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Are you looking for some incredible waterfalls in Croatia? You came to the right place! I lived in Croatia for a month recently and have visited many of these incredible falls.
Croatia was a European hidden gem for a long time. Recently tourists have been flocking to the Croatian coast to stroll the cobblestone streets and enjoy the beaches in cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar.
However, there is more to Croatia than its crystal clear sea and picturesque coastal cities. If you want to escape the crowds and discover more of Croatia, you need to get away from the coastline. The mountainous regions in the centre of the country hide some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe.
If you’re ready to find the best waterfalls in Croatia, here are the ones to add to your list:
- The Great Waterfall, Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Skradinski Buk, Krka National Park
- 7 Waterfalls Trail, Istria
- Brisalo Waterfall, Nature Park Zumberak
- Mreznica River Waterfalls, Slunj
- Sopot Waterfall, Istria
- Rastoke Waterfalls, Slunj
- Zarečki Krov Waterfall, Istria
Best Waterfalls In Croatia
1. The Great Waterfall (Veliki Slap), Plitvice Lakes National Park
When you travel to Croatia, a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-do. It is hard to pick the most beautiful among the numerous waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Luckily, you’ll get to see all of them when you visit the park!
The Great Waterfall, crashing from an impressive 78 metres, is the tallest in Plitvice National Park and the whole of Croatia! Unlike other falls in the park which are formed by water falling from upper to lower level lakes, this waterfall is the only one created directly by Plitvice stream.
It is possible to visit the Park at any time of the year, while it is the most popular in summer. Remember that swimming is not allowed in the National Park.
However, for a unique experience consider visiting in winter. The forest is covered in snow, and if you’re lucky you might see one of the waterfalls frozen into a giant ice sculpture!
2. Skradinski Buk, Krka National Park
The second National park on our list of beautiful waterfalls in Croatia is Krka National Park. Krka is not as famous as Pltivice, but the waterfalls you can find here are equally stunning. Located close to the popular summer destination Zadar, it is a popular day trip for those coming to Croatia for the summer holidays.
Skradinski Buk is the biggest and most picturesque among Krka waterfalls. It is a collection of 17 waterfalls with a total drop of 45m, cascading down large boulders into a turquoise-blue lake.
Swimming used to be allowed at Skradinski Buk waterfall, but not anymore. However, there are other waterfalls around the park, like Stinice and downstream of Roška slap, where you can swim! I visited Krka in October 2022 with friends and the weather was perfect. This really is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.
3. 7 Waterfalls Trail, Istria
7 Waterfalls trail is a scenic hiking trail near Buzet, close to the Slovenian border. It is one of the most popular hiking trails in Istria and certainly the best one for waterfall lovers, as you’ll get to see not one but seven waterfalls along the way!
The biggest waterfall, Vela pec, is 26.5m tall with a tiny lake at the bottom. Other waterfalls, like Zagon Wtaerfall and Grjok Waterfall, are smaller but equally pretty. On the trail, you’ll have an opportunity to make a detour to Kotli. The rocks under this waterfall are unusually white (thanks to the thermal waters being rich in minerals), giving it its nickname, Croatian Pamukkale.
Theoretically, you can swim in all of the waterfalls, however, they are quite seasonal. Meaning, on the hottest summer days there won’t be enough water to swim.
4. Brisalo Waterfall, Nature Park Zumberak
You will find Brisalo Waterfall in the less-visited central Croatian region, just a short ride from the capital of Zagreb. The waterfall is located on the popular hiking trail, but it can also be visited on a short walk from the main road.
There are over 5 waterfalls in the Zumberak Nature Park, and Brisalo Waterfall is one of the most beautiful, crashing from a 15m tall cliff. The best way to visit is to explore the Slapnice canyon where the waterfall is located.
There are no amenities on the trail, so make sure to bring everything you’ll need for a day out in nature.
5. Mreznica River Waterfalls, Slunj
Mreznica River is a popular spot for water sports lovers, with plenty of activities to choose from. You can try out white water rafting, kayaking, or simply stroll around and admire stunning waterfalls along the river.
The best time to visit is in the summer when you can jump off the rocks and swim in the pools below the waterfalls. There are many waterfall pools to choose from and they are very popular summer weekend activities.
You’ll find Mreznica waterfalls close to the small mountain town of Slunj, about a 2h drive from Zagreb.
6. Sopot Waterfall, Istria
Sopot Waterfall, located in the heart of the Istria peninsula is one of the most unique waterfalls on this list. This impressive waterfall rushes down over a 20m tall cliff into a turquoise blue pool. The whole setting is very picturesque, as the stream goes under an old stone bridge, surrounded by a lush green forest of nearby hills.
You have to plan your visit strategically, as this waterfall is very seasonal. It completely disappears in the summer, when there is no rain. The best time to visit is after rain, in spring and autumn.
Make your way down to the bottom of the waterfall for the best view. You can even swim in the pool if you’re lucky to see it on an especially hot day. If you get there and the waterfall is dry, you can still go on a hike or wine tasting in the nearby Gracisce village.
7. Rastoke Waterfalls, Slunj
Rastoke is a small village in the heart of the Croatian mountain region. There, you’ll find many waterfalls along the river passing through the village.
The most picturesque waterfall is called Slap Buk. It is right in the centre of the village, and you can grab a drink in a cafe next to it and enjoy the calming sounds of the water rushing down.
Rastoke village is about 10 min walk from the city of Slunj, and about 2h drive from the capital, Zagreb.
8. Zarečki Krov Waterfall, Istria
Zarečki Krov is just 10 m tall, but it is the widest waterfall in Istria. It is located just outside of Pazin, the capital city of the Istria region.
The waterfall cascades slowly down a wide rocky overhang into a large pool. The river flows down slowly so it is possible to cross from one side of the river to another, and admire the view from the top of the waterfall.
In the summer, it is a popular spot for swimming, rock climbing, rock jumping, and picnics. But be warned, the waterfall is not nearly as impressive in the summer as it is after rain when the river is more powerful.
Getting to Croatia
There are many ways to get to Croatia by air, land and sea. Here are some of the ways I have travelled:
FAQs About Waterfalls in Croatia
The falls at Plitvice Lake National Park such as Veliki Slap (The Great Falls) are the most famous in Croatia. Although not as popular, the falls at Krka are also famous throughout Europe.
Plitvice is arguably more impressive thanks to its picturesque falls ad turquoise pools, however Krka is also stuigly beautiful and each has its own charm.
The most famous falls are at Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park.
You can swim at some of the falls in Krka National Park, Zarecki Krov ad the Mreznica falls.
Summary: Best Waterfalls In Croatia
Are you surprised to learn how many waterfalls there are in Croatia? This country is truly a gem with something for every type of traveller.
From admiring stunning waterfalls within Plitvice Lakes National Park, taking a boat from one waterfall to another in Krka National Park to hiking along the waterfalls in Istria, there are waterfalls worth a visit throughout the country.
Regardless of your route, you now have plenty of ideas to add to your Croatia itinerary.
About the author:
Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has travelled to over 60 countries, lived in China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.
Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of Europe and Asia by train, bus and boat.
Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲