The Adriatic Sea is home to more than 1200 islands, a huge number of islets and big and small bays. It is the source of joy and happiness for many citizens but also visitors of its shores. Six countries have the exit to the Adriatic Sea (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Italy and Slovenia), and the majority of the islands belong to Croatia. Among many islands and gulfs, there is one that got it all - Kvarner, a gulf filled with islands, located in the Adriatic's northeastern part.
The Kvarner Gulf is governed by the Croatian naval service, and it belongs to the Croatian waters. The biggest islands in the Kvarner Gulf are Cres, Krk, Lošinj, Pag, and Rab, with Rijeka and Opatija, being the biggest cities. National Park Risnjak is leaning to this gulf as well. So, sailing around the Adriatic Sea and then entering its biggest gulf Kvarner, is the best option. Whether you are on some small boat, a big ship or a huge cruiser, it doesn't matter. The Kvarner has very deep sea, and with its more that 100 meters under the sea level, this gulf is capable of receiving the biggest cruisers as well.
Let's say that you are on a big cruiser and that the captain decided to show you 5 biggest islands in the Kvarner Gulf. First stop will be Lošinj. Nice, elongated and thin island. Lošinj is an island with around 8000 inhabitants, and two major settlements - Mali and Veli Lošinj. Lošinj is one the rare islands where nature is well-preserved. Also, if you like diving and swimming with the dolphins, this is the place for you. After the quiet island of Lošinj, you should go straight to Pag a party island. Pag is home to "the best parties". The beach Zrće is renowned as the party capital of Croatia.
From Pag, and after a few hours or days of party, it's time to move a bit more to the north. Rab is our next destination. Rab is smaller than the other islands but has so much to offer in terms of history and religion. Many churches and monasteries with amazing medieval and even early-Christian art on the walls will leave you breathless. Seeing Rab will make you fall in love with it. But, it's time to say doviđenja (goodbye) and move to the two biggest islands of the Kvarner Gulf.
Last two islands that you will visit on this tour are the twins by its surface - Krk and Cres. Precisely 405,75 km2 is the surface of each of them. Krk is a particular island since it is connected with the Croatian mainland by the bridge. Krk will surprise you with its history - from Romans and Liburnians to present day, many traces are left here. A bit wild and a bit modern, Krk will greet you with its beautiful green forests and transparent blue sea. But Krk is more than beautiful beaches, and you will see why. Cres is one of the most visited islands in the Adriatic. You can visit the island of Cres by following the paths of Romans, Byzantines, and Napoleon or just hop on a bicycle and enjoy the views of some of the 100 Kvarner Gulf islands. You may end this tour in Rijeka, the main port of the gulf. The Kvarner, a gulf filled with islands, is a place where one can enjoy the view, party hard, learn about the history of Croatia and Europe or just enjoy the perfect combination of green and blue.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.