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  30.11.2018, 07:00h


Where the Krka first kisses the sea

Krka National Park presents its hiking trails.

In the canyon extending from Skradinski buk waterfall to the Skradin Bridge, the Krka is tame and tranquil. After its powerful descent down the 17 cascades of its final waterfall, it calmly drifts towards the sea, its end, knowledge that it has left nothing but beauty in this world. And truly, when you raise your eyes from the blue of the river, your view beings on the green cliffs of the canyon. These cliffs are remarkable for the pines and cypress trees growing on them. On the left side is Lozovačka, and on the right Mala Brina, along which a walking trail runs. This trail, which is also a fire control trail, is the shortest cycling trail in Krka National Park, just 8.6 km in length. The trail begins in Skradin and follows the Krka River upstream to Skradinski buk waterfall, and returns back to Skradin the same way.

But we should start at the beginning. From the bridge. Today's blue Skradin Bridge was constructed in 1953. Since 1997, it has marked the southwestern boundary of Krka National Park and is the only aquatic entrance to the Park. When prominent Šibenik cultural official, Don Krsto Stošić wrote his book about the river, Rijeka Krka sa 54 slike [The Krka River in 54 pictures] in 1927, Šibenik was connected to Skradin via a pontoon bridge. At that time, Stošić was a witness to the construction of the trestle bridge in 1930. However, this bridge was destroyed by the German Army in World War II, and the Partisan forces constructed a temporary wooden bridge at the same site. Just above that bridge is where the Krka first kisses the sea, the taste of salt remaining on the lips. That kiss is the start of our trail.

On route from the bridge to Skradinski buk waterfall there is an islet overgrown with aquatic vegetation. The island is actually a deposit of river sand that for centuries was used to build the houses in the nearby villages. Macelinuša Island, the largest island on the Krka River, was once a favourite excursion ground for the Šibenik upper classes. Today, the only vessels sailing through the canyon are the boats of the Public Institute of Krka National Park, which transport visitors from Skradin. Once this canyon was filled with white boats from throughout Dalmatia, carrying flour milled at the water mills at Skradinski buk waterfall. Alongside, the trail was filled with carriages loaded with corn and barley, and pulled by horses, mules and donkeys, which also hauled wheat to one of the hundred mills and columns lining the falls. This trail was always lively. Today this trail, cut into the right bank of the Krka River, is a meditative path to the magnificent Skradinski buk waterfall for all those who are not in a hurry, and who wish to experience nature with every step. Here the Krka plays a child's game with us – hide and seek. For a moment it hides behind the corner only to reveal itself in its true majesty just steps later. And we humans always take delight in this, like children.

• Parking lot near the Skradin Bridge (free of charge, about 10 spots) or in the town of Skradin (charged, 10 to 20 minutes away from the start of the trail)

• The trail begins at the reception at the Skradin Bridge

• The trail is gravel and earth, it is a walking and cycling trail, special permit vehicles may pass

• At the very start of the trail, there is a long and gentle descent towards the river, near the end of the trail there are speed bumps

• At the end of the trail near the reception, you can park your bicycles and continue on foot

• Return on foot or by boat, bicycles are not permitted on the boat to Skradin