Opatija (Croatia) is a small town located in the north of the Istrian peninsula, with a population of just under 8 thousand people. For its more than 500 years of existence, it was the resting place of the Venetian and Italian nobility, the only official resort of Austria-Hungary and the city where the first casinos and yacht clubs of Eastern Europe were opened.
Modern Opatija combines the charm of the Middle Ages with the luxury of our day. Located in the Kvarner Bay at the foot of the mountain, it is considered one of the best resorts in Croatia, since the temperature of water and air here is usually 2-3 degrees higher. Opatija is also called the Museum of Central Europe, Croatian Nice due to the large number of attractions and beaches.
Interesting fact! Opatija was a favorite vacation spot of the Austrian Empire Emperor Franz Joseph I. In addition, at different times Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov, E. M. Remarque, Jozef Pilsudski and Gustav Mahler were resting here.
Like a large seawater pool, the beach is located in the very center of Opatija. It is equipped with all amenities necessary for a comfortable stay, including umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and toilets, changing rooms.
There are a lot of entertainments on Slatina both for children (free playground, paid water park, various attractions) and for adults (cafe and restaurant, volleyball and football playground, table tennis, water slides, boat rental). There is also a beachfront shop, a newspaper kiosk and a grocery supermarket.
Slatina was awarded the FEO Blue Flag for its clean water and coast. The entrance to the sea is gentle and convenient, metal stairs are installed for safe descent from concrete slabs on the beach. Near the shore is shallow, the water is warm, there are no stones or sea urchins – Slatina is perfect for families with children.
The beach, located 800 m from the center of Opatija, is conditionally divided into three parts with different coatings: large-pebble, concrete and sand. On the one hand, Tomashevac is surrounded by hotels, the most famous of which are the Ambassador, and on the other, a dense pine grove creating a natural shadow.
Tomashevac is a good place for a family holiday in Opatija (Croatia). There is a clean and calm sea, convenient entry into the water, there is a playground and a trampoline park, several fast-food cafes, a supermarket and a souvenir shop. You can also play volleyball on the beach or rent a catamaran.
Not far from the famous attraction of Opatija – Villa “Angolaina”, is the Lido beach, awarded the Blue Flag of the FEO. The main city road leads directly to the sandy coast, and for those who come by car, there is a public asphalt parking.
The water on Lido is warm and very clean, safe entry into the water is via metal stairs. The beach offers views of Uchka Mountain, and a pine forest is planted behind a sand strip.
Lido has several cafes and a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine. Fans of active entertainment can go to the rental area and go on a trip by boat or catamaran. In the summertime, theater performances or open-air movies are shown on the beach every evening.
Lido is not quite suitable for little travelers, since the sea is quite deep and it is better for children not to swim without special equipment.
7 km from Opatija is the small town of Lovran. It is widely known among tourists for its pebble-sandy beaches with turquoise water. The main ones are Pegarovo and Kvarner, they are marked with Blue Flags and equipped with all necessary amenities, including sun loungers and umbrellas, changing cabins, showers and toilets.
Lovran is a health resort. All vacationers can relax in the spa centers of hotels located on the beaches. In addition, there are several excellent restaurants and pizzerias with a wide range of dishes at affordable prices, for example, Stari Grad and Lovranska Vrata.
Just 8 km from Opatija (Croatia) is the picturesque beach of Medvezha. Located at the foot of Ukka Mountain on the shores of the blue Kvarner Bay, it immerses you in the natural beauty of Croatia from the first minutes.
A two-kilometer pebble beach will provide you with everything you need for a comfortable stay. There are two cafes, a bar and a restaurant with delicious seafood dishes, a playground, water attractions, comfortable sunbeds, large umbrellas and much more.
On the territory of Medvezhy there is a small water park and a sports area where you can play volleyball, water polo, as well as rent a boat and diving equipment. When night falls, the beach turns into an open-air club with incendiary dances and invigorating drinks.
Moschanichka Draga is a small town 13 km south of Opatija. Through the entire coast of the resort stretches a 2-kilometer eponymous beach, strewn with small pebbles. Moschanichka Draga is surrounded by a mountain and a dense pine grove, there is clear water, convenient gradual sunset and shallow depth – many families with children come here.
There are various amenities and entertainment venues throughout the beach. There are sun loungers and umbrellas, changing rooms and a shower, two restaurants, a fast food cafe, a bar, a sports complex, windsurfing and diving centers, a small playground, benches and a rental area for water equipment. Paid parking is right next to the beach – 50 kuna per hour. There are facilities for the disabled.
The twelve-kilometer coast of Opatija and five nearby villages are decorated with a thin and winding Lungo Mare promenade. This is a favorite place for walking for all the tourists of the city, it is here that chic hotels, the most expensive restaurants and beautiful sights are located.
The seafront changes its appearance during the day. At first it is an excellent platform for meeting the rising sun, at lunch it is a road filled with tourists in wet bathing suits, in the evening it is a kind of red carpet for travelers, and at night it is an open-air club. Do not stroll along Lungo Mare – do not visit Opatija. Do not allow yourself such a luxury!
The attraction, built in 1956, and to this day is the main symbol of the city of Opatija. The sad legend of the love of a sailor and a girl waiting for his return inspired this stone image of one of the most famous sculptors of Croatia – Zvonko Tsar. With his own hands, he returned the beloved to the girl, putting a seagull on her hand, because these birds, according to the traditions of local residents, are the souls of sailors.
A romantic statue is located at the end of the Sea Embankment, near the Kvarner Hotel. There, among the stones and boulders, the fragile girl is still waiting for the return of her beloved.
Advice! Come to this attraction late at night. When the setting sun turns its red rays to the sculpture, it seems that it is about to descend from the stone pedestal to meet its love. It is at this time and in this place that you can take the most beautiful photos from Opatija.
Since 1844, Opatija has been decorated with another attraction – a chic villa built by Roman aristocrat H. Scarp. A great lover of nature, Sir Scarp ordered to plant on 3.64 hectares of land surrounding the villa, all the exotic plants that can be obtained. For more than 150 years of existence, the number of trees, bushes and flowers in the park has reached several hundreds and exceeded 160 species. There are palm trees, bamboos, magnolias, begonias and other plants that are almost impossible to find in other parts of Croatia. The park is ennobled by benches, fountains and sculptures, it is pleasant to spend time here at any time of the day.
At the end of the 19th century, the villa was rebuilt as a health resort, and in the early 2000s, the Croatian Museum of Tourism was opened here. In the summertime, concerts and theater performances are organized on the open stage in the park. The complex is located at Park Angiolina 1.
St. James Cathedral was built at the beginning of the 15th century. It is built in a restrained Romanesque style, its brick walls and sharp domes attract with its combination of charm and simplicity. This is a quiet place for a relaxing holiday, and from the hill on which the church is built, you can admire the beautiful view of Opatija. Address: Park Sv. Jakova 2.
Advice! On Saturday, the church holds many weddings, if you want to witness a beautiful act of marriage – come here from 10 am to 5 pm.
Another beautiful Opatija temple is located at Joakima Rakovca 22, near Slatina Beach. It was built of brick and granite, and its unusual altar, decorated with satin fabrics and the figure of St. Mary, has been impressing tourists with its beauty for many years.
Interesting fact! The Annunciation Church is one of the few unreconstructed in all of Croatia. Despite the fact that the attraction was built over a century ago, it still retains its original appearance.
Voloshko is one of the towns through which Morskaya Embankment passes. Homely, simple and comfortable – this is how the tourists of Opatija speak of it. Narrow and small streets are completely ennobled by comfortable benches, beautiful shrubs, flowers and trees.
Please note that this is not a pedestrian zone and cars can drive here, although we advise travelers to leave their cars in the parking lot and not take risks on steep descents and narrow bends. In the village you can have a tasty meal in one of the inexpensive restaurants.
Like other resorts in Croatia, Opatija is not characterized by low housing prices. For every day spent in a double room, you need to pay a minimum of 60 euros, accommodation in a four-star hotel will cost no less than 80 €, in a five-star hotel – 130 €.
The best Opatija hotels, according to travelers, are:
- Remisens Premium Hotel Ambasador, 5 stars. The beach is one minute, breakfast is included. From 212 € / two.
- Apartments Diana, 4 stars For a double room you need to pay only 70 euros, to the promenade 100 meters.
- Hotel Villa Kapetanovic, four star hotel. The beach is an 8-minute walk, daily fee is 130 €, breakfast is included in the price.
- Amadria Park Royal, 4 stars, with its own beach. The cost of rest – a minimum of 185 € + free breakfast.
Travelers who want to save on accommodation can seek help from residents of Croatia. So, renting a studio a 5-minute walk from the sea costs from 30 €, and a separate room can be rented for only 20 €.
Cafes and Restaurants in Opatija
Compared to other resort towns in Croatia, food prices in Opatija are within the normal range. For example, for a full three-course dinner, each vacationer will have to pay about 130 kunas in an inexpensive cafe or from 300 kn in high-class restaurants. The best food establishments in Opatija are:
- Restaurant Roko Opatja. Buying natural products from farmers, representatives of this family-run establishment prepare absolutely everything that is served in their restaurant, including bread. High prices, excellent level of service. Average cost of a dish: 80 kn for a side dish, 110 kn for meat or fish, 20 kn for desserts.
- Žiraffa. Inexpensive cafe is located in the center of Opatija, near the main attractions. For only 50 kunas you can order a meat / fish dish, a salad of fresh vegetables and chicken will cost 35 kn.
- Kavana Marijana. The best Italian pizzeria in Opatija in its price category. Friendly and fast staff, cozy atmosphere and delicious pizza of 80 kunas – what else is needed for happiness! It also serves hot meals and desserts.
How to get to Opatija
From Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries, you can fly to the city only with a transfer to Pula or Zagreb.
The distance between Opatija and Zagreb is 175 km, which can be overcome by bus or car (taxi):
- At the central metro bus station, take the Autotrans Zagreb-Opatija bus. Ticket price – 100-125 kuna per person, you can order on the carrier’s website (www.autotrans.hr). Travel time – 3 hours 5 minutes, the last bus leaves at 15:00;
- If you want to arrive in Opatija in the evening, drive from the central bus station to Rijeka for 7-12 euros (2 hours on the road), and then transfer to the Rijeka-Opatja bus. The cost of the trip is 28 kunas, the journey is less than half an hour. On both routes, cars leave every 15-30 minutes.
- Traveling between cities by car will take only 2 hours, you will need about 17-20 euros for gasoline. The cost of such a taxi ride is from 110 €.
There is a good bus service between the cities, in order to cover 100 km you will need about two hours and 80-100 kunas per person. The first car leaves on a given route at 5 in the morning, the last at 20:00. You can find out the exact timetable and ticket prices at www.balkanviator.com.
Independent travel by car will take only 1 hour 10 minutes, 10-15 euros will be required for gasoline. A similar taxi ride will cost about 60 €.
Opatija (Croatia) is a beautiful city, ready to give you hundreds of positive impressions. Come here to enjoy the fresh air, warm sea and beautiful sights. Have a nice trip!
Beautiful video with views of Opatija at sunset.