Most people retreat to the forest to disconnect from technology but Croatia’s Krka National Park offers full connectivity for digital nomads. Chau-Jean Lin reports

It’s a warm, vivid September day, and my phone beeps in a familiar way. Against the murmur of cascading waterfalls, the buzz of tourists and the silence of the forest, a message emerges in my inbox. I’m in the hinterlands of Croatia, and my email noticeably loads faster here than at home in London.

With efforts to encourage economic development and distribute tourism across the region, Krka National Park in Croatia is attracting remote workers and entrepreneurs like me with access to the region’s first local digital nomad office and its own ecological-oriented campus.

Waterfall-accented Krka National Park has launched several initiatives to attract digital nomads to Šibenik-Knin County. Remote workers can become a member of Trokut Šibenik’s co-working space, participate in free, park-related educational programs and access the newly built Krka Eco Campus in Puljane.

According to its 2021 census, fewer than 100,000 locals now live in Šibenik – Knin County – a stark contrast to the one million tourists that visited Krka National Park in 2022. 60 per cent of the area’s population is older than 50 years in age.

To encourage visitors to lesser-known sites and rejuvenate the economy, Krka National Park’s management partnered with Trokut Šibenik, the region’s first digital nomad office space and incubator. The announcement of the partnership came in 2021 shortly after a digital nomad visa program was introduced in Croatia.

Krka National Park Director, Nella Slavica, believes that the partnership is where digital nomads can work among locals and contribute to the economic development of the region.

A project co-financed with a £2.35 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund, Trokut Šibenik focuses on providing skills and training for people under 30 in the technology sector but also provides opportunities for remote workers to engage with residents.

Mike Pulley, a mentor at Trokut Šibenik and a former American digital nomad who now owns a vineyard in the region, speaks about his experience. “The atmosphere of Trokut is very inclusive. It’s an open office.”
“If you’re a digital nomad and rent a desk, you’ll be interacting with the people around you.” Mike says that people often go out for drinks together.

Beyond Trokut Šibenik, digital nomads can join the Friends of the Krka Club and its educational programmes. Within the park, fast, stable wifi can be found throughout various locations among its 1197 species of plant life and wildlife. One of these locations is the Krka Eco Campus in Puljane, a £9 million project that turned a former military campus into an educational and volunteer centre with a state-of-the-art natural history collection.

Being amongst the wildlife and landscape is what brought Mike to the region in the first place. “The sunset picnics are great here,” he says from his stone house. “The nature and beauty of the place sells itself.”

Since the start of the Park’s initiatives, more than 40 digital nomads have visited Trokut. The popularity of Croatia as a destination for digital nomads does not seem to be waning. In nearby Split alone, 400 members of Nomad List – an online community of remote workers – were registered to be working in January 2024.

Applications for a digital nomad visa in Croatia require remote work and a minimum monthly income of €2,300 (£1,960). Successful applicants can stay in Croatia for up to 12 months and work for a foreign company tax-free.

Given the Croatian government’s digital strategy proposals, Krka National Park’s initiatives involving the technology sector do not appear to be stopping soon. As for how digital nomad life in Šibenik compares to other Croatian cities like Dubrovnik, Mike simply replies, “It’s still being discovered.”

How to book:
Intrepid Travel’s five-day Croatia: Sibenik and the Kornati Islands trip starts from £1,216 per person, including accommodation, selected meals and activities.