Lonely Planet Writer

Croatia's Krka National Park waterfall limits visitor numbers to prevent overcrowding

Visitor restriction measures have been put in place at an ever-popular Krka National Park waterfall in Croatia for safety reasons and to prevent too much pressure being placed on the natural phenomenon. Director of the park, Krešimir Šakić, recently announced that a limit has been placed on the number of visitors allowed at a time in Skradinski buk, a large natural pool with high waterfalls that is the lowest of the three sets of waterfalls formed along the Krka river.

Tourists swim in the Krka River in Krka National Park in Croatia. Image: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock
Tourists swim in the Krka River in Krka National Park in Croatia. Image: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

A maximum of 10,000 visitors will now be permitted at any one time at Skradinski buk, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls in Europe. Once that number has been reached, visitors will have to wait to be allowed enter and will be directed to less busy parts of the park.

The park encompasses an area of 109 sq km and was formed to protect the Krka River. It is the seventh national park in Croatia and was proclaimed a national park in 1985.

Krka National Park in Croatia at sunset. Image: Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock
Krka National Park in Croatia at sunset. Image: Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock

Extending along the 73km River Krka, Krka National Park runs from the Adriatic near Šibenik inland to the mountains of the Croatian interior. It’s a magical place of waterfalls and gorges, with the river gushing through a karstic canyon that’s 200m deep.

Sights built by humans are also a major draw of the region, as the area’s remoteness attracted monks who constructed their monasteries there.

Waterfalls at Krka National Park in Croatia. Image: Anita Lucic / EyeEm/Getty Images
Waterfalls at Krka National Park in Croatia. Image: Anita Lucic / EyeEm/Getty Images

The park is considered to be one of Croatia’s true natural gems, and is intended primarily for scientific, cultural, educational, recreational and tourism activities. The country’s national parks attract 3.5 million visitors annually, but as July and August are the peak months for visitors, authorities decided it was an appropriate time to introduce the new restrictions.