Did you know that Veli Lošinj ("veli" meaning greater) is smaller than Mali ("lesser") Lošinj? Or that the islands of Cres and Lošinj were once an unbroken whole? The channel between them was supposedly dug by the ancient Illyrians for sailing convenience. Did you know the roundness of the Venetian tower in downtown Veli Lošinj is a result of defensive contingencies, or that its walls now contain a wealth of museum and gallery exhibits?
These and many other secrets are revealed in picturesque Veli Lošinj, on the island's southeastern coast, in the green cove where numerous colorful houses are serried.
An explosion of color and scent
Since the beginning of the thirteenth century, Veli Lošinj has been developing towards the beautiful mix of nature and culture which it is today. The entire town is dotted with cultural and historical monuments. The Baroque opulence of the Church of Saint Anthony the Abbot bedecks the downtown. Our Lady of the Angels boasts valuable paintings by Italian masters. The very essence of Veli Lošinj is seen in the merrily painted rowhouses along the waterline, overtopped by cypress trees. The cocktail of autochtonous, medicinal and exotic plants sends forth its scent from the gardens of old captains' homes and aristocratic villas. The full diversity of greenery is reached by the town's park, home to over two hundred plant species.
The small fishing port of Rovenska with its cozy ambience and gorgeous beach abutting the downtown show off Veli Lošinj as a place of true symbiosis between man and sea.
The past-bound trails of Lošinj
Orderly footpaths offer an experience of natural aromatherapy. Themed routes take the visitor to Lošinj's highest point - the woody Osorčica with its gorgeous vistas. In fine weather (that is to say, nearly all the time) the view reaches as far as Istria, Kvarner, Gorski kotar and the giant buttresses of Velebit.
Awash in pine-scented breeze, dive into the deep blue of Veli Lošinj - you might just be lucky enough to find a statue of one of the contestants of ancient festive games to rival the bronze Apoxyomenos, found by a tourist about a decade ago, pressed by seaweeds into the sandy bottom.