Archive for the ‘Kvarner’ Category

Rijeka

Rijeka means ‚river’ in Croatian.  Rijeka is located in proximity  to the mountains: Gorski Kotar, Velebit and Ucka mountain as well. Origins of this city reach Romanian domination – since then Rijeka passed through hands of many nations, which made it multicultural place.
Rijeka is the biggest Croatian harbour and a city of lavish architecture, museums, theatres and art. It hosts one of the finest and most recognizable carnivals in Europe. Rijeka carnival is a distinctive blend of European carnivals, primarily Venetian and Austrian, with elements of folklore and mythology of ancient Slavs. It became an international event that brings together every year over ten thousand participants from ten countries around the world.
There are many monuments and museums, which provide information on the past of this region: Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral, Rijeka City Musem, Natural History Museum and even Museum of old computers “Peek & Poke”.
Trsat Castle makes a significant point on the tour visit. This well preserved fortification is one of the oldest in the area, now serving for exhibitions, open-air concerts and other performances.
Rijeka is also a destination of pilgrimages to The Our Lady of Trsat Sanctuary.
The city of Rijeka built a dog beach, spreading on some 500 square meters. For the  comfort of the dogs there is a shower with a hose and a tap on the western side of the beach close to the entrance into the sea and a bin for dog waste with a plastic bag holder.

Risnjak National Park

Risnjak National Park is located in the most mountainous part of Croatia – Gorski Kotar. What may be a surprise it is only several kilometers inland from the Adriatic Sea. The surface area of the Park is 6350 ha and it is the most important natural region in Croatia. The absolute must see is the Kupa river spring, gorgeous turquoise lake where the Enchanted Butterfly Valley begins. It’s the name for the upper flow of the river because of the great sight and abundance of local flora and fauna species.  There is a possibility to see  brown bears, deers, chamois, wolfs and even a lynx, after which probably the park took his name (croatian ‚ris’). Another feature is Leska Educational Path, the series of 23 tables with pieces of information about unusual heritage of the Park. For more ambitious visitors awaits Risnjak – the mountain range with Veliki Risnjak (1528 m) and Snjeznik (1506 m). The view from the peaks reach over Kvarner bay and even Slovenian Alps. Below the Risnjak peak there is a traditional mountain hut, where visitors have a chance to rest.  The most popular activities in the Risnjak National Park are biking and fishing in Kupa river flow. For the amateurs of the first one there is a rental shop and great tracks. For the most curious visitors there are prepared special places for  observing the wild nature.

Losinj

Losinj island was once one with Cres island, but now it is connected by the bridge. It is a popular tourist destination because of great climat with 2600 hours of sunshine per year. Losinj rose to its prominence under Austro-Hungarian rule when it became an important base for shipbuilding.
Due to its long maritime tradition, the island is known as a sport fishing spot, but without a doubt the biggest attraction here are dolphins which inhabit the local sea. Numerous seafarers arriving from their journeys brought with them various plants to Losinj, so now the island features over 1200 plant species and is known as an ‚aromatic island’ and an ‚island of vitality’.
Wherever you go there are remnants of rich history of the region. A must see is a votive chapel Annunziata in Cikat, covered with painting of sailboats.
By following mountain tracks on the island it is possible to reach the lighthouse on Susak and Love Tower on Silba.
Losinj was recently awarded as  the ‚Silver flower of Europe’ for the style of maintenance and high quality of life. Because of romantic scenery it  is often chosen for the honeymoon.

Rab

Rab maybe is not the biggest island in area of Croatia coast (it is only 22 km long) but it is surely one of the most desirable places to go. It is widely known for the sandy beaches, fresh air and fantastic weather – it’s sunny for around 2500h per year. As the other parts of Croatia, Rab offers lots of picturesque sights.
The most important city, called with the same name, is situated on narrow peninsula so the buildings look like cuddled into the cliff.  The majority of important monuments are connected with religion: roman cathedral, church of St Mary the Blessed, church of St Justin (now housing a Museum of Sacred Art), monasteries etc. That is where St Marin, the founder of San Marino, was born. Apart from these there is the Old City of Rab, which carries the cultural heritage of the region.
This is where The Rapska Fiera holiday takes place since 1364. It was proclaimed by Council in honour of St Christopher, the patron of the city and king Ljudevit who liberated it from Venetians. The tradition of fair was brought back to life in 2002 and it is a rare occasion to see the original handmade craft just like in Middle Ages. During the holidays in Rab it is also possible to catch sight of the crossbowmen who cultivate their art in tribute to people who defended Rab during  Battle of Lepanto.
The island of Rab is a popular destination aming nudists, especially Lopar and its three beaches – Sahara, Stolac and Ciganka.

Krk

Krk is one of the oldest cities in the Adriatic. It was originally inhabited by Liburni, then conquered by Romans. We can still see roman ruins in some parts of the city and amazing mosaics in the thermal baths. Krk is also one of the first roman cities that developed Christianity so well that it became a diocese in the 5th  century.
After the Roman rule, Krk was dominated by the Frankopa noble family. The Frankopan Castle,  situated at Kamplin Square, is a well preserved 900 year old fortification.
The Cathedral dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary is proved to have existed already in early Christian times. It is a large complex along with Church of St Quirinus, the patron of the city, bell tower and Museum of Sacral Art.
The Old Town Hall has a unique clock tower showing full 24 hours.
Apart from being a pleasure for eyes, Krk is also a place of summer festivals and the Carnival.  Krk Fair with tradition of about 500 years is the biggest cultural attraction of the city: lots of little stalls propose handmade local souvenirs and other rare products.  Nowadays Krk became known also for its’ Literary Festival in Pontes.

Cres

Cres is a city located in the Kvarner Bay, on the biggest of the northern islands  with the same name. Cres has been inhabited since ancient times, so in effect there are plenty of cultural sites from Romanian and later Venetian domination. The island is connected with another, Losinj, by a short bridge – only 11 km long, but the change of view is pretty sharp. The landscape of Cres is connected with diversed relief, covered with olive and fig trees. Cres has also its own lake. Because Vransko lake is the unique source of fresh water for whole island and for Losinj, it is forbidden to swim or fish there, but there are lots of view spots. It is one of the deepest lakes in this part of continent. The legend says there is a castle of wicked sister beneath the waters and a cautious visitor may hear the bells in some windy days.
But it is Cres city which is the most interesting with three town gates: Marcela, Bragadina and St Mikulo, dated from the XVI century. There is a great number of monuments, starting with medieval church of St Isidor, church of Our Lady of Snow, Franciscan and Benedictine monasteries and ending with sophisticated nobles’ palaces built in Renaissance. In the area there are three important museums: Arsan located in Petric Palace, Museum in Osor and Glagolitic lapidarium in Valun. Apart from amazing architecture in Cres there are the many attractive beaches. You can also take a boat trip to Blue Grote, where the water illumination is especially magnificent.