The region of Kvarner In Croatia, also called Kvarner or Kvarner in Croatian, is one of the last marine paradises in Europe. Its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters dotted with lush islands are an invitation to absolute relaxation, far from the chaos of everyday life, to find peace in a timeless atmosphere.

There's plenty to explore in this northern corner of the Croatian peninsula, which stretches between Istria and Dalmatia, beyond the town of Rijeka. The arm of the Adriatic Sea that demarcates its borders is home to unique places like Rab (Rab), Cres (Cres), Lussino (Lošinj) and Krk (Krk), splendid islands with vibrant colors, but also fascinating coastal towns like Opatija (Opatija) and important naturalistic areas like the Crikvenica-Vinodol Riviera, a relaxing combination of sea, lakes, valleys, forests and mountain peaks, or the very green plateau of Gorski Kotar, behind Rijeka.

There is no shortage of surprises offered by a visit to Rijeka, a lively and cosmopolitan city which was the European capital of culture in 2020. But it is undoubtedly the sea – beautiful, blue and transparent – ​​which attracts travelers, inviting them to stay.

Cres and Lussino, islands of the sun

The island of Created, Cres in Croatian, is a true natural botanical garden: thanks to the mild and sunny climate in all seasons, nature grows luxuriantly there and invites adventure along the hiking and cycling paths that connect the wild landscape of the from the hinterland to the coast, a succession of beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea. While exploring the island, you can visit historical and cultural attractions, such as the Venetian-style town of Cres, the ancient settlements of Lubenice and Beli or the ancient fishing villages of Valun and Martinšćica.

Also Losinj, the “twin” island of Cres, welcomes travelers with the incredible colors of its sea, to be enjoyed at any time of the day choosing between the coast overlooking the “great sea” (to the southwest), where the sun shines until sunset, and the one overlooking Velebit mountain (in the northeast), where the rays warm you in the morning. The flattest part is that which surrounds the town of Lussinpiccolo (Mali Lošinj), and the whole island is resolutely “pet-friendly”: beaches equipped for four-legged friends are found in the bay of Cigale (Čikat) or Annunziata, in the bay of Srebrna uvala (meaning “silver bay”), in Kovčanje (the bay in front of the port of Lussinpiccolo), in Valdarke and in the bay of Artatore.

Vigil, queen of the Blue Flags

If you are looking for an island where the sea is the absolute protagonist of your days, the answer is Krk, better known by its Croatian name. Krk. The island's beaches have received 15 Blue Flags, confirming their beauty but also the presence of structures equipped with every comfort, particularly suitable for families with children and to offer relaxation and tranquility at any time of the day. The beaches of Pesja, Kijac, Vantačići, Jert, Ježevac, Porporela, Oprna, Surbova, Punta Debij, Vela Plaža, Vrženica, Potovošće, Zgribnica, Marak, Meline and Soline are the places to choose depending on your preferences: yes. it extends from the smallest and wildest to the largest and sandiest, up to beaches with healing mud like that of Soline.

Everywhere you can breathe the scent of the Mediterranean scrub, while your gaze is lost on the turquoise sea which reflects the green of the surrounding mountains. And to spend a day different from usual, there is no shortage of alternatives: from the historic castles of the noble Frankopan family, which preserve ancient legends, to two-wheel rides along the more than 500 km of cycle paths and hikes, to the adrenaline-pumping Edison zip line or the Biserujka cave, with bridges and footbridges in the belly of the mountain.

River: between culture, sea and flavors

For its residents, it is simply “the sinking city”. River, in Croatian Rijeka, is a place in constant movement, as its old Italian name reminds us. A kaleidoscope of monuments, rich cultural programs, entertainment, fabulous beaches and breathtaking nature that offers unexpected surprises all year round, even in its surroundings, known as the “River Ring”. In winter, when climbing Mount Platak, you can find yourself on skis but facing the sea, while in summer Rijeka and its Riviera are an invitation to lie down in the sun among the white pebbles and platforms among the rocks.

The search for the perfect beach can begin in the west, from Preluk to Canthrida, destinations for surfers and water sports enthusiasts, while to the east, just minutes from the city center, are the historic beaches of Pećine, already very popular seaside destinations. at the end of the 19th century. For lunch and dinner we stop at the port, the largest in Croatia, which thanks to the project dei Gastronomic ports Today it is a true center of taste, with 36 restaurants offering the best of local gastronomy and fusion cuisine. The absolute protagonists are the freshest seafood, literally from sea to plate.

Sports and outdoor activities on the Opatija Riviera

The ideal destination for those who love active vacation outdoors this is certainly the case Abbey, in Croatian Opatija. Here, every outdoor sport finds an answer: cycling, hiking, horse riding, caving, but also extreme sports like paragliding on Mount Vojak and climbing in the Vela Draga canyon. On the beaches of the Riviera you can relax by practicing water polo, kayaking, water skiing or diving, to have another look at the coast and perhaps try your hand at surfing piloted by the Tramontana in the resorts legends of Ičići and Lovran.

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Besides the waterfront, the Opatija Riviera is also known for its wooded hinterland. Here, numerous marked hiking trails equipped with educational signs lead to inland villages, from Veprinac and Učka to Mošćenička Draga, offering visitors the opportunity to explore nature and experience the rich local tradition. A tradition that, of course, cannot ignore gastronomy: Opatija has some of the best restaurants in the country and preserves unique raw materials such as Kvarner langoustines, wild asparagus or juicy Lovran cherries, protagonists of the gastronomic festival between May and June »Gourmet story'', an unmissable event in which many restaurants, taverns and pastry shops participate each year.

Info: Visit Kvarner

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