Croatia is home to two popular National Parks (plus six others!) and during our travels through the country we decided to spend a morning at the Krka National Park with young kids. When it came to choosing Krka or Plitvice, I opted for Krka because August was a very hot month and the idea of hiking for hours wasn’t attractive to us. Situated along the Krka River in southern Croatia Krka’s known for a series of 7 waterfalls and it sounded refreshing to me! At Krka National Park the reviews told us that we could swim and that really was the main reason we visited Krka over Plitvice. Whether you’re looking to visit KrKa National Park with a baby or young kids, we’ve got some tips to share!
Disclosure : This post is in partnership with the Skradin and Krka Tourism boards but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours.
Prior to our trip, we weren’t really sure what to expect but we’re back with a review of the Krka National Park after having spent 6 hours visiting various parts of the park with two kids aged 3 and 5 at the time. I was amazed that there was much to do beyond “hiking”. While Chris is very outdoorsy, I’m not, as you may have figured out by now and I wasn’t too sure I’d like Krka beyond the amazing pictures I’d be able to click. I’m here to tell you that even lazy bones like myself will be pleased with a visit to the Krka National Park with young kids.
How To Get to Krka National Park by Public Transportation
Krka National Park is open all year long but certain parts are closed off during the off season. Most visitors are interested in Skradinski buk and Roški slap which are open throughout but if you want to visit the monastery and Burnum, they are only open during the main season which runs from April to the end of October. There are 5 entrances into the park, Lozovac, Skradin, Roški slap / Laškovica, Burnum / Puljani and Kistanje / Krka Monastery and can be toured by water, road or foot through the many hiking trails . As you can see below, we opted to visit via Skradin and spent three nights there (click here for things to do in Skradin with kids) but we met many who only did a quick day trip to visit the park as they were staying in nearby cities such as Split and Zadar. We started our morning by picking our ferry tickets from the main centre in Skradin and catching the 8 a.m. ferry to the park. The ferry price included access to the park and kids under 7 years of age were free. The boat was big and we spotted many families with strollers (we had decided not to bring ours and was glad we made that decision).
What to do at Krka National Park with Young Kids
There’s plenty to do beyond just going to the main part of the park! The entire park is very well maintained and the natural ecosystem is very well preserved, making this a great place for a science lesson. Be sure to download the special Krka Kids app and though wifi is pretty weak at the park, if you have your own network you’ll be able to lead the kids on a scavenger hunt through the park checking out the 18 species of fish , the 860 subspecies of plants, 222 bird species and 18 bat species (amoungst many others!) who inhabit the Krka River.
Here are the places we visited within the park
Skradinski Buk : It is a massive, clear, natural pool with high waterfalls at one end and cascades at the other end. We spotted a couple areas where people were attempting to swim into but there’s two spots that we think is best for those with young kids. The main one we recommend is closer to the bridge as the water is very shallow and you can sit and wade. It was a busy spot in the afternoon but less busy during the start of the day. The other spot is further back near the pop up tents and there’s a sandy area under the shade of the trees. Entering the water isn’t so easy from this point if you have young kids and the stones are very slippery so wear water shoes and it will help a bit. This is where we ended up at. While we walked through Skradinski Buk, we saved our dip for later in the afternoon when the sun was scorching and we were in need of a refreshing splash.
Instead of walking between the various parts of the park, we took a 4 hour boat tour (additional fee of 130 Kuna for adults and 90 Kuna for kids 4-14) which took us to the following spots.
Visovac Island :The Island is home to the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and many pilgrimages are made here yearly. Our guide told our group about the history of the island and then we were left to wander through the small museum and make our way back to the boat.
Roški Slap : Our boat continued and took us through the Među gredama canyon toward Roški slap where we spent two hours. Here you will see some powerful waterfalls and our boat took us INTO one as well. There was plenty to do here and we started off by walking into a small village area where we spotted some caves that were said to have provided shelter to humans as far back as 5000 BC! Next up we found a cute little restaurant to have a snack at. Most of the restaurants were on the pricey side so we opted for a meat platter and they also gave us a free sampling of the local liqueurs. Little Monkey wanted to splash in the tiny “waterfall” but it was too cold for her and so we ventured off towards where our boat had parked. There was a shallow entry there and she loved splashing around here and climbing a few trees before our boat signaled for our return back to Skradinski Buk.
If you have the time and energy to spend hours at the park, be sure to check out the many guided programs offered which will give you a more intimate Krka park experience.
Tips for visiting Krka National Park with Baby and Young Kids
- Goes without saying that you’ll want the regular stuff such as extra change of clothes, swimsuit, sunscreen, mini first aid kit and hat
- Bring snacks and water (there was a water fountain to refill at)
- Bring a windbreaker or light jacket for little ones
- Bring water shoes as the rocks were very mossy by the waterfall
- Get there early as the crowds descend quickly
- We recommend baby wearing if possible as there were many small cobble-ey steps but as mentioned previously, many parents had brought the stroller for nap times and to stow away their things when they were off swimming
- Bring a large towel to help dry off and to sit on if the kids get tired
- While we didn’t see any bees or wasps, we took our Orange Natural Bites + Stings with us because the Krka Waterfalls has the second highest concentration of lavender per square km in Europe, and we were warned about the high frequency of wasps and bees in the area
As you can see, if you’re a waterfall lover, you simply must visit Krka and if you have little ones in tow, Krka National Park is a great option! One day we hope to return to Croatia and check out the other 7 national parks and let’s hope that isn’t too far off in the distant future.