About Skradinski Buk (Krka Waterfalls)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Skradinski Buk resides in Krka National Park. 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.
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 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.
So I’m guessing you’ll take a similar amount of time if you were to come to Krka from Split.
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