Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Krka National Park Guide

When my parents and I were researching our trip to Croatia we kept seeing people talk about how amazing Krka National Park. And let me tell you, we were not disappointed. We did a day-trip out there and it was so worth it; find out how we got there, what we did and where we ate.

How to Get There:

We went with the lovely Gecko Tours and left early in the morning, directly from Split. The meeting point was just down the street from our Airbnb and it was an easy walk to the tour bus — which was comfortable and had free wifi. The drive was simple, I didn't get car-sick so that has its benefits. Our tour guide was super sweet and let us have plenty of time to explore on our own. I will say, some of the stuff we did I don't think we could have done without the guide (see the food & live music we witnessed below) so I will say, going on a small tour group was great.

What To Do:

Lozovac

This is where we started our journey, at one of the highest points of the waterfalls. It's where famous dignitaries have been including Franz Joseph and it gives you a great geographical starting point. You can then walk down to the part of the park where you can swim. The walk was one of my favorite parts because its basically boardwalks over this raging waterfall...with no railings (America, where are you?). The rushing water is beautiful and its so peaceful. There are also plenty of restrooms, places to grab food and souvenir shops. 

Skradinski Buk Waterfall

This is where we all stopped for lunch and it is where you can actually get in the water and swim around. Now, we didn't know this, but apparently there are certain months where you can/cannot swim in the water. When we were there (late May) it technically wasn't allowed but there were plenty of people doing it...so go at your own risk. There are little stands selling gelato and food (more about that in the food section) as well as souvenirs. We got about two hours of free time here, so we ate, walked around, took far too many photos and just enjoyed the sunny day before heading to catch our boat (we were taking a boat to our tour bus). 

Skradin

Since we took the boat, we stopped in Skradin to get back on our tour bus and the whole fam wished we had gotten more time in this adorable spot on the water. They have beautiful, colorful buildings and it looks like a really cool spot to maybe stay four hours in just to see. 

The Most Photographed Island in Croatia

Croatia has over 1,000 islands but this little guy is the most photographed. It has a monetary, Samostan Visovac, on it and yes, you can visit, but for a small amount of time and it has to be arranged in advance. We just looked on it from above and took our photos — gotta participate in social media culture. It's definitely worth a stop at the look-out point. 

Roški Slap

This is the end bit of the waterfall, you'll see where to eat below, but it is the laid-back portion of the national park. The waterfalls aren't as beautiful but there is a community with museums, a mill and a restaurant. I loved this part, it started raining but it was so peaceful and I could just see myself spending a long weekend enjoying the cold water and sitting under an umbrella drinking beer and homemade wine. You can even put your feet in a part of the waterfall near the restaurant. I would highly recommend stopping, just to see a different side of the park.

Where to eat & drink: 

Picnic

We bought lunch at our local Babic the day before, so we dined on sandwiches and then grabbed some gelato at one of the MANY stands in the park. There are plenty of food options though, if you don't want to bring a picnic. There is even a full-fledged beer garden serving alcohol...because it's Europe. 

Homemade Wine & Meats at Alte Mühle Kristijan or Christian's Place

Okay, this was the best part of the trip...I mean the waterfalls were the most beautiful part of the trip but this was a side trip that made the whole tour worth it. You stop on this road, walk down the incline and bam, you're at a restaurant and museum where the waterfalls end. The restaurant serves traditional foods and the owners are some of the best hosts I've ever seen. We walked in to the owner belting out Croatian and American songs, Hotel California was sung in both languages (see this part of the vlog), while his wife served us so much delicious food. My main thing, is basically drink a bottle of the olive oil. It was the best I've ever had and I dream about it to this day. Also, the apple juice is A+ if you don't like wine or you're like me and can handle both alcohol and non-alcohol. 

Alcohol Tasting

Our last stop, and I will fully admit I wasn't feeling this, was a homestead to try traditional Croatian liquors. They were terrible...well in that way that alcohol tastes incredibly bad but is probably really good? Like it would knock you on your a** if you had more than three shots. But, the best part, was ending the day with our new friends and...the store-bought cookies they served with them. I know, I know what I just typed...but y'all they were so good. To the point, I made my parents take me to Konzum the next day so I could buy a package to take back. And you know what? I wish I had bought three more...I loved 'em. They are these, by the way, nothing special.

Other Resources:

  • Go in shoulder season, we went in May and it was perfect. We always got seated at restaurants and didn't have to wait in long lines for anything. Plus, the park just seems calm and laidback. 
  • Here is my Croatia vlog if you would prefer to watch instead of look through the photos!
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