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10 / 19

Rijeka

Rijeka is an interesting cultural and tourist destination. In addition to being important in terms of transport and economy, in recent years the town has become a vibrant tourist center popular among modern travelers. However, Rijeka is equally appealing to art lovers, fans of crazy carnival entertainment and anyone with a penchant for urban exploration.

The town's history can be seen on every corner. Monuments, baroque and neoclassical palaces, art galleries and museums and the beautiful building of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc will attract your attention.

Part of Liburnian Limes, the defensive wall built by the Romans, still stands above the town. The old town nucleus with the city tower, Roman gateway, St. Vid’s Cathedral built in the Baroque style and the Church of Virgin Mary's Assumption bear witness to its rich past and a significant role Rijeka played over the course of history.

One of the most recognizable Rijeka postcards is undoubtedly Trsat, a medieval fortified town and once home to one of the oldest Croatian noble families - the Frankopan family. The medieval fortified town (13th century) was reconstructed in the 17th century and renovated in 1826 in a romantic spirit. The renovation was completed in 1960 and the medieval town became a tourist attraction. A wonderful view of Kvarner Bay extends from Trsat. The graves of the Frankopans and the local shrine are visited each year by many people of faith praying to the Holy Virgin of Trsat to bless them with health, luck and strength. Trsat can be reached by a stairway – the longest in the country - consisting of 538 steps.

Rijeka has asserted itself as a town of culture, offering creative art shows and refreshing entertainment. Each year Rijeka hosts the Summer Nights Festival offering a rich program held at various locations and the Rijeka International Small Scene Theatre Festival is a must-see. Also, at the beginning of each year since 1982 Rijeka celebrates Carnival as a member of the European Federation of Carnival Towns (FECC) and the Sunday Times has included it among the most attractive events in the world. Today, owing to its youthful freshness, Rijeka is loved by young travelers from all over the world.

To those wishing to combine a seaside holiday with a busy schedule of leisure activities, we recommend lovely beaches in the Rijeka area, some awarded the Blue Flag eco-label as a symbol of compliance with the highest international standards. There are numerous recreational facilities in Rijeka as well, making it ideal for sports tourism with numerous facilities supplying a wide array of services.


For more information please visit:

Town of Rijeka Tourist Board

Bakar

Bakar is one of the oldest ports on the northern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is located where the Mediterranean Sea penetrates most deeply into the European land. The houses are built amphitheatrically from the coast up to the top of the hill and the heart of this lovely town has become a protected cultural monument in 1968.

The first evidence for Bakar as a settlement dates from prehistoric times (3rd or 2nd millennium BCE). It was established by the Liburnians, an ancient Illyrian tribe, and exactly where Bakar rests today stood an old Roman settlement. Croatian noble families Frankopan and Zrinski have left their traces here as well. By a charter dated May 13th, 1778 Empress Marie Therese awarded the town of Bakar free status by which it became a free commercial port and with a charter of April 23rd, 1779 she proclaimed it a free royal town and Bakar was given arms and autonomy.

Today Bakar is proud of its rich heritage. Some of the most visited attractions in the area are Hreljin fort, Liburnian castle ruins, St. Andrew's Church in Bakar (third by size in Croatia), Roman and Turkish Houses and prezidi (terraced vineyards enclosed by dry stone walls). The Bakar area used to be known for Belina, a rare white grape variety grown here and used in the production of the famous Bakarska vodica sparkling wine. Prezidi were mostly built in the 18th century, but abandoned by winemakers around 1950. Shortly thereafter the vineyards officially became part of the ethnological heritage and included in The National Register of Cultural Monuments (1972). A great souvenir to take home is bakarski baškot, a toasted or fresh ring-shaped biscuit that fishermen used to carry on long fishing trips and eat dipped in wine.

For more information please visit:
 
Town of Bakar Tourist Board
 

Best small towns to visit: Hreljin, Kukuljanovo

Kastav

The ancient town of Kastav, situated half-way between Opatija and Rijeka, rises on a high hill overlooking Kvarner. The townscape is lovely, mirroring town’s longtime tradition and identity. The heart of Kastav offers traces of its rich heritage on every corner. After seeing the fortress (Fortica) and the Municipal Loggia and passing through the Town Gates, the winding roads will lead you to Lokvina, Crekvina and the Žudika walls up to the stone stairway (Skaline od sudbine). As you reach St. Jelena's Church you will be greeted by marvelous views of Učka, Ćićarija and Kvarner Bay islands.

Each summer Kastav hosts several international festivals. Kastafsko kulturno leto and Guitar Festival have faithful audiences from Croatia and abroad, attracted year after year by a great lineup of acclaimed international artists. Popular folk festivals, such as the traditional new wine festivity Bela nedeja and the colorful Carnival, always attract many visitors and gourmands love local restaurants and their homelike atmosphere.

For more information please visit:

Town of Kastav Tourist Board

Kostrena

Kostrena is nestled in the east end of Kvarner Bay in the vicinity of Rijeka. As you come across Kostrena, driving toward the coast, the view of the blue sea starts dominating the landscape.

This place with a centuries-old maritime tradition, known for its many pebble and rock beaches, has been continuously inhabited since the time of the Roman Empire. Today Žurkovo, Svezanj and Podurinj coves offer sea bathing resorts, recreation areas and a well- protected dock for small yachts.

Active people will really enjoy Kostrena and its running tracks, diving and sailing clubs and other amenities. Kostrena is a summer resort for tourists seeking everything a large town can offer, without the accompanying hustle and bustle of a busy seaside hotspot.

For more information please visit:
 
Tourist Board of the Kostrena Municipality
 

Čavle

In the hinterland of Rijeka lies Grobnišćina. The municipality of Čavle is situated in its eastern part, along the northern entrance road to Rijeka. Visitors, especially those fond of adrenaline sports, come here to enjoy the motor racing track Grobnik and Platak Sports and Recreation Center. Čavle is very proud of its history and landmarks, especially Grobnik (Kaštel) and Mayer Castle built in the 17th century.

For more information please visit:

Tourist Board of the Čavle Municipality

Best small towns to visit: Cernik, Mavrinci, Soboli, Zastenice

Jelenje

Jelenje is a municipality situated in the northwestern part of Croatian Littoral, between the coast and the mountains. Despite the urbanization trends, this area managed to retain and maintain originality and tradition, which is proven by its rich culture and many architectural monuments. Especially charming are the old mill in Martinovo selo, one of the last in the Kvarner region, and old blacksmith shops.

The area is covered in beautiful dense forests and winding bike and walking trails, attracting nature lovers, mountain climbers, hunters and recreationists. Grobnik Motordrome and Platak ski resort are in the immediate vicinity.

For more information please visit:

Tourist Board of the Jelenje Municipality

Best small towns to visit: Dražice, Podhum

Kraljevica

Kraljevica is a coastal town situated on the eastern coast of Rijeka, at the entrance to Bakar Bay. Its two medieval castles and a church are the legacy of the Croatian noble families Zrinski and Frankopan. In the summer months the castles become concert venues and centers of entertainment and culture.

Charming places to visit in the Kraljevica surroundings are Bakarac in Bakar Bay, Križišće and Dol in the fertile Vinodol area, Šmrika on the plateau overlooking the sea and Neriz in the beautiful bay to the south.

Accommodation options include hotels, motels, private houses, motor camps and sports and recreation facilities.

For more information please visit:

Town of Kraljevica Tourist Board

Best small towns to visit: Bakarac

Viškovo

Viškovo Municipality is situated northwest of Rijeka, enjoying all the advantages of being a small town in the vicinity of a big and vibrant destination such as Rijeka.

Halubajski zvončari, the famous bell ringers whose history in the area dates back to prehistoric times, have originated in this area. In the Middle Ages it was believed that the sound of a bell chases away evil winter spirits and the tradition of bell ringing survived up to the present day marking the end of winter. Bell ringers are cloaked in sheepskin with big bells attached to their lower back. They wear specially styled masks – animal heads with horns and red tongues sticking out - and white trousers and short sleeve sailor shirts. Each holding a mace (balta or bačuka) and regardless of weather conditions they go around villages in groups, following the order set a long time ago. 

It is due to their peculiarity and attractiveness that the annual Carnival procession of bell ringers from the Kastav area has become Intangible Cultural Heritage protected by UNESCO. Old cisterns (šterne) and hearths (tornice) are also preserved as part of local tradition, engaging the interest of each visitor. Throughout the year there is a variety of events taking place here. Guests will enjoy the hospitality of locals, comfortable accommodation and amenities offered at the local sports and recreation center. Local food offered at restaurants, taverns and other catering facilities is excellent.  
 

For more information please visit:

Tourist Board of the Viškovo Municipality

Best small towns to visit: Marčelji, Marinići, Mladenići


Map of Kvarner

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