The Kvarner Islands are made up of four islands: Krk, Cres, Losinj & Rab. The islands have diverse vegetation.
Situated at the bottom of the mountain and Nature Park Učka, Opatija has beautiful nature, climate and parks.
With plenty of natural sites and recreational activities, these areas are sure to take you by pleasant surprise.
Connected to the mainland by a 1.4km bridge, Krk or “The Golden Island” is easy to get to and explore. There are seven seaside towns sprawled across Croatia’s largest island, each with their own charms. Visitors have a great choice of lovely sandy, pebbly, rocky and paved beaches, including 15 Blue Flag beaches, many of them with water sports facilities. The best beach is in Baška - a 2km-long sandy beach sheltered by mountains on Krk’s southern tip, listed among Croatia’s best beaches. With expansive forests and mountains, there are more than 300km of hiking and biking trails across the island. Once inhabited by Romans, and tussled over for centuries, the island has many old castles, churches and historical buildings. The biggest town is Krk, followed by tourist resort Malinska, and home of Rijeka’s international airport, Omišalj. Clifftop Vrbnik is known for its delicious Zlahtina wine and the one of the world’s narrowest streets. Jurandvor, near Baška is where an 1100AD stone tablet inscribed with ancient Glagolitic script was discovered. Throughout summer Krk plays host to a bevy of events including folk festivals, music festivals and food festivals.
Cres is the wilder island, with most of the island covered in dense forest with sheer cliffs on the north coast. It has a cluster of pristine beaches in the west and south with facilities for fishing, diving and watersports. There are lots of walking, hiking and biking trails through forest and along the coast. Walk around Lake Vrana, a deep freshwater lake, where legend says there is a castle on the lakebed. There are little towns and castles, ancient ruins and churches scattered across the island. The largest town is Cres, which is full of Venetian architecture. Pay a visit to Valun, a romantic little seaside village with two pebbly beaches, overshadowed by a tall mountain. For a lovely view of the island and Kvarner Bay, make the trip up to Lubenice, a small town 378m above the sea. Hilltop town Beli has an old Roman bridge, a lovely pebble beach, nature walks and a bird sanctuary.
Lošinj has been a tourist haven since 1897 when Austrians and Hungarians visited for its clean, unspoilt landscape and air. Some say the air in Lošinj is sweetly scented by the aromatic plants and pine forests growing there. The forests are full of great biking and walking trails, which wrap around secluded beaches. The best beach is in Mali Lošinj, a pebbly and rocky cove protected by the forest with good wind for windsurfing. Mali Lošinj is a picturesque port town, where you can walk along the seaside promenades, and admire the pretty bays, gardens and natural forest.
Neighbouring smaller town Veli Lošinj has the feel of an old fishing village, with a castle, a Venetian tower and many lovely gardens. You can also find Roman ruins on Lošinj, as the island has been settled since ancient times. A 2m-tall Greek bronze statue of Apoxyomenos was found in the sea near Lošinj in 1996. It was found covered in seaweed and sponges and is thought to be more than 2000 years old.
Rab is a lush green sanctuary, with small towns and secluded beaches. King Edward VIII and his lover Wallis Simpson visited in 1936 while sailing around the area. Rab has some stunning beaches, including the popular and beautiful Rajska Plaza (Paradise Beach) in Lopar - considered one of the best beaches in Croatia. There are also lots of naturist spots - the first official Croatian naturist beach was established in Rab in 1934 - such as Kandarola beach and Sahara beach. Pudarica beach near Barbat is known for being a party spot with its beach parties and night clubs. The lovely Komrčar forest park is full of exotic trees, flowers, birds and butterflies, with lots of bike and walking trails. Inland Rab is also speckled with vineyards, olive groves and crops. The main town on the island, Rab, is a Medieval walled city with churches, palaces, Romanesque bell towers and an interesting cathedral. Try and catch one of Rab’s Knights’ Tournaments, where locals compete in a crossbow competition in May, June, July and August.
There is a wonderful selection of beautiful beaches on the Kvarner Islands, including 20 Blue Flag beaches, which have high safety, environment and water quality standards. The best beaches are in Baška on Krk, Suncana Uvala in Mali Losinj, and Rajska Plaza (Paradise Beach) on Rab.
Food is very important to Croatian culture and you’ll find a good range of restaurants serving traditional food made with local produce all over the Kvarner islands. Herbs, spices, olive oil and wine vinegar produced on the islands dominate the recipes which usually feature seafood or pasta. Be sure to taste the Krk sheep’s milk cheese - presnac. Some of the best Croatian wine is made on Krk, so make sure you order Zlahtina wine when you dine in Kvarner. In Cres, the speciality is locally farmed lamb from sheep nourished on wild herbs. Rapska Torta is a traditional dessert on Rab - a cake made from almonds and Maraschino liqueur.
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