Visitors of Split, Croatia are often faced with a dilemma: Which day tour to pick: Krka Waterfalls or Plitvice Lakes? As a Tour guide I get that question a lot. Getting both tours may not always be possible. Either you have just one day available, or you have other issues. Here are some hints to help you make the choice between visiting two Croatian national parks: Krka and the Plitvice Lakes:
- Krka is closer to Split, requires less walking and may be accesible even to people in wheelchairs. Visiting Plitvice Lakes requires a certain level of physical fitness and more time.
- Both Krka and Plivice Lakes national parks are stunningly beautiful. However, there is a reason why the UNESCO awarded Plitvice Lakes the title of a World Heritage of Nature site.
- If possible, take both tours. If not, come back next year, and do the other one.
Personally, I find nature, and I mean ALL nature – amazing. Is a lion better than a tiger? Is a rose more beautiful than a tulip? You really cannot make that choice. Also, is Mona Lisa by Da Vinci nicer than The Sunflowers by Van Gogh? Do you get what I mean? (P.S. What a great psychological lesson, right?)
The same goes for Krka Waterfalls and the Plitvice Lakes. Both areas are unique, special and stunning.
But what if you just cannot visit both places? Allow me to expand the hints I mentioned above.
Krka is Closer to Split and more Accessible
It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Krka National Park from Split, wheras it may take more than 3 hours to reach Plitvice Lakes.
Practically, if you’re on a cruise ship, it may be technically possible to organize a trip to Krka from Split. Unfortunatelly, Plitvice would be out of your reach. The port of Zadar could be the only possible departure point to enable the relaxed visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Also, if you already had enough of time spent on a bus, Krka seems like a fine option.
If you have any walking or health impediments, it may turn out to be impossible to visit the Plitvice Lakes. More information on planning your trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park and thing you may want to keep in mind you can find in my other post.
In order to fully benefit from the Krka Waterfalls area, you would also need to be somewhat fit. Nevertheless, the central part of the Krka National Part, the Skradinski Buk section, is fully accessible even to physically (even visually) impaired individuals. With a number of spectacular view point and all the facilities at hand, Krka certainly has some advantages over Plitvice Lakes.
Visiting the Plitvice Lakes – Worth Every Effort
At times, individuals end up in my group visits to the Plitvice Lakes that are apparently unaware of the features of the park.
Although normally fit people find the visit to be not too demanding, keep in mind that your step counter may well congratulate you for reaching your 10.000-step goal. In other words, if you haven’t lately had such a message on your cell phone display, you may want to reconsider your plans.
“Ok. Can I just sit somewhere and enjoy the view?” – It’s a question I get a lot. NO! Just to reach the lakes, you need to do several flights of steps. And the group tours usually doesn’t return the same way.
Also, once you go DOWN the steps, you would eventually need to GO BACK UP again. And hvaing walked for hours already, you may be out of your breath.
If you, despite of my fearmongering, still believe you can make it, GO FOR IT.
The Plitvice National Park is so amazing and unbelievably beautiful. One of a kind in the whole world. Hence, the UNESCO enlisted the Plitvice Lakes as the World Heritage of Nature as early as 1979.
Here are some of the photos I did throughout the park over the years:
Really, words cannot contain the impressive beauty of this place. I tried to express my excitment in the following posts on the Plitvice Lakes:
Why are Plitvice Lakes Really so Turquoise?
Why Should You Visit The Plitvice Lakes In Early Spring?
Option 1: If you have time and energy, do both parks.
Option 2: If you have just one day and the energy, visit Plitvice Lakes this year, and Krka next year.
Option 3: If you have health issues and limited time, visit Krka Waterfalls first. Make sure to put Plitvice Lakes on your bucket list.