Croatia’s Gem, Skradin

There’s some places in Croatia where I feel like I really connect. It is some kind of feeling when you drive into the town and the sense of excitement is overwhelming, putting a smile onto your face. This is how I feel in the Skradin, a seaside town at the mouth of the Krka river, where the sea and fresh water meet. The town has a long history and is far more than just a launching point to Krka National Park.

Blessed by nature, it is no doubt that the surrounding national parks of Krka and Kornati can’t be missed, however, this also proves that Skradin is a great place to base yourself when exploring the Dalmatian coastline. Home to around 470 inhabitants year round and about and another 550 beds during the tourist season, the town is always alive in its picture perfect location.

Skradin dates all the way back to the Neolithic period and you can visit the Skradin Town Museum to see artifacts that were found in the area. You can step through time by hiking up the Medieval Fortress of Turina and then while strolling the seaside, you can see some of the most luxurious yachts in the world visiting this remarkable town. This old and new perspective proves that in Skradin there is something for all type of guests. Many pass through on their boat or bus tour and they miss a part of the authentic and unspoiled Croatian experience. Since locals are still living in this small town, they will go out of their way to make sure you come back, and this happened to me, many years ago.

The narrow, colorful alleys, charming cafes and delicious restaurants line the streets and provide a Mediterranean atmosphere. When it comes to the cuisine, you can’t leave Skradin without trying the specialty dishes. First, I recommend you order a typical rakija of the area as an aperitif. As for food, one cannot go without Skradinski risotto. Men are typically volunteering to make this dish, where the veal is cooked for 12 hours. This is a great starter before trying the local catch. Some of the freshest mix of fish were grilled so that I could have a taste of the sea. Paired with a local white wine, I was hooked. For dessert you have to try Skradinski torta, a mix between nuts and chocolate, you must save a little room for a slice. Since Skradin is also located on the river, you can also try river fish or try their famous eel!

When touring around the town, you’ll want to visit the Baroque Catholic Church of the Parturition of the Blessed Virgin Mary that dates back to the 18th century. If the door is open, take a look inside to see the fabulous murals and organ. While strolling down the main street in Skradin you can find places to try local wines, the first local travel agency to book day tours called Active Destination, plenty of cafes and then you will approach the Orthodox Church of St. Spiridon from the 19th century.

Krka National Park is one of eight in Croatia and holds seven beautiful wateralls, two monasteries, amazing hiking trails, Roman ruins and so much more. Whether you are traveling to Croatia by boat or car, there’s many places you can access basing yourself in Skradin. From Skradin you can rent bikes and travel to the upper lakes, visiting sites that many people are missing on their tour through the park. Nature lovers will also enjoy the birds and environment you can explore at prokljansko lake. There are also great beaches just walking distance from town where you can cool off in the mix of fresh and seawater. Accommodation ranges from camping to private four star apartments. Last year the only hotel in the city, Skradinski Buk hotel was renovated and has three stars and a great location. Perfect to host small events and festivals, Skradin’s charm makes the perfect atmosphere. The great climate and facilities make it a destination for rowers to practice year round as well as other sporting camps and events.

As a foreigner, Skradin is a destination I feel could really boom when it comes to tourism. The tourists are coming, but not staying overnight and if they did, there are not many places for them to stay. I think a hotel could really do well in this town as a future investment in Croatia. Sometimes life leads us to places that must be explored further. To me, Skradin is more than a one-night destination, but rather a place where you can easily spend a week and leave feeling like you had a proper vacation. Don’t overlook some of Croatia’s best kept secrets, the places that want you to be there, will welcome you with open arms and will make you stay with the experiences you share.

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