Krka is one of the highlights of our sailing trip to Croatia. I always thought it was on an island as you always see it in Croatian cruising guides but in fact its quite a way inland.
After a motor sail up from Split, we turned right into a interesting channel that takes you into a large inland bay, with the major town of Sibernik in front of you. We then turned left into the impressive Krka river. We passed mussel farms on each side, as we slid under a very high traffic bridge, before entering a stunning river gorge with steep cliffs either side. We burst out into a large lake that was half fresh and half salt. We motored across the lake for 1.5nm before re-entering the fresh water river. Another 5nm later we passed under a tall bridge, before anchoring off Skradin, a cute little town where all the boats leave to go up to the Krka falls. It was a delightful anchorage in about 7m of water, in amongst the reed banks, with a steady current of fresh water flowing through. Great to have a fresh water flush – toilets as well as the boat, dingy and genset motors. We also took the opportunity to clean our dirty bottom, hoping that whatever was growing down there wouldn’t like the change in salinity.
We sat back and enjoyed watching the white swans, with their cygnets in tow, come up to the boat looking for a feed. The scenery was stunning and the sunset to die for.
We put the dingy in and explored the pretty little riverside town, with its combination of stone and brightly painted houses. There’s a reasonable marina there, but we liked our free anchorage. Lots of cutesy restaurants and touristy shops. We walked up to the old castle ruins to get some great views down to the town and the surrounding forest.
Next day it was off to the famous Krka Falls. You can’t take your dingy up there, you have to take a tourist boat, the price of which is all wrapped up into the National Park entrance fee. So off we went in someone else’s boat for a change.
We disembarked and walked up to the main falls, which are called Skradinski Buk, considered to be one of the most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls in Europe. And who am I to disagree. At the bottom of the falls is a massive clear natural pool where you can swim. Behind this pool is 17 different waterfalls stretching for 800m, falling over 50m. We wandered around a series of pleasant paths winding their way around these waterfalls and fish filled pools. We came across remnants of Tesla’s hydro-electric power plant, the second in the world to dish out AC power to Sibernick (Tesla is Croatian).
Then we hopped on another boat and headed further up the river to Visovac island with an old Franciscan monastery on it. It was founded way back in the 14th Century and in 1445 harboured Franciscan monks from Bosnia fleeing the Ottoman Empire. We spent a very pleasant 30 minutes wandering around the small museum, the church and the grounds.
National Park done (not really as there’s a whole other set of falls that we didn’t visit) we headed back on the Park boat to get back to La Mischief. The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming and relaxing, watching the wildlife and the scenery. Cruising at its best.
Next morning it was up early and off to Zadar, stopping along the way to buy some fresh mussels (5KG) of course.