Are you ready to exchange the image of traffic and the roaring sound of your two wheeled pet for gentle chirping of more than two hundred bird types, mixed with gentle humming of the trees and relaxing sound of tumbling water? If the answer is yes, let us take you to Krka National Park – one of the stops in “No Borders” Mototrip tour and an attraction of such outstanding beauty that it will virtually take your breath away.
And so the Croatia motorcycle journey begins…
Established in 1985, Krka National Park is the seventh-largest national park in Croatia, stretching all the way down the valley of river Krka – from just outside Knin where it rises, through a descending sequence of gorges, lakes, rapids and waterfalls where it finally merges with the sea at the picturesque little town called Skradin. Protected as a cultural and historical monument, Skradin features a string of cozy cafes along the waterfront, and a superb seafood restaurant that serves local salt and sweet water fish and shellfish on an outdoor terrace slightly uphill the marina. Besides being the only place that offers private as well as hotel accommodation in the environs of the park, Skradin is also one of the two main entrance points to the national park. From here you can take national park boats that leave hourly for a twenty-minute journey up to Skradinski buk. Should you miss the boats, you can take a fifty-minute walk to the falls by following the road from Skradin along the river’s right bank, taking you between steep, scrub-covered hills.
Falling for waterfalls…
Skradinski buk is the most popular set of waterfalls in National Park Krka which looks a lot like Plitvice (the most famous National Park in Croatia), only smaller, and features a five-hundred-meter sequence of seventeen mini-cascades spilling over barriers of travertine (limestone sediment), behind which lie pools surrounded by reeds and semi-submerged forest. One of the coolest and most beautiful sequences is just up from the boat landing, with several tiers of waterfall tumbling into a broad, shallow pool. This is the part where you jump in – literary, since it’s the only part of the park where swimming is permitted. Yay! Although swimming in the falls may sound a bit dangerous, the waterfalls are well supported by tourist facilities, and there are plenty of lifeguards and local officials dotted around the area should anything go wrong. So just relax and have fun!
When you start feeling refreshed and ready for some action again, you can take the main path that crosses over to the eastern side of Skradinski buk, climbing past a collection of poky stone watermills positioned directly above the rushing Krka, or choose a network of short wooden walkways which break off from the main path, leading you through the thick vegetation (there are more than 850 different plants growing in this area!) above the gurgling waters.
Once upon a time on a small Visovac island…
After climbing for about one kilometre above Skradinski Buk, you’ll find yourself at the bus stop used by the national park’s shuttle services to Lozovac. A kiosk here handles information and tickets for the boat excursions to the northern stretches of the river.
The most popular northbound trip takes you to Visovac, a mini island just upstream from Skradinski buk, where you’ll discover a beautiful Franciscan monastery nestling amongst a thick cluster of cypresses. Since they were first mentioned in the documents dating from the 14th century, it is considered that in the 1445, the Franciscans inhabited the island, expanded its area and took up science and education, erecting the church and monastery in 1576. The buildings were later restored in the 18th century. The monastery offers a small collection of seventeenth-century paintings and, in its valuable library, some incunabula and a beautifully illustrated fifteenth-century Aesop’s Fables, one of only three of such that are left in the world!
From here another boat can take you ten kilometres further upstream to Roški Slapovi, second most popular set of falls in Krka National Park and only slightly less cool than those at Skradinski buk. Finally, if you’re up for it, yet another boat can ferry you from Roški slapovi to the ruins of Nečven, a fourteenth-century Croatian fortress just short of Knin, pausing en route a lovely rustic setting of the Krka monastery on the western bank of the river.
If we have interested you enough to fit the entire Skradinski buk-Visovac-Roški slapovi-Nečven itinerary into one day, you’ll need to be at the Skradinski buk excursion-boat quay around 10 am, equipped with good walking shoes, and, in case of hot and sunny weather, a bathing suit, sun lotion and a towel. Also, remember to bring the appropriate clothing for visiting monastery (women must have scarf over bare shoulders and men can’t have too short trousers). Now that you’re all set, check out all the other exquisite destinations included in “No Borders” Mototrip Tour at http://www.mototrip-tours.com/motorcycle-tours/no-borders-tour and don’t hesitate to book your motorbike seat today!