Monthly Archives: August 2013

Krka National Park – Croatia

The Krka River from above.

The Krka River from above.

So I’ve taken a not-so-brief hiatus since returning home. But between much job hunting and interviewing, and finally job accepting (at a travel company, very exciting!) and moving to Burlington, Vermont, I’ve let the end of my Eastern European travel documenting fall by the wayside.

However, it doesn’t feel right to begin another adventure without completing the last one, so I’m going to finish off with the last few days of Croatia, starting with Krka National Park.

Looking down on the Krka River from the walking path.

Looking down on the Krka River from the walking path.

While not quite as popular as Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park (coming up next), Krka offers similar unbelievably blue water and has little waterfalls flowing everywhere you look along with an added bonus – you can actually swim in the water, not just look.

It was this fact that persuaded Chris and I to take the long bus trip from Zadar to Krka and back again via Šibenik, and I don’t regret it for an instant. Although you would never predict it from the hours of arid coast and foothills the bus ride passes through, the end result is a lush, jungle-like valley with a surprisingly blue river running through the center.

Wooden walkways like this lead visitors through the park without disrupting the delicate ecosystem.

Wooden walkways like this lead visitors through the park without disrupting the delicate ecosystem.

After descending into the valley by foot or by bus, visitors can follow wooden pathways through the greenery as water flows in all directions underneath. Trees, bushes and rocks force the water into tiny pools and falls everywhere you look, making for an unreal and unique setting.

Tiny sections of the river form miniature waterfalls as they run through trees and plants.

Tiny sections of the river form miniature waterfalls as they run through trees and plants.

I think this may be the best place on earth to be a fish.

I think this may be the best place on earth to be a fish.

After about a mile or so of wooden walkways, you come to the main event – a huge, multi-tiered waterfall that visitors can swim beneath. The combination of the cool, clean water, the scorching late-June heat and the awesome scenery made for one of the most refreshing swims of my life. The strong current made it a little more difficult to get close to the falls than I thought, but once you reach the line keeping swimmers from getting too close you can just hang on and enjoy the sound of the rushing water.

The swimming area at the end of the path is definitely the highlight of the journey.

The swimming area at the end of the path is definitely the highlight of the journey.

Somehow we managed to get a picture without any of the crowds.

Somehow we managed to get a picture without any of the crowds.

Although most of the backpackers we met along the way skipped over Krka in favor of Plitvice, I would say if you have time to do both, you shouldn’t miss it. Just be sure to bring some kind of water-friendly shoes as the rocks beneath the water in the swimming area are sharp and uneven (I found this out the hard way), and don’t be afraid to utilize the smaller vans driven by locals between Šibenik and Krka as they were faster, cheaper and more frequent. Finally make sure to get an early start if you want to spend any significant amount of time in the park, because the last bus back to Šibenik leaves at 5:00 p.m.

The falls from the final bridge.

The falls from the final bridge.

Categories: environment, hiking, nature, photography, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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