Even though with the autumn the days got shorter and the weather got colder, Adriatic coast is still a wonderful place to spend a weekend. For our weekend we decided to go to the coastal part of the Kvarner area, located in the northern part of the Adriatic sea. For our base place in Kvarner we chose the town of Opatija, which is only 2 hour drive from Zagreb. So here are the top five things to do while in the coastal Kvarner.
Opatija has been one of the most popular destinations in Croatia for a very long time. In the 19th century many nobles and aristocrats enjoyed their holidays, as the Habsburgs turned Opatija into one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations. Many historical monuments, grand villas that were built during the Austro-Hungarian era, numerous churches and landmarks made Opatija famous. When in Opatija be sure you do not miss the gorgeous Villa Angiolina built in 1844, and the famous symbol of Opatija Maiden with the Seagull erected in 1956,
In the centre of the town you can find a great shopping street full of interesting shops with various Croatian souvenirs. Make sure you smell some cute hand made soaps, try some truffle olive oil, or other local delicatessen.
Our favorite part of Opatija was the Lungomare, a gorgeous promenade that snakes all along the coastline, giving you the opportunity to see the beautiful views of the town and neighboring Kvarner islands.
The hotel where we stayed, hotel Bevanda was located just at the most beautiful part of Lungomare, offering an amazing view of the sea from the rooms and the restaurant. We really enjoyed our stay at this boutique hotel, and would definitely recommend it as a great place to stay while in Opatija. And make sure you try their delicious breakfast choices.
Even though there are many great restaurants in Opatija, for our dinner plans we decided to visit a little fishing village Volosko, located just 10 min drive from Opatija. We had dinner in an amazing little restaurant called Konoba Tramerka, which was a perfect place for delicious food and an amazing atmosphere. This restaurant is a beautiful small place with a rustic touch and very cosy and intimate atmosphere. We had an exquisite mixed sea foodala buzara (scampi, mussels, clams), breaded sardine filled with salty anchovies, and some delicious house white wine to go with the dishes.
Vojak peak, the Učka mountain
The Učka is a mountain range located on the eastern side of the Istrian peninsula. We decided to visit its highest peak Vojak which is located at 1396 meters above sea level. It took us only a 45 min car ride from Opatija and we were already a 5 min walk from the peak. From that peak you get a gorgeous view over the Istrian peninsula, the part of Alps and the Adriatic islands. However, we were not lucky enough to see that view as the weather was super cloudy so we barely saw couple of meters in front of us. Even though, we had a nice little walk and we climbed the Vojak tower.
On our last day before we headed back to Zagreb we decided to visit Rijeka, and on the way there to stop at the beautiful Kastav. Kastav is a small historical town located about 5 km northeast of Opatija and about 10 kilometres of Rijeka. Kastav was built on a hill 378 metres above sea level. In the town you can find a church dating from the 13th century, a couple great restaurants. As well, from the hill you have a great view of the surrounding area.
Rijeka is a Croatian port city known as a gateway to Croatia’s islands. We took a nice walk down the Korzo, the main promenade, which is lined with many beautiful Habsburg-era buildings. Rijeka is Croatia’s third largest city and there you can find many great restaurants, bars, and shops.
All in all, it was a great weekend with many interesting and diverse experiences, and some delicious food.