The second national park I hit while in Croatia was Krka. This is slightly further south and easily reachable from Split, Trogir and Sibenik. You can either get a coach, drive yourself or hop on one of the many boats that travel up the coast and then down the river to the waterfalls. This park is slightly smaller than the more famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, but just as magical nonetheless. The best part? You can swim in the waterfalls here!
Similar to Plitvice, the waterfalls are natural and karst phenomenon. The surrounding woodland is dense and also is full of wildlife including otters. We were even lucky enough to see a snake fishing in one of the streams! But don’t worry - these guys won’t swim near the waterfall as it’s full of people and snakes are generally quite shy.
Obviously the highlight is the waterfalls, however the park consists of much more than this. It was formed in 1985 and covers an area of 109 square kilometres along the river Krka with miles of walkways to help you get further into the woodland and above the water. There are a range of restaurants, cafes and shops in the park that you can visit while exploring the park so don’t panic if you forget to bring lunch or a drink. We also found a few ice cream stands right by the waterfalls, so you can lay back and give yourself a sugar coma while you tan is you so wish!
I would advise that you would want at least half a day here if not a whole day. We spent a good 5 hours here between swimming in the waterfalls, resting in the shade by the water's edge and walking through the woodland but you could easily take much longer if you have a passion for wildlife. The walkways are clearly marked, as with Plitvice Lakes so you won’t get lost if you’re like me and generally have a poor sense of direction. When exploring it would definately worth looking for Visovac island, it’s the home of a beautiful monastery built in 1445.
Now while you can swim, you have to stay within the restricted sections and normal rules apply (no fishing without a permit, don’t damage plants/trees, don’t injury the wildlife etc). You also aren’t able to dive off the waterfalls, however if you’re lucky you’ll see two local guys who jump every day. These guys are super skilled as the plunge pool at the base of the falls aren’t too deep and the top is super slippy! Don’t panic though, for cliff jumping fans you can easily find many suitable rocks along the coast of Croatia. In Zadar, they even have a huge diving board that goes straight into the sea.
Photography by Talento Productions