Split Croatia Waterfalls and Rivers – Everything You Need To Know

waterfalls split

The beautiful landscape of Croatia unfolds in its rivers, canyons shaped over the years, and, most importantly, in stunning waterfalls. Here, we’ll explore all the waterfalls and other beauties you can visit with just a few hours’ drive from Split. From the breathtaking waterfalls of Plitvice and Krka to the adventurous rapids of Cetina, there’s a world of natural wonders waiting to be discovered.

In this article, I will discuss all the waterfalls from National Park Plitvice and Krka. Additionally, I’ll introduce you to some lesser-known gems that only a local would know, like Zrmanja, Grabovac, and Kravice. Let’s dive in!

Every Waterfall & River in Split

  • Location: Located north of Split, on the way to Zagreb
  • Waterfalls:
    • Veliki Slap (Great Waterfall)
    • Veliki prštavac (Great sprinkler)
    • Galovački Buk
    • Great Cascades
    • Sastavci Waterfall
    • Trina Waterfalls
    • Milanovački Waterfall
  • Name: Nacionalni park „Plitvička jezera“
  • Cost: 40€ during summer, 23.5€ April, May and October, 10€ rest of the year per adult
  • Distance from Split: 240 km, around 3 hours drive
  • Time needed for visit: from one morning to two days

Plitvice is the most famous national park in Croatia, drawing visitors from around the world. Enriched with beautiful continental nature, it’s home to diverse flora and fauna, including Croatia’s largest waterfall, “the Great Waterfall.” The park’s creation through erosion, along with its unique karst landscape, forming cascading waterfalls and stunning lakes, earned it UNESCO protection.

Having visited the park a few times, I can attest that it’s truly a natural wonder. However, be cautious as it gets very crowded, especially in the summer. To avoid crowds, I recommend visiting during spring or fall. Winter is also a great option if you enjoy snow. There are various trail options around the park, and your visit duration depends on the trail you choose. It can last 2 to 3 hours or even extend to two days. Note that boat tickets are included in the entrance price.

  • Location: Located north of Split, near Šibenik
  • Waterfalls:
    • Skradinski buk
    • Roški slap
    • Slap Miljacka
    • Slap Rošnjak
    • Manojlovački slap
    • Slap Brljan
    • Bilušića buk
  • Name: Nacionalni park Krka
  • Cost: 40€ during summer, 15€ April and May, 20€ October, 7€ rest of the year per adult
  • Time needed for visit: one day
  • Distance from Split: 85 km, around 1 hour drive

Krka is one of my favorite nature experiences in Croatia. Its beauty lies in the combination of a marshy landscape with a Mediterranean feel, making Krka a must-visit. When you go to Krka, you can choose between two entrances, leading you to either Skradinski Buk or Roški Slap—both breathtaking waterfalls. For the more adventurous, you can organize a visit to the other five waterfalls in the park as well.

Beyond the beautiful waterfalls, nature, and wonderful educational trails, what makes this park interesting, in my opinion, is its cultural heritage. Notably, Krka is home to the second oldest hydro plant in the world, “Jaruga,” two old monasteries—one located on an island in the middle of the lake called Visovac—and the Ozidana Cave, hosting remains of Stone Age rituals. Additionally, you can explore a Roman amphitheater. If you’re not feeling too adventurous, each park entrance has restored watermills, adding extra charm to your visit.

I truly enjoy visiting Krka with my family because it also features amazing meadows for children to play in and fantastic family-owned restaurants. Don’t forget to explore Šibenik, a beautiful city by the coast, while you’re there.

  • Location: Near Ljubuški in Hercegovina
  • Waterfalls:
    • Kravice
    • Koćuša
  • Name: Slapovi Kravice
  • Cost: 10€ per adult
  • Time needed for visit: one day
  • Distance from Split: 130km, around 2 hours drive

While not in Split, Slapovi Kravice is definitely worth a visit. I once went there with my wife, and it was off-season, so it was pretty deserted. However, since then, Slapovi Kravice has gained popularity. Some of my friends who visited during the summer were amazed by its beauty. If you are planning to visit Kravice, make sure to explore Mostar as well if you have the time. Mostar is a famous and beautiful city renowned for its rich culture, history, and amazing food.

  • Location: North of Trilj
  • Name: Selo Grab
  • Cost: free
  • Time needed for visit: one day
  • Distance from Split: 48km, less than 1-hour drive

Just an hour away from Split lies a hidden gem called Selo Grab, named after the Grab River. It’s a picturesque place where you can enjoy streams in beautiful nature. If you can’t get enough of nature, there’s also the spring of the Rijeka Ruda nearby that you can explore. If you plan this visit, be sure to include Trilj, a beautiful small town on the banks of the River Cetina known for its riverside restaurants and rolling hills where you can take a picture on a haystack. For history buffs, just nearby is the City of Sinj, famous for its museum “Alkar” and the fortress “Kamičak.”

  • Location: Close to Split
  • Name: Žrnovnica
  • Cost: free
  • Time needed for visit: a few hours
  • Distance from Split: 11km, around 20 minutes drive

For those who want to enjoy peaceful nature along the most picturesque riverbank in Damlacija, make sure to visit the Žrnovnica River, just a 20-minute drive from Split. It’s famous for the “Antoničin Mlin restaurant,” and the fact that Game of Thrones was filmed here makes it a must-visit for all those who wish to enjoy good food in a relaxing environment. Trust me, it is worth it.

  • Location: Near Zadar
  • Name: Zrmanja
  • Cost: free
  • The time needed for visit: one day
  • Distance from Split: 144km, about 2 hours drive

The Canyon of the Zrmanja River is a part of the Velebit National Park, known for being featured in the movie “Winnetou.” It’s a beautiful place to visit, located near the city of Zadar. If you’re into exploring stunning waterfalls and trying out rafting in this iconic canyon, a visit to Zrmanja is a must. While you’re there, be sure to explore the charming city of Zadar, famous for its Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun.

  • Location: Close to Split
  • Name: Jadro
  • Cost: free
  • Localities:
    • Solin
    • Klis field
    • Spring of Jadro
  • Time needed for visit: a few hours
  • Distance from Split: 4km, around 10 minutes drive

Famous for its spring in the mountain Mosor, rich history, and the fact that it provides fresh water to Split, Solin, and surrounding areas, the Jadro River is a nice place to visit for nature lovers. Alongside the river, you can explore various localities, including its famous Spring and the excursion location “Jadro – the spring of life.” Head to Klis Field to walk along the banks of the Jadro River, and while you’re there, visit the renowned Klis Fortress, a filming location for Game of Thrones. In the city of Solin, where Jadro flows into the sea, a popular activity is feeding the ducks and swans.

Jadro is famous for its history. In Roman times, aqueducts were built to bring fresh water from the river to the city. It’s also known as the “Jordan of Croatia” because, during the Christianization of Croatia, many monasteries were built near Jadro. If you enjoy history and ruins, a must-visit is the Salona ruins.

  • Location: Close to Knin
  • Name: Krčić
  • Cost: free
  • Time needed for visit: a few hours
  • Distance from Split: 100km, around 1 and half hour drive

If you’re passing by the city of Knin, be sure to visit the Krnčić Waterfall on the Krčić River. The waterfall is 22 meters high and can be up to 30 meters wide. What makes this waterfall unique is that it pours into the spring of the Krka River. When you visit the Krčić Waterfall, there’s a 15 km-long trail for walking or cycling. And of course, don’t forget to explore Knin and its famous fortress.

  • Location: Entire Dalamtia
  • Name: Cetina
    • Waterfalls:
      • Great Gubavica
      • Small Gubavica
  • Cost: free
  • Time needed for visit: dependant, but maximum 5hrs
  • Distance from Split: 80km, around 1 and half hour drive (eye of the world), 25  km, 30 minutes drive (Omiš)

The largest river in Dalmatia is the Cetina, making it the most interesting. From its world-famous spring to numerous fun activities and its mouth in the beautiful city of Omiš—there’s a lot to explore. Let’s begin with its spring, known as the “Eye of the World.” It’s 120 meters deep, a stunning and breathtaking spring that displays various colors. Many influencers visit to capture the perfect picture, but only a rare few dare to swim in it, as the temperature doesn’t go above 19°C during the hottest days.

For those with an adventurous spirit, Cetina offers a variety of activities such as rafting, ziplining, paintball, picnicking, and even hiking races. There are also two beautiful waterfalls near Zadvarje, the Great and Small Gubavica, with the Great one being 49 meters high. At its mouth lies the city of Omiš, a favorite summer vacation spot for many tourists, not just renowned for its beaches but also its rich history.

I almost forgot to mention that swimming in Cetina is a famous activity, especially on the first of May when many people kick off their summer by taking a refreshing swim there.

Practical advice for visiting Split’s Waterfalls

The best advice I can offer is to plan ahead and prepare accordingly if you want to visit all the listed waterfalls. Contact the parks or resorts in advance to check if everything is open and operational. Organizing transportation to the parks is crucial. For example, if you only plan to visit Plitvice and Krka, you don’t need a car; many travel agencies can arrange your trip as part of a group. However, if you want to explore all hidden gems, you’ll need a rental car or someone to drive you.

Be mindful when visiting the “Kravice” Waterfalls; they are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is not part of the EU. Roaming might incur extra charges. Additionally, while the country doesn’t officially use euros, most places accept them, so you can usually pay in euros. If you’re traveling by car, include the cost of the highway in your budget.

The best season to visit? I would recommend April or May to avoid crowds. It’s mildly warm, not too hot, and there are fewer people, with accommodation being a bit cheaper. You can also visit during winter when it’s snowing, creating a magical atmosphere (seen below). However, dress properly for the cold, and check if the parks are open, as some rides and parts may not be available during that time.

If you plan to go swimming in the parks, make sure to bring swimwear, towels, and sunscreen. Additionally, be cautious about where you swim. In some places, like the Cetina River, not all parts are safe for swimming. In certain national parks, such as Plitvice, swimming is not allowed, while in Krka, it’s permitted only in specific areas.

Six-Day Itinerary: Exploring Nature’s Wonders from Split

Embark on a six-day adventure to discover the wonders of nature while making Split your base. This itinerary is designed assuming you have a rental car, or motorbike, but even if you don’t, these experiences can still be enjoyed through tours offered by local agencies.

Here’s the 6-day itinerary to explore all of Split’s most beautiful waterfalls:

  • Day 1 – Plitvice: Begin your adventure early in the morning by driving to Plitvice. It’s recommended to purchase tickets in advance and explore the walking trails. If you finish your tour quickly, consider visiting Barać Cave near Plitvice, the deer ranch, or, on your way back, stop at Knin to see Krčić Waterfall (Cetina Spring is not far from Knin).
  • Day 2 – Krka: Wake up early again and drive to Krka. Explore the entrance you want and spend the morning there. On your way back, make sure to stop at Šibenik for exploration and lunch. Also, after Šibenik, take a break at Trogir, a small and charming city near Split, known for its beauty and idyllic streets.
  • Day 3 – Mostar and Kravice: An early start to the day will take you to Mostar. Enjoy a walk, consider a walking tour, witness the famous bridge jump, savor delicious local meat, and, on your way back, stop at Kravice Waterfall. Since Kravice is in another country, bring your passports, turn off roaming (take route screenshots before), and have some local currency.
  • Day 4 – Cetina: Organize an adventurous morning with activities like rafting or ziplining in the Cetina River. Alternatively, simply enjoy the riverside ambiance. Afterward, indulge in a meal at Antoničin Mlin. Be sure to make a reservation a few days in advance.
  • Day 5 – Sinj and Klis: An early morning trip to Sinj to explore “Kamičak” fort and the “Alkar” museum. Visit the idyllic village of Grab and have lunch by the river in Trilj. On your way back, stop at Klis to visit the medieval fortress and take a walk in the Klis field.
  • Day 6 – River Zrmanja and Zadar: Start your morning by visiting the Zrmanja River. If you haven’t tried rafting in Cetina, consider doing it here. Spend the rest of the day in Zadar, a beautiful city with a lot to offer.

What are the best waterfalls to explore?

If you only have one day, Plitvice is a must-visit.

For a two-day excursion, exploring both Plitvice and Krka is highly recommended. If you find yourself torn between the two, I’ve written another article specifically comparing Plitvice and Krka. In essence, Plitvice boasts superior waterfalls and natural beauty, while Krka provides a richer cultural experience and is conveniently closer to Split.

For adventure enthusiasts, I’d recommend to explore the Cetina or Zrmanja regions if time permits.

If your goal is to unwind in hidden gems, consider the peaceful Village Grab and the scenic Klis field.

To witness something truly unique and amazing, a visit to the spring of Cetina or the Wells of Rajčica is advised—an underrated yet charming location.

For history buffs who appreciate small towns, combining Sinj and Klis and incorporating a visit to the ruins of Salona is an ideal day trip.

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