WATERFALLS & WALKWAYS
A trip to the bucolic KRKA NATIONAL PARK is a great way to spend your last full day in Croatia. The park sandwiches the Krka River for over 45km and takes in watermills, monasteries and a Roman military camp, but it’s best to focus your activities on the area around SKRADINSKI BUK, Krka’s most spectacular waterfall. Entry to the park [110kn (July & August 200kn), under-19s 80kn (120kn), under-7s free] includes a return trip on the boats that run to Skradinski buk from the jetty near the park’s headquarters in SKRADIN, 95km northwest of Split; it’s a straight drive up the A1 and E65, from where the last 6km to Skradin (and the park) is signed, and takes around an hour and a quarter in all from Split.
The first boat departs Skradin at 8am (the last boat back returns at 7.30pm), meandering up the emerald Krka to within a few hundred yards of the roaring waterfalls. They’re partially hidden from the river, making the first time you catch sight of them proper even more impressive – dozens of cataracts further up the river culminating in a sheet of foaming noise. Krka is similar in appearance to Croatia’s more famous Plitvice Lakes National Park (nearly 200km further north, so too far away to include in our itinerary), but whilst it loses out to Plitvice’s lakes in scope, it trumps them in the best way possible: at Krka, you can actually swim in the pool at the base of the falls. The water’s cold and, understandably, you can’t get right up to the main falls, but it’s an exhilarating experience nonetheless. There’ll be no stopping the kids from plunging in, but after your swim you can follow the circular wooden walkway that runs for 2km up beside the falls and across the little islands that dot the river upstream, offering great views of the various cascades and river channels and (if you’re lucky) the variety of wildlife that inhabits them.
TOP TIP Krka can get extremely busy in summer, so if you are visiting then, either arrive as early as possible or come in the afternoon (in July and August, entry after 4pm is reduced to 145kn, 90kn for under-19s), when the walkways are clearer and you won’t be fighting for space in the water. At any time of year, it’s worth wearing Crocs or similar, as getting into the pool at the base of the falls can be tricky and there are a few rock ledges underwater.
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From traditional Dalmatian cottages to guesthouses in Dubrovnik’s Old Town – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Croatia
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Croatia’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around
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