As I’m writing this having finished the Croatia leg of our summer sailing, I can confidently say that the Krka waterfalls was my highlight. It was also great to be back in a river again. Emerald likes her rivers what with the many weeks we have spent up the Fal, 18 months in the mud of the Crouch, motoring under the majestic 25 de Abril bridge in Lisbon and being happily glued in up the Rio Guadiana. The Krka river didn’t disappoint: once we’d left the frenzy of the entrance behind, we were on our own in wide open water with beautiful scenery to navigate through.
The first section of river is wide with mussel farms lining the edges. Then came a moment of peril – passing under a bridge always gives us the jitters despite knowing we had plenty of space above us. The river then narrows and wiggles through a cliff lined gorge before opening out into a huge lake. Another bridge, this one way up above us and we arrived at Skradin; a much lower bridge then limits onward travel.
There are three bays opposite Skradin where boats can anchor. We chose the one furthest away with no one else in it. Along the reed beds beside us was a long pontoon which boats did come and tie up to but we preferred to swing free.
Families of swans glided about on the prowl for free food from the anchored boats, the scenery was beautiful and once the beachgoers on the little beach opposite had gone home, all was peaceful.
The next day was cloudy which didn’t seem best for seeing the falls so we chose to take a walk up alongside the river instead, watching the boats ferrying visitors up to the park and catching glimpses of the falls up ahead. By the time we got to the end of the 4km trail, the clouds had fizzled away and we decided to go in after all. We also saved 80kn as the entry price went up the next day (1st July). I am from Yorkshire after all!
Walking across the bridge below the main falls was busy but once we’d climbed the steps to the upper section the crowds thinned out. The noise and force of the water is incredible and we could see why someone had the bright idea of building a hydroelectric power station. We admired the views and browsed around the historical displays set up in an old mill and blacksmiths shop where Colin had a go squeezing the bellows. At the very top of the trail, boardwalk has been laid across the many streams and burbling falls with fish holding station in the shallows below and electric blue dragonflies flitting around our heads. I could have stayed there all day.
Heading back down the far side we marvelled at how the river just went where it liked, making paths in and amongst the trees on its quest to reach the bottom. Further viewpoints dotted the route and then sadly we were back in amongst the throngs around the bottom of the falls. We didn’t have any swim things with us as we hadn’t planned to go into the park so we had to give a dip a miss. We walked back again as we couldn’t be faffed with queueing for the boats. The Mohjito bar on the Skradin waterfront quenched our thirst after all that walking with happy hour mohjitos for only 30kn. We may have had just one more….
Skradin itself is a pretty town for a wander with a small fort perched above. Jacob and Vickie on Conquistador arrived at the anchorage during the day and we had a fun evening catching up.
On Saturday morning it was back down the river on another lovely sunny day. Little were we to know that within a few hours the day would have gone seriously downhill.
Vinisce and Stupin (Rogoznica)
On our way to the falls we stopped off at a couple of places.
We managed to get away from Trogir by the south side of the channel and without any visits from the beer demanding bargemen. The wind around the corner where we would turn towards Rogoznica usually picked up from the west late morning, so we broke the journey with a stop at Vinisce. There isn’t a lot there other than a few restaurants but the holding was great and there was masses of space. The people who used to come and try to hassle money from yachts for anchoring have gone, the only visit we had was from a restaurant to give us a menu.
Next was Rogoznica, a little tourist town that we ended up staying at for four days. We anchored a little way away from the town itself at the head of the bay called Stupin; it was only a few minutes dinghy followed by a ten minute walk from there into the centre. With Safari anchored there too we had our first MdR reunion and headed off most days for easy walks around the peninsulas and to see the Dragon Eye lake.
24th June: Trogir to Vinisce, 19nm travelled
Great holding in sand. Anchored in 6m in position 43 29.187’N 16 06.765’E
25th June: Vinisce to Stupin, 15nm travelled
Anchored in 9m in position 43 32.383’N 15 58.695’E
Supermarket, bars and restaurants in Rogoznica.
Marina Frappa looked very nice if you fancied a marina stay, the marina also controls the mooring buoys that lay off to the side of the marina.
29th June: Stupin to Skradin, 27nm travelled (7nm sailed)
Anchored in 5.5m in position 43 48.91’N 15 55.75’E
Entry to the falls outside of July and August was 110kn per person. Free boats take visitors between Skradin and the national park, alternatively there is a 4km trail that runs along the riverside.
Skradin was very touristy – we found an excellent happy hour offer for Mohjitos at the aptly named Mohjito bar on the waterfront. Otherwise, food and drink prices were a little higher than we had found so far.
A small supermarket plus fruit and veg stalls.