses that rise at strategic points on hills and cliffs, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Krka River. Visiting these fortresses not only provides a history lesson but also the opportunity to enjoy some of the park’s most stunning scenery.

Although I do not currently have specific details about each of the fortresses within the park, it is common for them to include watchtowers, walls, and remnants of ancient settlements, telling the story of battles, trade, and daily life in the region throughout different historical periods.

Visovac Island

Visovac Island is located in the heart of Krka National Park, in the middle of Visovac Lake. This island is home to the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and the Church of Our Lady of Visovac, which have been present since 1445. With its magnificent grounds, they form a unique entity. Visovac Island is among the most important natural and cultural values of the Republic of Croatia.

Swimming Restrictions

Until a few years ago, swimming was allowed in this area (at least until 2019, and below I share our experience) but since 2021, swimming has been prohibited throughout the national park. The reason: the danger of swimming due to the slippery area and the large influx of people that was contributing to the deterioration of the park’s river ecosystems.

Until 2019, swimming was allowed in the area, but starting in 2021, swimming was prohibited throughout the national park. Due to the slippery area and the large influx of tourists, swimming was avoided, thus contributing to the maintenance of the park’s river ecosystems.

Best Times to Visit Krka

Summer in Krka

Summer is the most popular season to visit Krka. The refreshing waterfalls and tranquil breeze create a pleasant experience. Previously, visitors could take a dip in the water near the waterfalls, but this changed from early 2021 to preserve the natural resources.

Autumn in Krka

Autumn offers a spectacular display of colors. The park is dressed in a wide range of hues, providing a relaxing walk where every view is a wonder. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the vibrant tones of the vegetation.

Winter in Krka

Although it might seem unusual to visit a natural park in winter, the beauty Krka offers during this season is indescribable. The frozen waterfalls and lakes create a fascinating sight, especially during the winter solstice.

Spring in Krka

Spring marks the blooming of the flora, and Krka’s waterfalls come to life. It is the perfect time to explore the park on foot or by boat, enjoying the warm weather and nature at its peak.

Exploring Krka from Split

Although the choice of season depends on your preferences, Krka National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia. It attracts thousands of visitors from around the world throughout the year, being one of the country’s most popular destinations. Exploring Krka from Split allows you to discover a wide variety of places and activities, although you might need more than one day to see everything due to the different routes and attractions the park offers.

Entrance Fees and Hours

Entrance fees to Krka National Park vary depending on the season and the type of ticket purchased. Here is a summary of the current fees:

High Season (April 1 to October 31):

  • Adults: 200 Kuna (approximately $27 USD)
  • Children (ages 7 to 18): 120 Kuna (approximately $16 USD)
  • Students and seniors (with valid ID): 160 Kuna (approximately $21 USD)

Low Season (November 1 to March 31):

  • Adults: 80 Kuna (approximately $11 USD)
  • Children (ages 7 to 18): 50 Kuna (approximately $7 USD)
  • Students and seniors (with valid ID): 64 Kuna (approximately $9 USD)

Children under 7 years old enter for free.

The admission fee includes access to walking trails, viewpoints, and swimming areas within the park, as well as boat rides on designated routes. Additionally, guided tours and extra activities like bike and kayak rentals are available for an additional charge.

Due to high demand and limited capacity, it is recommended to purchase tickets online in advance. These can be bought through the official Krka National Park website or other authorized ticket sellers.

Where to Stay Near Krka National Park

If you are looking for accommodation during your visit to Krka National Park, the nearest towns are Skradin, Lozovac, and Knin. These locations offer a variety of lodging options that allow you to be close to the park and enjoy its natural wonders with comfort and convenience.

Here are some suggestions available on

  1. Hotel Skradinski Buk (located in Skradin)
  2. Hotel Vrata Krke (located in Lozovac)
  3. Hotel Plava Laguna (located in Lozovac)
  4. Hotel Krka – Lozovac (located in Lozovac)
  5. Hotel Ivan (located in Šibenik)
  6. Hotel Panorama Sibenik (located in Šibenik)
  7. Hotel Jadran Šibenik (located in Šibenik)

These hotels offer a range of amenities and accommodation options, from boutique hotels to all-inclusive resorts and apartments. As a Genius member on, you can take advantage of special discounts when booking accommodation through the site. Explore these options to find the perfect place to stay for your visit!

Towns Near Krka National Park

To visit Krka National Park and stay nearby, the coastal city of Šibenik is an ideal choice, located just a ten-minute drive from the park. Šibenik is known for its fortresses and the Cathedral of St. James, and it offers a good selection of hotels and guesthouses. Another recommended town is Skradin, famous for its charm and folk music festival in August. Drniš, located further inland, offers views from the Gradina Fortress. These towns provide varied accommodation, from boutique hotels to agritourisms.


A historic coastal city known for its fortresses and the Cathedral of St. James, offering a wide range of accommodations.


Known for its folk music festival and charming streets, Skradin is an ideal base for exploring Krka.


Located inland, Drniš attracts with its panoramic views from the Gradina Fortress and its tranquility.