Every day during the summer season, thousands of tourists pour into Skradin to hop on the boat for Krka National Park. Luckily, we got a tip from a local so we got the first morning boat, and we bought the tickets at the park entrance later on. National Park Krka covers over 100 kilometres of paths along the river, but it is most famous for its waterfalls and a its beautiful island Visovac.
The entry fee is 150 kuna ( 20 EUR ) and that got us to the main waterfall, named after the town of Skradin – Skradinski buk. It is really beautiful to see it from a little bridge early in the morning light, and even take a dip in the river right in front of the waterfall. However, we decided to pass on the swimming and instead visit Visovac island before it got too busy ( extra fee of about 15 Eur ).
Visovac is a truly unique place – the Franciscans arrived there in mid 15th century and to this day they inhabit the island. A few priests and novices, that’s all. They take care of the island, the monastery and a museum, and as we found out, the souls of the people as well. Once a year in early August, thousands of worshipers flock to this tiny island, as it’s a day when one’s sins can be redeemed. No wonder 8000 people came this year alone.
We didn’t go further to the waterfall Roški slap, because we found the boat ride too long and honestly, quite pricey. For all its beauty, the high price of the park seemed very unfair. Even the toilet at the entrance was charged. When we got back to the starting point ( Skradinski buk ) it was swarmed with people, all squeezing on the grass or in the water designated for swimming. It wasn’t our cup of tea on a holiday. We heard later that the best experience one can have in the park is to seek a local to take you along the river to some amazing spots tourists normally don’t go to. Well, next time!
At Krka National Park we learned some interesting facts – a hydroelectric power plant was built at the river in 1895, making it one of the oldest power-generating facilities in the world. The same year the town of Šibenik was the first city in the world to have electrical street light. We decided to visit Šibenik more because of its architecture. Due to the lack of rent a car in Skradin, we had to rely on the 6am bus connection. We arrived to Šibenik at 6:30 and walked around, seeing only the pigeons and the street cleaner until other people woke up. The landmark of this old Croatian town is the cathedral of St James, a UNESCO heritage sight, built over a hundred years from 15th to 16th century. We also tried to visit Šibenik fortress, but we arrived 2 hours too early so later on we gave up on it. We managed to miss our bus back to Skradin so we were forced to linger around for a few more hours walking the same routes. As we walked the old and new town extensively, we just wanted some lunch. By sheer luck, we stumbled upon a simple restaurant with the tasty and cheap everyday Croatian food.
With our bellies full, we got back to Skradin, packed our bags and left Croatia – next stop was Bosnia and Herzegovina.