Skradin: Don't just wait for the Krka Ferry

Skradin: Don’t just wait for the Krka Ferry

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Our stop in Skradin provided a means to an end: we wanted to see Krka National Park and Skradin was our entry point. We arrived in Skradin by bus and if we had followed the herd, after buying our tickets at the park office, we would have walked across the street and stood in the ferry line for 45 minutes. Since we were fairly certain there was no prize for being the first on the boat, we used 40 minutes to explore the town.

Skradin, Croatia: an entry point to Krka National Park, but worth the time to look around the town

Skradin History

Historically, Skradin dates back to the Illyrians when it was called Scardona and served as a capital. Since then it has been captured, destroyed and rebuilt under various rulers. A single hill rises in the middle of town with two main streets running on either side of it, one of which is parallel to the water’s edge. Over time, the town’s importance dwindled, preserving only a few bits and pieces of the past, including a church, clock tower and fort…and a handful of charm!

Autumn flowers on a sunny day in Skradin, Croatia

A walk through Skradin

Skradin, with 4,000 residents, felt a bit sleepy, especially in autumn. Along the marina, sailboats bobbed in the water across from empty cafes. We walked into the interior of the town and noticed how quiet it was, many of the shops closed and only a few residents out in the streets.

The streets were quiet in Skradin as we strolled abour before hopping a ferry to Krka National Park

Walking toward the center of town, we passed by the clock tower that is slightly off the main square. Built in 1872, logistics required that it be erected away from the church. From the base, the lone, unadorned structure resembles a military lookout more than a church clock tower.

In Skradin, Croatia, the bell tower was built away from the church

When we arrived in the main square, we found the 18th century Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was built in the same style as the clock tower. The plain façade had only two statues – one on each side of the door – and a patterned stone entrance.

The plain facade of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Skradin, Croatia

But a look beyond the doors revealed a heavily decorated Baroque interior. The colorful display of paintings and the many statues were contradictory to the exterior and an absolute feast for the senses.

The colorful Baroque interior of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Skradin, Croatia

Completely engrossed by the church interior, 40 minutes slipped by without notice. It was time to board the boat to Krka, which meant we would have to leave the hike to the fort for our afternoon return. Click here to read about our visit to Krka National Park.

Returning to Skradin, Croatia by ferry from Krka National Park

Hike to the Skradin Fort

The returning ferry and bus schedules worked in our favor. We had almost a full hour between departing the ferry and catching the bus back to Zadar. We considered ditching the idea of a climb to the fort and instead joining the local fishermen at a popular waterfront café, but feared it would result in a missed bus.

Follow the signs that lead to the fort in Skradin, Croatia

We took the same street into the old town as we had in the morning, but this time we followed the signs to the fort. The hike up proved to be shorter – and much less strenuous – than we had anticipated. Before making it all the way to the top, we walked out to the flag and admired the views of the town and water.

A view over the Skradin, Croatia

However, the more impressive views were those from atop the fort. We had a 360 degree panoramic view over the surrounding land and we were the sole visitors. The soft light of the setting sun added to the serene atmosphere and we basked in it until it was time to board the bus.

We had 360 degree views from the top of the fort in Skradin, Croatia

Click here for the Skradin official website.

We want to know: Have you been to Skradin before? Were you there to go to Krka National Park – if so, did you take time to walk around town? Did you find any hidden gems? Tell us about it in the comments!

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