Croatia, Krka National Park and the Skradinski Buk Falls


We woke this morning to the depressing sound of steady rain falling on the balcony of the room and dripping onto the street below and a quick weather inspection confirmed the worst.  The street was full of local people who were wandering about with umbrellas fully extended and attired in wet weather clothing.

We considered abandoning our plan to visit the National Park and finding something else to do instead but a furious flick through the guidebook didn’t reveal anything nearby that was especially appealing and as we were staying here in Skradin for a second night anyway there seemed to be no alternative but to press ahead with our plans.

During breakfast the weather started to improve and we debated the alternative boat times of ten or twelve o’clock and after some indecision eventually decided, what the heck, let’s just do ten.

Back at the visitor centre we purchased our tickets and walked to the boat and to our horror we discovered that we were sailing with a coach party of German Saga louts who rushed on board and took all of the covered lower deck seating, which forced us up top.  This was all right at first but very quickly into the journey it started spitting with rain and the wind got up and it didn’t look very good at all.  Luckily the rain stopped quite quickly and although it remained overcast at least it was dry and quite warm when the boat docked at the dropping off point within easy walking distance of the Skradinski Buk falls.

A short stroll took us straight to the hundred foot  high falls that cascade down over seventeen rocky steps for a distance of over five hundred yards and they were really truly impressive.

I haven’t seen any of the world’s major falls such as the Angel Falls in Venezuela (the highest, and twenty times higher than Skradinski Buk), the Victoria Falls (claimed to be the largest in the world by volume) or the Niagara Falls (the widest in the world), but these were nevertheless really most exciting, probably better than the Aysgarth Falls in Yorkshire but not quite as spectacular as Gullfoss falls in Iceland, both of which I have been lucky enough to see.  These falls were quite dramatic and even better because the river was swollen from weeks of heavy rain and the water thundered over the rocks adjacent to the paths and the spray gathered into a white mist that felt damp but invigorating.

All along the route there were local vendors selling olive oil, figs and fruit and things we didn’t need so we passed by without making eye contact or making a purchase.  On the walk to the top of the falls it was encouraging to see the clouds breaking up and the blue sky starting to replace the chalky grey and by about eleven o’clock the sun was attempting to make a very shy appearance.  At the top there were more shops and some interesting craft exhibitions including a weaving demonstration where a nice lady in national costume gave us an informative presentation on carpet making.

At the very top there was a boat trip to Visovak and the Roški Slap Falls further into the National Park but upon enquiry there were disappointingly no boats available  until at least two o’clock because a party of school children had commandeered them all for the day so that was too long to wait for us and we decided to walk back and return to Skradin.

There was an alternative route back to the boat landing station that involved an elevated walk on wooden walkways constructed across and around the falls.   This was good fun but was certainly dangerous and almost without doubt would not be allowed in the UK due to over zealous health and safety considerations.  The wooden walkway was wet and slippery and there were no guardrails to prevent walkers toppling over into the falls and certain death further down river.  

We negotiated the dangerous walk back to the bottom where the sun was coming out now so we stopped and had a drink before taking the boat back to Skradin as the only two passengers on board and where the weather was now so much improved that after we left the boat we enjoyed a cake on the waterfront overlooking the crystal blue lake.

After the second refreshment stop we took the car back into the National Park and to the two o’clock departure point where we bought tickets for the forty-minute journey to the monastery of Visovac, which is built on an island in the middle of the lake and which was slightly reminiscent of Lake Bled in Slovenia.

After a thirty minute tour of the island and the monastery the journey back was exceptional.  The sun was shining and the lake was a clear azure blue, the wooded hillsides were a tapestry of lush greens punctuated with purple Acers and yellow brooms and a day that started needing a jumper ended  requiring  only a shirt and it was simply just perfect.

Later we walked into the town and went back to the restaurant that we had been to for lunch on the previous day and we had another fish meal that was twice as good as that of the previous evening and didn’t cost nearly so much either.  

31 responses to “Croatia, Krka National Park and the Skradinski Buk Falls

  1. Oy! Aysgarth Falls are wonderful. What about Hardraw Force? The one that you have to get through via The Green Dragon pub (also in Yks) – you used to be able to walk behind the waterfall in the narrow space in the rock – wonder if you still can?

    Loved and laughed at your depiction of the EU meeting. At one point I thought Brits were going to implement permanent headlights. I think it was fashionable at one point. Given the gloomy British weather that people complain about perhaps not such a bad idea….

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  3. Of course, I am most partial to this part of the world, despite the dangerous wooden walkways – but hey, they keep the little grey cells working full steam ahead – Skradin has its charms and the Krka falls and surrounds are in many ways pristine and just a beautiful connection with mother nature

  4. Oh to have been born in Korcula! I don’t think I would ever leave 🙂 (apart from sailing around an island or two, that is- got to live up to my name, don’t I?) Relatively easy to get to and around the Falls under your own steam, Andrew? I mostly seem to’ve read about it as part of an organised trip. 😦

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  8. Oh, it pays to be intrepid and go anyway. What a great day.

  9. Back before the First World War, my Grandad saw Niagara Falls frozen. Not completely, but the flow was a trickle compared to normal and the overall impression was very much of ice rather than water. He brought back a postcard to prove it.

  10. Don’t know if you watch Monty Don? He was at Plitvice last night and they looked stunning. Bet they have a guard rail up on those falls now, Andrew!

  11. You were rewarded by the sun coming out

  12. How wonderful. I have been fortunate to visit Niagara and Victoria Falls, very different beasts. Waterfalls are so very impressive. I was going to mention Monty’s visit but see that Jo got there first! Another beautiful area of Croatia.

  13. We loved both Krka and Plitvice when we visited last year – with the added “bonus”(?) that it was extremely quiet due to the p…you know what. Had lunch and a wander in Skradin and thought it looked a wonderful little place.

  14. That walkway looks more like rock climbing! Beautiful falls.

  15. So the frozen Moroccan fish is the way to go, then. 🙂 I’m glad to see that after a disappointing start, the day turned out pretty great.

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