Visit the 7 Best Waterfalls in Croatia Visit the 7 Best Waterfalls in Croatia

Visit the 7 Best Waterfalls in Croatia

With beautiful historic cities perched along a shimmering turquoise sea and a vibrant cultural scene, Croatia has become one of Europe’s best summer destinations. However, the country also boasts illustrious scenery, with many beautiful lakes, luscious greenery, and powerful waterfalls. From the delicate spray of small cascades to fast streams that plummet down with a powerful force, Croatia has plenty of natural beauty to admire. Explore all the best waterfalls in Croatia with this complete travel guide.

The Best Waterfalls in Croatia

Croatia boasts beautiful scenery, counting more waterfalls and natural gems per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe. Most of the Croatia waterfalls can be found in the famed Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park, though there are other hidden gems. 

Walk between the green hills along well-maintained paths and wooden bridges, soaking up the area’s vibrant colors. Hike up high to admire numerous water streams twisting their way between the mossy rocks. Or, go low and feel the thunder of the water plummeting down into the turquoise rivers. Here’s all you need to know about the best waterfalls in Croatia.

waterfalls croatia rastoke town

1. Skradinski Buk, Krka National Park

Close to the charming town of Skradin on Croatia’s picturesque peninsula lies the mesmerizing Skradinksi Buk. This incredible collection of nearly 20 waterfalls takes center stage in the stunning Krka National Park, one of the best locations to visit on any Croatia itinerary. The falls are more renowned for their width than their height, stretching nearly a kilometer across the lush green scenery.

waterfalls croatia Krka National Park

Skradinksi Buk is the most popular waterfall in the park and is accessible from a beautiful 2km long hiking path created from wooden boards that hover above the crystal-clear streams. Look out from the bottom, gazing up at the tapestry of water flowing between the trees and over limestone rock.

waterfalls croatia pathway Krka National Park

Cross the well-maintained paths and bridges to see the cascade from different angles, catching glimpses of the colorful fish swimming upstream or the frogs amongst the trees and undergrowth. And the very best part is you don’t even need to be a hiker to do this trail! The walk is very straightforward, making it perfect for every kind of traveler.

  • Best time to visit: April – May or September – October
  • Entrance: 40 EUR (43.20 USD)
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Visit the 7 Best Waterfalls in Croatia
waterfalls croatia how to visit Krka National Park

How to Visit Krka National Park

Krka National Park is a must-see on any Croatia itinerary, mostly visited on a day trip from Split. However, it’s also easily accessible from the quaint town of Sibenik.

By Car

The most flexible way to explore the park fully is to rent a car. Travel time by car from Sibenik is 20 minutes, from Zadar, 1 hour, and from Split, 1.5 hours. Once you’ve seen Skradinski Buk and are back in your car, you can drive to other waterfalls in the area. 

By Bus

If you don’t have your own transportation, there are also frequent buses headed to Krka from Sibenik, Zadar, and Split. Once you reach the entrance, the bus shuttle service (included in the Krka National Park entrance fee) takes you from the car park at the Lozovac Entrance (see the exact parking location here) to Skradinski Buk Falls. These buses leave every few minutes.

Tip: Walk one way to Skradinski Buk (875 meters to the top) and take the shuttle bus back. If you do this at 8 AM (and do the loop backward), you’ll reach the big waterfall first and, hopefully, have it all to yourself.

Organized Tour

Another option is to join a guided tour, which includes pick-up and drop-off. The majority of these leave from Split, making it a good option if you’re looking for a day trip on your Croatia itinerary.

2. Roški Slap

In the myriad of waterfalls you find in Krka National Park, Roski Slap stands tall, earning its place alongside the famed Skradinski Buk. This cascade of 12 interconnected waterfalls descends nearly 24 meters and stretches out over a 600-meter surface, making this one of the best waterfalls in Croatia. 

waterfalls croatia Roški Slap 

The park’s entrance fee includes the ferry ride to the falls, which is a 20-minute voyage across the stunning hues of Lake Visovac. Marvel at the panoramic views of the falls from above, or admire them from below as you gently bob over the waters.

  • Best time to visit: April – May or September – October
  • Entrance: 20 EUR (21.60 USD) or 40 EUR, including Skradinski Buk. 
  • Photography tip: You can visit a beautiful cave here that provides a view over the falls – one of the best things to see in Krka National Park! (Here’s the exact location)
Roški Slap Krka National Park waterfalls croatia

3. The Great Waterfall

Nestled in Croatia’s lush mountains, Plitvice Lakes National Park unveils an unparalleled beauty: 16 pristine lakes, powerful waterfalls, and gorgeous greenery. The Great Waterfall, or Veliki Slap, is the park’s jewel and the perfect example of the incredible nature in Croatia.

waterfalls croatia Plitvice national park the great waterfall

The park is split up into two areas, the upper and the lower lakes, both brimming with beautiful views and crystal-clear waters. Unlike its smaller counterparts, Veliki Slap is fed by the Potok River, plummeting down over an impressive 78-meter drop. You’ll find it located right next to the lower lakes, just after you enter through Entrance 1. Traverse the wooden path and ascend to the waterfall’s crown for a breathtaking view over the tallest waterfall in Plitvice Lakes.

  • Best time to visit: There’s no wrong time to visit Plitvice Lakes, as every season offers a different sight over the protected area. However, the shoulder seasons are the best. 
  • Entrance: Depending on the season, it’s 10 – 40 EUR for adults, 4.50 – 16 EUR for children, and 6.50 – 25 EUR for students.  
  • Photography tip: The best views of Veliki Slap are from the viewing platform at entrance 1. 
veliki slap plitvice national park waterfalls croatia

How to Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park

The most flexible way to get to the Plitvice Lakes is by car. Drive through Croatia’s stunning landscapes, making your way up into the mountains to finally reach the lush park. Depending on where you’re traveling from, it takes 2 – 3 hours of driving to get to Plitvice.  

wooden walkway plitvice national park waterfalls croatia

You can also get to Plitvice Lakes by bus, with daily departures from Split and Zagreb. Buses are fairly comfortable, with most of them air-conditioned. From Zagreb and Zadar, it’s 2 – 3 hours and 3 – 5 from Split. 

Lastly, you also have the option to visit the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park by joining an organized tour from one of Croatia’s major cities.

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all

4. Sastavci Waterfalls (Plitvice Lakes)

Just a stone’s throw in front of Veliki Slap, nestled on the edge of Novakovica Brod Lake, you’ll peer out on the incredible Sastavci Falls. This stunning cascade moves down over 25 meters in height, gently passing through the shrubs and stone. 

viewpoint veliki slap waterfalls croatia plitvice national park

With the majestically tall Veliki Slap in the background, the view of both waterfalls is one of the best in the park. From up top on the viewing platform, take in the sights of the rushing waters that come together in the Korana River. This is the perfect spot to soak up the green and turquoise colors of Plitvice Lakes National Park before continuing on one of the many trails throughout the area.

  • Photography tip: The viewpoint at Entrance 1 or up at the gorge north of Veliki Slap gives a good view over both Sastavci Slap and Veliki Slap. 

5. Rastoke Waterfalls

About 30 – 40 minutes from the stunning Plitvice Lakes lies a much smaller but equally enchanting place full of cascading waterfalls and beautiful stone houses; welcome to Rastoke! This dreamy village, nestled in the neighboring town of Slunj, is a hidden treasure and beautiful surprise on your Croatia itinerary. With numerous small cascades and cute houses built atop, it makes a must-see.

rastoke village waterfalls croatia

It’s often referred to as the mini Plitvice Lakes, sharing the same natural phenomena of protected tufa formations and ever-changing waterfalls. However, due to its size, it’s much less known amongst visitors, providing a relaxing experience. Wander through the village’s overwater layout, crossing beautiful bridges and admiring the area’s beauty. The cascades here make one of the best Croatia waterfalls to visit.

  • Best time to visit: May – October
  • Entrance: Free, but 5.30 EUR (5.72 USD) for the Eco-museum.  
  • Photography tip: From this spot, you’ll overlook the Korana Canyon atop an old steel bridge and be able to see multiple waterfalls — wow!

6. Mrežnica Waterfalls 

The Mreznica River is one of the four rivers that meet in central Croatia. Flowing through a stunningly green canyon and dammed by natural waterfalls makes it the perfect location for swimming, kayaking, and relaxing in nature. 

Kayaking on the Mreznica River waterfalls croatia

The best way to see the waterfalls along the emerald-green river is by joining a rafting or kayaking tour. This is because downstream, where a few roads lead, the canyon is narrow, the river fast, and the waterfalls high. Tours start where the river is wider and the waterfalls more gentle, making it a relaxed and beautiful experience in Croatian nature. Gently float downstream on the water, looking out at the stunning tufa formations along the canyon and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere.

  • Best time to visit: June – September when the temperatures are nice, allowing you to swim, paddle, and hike comfortably. 
  • Entrance: Free, but incredible to visit with a tour. 
kotli watermill waterfalls croatia

7. Kotli Watermill

Although not really a waterfall, the abandoned watermill in the small village of Kotli is a stunning site to visit. Nestled near the town of Motovun, this somewhat hidden gem lies just slightly off the main route in the lush region of Istria and offers a peek into the country’s history. Although no one has lived in the settlement for years, it’s very popular amongst visitors. 

rocks at kotli watermill waterfalls croatia

Framed by dramatic rock walls, the small watermill and viaduct were once used to provide water to homes and power many of the small village’s work. Now, you’ll find a small waterfall dripping down the rocks into the mineral-rich pools below — the ideal relaxing place. Spend some time soaking up the sun as you explore the green oasis of former mills. 

  • Best time to visit: Spring or Autumn when the pools are full of clean, natural water. The water can be dried up during the summer. 
  • Entrance: Free
  • Photography Tip: Don’t miss the tavern Kotlic, with incredible views over the pools and mill stream. 

Tips for Visiting the Croatia Waterfalls

With an abundance of powerful waterfalls and beautiful cascades, exploring these natural treasures of Croatia is a must-do. Whether it’s exploring the stunning parks of Krka and Plitvice Lakes or rushing down the waters of the Mrežnica River, here are some useful tips:

  • Most waterfalls in Croatia are at their best (and most beautiful) during the spring and early summer months when there’s plenty of water flow. 
  • Most waterfalls lie further away from the coast, allowing for cooler temperatures and fresh water. However, it can still get very hot during midday, so come prepared with lightweight clothes, lots of water, sunscreen, and a good hat. 
  • If you’re visiting during the high season, try to go as early as possible. You can pre-book your ticket in advance through the park websites. Be patient on the narrow trails as you share them with others. Crowds tend to go down after 3 p.m. 
  • Different waterfalls may have different opening hours and seasonal closures. Always check the official websites before you visit to ensure it’s accessible during your Croatia itinerary.
how to visit the waterfalls croatia krka national park

Hiking in Nature

  • Hiking gear is not necessary to admire the waterfalls in Croatia. However, you do need good shoes! The terrain is often uneven or laid with wooden trails, so avoid flip-flops or sandals. 
  • Don’t forget your camera – you’ll surely want to capture the beauty of all the falls. But remember to be respectful of other visitors. 
  • Other activities like swimming or kayaking are offered at some of the falls. If you’re interested in any of these, make sure to plan accordingly by bringing the right gear!
  • Respect nature and leave no trace by staying on the marked trails. The lush area around the falls is protected and has a delicate ecosystem. Please follow the designated paths, avoid disturbing wildlife, and keep all your garbage with you (sustainable travel tips!).

Our Favorite Nearby Stays 

Tucked between the lush hills, right in the center of old towns, or above the river streams – there are many incredible accommodation options close to the best waterfalls in Croatia. We’ve listed our favorites below for each location: 

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