Briefly on “Our Beautiful Homeland“, Kvarner, Riviera of Opatija...
The Republic of Croatia is a country in the European Union, geographically located in the southern part of Central Europe and the northern part of the Mediterranean.
The capital city of Zagreb is a political, cultural and business centre of the Republic of Croatia which gained its independence and sovereignty on 25 June, 1991. According to the latest 2011 population census, the total population was 4,284,889, most of whom declared as Christians (91.36%). Croatian language and Latin script are offcially used in Croatia. Croatia is the 28th member state of the EU, since 1 July 2013 and after fulfilling certain important preconditions it will soon become a part of the Schengen zone. The currency in Croatia is Croatian kuna.
Well-known as “the country of thousand islands“ due to its indented coast it numbers 1,246 islands, out of which 67 are inhabited. Some of the bigger islands are: Krk, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Rab, Pag, Hvar and Korčula ¬– also well-connected with the coast by boat lines and ferries.
Widely known for its pristine nature Croatia abounds in national parks, namely Kornati, Krka, Mljet, Paklenica, Risnjak and Velebit, all of which are near or along the coast, with Plitvička jezera National Park and Brijuni National Park being the most visited ones. Croatia is also rich in nature parks, with Učka Nature Park being the nearest to Opatija.
KVARNER (the Kvarner Bay) is the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, between Vinodol-Velebit and Istrian coast. The biggest city of the Bay is Rijeka which is also the biggest Croatian port and major traffic junction (road, rail and maritime).
The more prominent towns are Opatija and Lovran on the western, Crikvenica and Senj on the eastern and Krk and Rab on the central coast of the Kvarner Bay. Beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea and stunning landscapes are the greatest advantages of Kvarner as a tourist destination, with 15 beaches waving the European Blue Flags proudly, as the proof of quality and cleanliness of the sea.
ISTRIA – the largest Croatian peninsula is the most visited tourist destination in Croatia with 27% of the total number of visitors. Some of the biggest cities and towns are Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, Umag, Pazin and Labin – places with numerous landmarks and monuments as well as rich history. Istria is the most developed region in Croatia, both by its infrastructure and its share in the total tourist traffic.
The main attributes of Istria are ecologically manufactured food and quality wines, along with olive cultivation which has taken a leading role globally. The eastern coast of Istria, the so- called Liburnija, with the towns of Opatija, Matulji, Kastav, Mošćenička Draga and Brseč, is rich with ancient history, enticing gastronomy and elaborate architecture.
OPATIJA - the Queen of the Adriatic and the cradle of tourism is a popular and easily accessible destination, well-connected by the network of motorways and air-routes with many capitals and major cities, situated on the coast of the Kvarner Bay, under the slopes of Mount Učka. It began its development in the 19th century as a winter resort for the socialites of the time and the construction of Villa Angiolina built in 1844 marked the starting point of tourism in Opatija.
The Franz Joseph Promenade, or Lungomare, is a 12-kilometres-long coastal promenade and it connects Opatija with pictoresque towns of Ičići, Ika and Lovran. The nearby medieval hilltop towns of Mošćenice, Veprinac and Kastav are deffinitely places worth visiting.
Opatija represents an excellent macro and micro location by being connected with seven international airports in the vicinity by means of motorways and express roads, the closest of them being the one in Rijeka – Krk at a distance of 30 kilometers, then in Pula at only 90 kilometers and also with bigger airports such as Zagreb at 180 kilometers, Ljubljana at 125 kilometers, Trieste at 104 and Venice at 225 kilometers. The airport in Zadar, at a distance of 303 kilometers is also worth mentioning because of the interesting charter flights it offers.