A holidaymaking tradition spanning 167 years connects the sequence of pearls of the Opatija Riviera - from Volosko to Lovran - with the ten-mile Lungomare walkway. Opatija's most famous resident - the Girl with seagull statue, invites you from her towering cliffs to spend an unforgettable summer on this fabulous riviera, which has turned once-fishing towns into famous travel destinations.
A romantic walk through the history of the Opatija Riviera
The Opatija Riviera is the birthplace of Croatian tourism. As early as the year 1844, the first holiday home was built, the Villa Angiolina, and the Kvarner hotel - Croatia's first - opened its doors in 1884. If you look down from the impressive Viennese-style architecture, Opatija boasts the marble stars bearing the names of Croatian celebrities.
Walking further down the Opatija Riviera, down the romantic Lungomare walkway, takes you to Ičići, the site of the gorgeous Villa Munz. According to a legedary love story, Jakob Munz had his dream-villa built for his wife Emma. The historical minutes of the Opatija Riviera continue on a 157 meter tall cliff (over 450 ft.), where the medieval Brseč town holds a seventeenth-century olive press, called the toš. In this building, the "old fashioned" olive crushing apparatus can be seen.
Greek legends on the floral coast of the Opatija Riviera
Opatija has bedecked its main park, a true monument to gardening, with as many as 150 plant species collected all over the world. Among them, the Japanese camellia has become a symbol of the town.
The circuit of the name-legend continues to the town of Medveja, supposedly named after the Greek sorceress Medea who was the first to bathe at its gorgeous beach. Kvarner's most beautiful surf - Sipar beach - hid itself in the Mošćenička Draga, whose clear sea is the ideal habitat for the famous Draga shrimp, an Opatija Riviera specialty.
The streets of art in the Opatija Riviera
The Opatija summer during the musical and dramatic nights of the Kaisernacht becomes a stage for the Imperial Austrian period, which has left numerous mementos on the town's buildings. Liburnia - Croatia's biggest jazz festival - winds its way through the streets of Opatija as well. The festival is held on open-air stages, in parks and even on the decks of boats.
Classical and folk music infuse a vitality to the summers in the town of Lovran, the name of which comes from a word used for the bay laurel, the scent of which infuses the area.
In Volosko, the summer is known as the painting season - the town's numerous visitors try their skills in a painting competition in the old town harbour - the Mandrać. Near this painters' Mecca is the port of Preluk, a premier windsurfing destination, where numerous competitions in that sport are held.