Opatija in Croatia - Travel Guide

by Astokun El Jarah
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Opatija is one of the pearls of Croatian coast, situated at the foot of Ucka mountain,  in eastern Istria, at Rijeka Bay, a place full of history, beautiful views and architecture combines elegance and cultural diversity of the various imperial houses and the ideal place for treatments. The resort is distinguished primarily by its elegant architecture, especially the hotels built during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, most beautifully renovated by splendid vegetation and manicured parks, with impeccable service, lively atmosphere and the extremely diverse offer for all ages, all tastes, all the possibilities. Opatija Riviera stretches a length of 40 km along the Kvarner bay, having a unique microclimate that provides year-round mild temperatures and ever green vegetation.

The best known tourist attractions are ancient fishing villages Icici and Ika, picturesque Volosko, Meveja and Moscenicka Draga, with sandy beaches, old town and the hotels Lovran with modern and medieval nearby towns and hills - Kastav, Veprinac and Mošćenice. 

Buses are the cheapest way to move through the resort Opatija and nearby, although the best way to discover the island's beauty is to come by car or rent one. However, most major attractions can be visited without using any means of transport, as most hotels are near them. I recommend going till Rijeka, the largest city located near the resort, about 50 km. It is easily reached by bus or tourist bus. You will pay in the local currency: kuna. Specifically, 1 euro equals about 7.4 kuna and foreign exchange is the most advantageous to the banks.

What can you visit:

- Villa Angiolina built in 1844 by businessman Higinio von Scarpa. Its construction was the beginning of tourism in Opatija. It’s located in a park full of exotic plants on the Adriatic and inside were often held exhibitions of art and classical music concerts.

- Park Sv. Jacov (St. Joseph) / Opatija Central Park covers an area of ​​3.64 hectares, is divided into 60 sectors and hosts over 160 species of plants.

- Church of Sv. Jakov was documented in 1439, built on the foundation of the former monastery Benedict.

- Fontana Helios and Selena is located in Central Park near the church Sv. James. Fountain symbolizes the sun and the moon, mythological characters transposition brother and sister.

- "The Girl with the Seagull 'is a symbol of the city, made in 1956 by Zvonko Car, being situated on a promontory visible from the promenade called ’’ Lungomare’’, a 12 km long promenade that goes from town Volosko, crosses Opatija and Lovran, the nearby locality.

"Lungomare" is an avenue that crosses the resort and here there are a plethy of restaurants, cafes, hotels, terraces, shops, vendors, travel agents, shady palm trees and oaks. Here the atmosphere is lively but at the same time warm, pleasant, far from that disturbing noise. Opatija is very clean, airy and greenly, being at the foothills of the mount Ucka, on top of Vojak, that reach a height of 1394 you will have the opportunity to admire a breathtaking view, the road being quite easy, with a few cottages for eventual stops.

Croatian cuisine is based on fatty foods, spicy herbs and different types of meat. What I recommend: ‘’mlinci’’ - a kind of flat hot bread very delicious, walnut liqueur,  and ‘’rozata’’,  an amazing caramel cream.

"Operetta" is the most beautiful department store, being situated in the heart of the town, right next to the Hotel Bristol in Marsh Tita Street. It is really different from the other store, looking more like a museum, with ornaments, sculptures and splendid painted ceiling. Unfortunately here is quite expensive, I mean…everything! At least you can visit this amazing masterpiece building and try to take some photos.  If you do not want to spend a lot of money on clothes and expensive things, or you are on a budget, then you can choose all kinds of things, clothes, souvenirs, and other pretty nice items, from the sidewalk vendors.

Opatija is a great resort, elegant and lush, for which prices are quite high, but certainly if you choose to go between November and March, you'll find much cheaper accommodation and lower temperatures of up to 20 degrees. Croatia in general is an absolutely gorgeous country and Opatija Riviera is considered the pearl of the Adriatic.

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Catalin Ivan
12 Aug 2014 15:14
Very beautiful!
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