ISTRIA AND KVARNER RIVIERA
LOCAL AREA, BEACHES & THINGS TO DO
Opatija and Lovran
Opatija and neighbouring Lovran are elegant seaside resort since first popularised by the Austro-Hungarians in the 19th Century. This was the era of fabulous grand hotels and exclusive villas and the sumptuous architecture of this period still sets the tone today. Opatija is the larger and more opulent of the two towns and has many fine restaurants, night life, quaint shops and beautiful parks. It is renowned for wellness centres and health spas. Volosko, just north of Opatija centre is quaint fishing village around a small harbour and a perfect spot for bars and restaurants. Some of Opatija's finest restaurants are to be found here on the harbour front.
Lovran just 5km down the coast from Opatija is smaller and, as a result, quieter and more peaceful. It too has many fine villas, a pretty harbour, beach, cafes and restaurants as well as a wellness centre in the local hotel.
The famed lungomare is a 12km long pathway which runs along the shoreline linking Opatija with the neighbouring villages and towns. It a completely pedestrian route and a delightful way to move from one part of town to another away from the cars and on the waters edge. At many spots there are small beaches or steps down into the water so the lungomare is a place for swimming and sunbathing as well as a relaxing walk by the sea.
Ucka national park
Mount Ucka, above Opatija and Lovran, provides an opportunity for some serious walking and trekking. The Ucka mountain walking route links several mountain tops, has magnificent sea views and takes seven days to walk the whole route. National park "Ucka" has eight bicycle routes. Other activities in the national park include fishing, kayaking, diving, mini-rafting, caving and free climbing.
Opatija is a resort which, due to its mild and protected climate, operates the whole year round with many festivals and culturtal activities throughout the seasons. In January and February there is a series of masked carnivals. April is well known for the Asparagus festival, when wild asparagus is harvested and you can enjoy wild asparagus omelette. The programme for May includes cookery classes for fish dishes and a series of concerts. June is the month of cherries,and local cherries are the best in the region. A lovely old boat regatta takes place in June as well as many concerts in the town square. July and August are devoted to swimming and sea sports and all other fun activities available in the peak of the summer holidays. September is for grape picking and wine making. October is when the town of Lovran is famous for its sweet chestnuts which are used in a range of dishes, and most if all in delicious desserts.
There are numerous sheltered pebbly and sandy beaches along the coastal road, the most beautiful ones in Moscenicka Draga and Medveja, about 15km from Lovran. But there are opportunities fro swimming all along the coast.
Rijeka is a major port and largest city in the region. Around 25 minutes drive from Opatija the city has excellent shopping facilities and markets and is a transport hub for coastal ferries to the Adriatic islands.
Clifftop towns - Brsec and Kastav
Visit the lovely village of Brsec on a cliff above the sea, just 30min drive from Opatija. You can enjoy the views of the long strech of the Adriatic coastline from there. Equally fascinating is the old village of Kastav also nearby.
The Island of Cres
Cres is an outstandingly beautiful island, sparsely populated with rugged scenery and some exquisite towns and villages. The island lies directly opposite Opatija and can be reached by car ferry from Brestova to Porozina on Cres. On a trip to Cres you can take in the village of Beli, at the foot of a steep mountain, the town of Cres with ist elegant harbour and (not to be missed) the spectacular cliff top village of Lubenice. Swim from the beach at the secluded village of Valun.
Clifftop Village of Lubenice
Central Istria is often compared to Tuscany. The undulating landscape with vineyards, olive groves, woodlands and river valleys is studded with numerous hilltop towns and villages, many originating from the medieval period and earlier and almost all offering spectacular vantage points over the surrounding countryside. The guide books pick out the hilltop towns of Motovun and Groznjan but there are many others worth exploring and we will provide you with our own suggestions of places off the usual tourist routes that should not be missed. These medieval settlements have charming village houses, squares and alleyways and in towns like Oprtalj and Motuvun more imposing architecture and fortifications.
To the east side of Istria the old town of Labin and the hilltop village of Gracisce are worth visiting.
Excellent wines are produced in the area and well marked wine routes lead you through charming countryside to wineries where you can sample some of the best Croatian wines. Notable are the Kozlovic and Markezic wineries.
Our Villas in Lovran
|A four bedroom period villa of exceptional character, located directly on the seashore, with parkland garden leading onto a private beach. Turn of the century architecture with belle epoque period details make it a unique place. Spectacular sea views. Suitable for year-round rentals. Sleeps 6.|