TRAVEL

Krka National Park

March 20, 2018

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The beautiful Skradinski Buk is the longest waterfall of the Krka River

IMAGE: Krka National Park

Krka National Park is an geological and ecological paradise. It is a place of unmatched natural beauty, where the ethos of sustainable living is practical, holistic, and action-orientated.

 

 

More and more people are looking to spend their vacation in an area of outstanding beauty while also nurturing a much closer connection with the natural world around them. Gone are the days of lounging about the pool at a luxury hotel complex.

 

Today’s advocates for a greener planet are looking for something entirely different. Ecotourism is on the rise and nowhere is it more apparent than in a location like Krka National Park in Croatia: a place where they’ve been taking sustainability to a whole new level.

 

At the heart of Krka National Park’s appeal is its commitment to protecting the natural world and promoting clean and green living – that’s why they’re more concerned with attracting like-minded tourists who share their environmental ethos and the spirit of green living, rather than encouraging high visitation rates in order to maximise selfish profit.

 

 

 

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The Krka Canyons

IMAGE: Krka National Park

Where Is Krka National Park?

 

Krka National Park is situated along the 72.5 km Krka River (from which it takes its name) in Šibenik-Knin County and is one of the most stunningly beautiful areas of Europe. Efforts to bestow the Krka region with official national park status had been going on since the early 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1985 that it finally gained recognition.

 

The park covers a vast area of 109 km² and is currently managed by the Public Institute which is part of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia. This organisation is tasked with preserving the local infrastructure as well as promoting it as a beautiful location for the growing number of ecotourists from around the world to visit.

 

 

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Old house and watermill at the Roški Slap

IMAGE: Krka National Park

Activities in Krka National Park

 

There is literally so much to see and do in Krka National Park that you will have great difficulty fitting it into a couple of weeks of well-deserved holiday. The good news is that your stay can be as organised or as freewheeling as you like. But rest assured; you’ll always come away with a sense that you have learned something new. You can choose to join in wildlife spotting trips, take a gentle boat excursion or two or perhaps enrol in educational activities such as the Krka Green Table. There are daily activities for the young and old and everyone in between.

 

One of the first places you are really going to want to visit is Skradinski Buk waterfall. Accessed by a number of public footpaths, trails and walkways, you can journey there throughout the year either on foot or by bike and explore a plethora of cascades, islands and lakes.

 

What is impressive about this part of the National Park is that it really shows how they’ve worked hard to maintain and renovate the traditional folk architecture. From the bridges and local mills to the shops that you’ll find along the way, it often seems as you have entered a cultural window back in time. Another similar attraction is the Roški slap waterfall, also known as the ‘vast waterfall’, which includes a road dating back to Roman times.

 

 

 

The Romanesque-style Krka Monastery

IMAGE: Krka National Park

For all eco-tourists and nature lovers, hiking is a significant part of everything that happens in Krka National Park, and again, there is plenty to keep you occupied. These walks are often combined with something educational, all in keeping with the park’s desire to leave visitors with more than just an affinity for fresh air.

 

Hikers not only learn about what the park authorities are doing to maintain the area but can also find out about the rich history, flora and fauna and geology of Krka along their hike. One particularly popular tour is the Stinice Ozidana Pecina Educational Hiking Trail. Set trails in the region vary in length from just under a kilometre to up 8.5 km and include some stunning views as well as more than a few interesting facts along the way.  There’s so much beautiful fauna and flora to take in and enjoy that you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a whole new and exciting world!

 

Krka National Park isn’t just about the beautiful scenery, however. There’s plenty of vibrant history that seems to come to life wherever you walk. There are caves at Ozidana pecina that date human habitation back as far as 1500 BC and there’s the more recent, but no less impressive, Krka Monastery below which can find Roman catacombs. If you head to one of the many restored and preserved water mills, you can see demonstrations of how people in the 19th century milled grain, washed clothes and weaved fabrics.

 

 

 

The Burnum Amphitheatre - part of a former Roman Legion fortified camp

IMAGE: Krka National Park

The Ideal Location for Ecotourists

 

Croatia is fast becoming one of the guiding lights when it comes to eco-tourism and has over 350 sustainable businesses and companies that are registered to sell their eco-friendly goods to places such as hotels and local stores (including fresh, organic foods grown locally on eco-estates). So whether you’re staying in a hotel or camping out, the chances are you’ll also be helping local eco-producers at the same time.

 

But Krka National Park’s own brand of ecotourism isn’t only about bringing socio-economic and environmental benefits to the Croatian private sector and the local population, but it’s about having a much more wide-reaching and ongoing impact. Their particular brand of ecotourism is about encouraging visitors to engage on a much deeper level and hopefully help them to bring a few new ideas into their own lives and communities.

 

Don’t get us wrong: the accomplished team who help to maintain Krka National Park most certainly do want visitors to enjoy themselves, and there are always plenty of attractions to ensure visitors of all ages will be engaged and delighted. But crucially, they also want each visitor to go away with a greater understanding of the impact they have on the environment and realise how each of us is responsible for changing the world in which we live for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about the Krka National Park then please visit:

 

www.np-krka.hr

 

 

 

 

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