Tourist associations of Kvarner, Baska and Krk
Source: Croatian Traveller
The biggest. The northernmost. Best connected. The island of Krk is a winner in several such top categories. In 1980 it was connected with the mainland by the elegant and super-expensive bridge it took four years to build, and that is when it became an ultimate destination for people from Rijeka and Zagreb.
It would be wrong to say that this is the island of the people from these two cities, but it is impossible not to hear Zagreb or Rijeka accent in any of the towns, settlements or beaches on the island of Krk. This love is mutual and it keeps going. Perhaps someone will say that these are feelings motivated by interest, but that is not what’s most important in this story. The fact is that Krk offers a lot to its guests, so why should it be unusual to ask a lot in return?
The “northernmost” title does not only concern Croatia, because there is no island further to the north in the entire Mediterranean. It has almost 220 kilometers of coast, mostly mild, if we don’t take into account the southern side that is, again, special, steep and sometimes 400 meters high. Such a brutal and awe inspiring environment is a perfect home for the griffon vultures, magnificent birds whose wingspan reaches almost 3 meters. The vultures occupy the south, while tourism occupies the rest of this amazing island...
The fact that we called it the biggest at the beginning of this text is not a result of ignorance, but a reference to a belief originating from as early as 1823. Namely, it is almost unbelievable that up until 1993, the only information about the size of the island was recorded 170 years earlier, and up until 1993 it was the only “proof” that Krk (with its 405.78 square kilometers) was truly the biggest Croatian island. But it is not. Cres, its neighbor, surpassed it by some 5 square kilometers, not because it has grown in the meantime, but because we were a bit superficial in 1823. And then we were too lazy to check this information. Typical Croatian business, if you ask us...
Town of Krk is the administrative center of the island, and with the population of 5,500 it is the second largest island town in Croatia, right after Mali Losinj. A true micro-metropolis...
It boasts lavish city walls, smaller only than the ones in Ston and Dubrovnik. They have been protecting the city since the day before the Roman Empire, attracting the tourists with their appearance, telling their story of thousands of years. The walls, at least the least preserved parts, have been recently renovated.
The tourists who come here know that they haven’t arrived to Ibiza, but the few bars and the discotheque Jungle will be sufficient for at least some kind of night life. The daily activities are the forte of the biggest town on the island, so the beaches like Koralj, Dunat, Jezevac or Porporela, and Redagara for those looking for peace and intimacy – they will offer their guests everything they have come there for: clear sea and clean environment.
Not so long ago, this was the top tourist destination in Yugoslavia. Haludovo was almost an avant-garde resort; some of the best “parties” took place there, conferences, beauty pageants... Today, Haludovo is a sad monument to the story that ended long time ago, the one about great tourism in Malinska. However, although Haludovo is out, there are other places. Malinska is waking up. With every new season its hotels are getting closer to the standard we should expect from such a resort. In the 19th century it was the main port for the export of wood, and today it is the resort with the most complete offer on the island. Beaches like Rova, Riu or Malin are used for daily activities, The Crossroads club used to be almost an exclusive destination for all nightly activities, while today it is the Boa club for all those who don’t want to get before dawn.
Omisalj and Njivice
They are not tourist giants, but they have always been present in the story about tourism on Krk. Along with Krk, Omisalj is the oldest settlement on the island, also boasting hundred years of tradition. The attractive historical core rose 85 meters above sea level, giving this town a special, unique appearance. The medieval reliefs are not something you should miss, nor should you miss some of the secluded pebble coves in Njivice. Njivice are six kilometers away from Omisalj and are an ideal option for a quiet, family vacation.
Punat and Stara Baska
The southwestern part of the island is occupied by this town that used to be called Pons. This theory has not been verified, but if it’s true – then this Latin name would definitely be a confirmation that there was actually a bridge leading from the south to Puntarska draga cove. The town got the name it has now in 1377. The chief attraction of the town, apart from one of the finest marinas in the Adriatic, is definitely the forest island of Kosljun. Located in a shallow cove in front of Punat, it has inspired the Franciscan monks to build a monastery, so this is a place that no ambitious tourist should avoid. People who like to water ski will spend their active vacations on the ski lift, and the people looking for a perfect beach will have to walk a few kilometers to Stara Baska that boasts the most beautiful beach on the island. The view from the road, deep down to the beach, is one of the most fascinating in this part of the Adriatic.
When it comes to beaches, it is clear who’s the boss on this island. Almost two kilometers long pebble beach in Baska is one of the trademarks of tourism on the Adriatic. It starts filling up in early June and empties out in mid-September, and its importance almost surpasses the most important document of Croatian culture, the Baska tablet! Of course, it is not so. On the contrary, Baska also offers this historical moment, just like it offers good quality hotels, four kilometers of promenade along the sea, and many other things that are necessary for a small town in the Adriatic to be called a tourist town.
The night life is not the best feature of this island pearl, but there are a few interesting cocktail bars that are open until the early hours – just in case...
The glagolitic heritage has promoted Vrbnik into an essential part of Croatian history. However, it is much more than that, because it was hard to expect for it to remain immune to the lures of tourism. Honestly, it looks more like a one-day excursion destination, because the accommodation capacities are very modest.
Like Omisalj and some other small citadels, Vrbnik also stands high, overlooking the sea from a position 50 meters up. In Vrbnik you will find the narrowest street in the world, and the obligatory Vrbnicka zlahtina wine. More than enough to plan a visit to this small island miracle.