Novi Vinodolski is nested along the rim of Vinodol, the fertile valley of vineyards. At that very spot, the Mala Kapela mountain rushes down to meet the sea. The "golden age" of Novi Vinodolski was the thirteenth century, during which time the aristocratic Frankopan family ruled these parts. The town's most important monuments date back to this period, including the Vinodol codex, one of the oldest surviving legal documents written in Croatian.
Novi Vinodolski has nurtured its holidaymaking tradition for over a century. Its continuing development is aided by the therapeutic cocktail of marine and mountain airs and abetted by the traditional feasts which will make you forget the concerns of daily life.
Novi Vinodolski - the key to vineyard valley
The great charm of Novi Vinodolski is the medieval town core surrounded by the partially preserved defensive walls, the Frankopan castle and the refurbished square tower. That in turn is watched over by the church of Saint Phillip and James, whose wooden furnishings were carved by seventeenth-century masters.
When the crooked, narrow streets of Novi Vinodolski have taken you down to the coastline, the seaside walkway will show you the remains of Lopar fortress and the fifteenth-century Pauline monastery. On the very brink of the sea, there stands a common postcard motif - the mesmerizing islet of San Marino with the eponymous Gothic chapel.
The hinterland of Novi Vinodolski holds a wide spectrum of hiking and cycling tracks, which climb up amidst meadows awash in blooming lillies, past a glass chapel to the viewpoints known as the "eyes of Vinodol".
Novi Vinodolski - tradition crowned with the "Silver flower"
Novi Vinodolski is a well-deserving winner of the Silver flower of Europe award for the efforts made in preserving tradition. Its full glory is revealed during the three-day winter carnival known as Mesopust, when dancers in authentic costumes showcase folk dances to the music of sopile, a traditional woodwind instrument.
In the summer months, the carnival comes back to town. There will also be a chance for you to take part in a unique tradition - the Rose of Vinodol pageant, the aim of which is to choose the most diligent (female) grape picker. This ancient tradition has recently been reinvented as a festival of fine wining and dining, and combined with a comprehensive folklore festival.