Opatija with its peacetime atmosphere could be a wonderful starting point or destination for those sailing in the Gulf of Kvarner. The travel resort is also a site of climatotherapy with its all-year pleasant climate. As one of Croatia’s finest cities, the view is astonishing as well. Visitors come here to taste the feeling of an aristocratic world. When you see the beautiful greenery and spectacular buildings in Abbazia, you won’t be surprised they call it the Croatian Monte Carlo or Nizza of the Adriatic.
Read more about the following topics:
- Opatija is the noble historical destination of sailors
- What to do in Opatija? Sights in Opatija
- Things to do in Opatija: Walk from Opatija to other parts of the Riviera
- What to do in Opatija: Entertainment, sports and beaches in the town and its vicinity
The capital of the Opatija Riviera, Opatija’s geographic location is the peninsula of Istria. However, from a sailor’s point of view, it belongs to the Gulf of Kvarner. The Ucka massif shelters the town from cold winter winds while the sea warms the air of the shallow coast. The nice, harmonic city is on a hillside providing a great view of surroundings. Lovers of the sea can take pleasure in this amazing landscape from yachtboard.
Tourism has a great heritage in Opatija. It dates back to 1844 when they built the first guesthouse, the Villa Angolina, and Croatia’s first ever hotel, the Hotel Kvarner. Later they kept building sanitariums, baths, and promenades one after another. The once calm and small fisher village turned into a worldly bath resort. The city has wonderful broad parks with flowers unique to the region. Between old splendid villas, they built modern hotels. These new buildings, however, don’t lessen the beauty of the parks in any way.
There’s a promenade on the coast called Lungomare. It spreads 12 km long from Volosko to Lovran. Along the way, there are ornamental gardens. Lined with gorgeous villas and numerous elegant hotels, it easily fulfils visitors’ highest expectations. It also provides a variety of quality cultural and recreational pastimes, all of these in a stunning natural environment coupled with pleasant microclimate.
Walking between the Wien-style buildings on the streets of Opatija, you can see marble stars with the name of Croatian celebrities.
The main attraction of Opatija is in the town centre, opposite to Hotel Imperial, around the park of Villa Angiolina. Here you can view numerous exotic species of plants, such as bamboo, eucalyptus, sequoia, camellia, types of citrus, and the enormous magnolia. The parish church of Sveta Marija is also an imposing sight with its wooden dome and charming glass windows. The gem of the park is a confectionary transformed into a pavilion, in which you’ll find an exhibition hall with paintings.
The promenade on the coast of Lungomare provides a beautiful landscape with the most impressive buildings in Opatija. Restaurants, cafés, parks, and small gulfs accompany your way. Perhaps, it’s the most beautiful promenade of the Adriatic Sea.
The statue, Maiden with the seagull stands on a rock by the sea. This lovely creation made of bronze is a symbol of Opatija since its making in 1956.
The neo-Romanesque Church of the Annunciation with its distinctive green cupola is visible from all of Abbazia. The Abbey of Saint Jacob is the oldest building in town, built-in 1420.
Volosko an idyllic and friendly little fisher village (administratively part of Opatija) is only 2 km to the north from the centre of Opatija. It’s worth walking here on the promenade if you wish for a quiet place with rustic little streets, shallow alleys, and old stone houses. As if you went back in time, this place kept the romantic atmosphere of the past centuries. Volosko has a nice port as well. It’s a great contrast to the loud milling of Opatija.
If you spend time in Opatija, don’t forget to explore its vicinity. You can walk to other towns of the Riviera in Lungomare, but don’t forget to take your towel with you. These tiny towns welcome visitors with charming sections of shore. The promenade also has many benches, where you can take a rest and enjoy the view.
After Icici and the laurel and horse chestnut groves in Ika, you’ll arrive in Lovran the laurel town. You can go to the tiny old town through massive town gates. Here, on the playfully winding streets, you can discover nice entrances and unique forefronts. Lovran could just as well be the starting point of hikes to Mt. Ucka. Another 2 km away there’s Medveja. The huge travel resort, as long as 2 km, involves a number of cosy gulfs.
Numerous restaurants and cafés in Opatija provide a site of relaxation, a good meal, or simply a great view. In the evenings they hold dance terraces in hotels, but you can have fun until dawn in the bars and discos. The town has two casinos as well. They hold several events and festivals all year offering a special atmosphere and different musical and cultural experiences.
At the foot of the Ucka massif, the area above Lovran and Opatija, there’s a grove of savoury chestnut, the Lovran marun. It’s considered to be among the highest quality species worldwide. Most often they eat it as roasted chestnut. At the time of the famous chestnut event of Marunada in October, it’s all about chestnut. Everywhere you go, you see merchants selling roasted chestnut, and restaurants also offer sweet and salty speciality dishes, such as soup.
The other ingredient of local gourmet dishes is the truffle. White truffle for example only grows here and in a small part of Italy.
Sports and activities
The beaches of Opatija spread along the town promenade. The most popular one is the Lido, followed by Kvarner, Tomasevac, and Miramare. All of them have rentable water equipment. The beaches in Opatija are usually pebbly or covered with concrete and rocks. In case the beach-zone of Opatija is not suitable for you, besides seaside beaches, you can take a bath in some pools filled with seawater as well.
The promenade of Lungomare is an excellent and beautiful site for joggers and cyclists as well!
Since Opatija lies on the hillside by Mt. Ucka, you can also go on a mountain hike. Visit Kastav for example to see the town of Opatija from above.
Opatija is a paradise of carefree relaxation. It’s a world of pleasant walks and dining terraces spiced with charming elegance. Order some fish freshly from the sea, drink some excellent Malvazija and enjoy life carelessly. Then go aboard once again and follow your passion! Read more if you plan sailing in Opatija or rent a boat in Opatija.