The Kvarner Riviera has a long association with tourism– especially holiday resorts such as Opatija and Crikvenica – emerging as popular destinations in the late 19th century during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Opatija was an upmarket resort visited by many high-profile guests including Royal families and celebrities alike. Located on a narrow stretch of land sandwiched between the beautiful lush green dramatic hills and the Adriatic Sea, Opatija, a town once was the first and most popular holiday resort in Croatia.
Unlike any other parts of Croatia, Opatija is different in every sense. You can see elegance & stylish sophistication everywhere from well-groomed, structured parks to beautiful 19th-century Astro-Hungarian era grandeur buildings, from the elegant promenade to waterside cafes & restaurants. You get the feeling of being on holiday from the moment you head down to the city, mesmerised by the town’s picture-perfect view from an elevated position.
Many composers such as Mahler visited this town for inspiration, as well as European aristocracy for relaxation, parading on the beautiful lungomare and dining in some of the most famous restaurants. Opatija nowadays attracts a great deal of Austrians, Italians and locals living in Zagreb and beyond, for a long weekend or short breaks. The beautiful lungomare is the 12-km seaside promenade, initially constructed in 1889, stretching between Opatija to Lovran. This scenic walking route was originally intended for use in physiotherapy (as Opatija was a health resort), the path winds past many of Opatija’s attractions and is a lovely walking path along the sea.
In Opatija, there is an abundance of history, culture and tranquillity blending well with amazing coastal views. It may not be a secret anymore but certainly, a gem waiting to be re-discovered as you can include Opatija in your multi-centre Croatian discovery tour or as part of a short break in Istria.