Croatian National Park from a Cruising Ship

Joe McClain - Jan 05, 2012
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Our day in Split, Croatia, began with a tender ride from the Star Princess to the pier where our guide and a motorcoach awaited our arrival. Our ultimate destination, Krka National Park & Waterfalls, was approximately two hours away from the pier.

Our journey onward from the pier went through the Croatian countryside, which has a beauty of all its own. Special points of interest to look out for on this exceptional bus journey include the limestone plateaus and river canyons. The Adriatic coast attracts tourists from all over the world.

Which Side Has the Best View

Stepping aboard our tour bus, we wondered which side would offer the best view for this two hour journey. Since the bus wasn't completely full, we were able to spread out, which meant we could have someone on both sides of the bus. In fact, the entire back seat was empty, so that's where my husband camped out with his trusty digital SLR in hand.

Having just left the Greek Isles the day before, with white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, the first thing that struck us was the red clay roof tiles on the houses. It reminded us of houses on the west coast of the United States, perhaps those in California.

The next thing that captured our attention was the various shades of blue waters as we drove along the scenic winding roads by the Adriatic Sea. Separating the houses from the sea were white sandy beaches that were, for the most part, untouched in this early morning light. From our vantage point looking down from the winding road, both the sea and the white sand seemed to go on infinitely.

Picture Perfect ...

Boats of every size, from small row boats to yachts, were seen in the marinas and small inlets along the path to Krka. Their white shapes provided contrast to the green landscape, crystal clear blue waters of many shades, and the red-roofed buildings. Even the sky cooperated, having cleared up after an early morning gentle rain that had fallen before we arrived.

It wasn't long before we arrived at Krka National Park. The two hour drive seemed to pass quickly, perhaps because it had been so scenic.

Krka National Park & Waterfalls

The Adriatic coast attracts tourists from all over the world and you'll quickly see why as you enter Krka National Park, a breath-taking natural wonder. This vibrant area was declared a national park in 1985, one of seven in Croatia, and is named after the river that runs through all 35,000 acres. Krka River, with its seven magical waterfalls, travels two thirds of its way to the sea through canyons.

The Sounds of Nature

Close your eyes and listen intently to the sounds of nature that surround you... One of the 222 species of birds sings out in the silence, searching for a mate. The water rushing is getting more intense; a waterfall must be just around the bend. A gentle breeze ruffles the leaves. You continue walking and silence returns, but only for an instant as once again you hear water rushing.

The park is a natural haven for over 400 species of animals, including Adriatic salmon, and thousands of different types of plant life but the true spectacle are the waterfalls. Skradinski Buk, the part of the park we visited aboard a cruise ship, features the largest and most dramatic waterfall in Krka National Park at 151 feet in height and approximately 1,312 feet wide.

Footpaths that meander above and below the falls offer the most dramatic and extensive views of this natural wonder. Swimming is allowed in some pools at certain times (your Guide will be able to advise you) so you may want to pack your swim gear and towel just in case you get the urge to jump in and cool down.

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