PATH OF THE DOLPHINS (PUT DUPINA) TRAIL– A WALKWAY ON THE ISLAND OF LOŠINJ
The region’s orientation towards health tourism includes the encouragement of walking as a significant type of recreation promoting a healthy lifestyle in the nature and environmental protection. The entire Kvarner territory abounds in walkways. Some of the most attractive walkways are found on the island of Lošinj. There are marked walkways and hiking trails (former abandoned trails and shepherd’s paths) in the length of 220 km. A new network of walking trails called the Path of the Dolphins (Put dupina) on the southern end of the island of Lošinj is the most famous one and brings all the trails together, so that now if you start from Mali Lošinj towards the southern side along the coast, you will return to your starting point from the other side of the island. Due to the year-round possibility of recreational walking through areas rich in vegetation and having an exceptional effect on health, beautiful walkways are significant in terms of extending the summer season.
Besides, one of the largest attractions of the island of Lošinj is found in the Lošinj waters, a natural marine reserve where dolphins can often be seen while walking along the Path of the Dolphins (Put dupina). The goals of the
Lošinj Marine Education Center (Lošinjski edukacijski centar o moru) include: protection of the only resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic; protection of the marine environment; promotion of sustainable development; and promotion of the natural values of Lošinj and the Adriatic. The Center is related to a protected marine area, the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve, the first such reserve in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, and its key role includes interpretation of and education about the natural values and the marine eco-system of the archipelago and the Adriatic Sea with special emphasis on the dolphins as the region’s trademark. The Center supports further research and development of a new multi-disciplinary method primarily for protecting and managing the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve.
CAPUT INSULAE ECO CENTER, CRES ISLAND
The Caput Insulae Ecology Center (Ekološki centar Caput Insulae) located in the village of Beli is engaged in long term protection and care of the Griffon Vulture. The Center also scientifically monitors other bird species in the Kruna and Podoklada Ornithological Reserves and the entire surrounding area. The Griffon Vulture is one of the four different types of vultures that still live in Europe. They nest on the steep cliffs above the sea, sometimes at the height of only 10 m above the sea, where they can be easily observed but where they are also endangered. The scientists from the Ecology Center mark the young birds in order to be able to identify them later. The Eco Center plays a special role in rescuing young vultures that fall into the sea or are found sick or wounded. This is why a rehabilitation area for the Griffon Vulture has been built behind the Center’s main building in which the wounded vultures recuperate until they are once again returned to their natural environment. The Eco Center, as a specially cherished part of the northern part of the island of Cres is a destination of numerous visitors, lovers of nature and birds. For the purpose of ensuring better knowledge of the comprehensive heritage of Tramuntana (the northern part of the island of Cres), the first educational eco-path was built in 1995. The educational eco-path called Stoza Tramuntana I, in the length of 12 km (3-4 hours of light walking), includes ten main (eco-center, exhibition, small church, Illyrian castle, oak and chestnut forests) and ten intermediate stations marking the most significant natural, cultural and historic sites of the area that the path goes through. A number of local and international volunteers, involved through activities of the ecological camps and summer nature protection schools, participate in the implementation of particular programs. The interested can get involved in the projects and thus significantly contribute to the achievement of the association’s mission, i.e. protection of the natural, cultural and historic heritage of the island of Cres, Tramuntana and the village of Beli. At the same time, through volunteer work, the volunteers get richer for one more experience and new knowledge concerning the wealth and values of this area.
ACI SAILING CENTER CRES
A nautical and tourism center called the ACI Sailing Center Cres has been established within the ACI Marina Cres. It will surely be a point of interest to sailors and yachtsmen. To be more precise, ACI owns a fleet of 12 vessels of the type Jeanneau One Design 35, the sailboats navigated and used in competitions by some of the greatest match racers of the world, such as Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Chris Dickson and Paol Cian. In addition to being used for other match race regattas, these sailboats will be used to teach fleet and match race sailing in the waters in front of the island of Cres. A center in which activities related to the island will be conducted in addition to those related to sailing, including: a sightseeing tour of the island, a visit to the Caput Insulae Eco Center in Beli, a tour of the islands of Zeča, Silba and Olib, a visit to the important sights of the island of Cres, a gathering in world famous Lubenice, etc. The Center will also enable sailing crews from other European countries to organize training activities in all seasons of the year. The success of the project is guaranteed by the unique nature of the island, its animal and plant life. A botanical garden will also be built as part of the Center, so that the visitors could enjoy and learn about the plant life of the Adriatic region.
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RABSKA FJERA (RAB MEDIEVAL SUMMER FESTIVAL)
This event was first organized in 2002 as a three-day medieval festival. It is held in the old town center and includes several hundred participants, including the locals and the Monte Giardino group from the Republic of San Marino (60 persons). The Festival presents medieval craftsmen and crafts: Rab crossbowmen, the town guard, barrel makers, shoemakers, goldsmiths, stonemasons, basket weavers, shoemakers and seamstresses; washers po starinsku (in the old-fashioned way), fishermen (repairing of nets and live coal candles), ship repairmen (kalafat; ‘oni koji madire s juton da kaić ne propušta vodu’ - the one that uses jute, so that the barge would not leak water), ceramic product makers, candle makers, bakers, woodcutters, silk painters, artists, ordinary blacksmiths, blacksmiths making coins, lace makers; it also includes a Glagolitic workshop, an ethno household engaged in the spinning and processing of wool, and a rural household demonstrating the process of flour refinement using a millstone, bread making and baking under a baking lid, as well as baking of other products under a baking lid (ispod peke) and on the grill (na gradele); and wire porcelain welders; and is accompanied by medieval music, a rich gastronomic offer prepared according to old recipes. During the Festival the entire town is decorated in the old-fashioned style.
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Rab Knight Games (Rapske viteške igre)
Full concentration and peace is requested from the participants and spectators when the crossbowmen fight in a tournament for the Felix Award presented by the Prince of Rab. This is the climax of a series of events held as part of the Days of the Middle Ages (Dani Srednjeg vijeka). These events present an old tradition dating back to 1634 when the Venetians invited everyone to a feast on the occasion of liberating the island. Rab has been restoring that tradition for three years in a row now. Together with its visitors, the town goes a few centuries back into the past for three days. Women in medieval costumes spin wool, weave, grind flour or knead bread dough on the streets of the old town. Coins are being welded, ceramic utensils made, baskets woven, stone processed and many other crafts demonstrated. The experience is completed with authentic music and dance performances.
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WITH WIND THROUGH THE SILENCE (S VJETROM KROZ TIŠINU) SAILING REGATTA
A unique sailing regatta for the deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, the first such project in Europe. A special type of sign language has been developed which has been adapted to communication onboard a vessel and sailing requirements. It is held in Mali Lošinj.
APOXYOMENOS (2nd – 1st century BC)
An ancient bronze statue of a 192 cm-tall athlete found in the underwater area between the islet of Vela Orjula and the island of Lošinj on April 27, 1999 is the only large bronze statue found so far on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. It is assumed that it has been lying in the sea since the beginning of the 1st century when it was tossed in the water due to the danger of the ship being overturned in a severe storm or as a sacrifice to the gods for safe continuation of the voyage through the Osor Channel to some rich destination in the northern Adriatic region. The statue presents an athlete, a young sportsman at the moment of cleaning the scraper (strigil) which he used to scrape oil, dust and sweat from his body after a competition. During the restoration of the statue that lasted almost seven years, the analyses of the material and style have shown that it must be dating from the 2nd or 1st century BC, while the prototype on the model of which it was created must be much older, dating from the middle of the 4th century BC. From the eight variations of the prototype of Apoxyomenos found so far (among which the bronze statue from the Kunsthistorishes Museum in Vienna discovered in 1896 in Efez is the most famous one), the Lošinj statue is the most complete and best preserved. The creator of the statue is unknown but the classic beauty and excellence in the making of the statue indicate that it must have been a great artist.
A museum is being built in the Kvarner Palace in Mali Lošinj in which Lošinj Apoxyomenos will be permanently exhibited for public viewing, thus contributing to the cultural offer, a significant segment of the overall tourism offer of the island of Lošinj as well as Kvarner and Croatia as a whole.
FRAGRANCES AND TASTES OF LOŠINJ – A year-round event on the island of Lošinj
The island of Lošinj is home to 1018 plant species, of which 939 belong to the authentic flora and more than 230 plant species that grow on the island are classified as healing herbs. The event called the Fragrances and Taste of Lošinj (Miomirisi i okusi Lošinja) is held all year round gathering participants from the Tourist Board of the Town of Mali Lošinj and the Fragrant Island Garden (Miomirisni otočki vrt), to the numerous fragrant hotels, agencies, camps and restaurants.
Fragrant January and February – lemon and orange
Fragrant March – rosemary, laurel and eucalyptus
Fragrant April - asparagus and Lošinj onion
Fragrant May – sage, fennel and nettle
Fragrant June – broom, lavender and immortelle
Fragrant July – bougainvillea and mint
Fragrant August – oleander and loquat
Fragrant September – fig and jujube
Fragrant October – myrtle, strawberry tree and pomegranate
Fragrant November – olive
Fragrant December – pine and agave
NEW YEAR’S UNDERWATER FISHING CUP
A statue built in honor of an underwater fisherman at one of the main squares proves just how important people of Lošinj consider this sport. Thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate, year after year the people of Lošinj have a chance to offer to underwater fishermen an unforgettable experience of a competition organized on the occasion of the new year. The New Year’s Cup consists of two cups: New Year’s Cup of Towns and European Cup of Nations. Both Cups are equally attractive as each dive is breathtaking and invites cheers from the public. This is an opportunity to welcome the new year in the company of exceptionally brave people and a truly sport-colored ambiance.
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ECO, ETHNO AND WINE FESTIVAL IN KRK
The year-round offer of wine from the Vrbnik valley on the island of Krk, known for its authentic vine variety called Vrbička Žlahtina, represents a special attraction to the visitors to Kvarner and Krk. The wine cellars and taverns offering tasting experiences and selling wine and authentic homemade products are open all year round. September and October offer a special grape harvesting and vineyard touring experience. This year’s main event of the wine festival (Vinofest) presenting the products and viticulture of Croatian regions will be a business gathering of producers and consumers held in Krk.
In addition to being able to enjoy a good glass of wine, the visitors will also have a chance to enjoy the offer of authentic local dishes, a diverse cultural and entertainment program, professional lectures on grape-growing, as well as to visit the exhibition of the grape-growing and wine-making products.
KRK FAIR – LOVREČEVA
The Krk Fair is a three-day event characterized by a rich entertainment program, a fair in the spirit of the Middle Ages and exhibition and sales of authentic Croatian products. From the festive opening ceremony at the Kamplin Square (Trg Kamplin) to the spectacular maritime battle in the Krk Port, the town of Krk offers numerous unforgettable experiences including knight fights, treasure hunting and a rich gastronomic offer of Krk restaurateurs.
VRBNIK AND VRBNIČKA ŽLAHTINA
A unique old town, described, sung about and painted in the works of numerous artists, developed at the site of prehistoric communities on a steep cliff at 50 m above sea level. The rich and turbulent past of Vrbnik is mirrored in the numerous cultural and historic monuments, an inexhaustible source of inspiration to numerous artists. Vrbnik is a historic, Glagolitic town. The Glagolitic alphabet is the oldest Slavic alphabet dating from the middle of the 9th century that was especially developed on the territory of Kvarner and used not only to write religious scriptures but also the texts used in everyday social life and legal documents.
Today Vrbnik is a must-see excursion destination, a mecca of wine connoisseurs and gourmets. On a wine-growing area of 100 ha in the Vrbnik field (Vrbničko polje) people grow a special authentic grape variety coming to our tables under the name of Vrbnička Žlahtina. In addition to being engaged in wine production, several wineries and numerous taverns offer to the visitors an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the charms of žlahtina complemented with song and good company, prosciutto and quality Krk goat cheese.
VRBNIČKA ŽLAHTINA –Vrbnička žlahtina, the most famous and appreciated wine of the Kvarner region has a dry and smooth taste and goes perfectly with dished prepared from white fish, shells and crabs, as well as light meat dished. This variety is grown on the island of Krk in the area surrounding Vrbnik, and its name originates from the Slavic attribute ‘žlahten’ meaning ‘noble’.
The traditional event called Olive Days (Dani maslina) is held in Punat on the island of Krk. For a number of years in a row now, olive growing and production of olive oil have been promoted as an authentic brand, and olive harvest and production of olive oil have become an attractive tourist product. The event encompasses a professional international workshop on the value of olive oil and a tourist olive harvesting program including a special program for accommodating individual visitors and visitors arriving through an agency. On all days of the event special attention is given to the gastronomic offer based on olives and olive oil.