Skradinski Buk (Krka Waterfalls)

Krka National Park, Sibenik-Knin County, Croatia

About Skradinski Buk (Krka Waterfalls)


Hiking Distance: 1.9km loop
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2010-06-02
Date last visited: 2010-06-02

Waterfall Latitude: 43.80514
Waterfall Longitude: 15.96414

Skradinski Buk was one of two main waterfalls (or waterfall networks) featured in Krka National Park.

Similar to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the waterfalls found in Krka were karstic with numerous segments and tiers of cascades and waterfalls weaving their way between ponds, vegetation, mini-islands, and even a tiny (albeit made-for-tourists) village.

Krka_210_06022010 - The main Skradinski Buk Waterfall in Krka National Park
The main Skradinski Buk Waterfall in Krka National Park

Unlike how we tended to think of the Plitvice Waterfalls as a giant network of waterfalls to be visited in a single excursion, we couldn’t treat Krka National Park the same way.

That’s because the Krka Waterfalls consisted of Skradinski Buk (which we’re writing about here) as well as Roski Slap, which had its own write-up.

We treated these waterfalls separately because they were far enough apart from each other that we couldn’t have visited both in a single excursion.

Instead, we either had to drive between the two waterfalls, or we could have taken a rather infrequent boat that covers the distance between the two waterfalls.

Krka_263_06032010 - The Roski Slap Waterfall is also in Krka National Park, but we had to drive over there to experience it
The Roski Slap Waterfall is also in Krka National Park, but we had to drive over there to experience it

Besides, this particular boat ride was not included in the ticket price, which by the way was only good for the day (we found this out the hard way, which we’ll get into shortly).

Anyhow, we discovered that it was quite easy to spend a few hours just strolling amongst the maze of boardwalks, spurs, and overlooks that ultimately added to the overall experience at the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls.

It was almost as if a pocket of the Upper Lakes of Plitvice Lakes was transplanted into the Šibenik-Knin part of Croatia’s Northern Dalmatia region.

Differences between Our Krka Experience and Our Plitvice Experience

Now with that said, there were a few key differences between our experience here and that of Plitvice.

Krka_165_06022010 - Part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls ran through a charming village that made this place seem more commercialized than the Plitvice Lakes, which was managed more like a true natural reserve
Part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls ran through a charming village that made this place seem more commercialized than the Plitvice Lakes, which was managed more like a true natural reserve

First and foremost was that Skradinski Buk seemed to be a bit more commercialized and developed than Plitvice.

We sensed this firsthand because of the sheer quantity of kiddie groups running amok within the park along with that made-for-tourist village within the top of the falls.

While the village was charming and even relaxing (except for the everpresent cigarette smoke), I was certain some liberties were taken to divert part of the falls for aesthetics while also allowing for waste to get dumped right in.

Second, I’ve seen photographs and post cards of some people swimming in the large plunge pool between the footbridge and the main waterfall itself.

Krka_232_06022010 - The extent of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall, where people would typically swim in the large plunge pool fronting it (but not on the day we visited given the cold temperatures and the chance of rain)
The extent of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall, where people would typically swim in the large plunge pool fronting it (but not on the day we visited given the cold temperatures and the chance of rain)

The photo above kind of gives you an idea of the context of that plunge pool that can double as a spot for a swim.

While we did see a handful of people swim near the edges of this plunge pool as well as closer to the smaller waterfalls, we only saw one person swim in the main part of the plunge pool.

I would guess that the cool weather and threatening rain had something to do with fewer people jumping in.

Even with that said, this contrasted with the Plitvice Waterfalls because the waters there were off limits to swimming.

Krka_029_06022010 - Approaching the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls while riding the boat between Skradin and Krka
Approaching the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls while riding the boat between Skradin and Krka

Finally, we noticed some hydroelectric activity going on downstream of the Skradinski Buk network of waterfalls.

So, again, there was some human intervention affecting parts of this waterfall whereas Plitvice had been protected in the true sense of the word.

What The Krka National Park Entrance Ticket Bought Us

Our experience of Skradinski Buk began with us purchasing an entrance ticket for Krka National Park from the charming small town of Skradin (where we were also staying for the night).

This ticket was only good for the day we had bought it.

In our situation, we bought the ticket at around 2pm or 3pm, but it was only good until the park closed (within a few hours).

Krka_018_06022010 - We bought our entrance tickets in Skradin before going on the boat ride leading to the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park
We bought our entrance tickets in Skradin before going on the boat ride leading to the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park

That time wouldn’t carry over to the next day (which we found out the hard way when we went to Roški Slap the very next day).

But the ticket at least included the boat ride right up to Skradinski Buk from the town of Skradin.

That boat ride was quite slow moving and consumed roughly a half-hour.

The boat appeared to depart roughly once every half-hour from either end at Skradin or from Krka.

The Long Loop Walk at Skradinski Buk

Krka_037_06022010 - Kids going crazy at the quad area near the entrance of the Skradinski Buk portion of Krka National Park
Kids going crazy at the quad area near the entrance of the Skradinski Buk portion of Krka National Park

Once we were at the boat dock near the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls (which we could already start to see from the boat), we passed through a little quad area where there were food stalls as well as children playing on the lawn.

There were even people (kids and adults alike) feeding the geese in the ponds as well as restrooms requiring payment.

Interestingly, it turned out that we saw more restrooms further within the park that didn’t require payment during our visit.

Once we were past the very busy quad area, we then took our choice of paths to continue on the walk as we were faced with both ends of a long loop walk that pretty much took in the whole waterfall network this side of Krka National Park.

We chose to walk in a counterclockwise manner (to our right) that started with a very long footbridge affording us wide open views of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall (also pictured at the top of this page).

Krka_110_06022010 - Contextual look at one cascade spilling into another within the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls series
Contextual look at one cascade spilling into another within the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls series

Beyond the bridge, the path ascended past a few trinket vendors and over to more views of the waterfall’s upper cascades.

There was also an informal lookout through a fence along a wall, but that only yielded limited partial views.

Climbing up more stairs, we then entered a very wide open area with a lot of space for peering into the next series of cascades.

The most crowded part was typically closer to the bottom of the open area where there was a fairly contextual view of the overall cascades making up this section.

We were also able to look further downstream towards the main falls from this spot.

Krka_129_06022010 - Julie checking out one of the choice viewing spots of part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park
Julie checking out one of the choice viewing spots of part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park

Given that there were large tour groups inundating the choice viewing spots, we took our time checking out other aspects of this open area before we seized our opportunity to check out the choice spot when the crowds died down momentarily.

Beyond this giant open area (I recalled that this was where we found the free restroom area after a short descent), the path continued to ascend higher up and into a charming little developed village area.

This village had museums, cafes, lookouts, mills, and even a captive mule.

Given the amount of development here, it seemed to me like they might have taken liberties in altering parts of the Skradinski Buk watercourse while also allowing for dumping as well.

Krka_157_06022010 - The developed part of the Krka National Park at Skradinski Buk
The developed part of the Krka National Park at Skradinski Buk

Personally, we would’ve chilled up here a little longer, but we’re non-smokers and there was a bit too much second-hand cigarette smoke for our liking.

Just further upstream from this developed area, there was a car park.

We figured out that this was where the mega-tours were coming from, but it might have also been the place to park the car had we self-driven directly here and opted not to take the boat.

Nearby the car park, there was the start of a boardwalk that went right into a lush area and over the watercourse responsible for Skradinski Buk itself.

Krka_170_06022010 - Beyond the developed village, we started the other half of the loop walk around the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Beyond the developed village, we started the other half of the loop walk around the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls

As we walked on this well-shaded and lush boardwalk, we noticed some smaller cascades at the uppermost reaches of Skradinski Buk.

We also explored spur paths leading towards overlooks of the same waterfalls we had seen up to this point but from the other side of the river.

Nevertheless, the boardwalks continued in much the same manner as the Upper Lakes of Plitvice where we were walking above and under some of these smaller waterfalls.

Towards the end of the boardwalks, we noticed some little pillars that look like they were supposed to hold up a new boardwalk that apparently wasn’t finished during our visit.

Krka_194_06022010 - More context of the boardwalk taking in the other half of the loop walk within the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park
More context of the boardwalk taking in the other half of the loop walk within the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park

Finally, the track descended back towards the main quad area.

However, just before we made it all the way down, we stopped at another overlook of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall juxtaposed with the footbridge and even the hydro facility in the background.

This overlook was what I’d consider to be the money shot of the Skradinski Buk part of the park (the photo at the top of this page was taken from here).

Authorities

Skradinski Buk resides in Krka National Park near Skradin in Sibenik-Knin County, Croatia. It is administered by the Krka National Park governing authority. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Krka_012_06022010 - Walking through the town of Skradin to get to the boat dock for Krka National Park
Krka_021_06022010 - On the scenic boat ride between Skradin and the Skradinski Buk Waterfall complex in Krka National Park
Krka_035_06022010 - A lot of kids feeding the swans or geese in the commercialized quad area of the Skradinski Buk Waterfall complex in Krka National Park
Krka_036_06022010 - Another look at the geese being fed within Krka National Park
Krka_049_06022010 - Looking right up at the Skradinski Buk's main waterfall from the footbridge leading us on a clockwise loop walk around the complex
Krka_054_06022010 - View of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall from somewhere in the middle of the footbridge
Krka_068_06022010 - Looking across the main Skradinski Buk towards the wide plunge pool fronting its drop
Krka_073_06022010 - Closer look at some guys braving the cold water and cold weather to play in the water of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall
Krka_088_06022010 - Examining some cascades further upstream of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall
Krka_099_06022010 - Looking across part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls' upper cascades towards a lookout on a rock outcrop on the opposite side of the river
Krka_114_06022010 - Looking downstream towards the calmer waters downstream of the Skradinski Buk Waterfall complex in Krka National Park
Krka_115_06022010 - Looking across the river at some travertine cascades as well as percolating waterfalls coming in from the other side of the river as well. They're all part of the extensive network of Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka_118_06022010 - Context of some converging Skradinski Buk Waterfalls in Krka National Park
Krka_126_06022010 - Looking a little more downstream of the converging waterfalls within the upper parts of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka_146_06022010 - More cascades of Skradinski Buk further upstream from some of the developed and busy lookouts with restrooms
Krka_153_06022010 - Looking towards more cascades belonging to the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls network as we walked closer to the developed village
Krka_154_06022010 - Some more of the same cascades as seen from the developed area of Skradinski Buk
Krka_158_06022010 - A building besides one of the channels I think either modifying or diverting part of the flow of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka_162_06022010 - A captive mule within the developed part of the Skradinski Buk Waterfall
Krka_164_06022010 - Looking across a channel and man-modified cascade towards the cafe in the developed part of Skradinski Buk
Krka_166_06022010 - Boardwalk going through the uppermost tiers of the Skradinski Buk waterfall network
Krka_168_06022010 - The boardwalk meandered over a calm part of the river making up the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka_175_06022010 - Partial view of one of the segments of the waterfalls that we had seen earlier closer to the developed part of Skradinski Buk
Krka_181_06022010 - View of the cascades from the other side of the river while in the second half of our loop hike around Skradinski Buk
Krka_185_06022010 - Looking across the river towards an opening that we had been at earlier, where there was a developed lookout nearby the developed part of Skradinski Buk
Krka_189_06022010 - Looking at a fair-sized cascade from the other side of the river at Skradinski Buk
Krka_203_06022010 - Encountering what appeared to be an incomplete boardwalk during the second half of our loop hike at Skradinski Buk
Krka_204_06022010 - Looking across a calm part of the river towards these smaller waterfalls in the lower part of Skradinski Buk
Krka_206_06022010 - Another look at the boardwalk as it went back over the water near the completion of the loop hike in Skradinski Buk
Krka_207_06022010 - Full context of the main tier of Skradinski Buk just before completing the loop walk
Krka_215_06022010 - Focused on the big group of people standing on the footbridge fronting the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka_219_06022010 - Closeup look at more percolating waterfalls and alcoves near the bottom of the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls complex
Krka_237_06022010 - Our last look of Skradinski Buk focused on just part of the main waterfall
Krka_240_06022010 - We spotted this little bird just as we were about to get back on board the boat taking us back to Skradin from Skradinski Buk

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The nearest town to Skradinski Buk (besides Skradin, which is a charming little town in its own right and where we spent the night) is Šibenik.

It’s about 15- to 30 minutes drive.

But again, since we stayed in Skradin, we didn’t need to drive, and we were content with taking the boat up the river/lake towards the Skradinski Buk Waterfalls.

Krka_016_06022010 - We did not need to drive once we checked into Skradin because there was a boat that left from town to Krka National Park and the Skradinski Buk complex
We did not need to drive once we checked into Skradin because there was a boat that left from town to Krka National Park and the Skradinski Buk complex

As for getting to Skradin, we came here from Plitvice.

It was about a two-hour drive to go from Plitvice to Skradin along Hwy 13 and then the high-speed motorway on Hwy 2 (toll required).

If you were coming from Zadar, you’d be taking Hwy 2 to Skradin, and my guess is that would probably be between 30 minutes to an hour.

Krka National Park is well signposted as you’re driving along Hwy 2.

The good signage continues as you’re driving the rural streets towards Skradin and further up Krka National Park towards even Visovac (the monastery island) as well as Roški Slap – the other main waterfall in the park.

If you’re going the other way (north), realize that we took a little over an hour to drive along the Hwy 2 from the Skradin vicinity to Split when we left the park.

So I’m guessing you’ll take a similar amount of time if you were to come to Krka from Split.

Left to right sweep of the main waterfall


Right to left sweep of the main waterfall ending at smaller waterfalls with people swimming beneath them


Fixated on a multi-tiered series of waterfalls somewhere in the upper cascades of Skradinski Buk


Broad left to right sweep of a long series of cascades within the upper tiers of Skradinski Buk


Right to left sweep following a joining set of cascades towards lower karst cascades further downstream


Left to right sweep of small cascades near the upper reaches of Skradinski Buk


Left to right sweep of series of cascades from opposite side of the main stream showing cascades joining that stream from both banks


On the boardwalk looking down over a cascade before sweeping up towards other cascades


Left to right sweep of the main Skradinski Buk Waterfall from a top-down contextual perspective showing both the footbridge and hydro facility in the background

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Tagged with: krka, national park, sibenik, knin, split, zadar, dalmatia, skradin, visovac, waterfall, croatia



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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