The Gulf of Kvarner is full of wonderful islands and spots. The cheerful, green island of Krk (the greenest island of Kvarner) is hiding its second-largest town, Punat, in an idyllic gulf. The old town is famous for its narrow streets and old stone houses. Besides the memory of the good old days, the town is also popular for its port. Formerly they manufactured small boats here, now it’s among the most well-equipped marinas on in the Northern Adriatic region. Punat is a beloved destination primarily for sailors and tourists who love watersports and diving.
Read more about the following topics:
- Punat, the charming little destination of sailors
- Scenery of Punat
- What to see in Punat
- Sights vicinity in Punat
- What to do in Punat: Sports and activities in Punat
- Things to do vicinity in Punat
- What to do around Punat: the island of Kosljun
Lovers of sailing have an especially good time in Punat. The town has the largest and oldest marina of the Adriatic region able to host nearly 1200 boats. It lies on the eastern side of a large gulf, the Puntarska Draga. Only 50 meters from the port there’s Hotel Kanajt, which is a gathering place of sailors, boatmen, and those who like active recreation. Nowadays Punat is among Croatia’s largest port towns (and the largest port on the island of Krk). The town is mostly settled in for welcoming sailing tourists.
To sailors, the port of Punat means the centre of the island of Krk. They also call it the gate of the island. It’s an ideal starting point for discovering nearby islands or Istria.
The sight of Punat from the sea is not ordinary. Rich vegetation and tidy parks are waiting for visitors. This small town of only 1800 residents lies on the southern side of Krk island. Since it’s a rather recent town, it doesn’t have as many medieval, Venetian, and Roman buildings as other, traditional, Croatian settlements. It’s a tourist town, an excellent shelter for relaxation, and recreation. This adorable travel resort has narrow streets and characteristic, domed houses and pubs on the seaside.
It’s a well-found, wealthy, and worldly settlement. Locals are proud of the tradition of making olive oil. Every family in Punat has their own plantation, and they make high-quality olive oil at home.
According to a story, Punat got its name after the Roman bridge of Pons. The legend says the two mysterious pillars in the gulf are the remnants of the one-time bridge.
There are numerous good restaurants right next to the port. It’s worth taking a walk in the town at least to try one of them. And since you’re already there, visit the church of Holy Trinity built-in the 18th century which hides the most beautiful baroque altar of the whole Gulf of Kvarner. Also, don’t forget the votive chapel of St. Roch. The trees of the seaside promenade provide cooling shadows in the hot summer, as well as the sunshades of the several cafés along the way.
It’s interesting how Punat belongs to the more recent settlements on the island of Krk and still has the island’s oldest architectural monument, the church of St. Donat from the 12th century. It’s entirely built of stone and amazes visitors with its unusual appearance.
You can view an exhibition about the history of local agriculture in the old town as well as an interesting exhibition of zoological extremities.
In the historical centre of the small town, there are still some characteristic farmhouses from the 18th century which you can recognize by the roofed stairs built outside the building. Some of the tourist attractions are the onetime fisher festivities of the town: The Night of Punat and The Night of Fishers.
The vicinity of Punat also holds some of the island’s secrets. Besides the vivid greenery, you can find a number of archaeological monuments from graves to medieval churches. We especially recommend viewing the remnants of ancient buildings and the ruins in Ferkick.
Near Punat (circa 2 km) you’ll find the ruins of an Ancient-Croat church built of freestones in the 8th century which they consider to be the oldest Slavic church on the seaside.
Punat is almost halfway between the equator and the Arctic. A sign next to the road of Stara Baska shows the place of the 45th parallel north.
The island of Krk is the largest of the Croatian Adriatic. It’s the home of tall seaside rocks, small towns, beaches, green hills, the airport of Rijeka, the oldest Croatian language memorial, and one of the tastiest Croatian wines, the Zlahtina. This type of grape only grows in the field of Vrbnik. On the label of a high-quality Zlahtina made by a trustworthy producer, you can read the names of either P. Z. Gospoja Toljanic, Frajona, or Vinarija Katura.
Baska lies on the south-eastern side of the island, and it can take pride in the longest beach of the Adriatic Sea with 1800 meters. Vrbnik, a small town on a 50 m rock, is on the eastern side. Its castle was once the centre of the Glagolitic as it’s still in good condition.
The basic activities in Punat are swimming and sunbathing by day and saunter on the 3 km long promenade by evening. Besides tourism, the island relies on fishing, sheep breeding, and olive growing. You can be sure about the freshness of the fish served in the restaurants. Punat has many restaurants, cafés, and wine vaults as well. When spending a night on Krk you can also go to classical music concerts.
There’s a bigger supermarket in the resort area of Punat. You can go shopping there or the Plodnie discount store in front of the Malinska.
Those who wish for active relaxation can choose between numerous sports in the city of Punat: tennis, bowling, mini golf, diving and sailing courses, underwater and sports fishing. There’s an important water-ski centre in the gulf as well. Punat is a great holiday option with its beautiful gulfs sheltered by the wind. There’s a professionally built wakeboard area in the Gulf of Punat. Important information for families with small children is that there’s a big playground in the town’s centre.
Things to do vicinity in Punat
There’s a very developed cycling network on the island of Krk. Along the main roads of the island, there are dozens of several kilometre-long bike lanes. The island also provides numerous hiking opportunities on designated trails. Thanks to its location, the island of Krk is a great starting point to explore the neighbouring islands and the nearby interesting parts of the mainland.
From the port of Baska, 18 km from Punat, they start boat journeys to the island of Rab with the programme of dolphin watching. Naturally, you can take this tour by renting a boat as well.
There are diving opportunities on the island of Kosljun, or you can take a walk on the trailed paths.
Especially rich Mediterranean greenery welcomes visitors of the nearby Kosljun Island as well. There are 540 species of plants and mushrooms here. The island is a special reservation of forest vegetation.
In the middle of the gorgeous blue gulf, on a small, declivous, oval formation, there’s a group of buildings of a Franciscan monastery hiding a significant religious relic. Benedictines lived on the island from the 12th century, 4 monks live there to this day. The daily activity of the monks mostly consists of tilth, caring for plants, and naturally, greeting tourists. The main attractions of the island are the church of St. Bernard and a library of more than 30.000 books. The oldest Christmas Bethlehem Manger in Croatia is also here.
The island of Kosljun is only accessible by small boats and barks, which transport guests on schedule.
Silence, recreation and spiritual refreshment are just a few reasons why Punat and Kosljun became a favourite tourist destination of sailors. Those who fall in love with it can’t help but come back here again. We recommend you to take home some of the miracles found here. That means not only photos but local brandy and olive oil for example. Since other than the port, those are the symbols of Punat. Read more if you plan sailing in Punat or yacht charter in Punat.