Opatija travel guide
Rich 19th century architecture, the famous Lungo Mare coastal path and many fine restaurants define this elegant seaside resort.
Opatija is an 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 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. 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 water's 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 evening walk as the day cools. Opatija is a resort which, due to its mild and protected climate, operates the whole year round with many festivals and cultural 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 neighbouring town of Lovran is famous for its sweet chestnuts. Ucka national park in the mountains above Opatija offers opportunity for walking and trekking, mountain biking fishing, kayaking, diving, mini-rafting, caving and free climbing. There are numerous sheltered pebbly and sandy beaches along the coastal road, the most beautiful ones being in Moscenicka Draga and Medveja to the south of Opatija. While staying in Opatija 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 stretch of the Adriatic coastline from there. Equally fascinating is the old village of Kastav on the hillside above Opatija.