Visiting Krka National Park With a Small Dog
Who is crazy enough to visit a national park during a torrential downpour? We are, apparently!
Chalk it up to our “we may never return and we must see this” thought process. It was possibly one of the craziest things we did on our trip to Croatia. Not only had we already gotten totally soaked in Šibenik, but the rain was also falling harder by the time we drove into the main entrance of Krka National Park. By then, the puddles were little lakes. But onward, we prevailed! At least the boars were not likely to be out and about!
We entered the park from the Skradin entrance. (There is also the Lozovac entrance). You have to park the car, get your ticket at the information centre or ticket booth, and then board a BIG bus that will take you further into the park. You can grab a coffee at the entrance and you could even have something to eat, but because the weather was so dreadful, the restaurants were understandably closed.
I was most welcome in the park and on the bus so long as I remained on leash. No one was alarmed by my presence and there was no pet fee.
The view as we drove into the park was breathtaking even if it did not photograph well and the view was hindered by heavy and low cloud formations. It’s no surprise that the vista is one of those “as far as the eye can see” — the park is huge. It covers an area of roughly 109 square kilometres (42 square miles for my U.S. friends).
The park has been around since 1985, so it’s not ancient, but it’s been around long enough for the protection of the space to be felt and appreciated by the local wildlife. The park was designed to protect the unique ecosystem found in the middle regions of the River Krka — hence the National Park’s name.
Once dropped off, we found the wooden bridge we were to follow into the park. The rules are very clear: you MUST remain on the wooden trail and never, ever get off it. This wooden trail, that sometimes turns into little bridges, is in place to minimize the impact that human (and canine) traffic would have on conservation of the land.
It was a bit slippery with the rain, but we followed the trail and honestly, what we saw — even in the rain — was absolutely breathtaking.
From time to time, Mom would just stop and stare. The tableau was so beautiful, she sometimes forgot to breathe.
At one point we saw a kingfisher dive for its super. Then a moment, later a swan swam past. Dad and Mom just giggled.
The turquoise water is SO clear you can easily see the abundant trout population just below the surface. You feel like you could just reach in and scoop one up! But there is absolutely NO fishing allowed.
We didn’t see as many of the birds as we would have liked — probably due to the weather — but Krka is full of egrets and herons. There are two hundred species of birds in Krka!
At the heart of the park is Lake Visovac — complete with waterfalls and welcoming banks (swimming is allowed), and surrounded by steep hills and oak woods.
Limestone caves and walls dot the landscape.
And there is a lovely village and a monastery as well. The village was once a settlement of Illyrian and Liburnian tribes that were later replaced by Romans. The village finally became a bishop’s see around the sixth century.
You can catch a boat from here to go upriver and see the far more impressive falls known as Roški Slap. The falls are 25 meters (82 feet) high, but sadly, we missed them because the boat wasn’t running due to the bad weather.
Krka is picturesque. I have used this word before but I don’t think I fully understood the meaning of it until we visited Krka.
There is a peacefulness and harmony that seeps into you — just like the rain on our day there — and leaves you feeling refreshed and joyful. I wish it had been sunny or at least not as wet. I would have liked to have walking about. But considering the downpour, I was happy to be snug and dry in my sling bag. Thanks Dad for carrying me about!
Once we were done, we found the spot where the bus picked us up to take us back to the carpark. After grabbing a coffee, we set off. We decided to skip Plitvice Lakes National Park and drive straight to Zagreb. Although we felt at peace and happy with our time in Krka, we were also wet and cold. Mom’s cold was by then threatening to get worse and Dad was adamant that Mom remain in the car and dry. Mom and I were bummed but … we understood.
For more photos go ahead and visit our FB photo album on Krka National Park.
In review: Visiting Krka National Park with a small dog is something we can’t recommend enough! Just GO! It’s a magical experience in an utterly unique environment. Wooden paths, waterfalls, abundant wildlife … it’s so lovely you feel like you may have entered a Disney movie. Mom even said, “Any moment now, Tinkerbell will show up and I wouldn’t even be surprised.” Yes … it’s THAT magical, even on a pouring rain, cold, October day.