Coming to Kvarner is like a steppingstone for future discoveries of Istria. Rijeka and Opatija are representing a gate that will introduce you to the world full of gorgeous monuments, food of extreme quality, rural areas full of relatively undiscovered territories and historic elements that are always here to teach you a couple of things. At the beginning of all that, Opatija waits for you like a best host in the world. In the next paragraphs, you will learn more about the beauties of the “Lady of Kvarner”. Istria has many exceptional values and it is presenting its qualities in the best of light. This sample itinerary presents, among other things, some notable highlights about this region.
The Austro Hungarian spirit is wonderfully preserved and many buildings that were attracting tourists back in 19th century are doing the same thing today. While walking the main street from the top of the town to the bottom, your eyes will meet villas and mansions that exude with luxury and elegance. More than 100 years ago, Opatija was one of the focal points for Austro – Hungarian elites that were searching the place for the best spa and wellness treatments. Today, the legacy continues and people are gathering here for the much needed rest and relaxation on the local Spa sites. Among the most famous guests, we have to mention James Joyce, Giacomo Pucini, Franz Joseph and Isadora Duncan.
To see all the famous sites that are spread around the town, it is best to take a walk on the famous Opatija promenade named after Franz Joseph 1st. It was built in 1911. and it connects Opatija with fishing village of Volosko, Ičići, Ika and Lovran. The Opatija beaches are also a significant part of town’s appeal. While taking a long walk on the promenade, you can choose between the beaches you like and come back later to enjoy sea splashing and sunbathing. Also, don’t forget to stand by the shore for a few moments and admire the famous statue “The maiden with the seagull”. It is the symbol not only of Opatija but the entire Kvarner region. When coming to the town port by a boat, the statue will greet you with its appearance.
Opatija promenade is not only connecting the places, it is connecting people of different nationalities and races.
While sightseeing notable sites, you will see one of the oldest villas in Opatija: Angiolina. Once in the past, Angiolina was a modest house that was converted later in the prodigious villa. After that, many notable people from the society’s elite started hearing about this sublime piece of architecture and decided to pay Opatija a visit. Around the villa, there is one of the most astonishing parks in Croatia. It is divided in 60 separate fields and you can find around 150 herbal species there. Many of the herbs and plants originate from different parts of the world and are not common for Croatian territories. In the park, you can also find the Church of St. James. It is worth mentioning that the story and history of Opatija is closely related to this church and monastery (Opatija is the Croatian word for abbey)
You probably heard before about the famous Hollywood walk of fame. Now, it is time to walk on the Croatian version that is dedicated to notable people from country’s society. While passing by the central beach, you will see the names of people that greatly contributed to the worldwide promotion of Croatia. Some of the people represented here are still alive and some of them received a dedication posthumously.
Overall, we invite you to visit Opatija and see its wonder in a way that suits you the best. Sometimes in our head, we all want to live somewhere where the promenades are clean and filled with eye-soaring sights, houses are grand and rustically furnished and people will tell you some interesting facts and peculiarities about the town’s history. Well, in Opatija, you can see it in a two weeks time during your vacation. Pack your bags and Opatija away!