Dear travellers, guests and friends – welcome to Croatia, welcome to the Kvarner region, welcome to the island of Krk! We are sure you will spend a pleasant vacation and remember it for a long time, not only for the accomodation we are providing, but also for everything the island of Krk and the entire region can offer you!
The island of Krk is situated in the Primorje-Gorski kotar region in the biggest croatian gulf – the Kvarner Gulf. Because of its vicinity to the mainland, the island is well populated, and also one of the main tourist points in the northern Adriatic. Krčki most (the Krk bridge) connects the island to the mainland, and therefore it really is easily accessible. The bridge was finished and opened for transport in 1980, and at that time it was the biggest ferroconcrete arc anywhere in the world.Before the construction was finished, boats were used to get to the island and back. It is 1,5km long, and closed only if there is a super strong wind (bura) blowing. The island is situated cca 150km from the croatian capital – Zagreb, 130km from Lubljana (Slovenia), 100km from Trieste (Italy), and a 4h drive from Vienna (Austria), so we can say Krk has a quite good geographical position. Tourism was actually already starting to develop in the end of 19th century, long before the construction of modern roads, bridges, etc. The tourists’ early interest for Krk should not surprise us, especially if we take the intact nature, charming towns, and a rich culture and history into consideration. Nonetheless, the first beach in Dražica was already packed with visitors in 1910. For many years, Krk has been thought to be the largest Adriatic island, with an area of 405.78 km2 although recent measurements now give the neighboring island of Cres an equal surface area. Krk is the most populous Adriatic island, with numerous towns and villages that contain a total of cca 20,000 habitants.
The island is magical in all seasons, maybe that’s why it is also called Insula Aurea (the Golden Island) since the ancient times. Lots of legends and stories are linked to Krk, it is rich in natural and cultural beauties, therefore it is also known as the „cradle“ of croatian culture.
Besides its size, the islands’ heterogeneous relief is also a particularity. The western side of the island, rich in fertile lands, is packed with various vegetation. On the other side, the eastern part is a proper representation of the karst land, offering a mountaionous landscape. Krk also impresses with a rugged coastline, numerous coves, gulfs and natural harbours which are all great getaway options during the summertime. It is also quite interesting that the flora of Krk counts around 1400 various species, what is actually half of the entire croatian flora. Nevertheless, Krk is also a very important natural bird habitat. One of the two lakes found on the island has been proclaimed a protected bird reserve (?), while the abrupt part of the island, protected since 1969, is inhabited with the rare, and almost extinct Griffon Vultures.
All of the things we just mentioned surely have contributed to the development of Krk ; especially its vicinty to the mainland and the construction of its own airport (Rijeka airport), situated cca 10km from the bridge. Thanks to its position, the island is also fairly popular as a roadtrip destination, but also offers numerous trip options to the guests staying on the island. One we should definitely mention are the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the no1 tourist attraction in Croatia, situated 2,5h from the island. It is not surprising that it is so popular, thanks to the intact natural beauty, forests, 16 lakes, more than 80waterfalls. We’re just going to say that while walking through the park, by the lakes, you will be looking over your shoulder expecting to come across Peter Pan, his company and little forest fairies, since it really does look magical.
The first town we come across after crossing the bridge is Omišalj. Situated on an 85m high cliff, besides Krk, it was the first place on the island to be inhabited during the times even before the Roman Empire. Omišalj was also one of the first places the Slavic folk (Croats) came to upon their arrival to the region during the 7th century. As a testimony to the towns’ rich history, today we can also visit the ancient roman archeological site Fulfinum which we highly recommend. If you would like to spend an evening dancing in the city square surrounded with locals, eating and drinking local products, you should definitely visit Stomorina, a traditional festivity that takes place one night every mid-August in the city centre.
Around 10km after Omišalj, you can visit Njivice – once a small fishermen village, today it has developped into a well known tourist destination with a lot of beaches, bars and hotels. Your next stop can also be Malinska – situated by the main road, it is also a well known tourist destination with a franciscan monastery that offers a rich museum collection and a library you can visit.
Among the towns on the island, the city of Krk is considered the centre. The status has been there from the beginnings of life on the island, and it is justified with an urbanised look and town features. Krk City is a fortified town even today, with walls along its entire length. The town is entered through four doors and there are small and big streets, stopping when a detail attracts attention. The most important heritage in the town is certainly the sacred complex of three churches with the cathedral which was built over the leftovers of Roman thermae from the 5th century; Franciscan and Benedictine monastery with churches (12th and 13th century), archaeological locality Volsonis under the main town square and your personal exploration of details which will make Krk City the charming place you’ve been looking for. There is also a summer festival in town, which has been taking place for more than 50 years. There are concerts, dramas, operas, and art exhibitions. And besides this recognised programme, every night in the town, there are open air parties, especially in the port and on squares which become an ideal scene for summer evening parties.The culmination of summer in the city takes place during the three days, on August 8, 9 and 10 when the Krk Fair is held. According to the tradition from the 16th century, the protector of the Krk City, St. Lovro, is honoured and there is a three day fair which puts a retro costume on the town, taking it back into Roman renaissance.
As a possible next stop we would recommend the city of Punat, which is famous for its marina founded in 1964 which makes it the oldest, and one of the best known and most luxurious marinas of the Adriatic ; and a little island of Košljun, situated in the bay of Punat. The island of Košljun is easily accessible by boat from the centre of Punat. There are a lot of taxi boats that can take you there, and the drive doesn’t take longer than 20min. It is also a great way to see Punat from the seaside. Košljun is in fact a natural forest reserve and a cultural monument with a franciscan monastery, a church and a museum dedicated to the folklore of Krk. You can also visit the smallest Stations of the Cross in the world! Monks are the only habitants of the island, and they offer you guided tours if you feel like it.
On the western side of the Klimno cove you can also enjoy a beach covered in medicinal mud. It’s interesting that the sea is quite shallow on that beach; you can walk for about 100m and the sea level doesn’t exceed your knee! It’s quite popular among families with little children and beach sports enthusiasts exactly for that. There is also a beach volleyball field you can use while covering yourself with mud! A lot of people are quite satisfied with the effect the mud does to their skin, so they’re always happy to come back.
Every wine enthusiast really should also visit the city of Vrbnik, hometown of the famous Vrbnik Žlahtina. Besides its’ wineyards and a rich wine production history, in the old city centre we can also find the narrowest street in the world which made Vrbnik somewhat famous in the region. We should also mention the Vitezić family library dating back to 1898. Eventhough it is home to a lot of valuable writings, books and documents, the most significant one surely is the famous Atlas scholasticus et itinerarie, which today exists in only two copies; one in Vrbnik, and the other one in Cambridge, Great Britain.
Another very important town, not only for its’ blooming tourism and beaches, but also for its’ historical and cultural influence definitely is Baška. It is also known as the cradle of Croatian literacy because in 1851, in a small church in Jurandvor, the Baška tablet was found – the first document in which Croatian name is written in Croatian language, and moreover, in Croatian Glagolitic Script, dating back from 1100. Today, the church is well visited by tourists, as well as the museum you can find right beside it. If the Adriatic fauna interests you, we recommend visiting the aquarium in Baška, home to more than a 100 different types of fish, and around 400 different types of clamshells and snails.
Not far from the town of Dobrinj, another spectacular attraction takes place – the Biserujka Cave. Found more than a 100 years ago, a lot of work has been done to make it easily accessible for tourists that would want to enjoy a special kind of natural beauty or just cool themselves down since the temperature in the cave is usually around 10°C. If you decide to visit it, dont’t forget to bring a jacket!
Krk is also a great place for travellers that enjoy an active kind of vacation. Scuba diving is one of the most famous activites, especially near the city of Krk, because even today we can find two sunken ships ; one dating all the way to the times of Napoleon; the other a greek ship named Peltasis that has been here since the 60’s. We really would recommend this as a fun activity for the entire family! Besides scuba diving, trekking, walking and bicycle riding are also highly popular. That shouldn’t surprise us since there are cca 300km completely renovated bicycle tracks conecting the entire island.
On the island of Krk,as well as everywhere on the coast, the average lifetime expectancy is higher than in the continental parts of the country. There is a story which says that the practically intact nature, mild climate, and light mediterranean food really can make a difference. A lot of the islands’ numerous 100year olds say the secret ingredient they can all be thankful for is the islands’ olive oil – an infallible addition to every mediterranean gastro specialty!
Fresh fish, shrimps, crabs and clamshells really are irreplaceable in the everyday local cuisine, as well as many fresh vegetable side dishes. For a more special occasion, we can expect a variety of home made local types of pasta with various sauces , organic meat – lamb is especially famous here, dried ham and home made sheep cheese. At the end of a meal, we recommend trying a local specialty, a sweet desert made out of sheep cheese called presnac ( presnec, presnoc).
Everything we just mentioned can be found in a variety of islands’ restaurants and taverns, that also offer some international meals. Of course we have our favourites, and we would be really happy helping you choose the ones you would most enjoy!