The following places are presented here in more detail: North Velebit National Park, Rijeka, Cres Island, Losinj Island, Krk Island, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Crikvenica, Rab Island, Novi Vinodolski, Senj, Moscenicka Draga.
Good campsites in the Kvarner Bay
- Camp Ujča (Ujča 146/a, 53284, Sveti Juraj, Croatia)
- Camping Korana (47246, Čatrnja, Rakovica, Croatia)
Other destinations in Croatia:
Istria, North Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia, South Dalmatia
NATIONAL PARK NORTH VELEBIT / KRASNO
Pack your hiking boots! The North Velebit National Park is located in a nature reserve of about 2,200 km², the largest in Croatia. Here wolves and also brown bears have found their home between lookout points, climbing rocks and huge caves.
The way to Croatia's youngest national park makes the heart of every motorcyclist beat faster. Even the ride from Jablanac or Senj into the Velebit mountains offers views that you can otherwise only admire on postcards. Our tip: the coastal road from Jablanac has relatively little traffic and the adjacent pass Veliki Alan is well paved.
The mountain hut Zavižan, located north in the park, accommodates both guests of the national park and Croatia's oldest meteorological measuring station. The popularity of the hut can be easily explained by the great view of the Kvarner Bay as well as its strategic location. From here, at an altitude of 1654m, you can start about half of all official hiking trails through the national park. From the mountain hut Zavižan it takes just a quarter of an hour to get to the Botanical Garden.
The second major well-known starting point is the hut Alan, which is a good starting point for hikes to the northern and central Velebit.
Also recommended is the karst valley Veliki Lubenovac in the protected reserve Hajducki.
Enjoy the feeling of becoming one with nature, take a breath and be yourself.
If you want to travel to one of the more than 1,000 islands of the Kvarner Bay, you probably can't avoid the port city of Rijeka. On the Korzo, the pedestrian zone in the city center, Rijeka shows its sophisticated side. The old town presents buildings from different eras and you almost feel as if you were in a city like Vienna. You should definitely visit one of the market halls with their lush fruit and vegetable stands and the fish hall. Here, the goods are only a few meters away from the point of sale and you can choose from the unbelievably fresh variety of products for your barbecue.
The Molo Longo, an almost 2km long breakwater at Rijeka's harbor, is perfect for walking along the harbor basin and also offers a good view of the city.
Somewhat above Rijeka sits the Trsat Castle. Its Franciscan monastery, with its shrine to Our Lady, is the oldest sanctuary in Croatia and also the largest pilgrimage site in the country. You can reach Trasat directly from the old town via 561 steps and as a reward you will be offered a magnificent view of the city.
In the north of the Kvarner Bay lies the popular island of Cres. You can get to it in different ways:
- Coming from the north: by ferry from Brestova to Porozina
- Coming from the island of Losinj: a swing bridge connects Cres with Osor on Losinj
- Coming from the island of Krk: by ferry from Valbinska to Merag
For swimming you should prefer the south and west side of the island, where you can often find sandy and pebble beaches. If you prefer hiking, you can climb the two highest mountains Gorice (648m) and Sis (638m), which will reward you with a beautiful view.
The homonymous town of Cres hosts a lot of sports and recreational activities and is a good starting point for tours to surrounding towns and bays.
Nearby is Lubenice, situated 378m above sea level. The place consists of a medieval fortress, many churches and a handful of inhabitants. Remains of the town walls and the town gate still exist and surround the buildings of the then strategically important town of Lubenice. Time stands still in Lubenice. The Mediterranean flair of the town is reflected in every alley. In addition to five churches and a large bell tower, stone houses line the narrow streets.
In the west of the island, the village of Martinscica welcomes you behind hills covered with olive trees, currently still a real insider tip for a few relaxing days by the sea. The pebble beach is miles long and flat, here you can always find a quiet spot for yourself.
Valun and its surroundings are ideal for a motorcycle tour through the Pernat Mountains to the north.
Already in the 9th century BC there were first settlers on the site of today's Osor. Until the 15th century Osor was the capital of Cres and Losinj. The so-called "museum town" lives up to its name. The town hall, the bishop's palace, the remains of the old town walls, the cathedral and a multitude of sculptures make this place a real treasure.
Losinj - the island of fragrances, lives up to its name. In summer, the island becomes a sea of flowers in some places. The sea around the islands of Losinj and Cres has been declared a protected area for dolphins, which you can admire on site.
Mali Losinj - the "big Losinj" is located in a protected bay. The pulsating main street with its restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores forms a strong contrast to the small, winding alleys, where you can take a short breather and then plunge back into the adventure or master the path along the stone steps to the higher parish church. From there you have a good overview of the town. The aromatic garden of Losinj offers you the opportunity to experience the intensity and diversity of the local (medicinal) herbs.
Nearby is the forest park Cikat, whose trails invite you to a leisurely walk or hiking excursion. If you are already there, you should visit the Ciktat bay, whose beach belongs to one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.
The small village Veli Losinj nestles perfectly into its surroundings. The colorful rows of houses line the way along the promenade, further into town the Uskok tower awaits you, which protected the former inhabitants from pirates. The small town of Veli Losinj can also boast several churches worth seeing.
KRK - the largest Croatian island
The island of Krk comprises about 60 villages. Already the approach from the mainland over the more than 1km long bridge (starting from Kraljevica) gives you an idea of the dimension of this huge island.
Right in the north the stalactite cave Biserujka awaits you. The cave was discovered about 120 years ago and has been attracting numerous tourists since 1998. Nearby is the town of Dobrinj, which is a very good starting point for further discovery tours on the island of Krk.
In Silo you will find beautiful beaches and bathing bays as a contrast to sweating in motorcycle gear. Wellness takes on a whole new dimension in the village of Soline near Silo: on the beach Meline people rub themselves with the famous healing mud, which has positive properties on the body and helps, for example, in the treatment of rheumatism, sciatica and skin diseases. Apply mud on the whole body - let it dry in the sun and then wash it off in warm salt water - ready is the Croatian healing mud treatment!
A secret tip for the "adventure in between" is the abandoned village Dolovo. Nature has reclaimed the village, which was inhabited only a few decades ago, and now makes this lost place a very special spot, although it can only be reached via small paths.
The village of Vrbnik has been built in harmony with the rock below it since the Stone Age. The charm of the old village resonates in every alley, the alley Klancic is even one of the narrowest alleys in the world! Suck in your stomach, it really gets narrow! Let yourself drift along the narrow streets, which cleverly wind around wine taverns and restaurants, to finally let you move on, satisfied and relaxed. The picturesque pebble beach Potovosce very close to Vrbnik as well as (for lovers of sand under their feet) the sandy beach Sveti Marak are highly recommended. Our recommendation: get on your motorcycle and let yourself drift, you are guaranteed to find a beautiful bay near Vrbnik.
The town of Krk leaves nothing to be desired: in the historic town center, the Vela Placa (the large square, more or less the center of the town) attracts visitors with quaint pubs, interesting stores and historic buildings. Only a short distance away are a 12th century castle, a cathedral, interesting churches and the town's landmark: the gleaming white bell tower, which proudly presents itself and its town even from a distance.
Those who love yachts are in good hands in the port of Punat with more than 850 berths. Bathing fun is also provided with numerous beaches. The town center itself, with its modern ambience and numerous restaurants and stores, provides a Mediterranean vacation flair. Next to Punat is the monastery island of Košljun, where cab boats can quickly take you to the popular island, whose size of just 6.5 hectares is out of all proportion to its enormous cultural wealth. The Franciscan monastery and the church of the islet date back to different centuries and have been changed from time to time in the course of time. The rest of the island is dominated by nature and is worth a long walk.
Saddle your motorcycle, because between the towns of Punat, Krk, Kornić and Vrbnik hides a real treasure of ancient architecture and religion: the Church of St. Dunat. A similar church is located near the village of Milohnići (Church of St. Chrysogonus).
Plan a motorcycle stop in the Baška Valley. Baška is famous for its 2km long fine pebble beach, which makes all vacation dreams come true. The town itself is home to many churches worth seeing, as well as a large aquarium where sea creatures can be seen up close. However, the glagolithic path deserves special attention, which leads from the Treskavac Pass to the old Riva in the port of Baska. Here are scattered imposing stone monuments of letters in Glagolithic script, which should remind you of the Croatian culture.
Other interesting places: Malinska, Njivice and Omisalj.
NATIONAL PARK PLITVICE LAKES
The Plitvice Lakes National Park will simply blow you away. The oldest national park in southeastern Europe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has more than earned this distinction. Countless animals and plants live here on 300,000ha, including bears and wolves. Even the Winnetou movies were partly filmed here.
The most famous section of the park is a hiking trail across 16 lakes, whose turquoise waters effortlessly captivate their viewers. The lakes are connected by caves, waterfalls and other natural formations. There are numerous hiking trails through the park, each one worthwhile. Many of the trails lead to Veliki Slap, Croatia's largest waterfall, which plunges an impressive 78m. The smaller waterfall Galovacki Buk, is equally breathtakingly beautiful. If you have seen Treasure in the Silver Lake, you should definitely go to Supljara Cave near the Jezero Gavanora and Jezero Kaluderovac lakes. This place gave the film the right atmosphere.
Plan at least one full day for the Plitvice Lakes National Park, you won't regret it.
8 km of beach, good food, delicious wine, walks under palm trees, diving, snorkeling and partying in the evening - this is Crikvenica. For those interested in culture, there is also the castle complex of Badanj, which was used between the 4th and 14th centuries, to climb. After the hike you will be rewarded with a magnificent view.
Surrounded by crystal clear water and beautiful beaches, the town of Rab presents itself from afar with its striking 4 bell towers. In summer, a ferry leaves every half hour from Stinica to the popular island. In front of the town, a large parking lot welcomes your beloved vehicle, so you can comfortably set out on foot to explore Rab.
To get a good overview of the town, you can visit the old monastery church of Sv. Andrije from the 11th century. Its bell tower, built a little later (12th century), lets you look over the whole town and coast. The cathedral of St. Mary is also worth a visit. To get some fresh air after sightseeing several churches, monasteries as well as the old prince's palace, you can go to the charmingly laid out city park. Like almost every good city on the Croatian Adriatic, Rab also boasts an impressive fortress: Galjarda Castle. It is conveniently located right next to the city park.
The towns of Banjol, Barbat, Lopar and Kampor set incomparable standards: here one beach is more beautiful than the next and no two are alike. Since Rab is not very big, the best thing to do is to get on your motorcycle and find the beach of your dreams - because it certainly exists here!
In Novi Vinodolski you can breathe easy: the air and water here are even cleaner than elsewhere in the Kvarner Bay. Apparently, the people of past days also appreciated this, which is why Novi Vinodolski was one of the first tourist places in this region. Apart from many interesting churches and the beach and the port, the Novigrad Castle (or its remains after a reconstruction in 1761) is especially interesting. The famous Prince Frankopan once lived here.
For motorcyclists, the surroundings of the small town are especially interesting: no less than six viewpoints invite you to linger - steep and winding approach included.
Senj annually hosts the big summer carnival festival, for which more than 25,000 visitors travel to the town in August. The town, located between the Kapela and Velebit mountains, is home to the Nehaj fortress, which is definitely worth a visit. Fun Fact: "Red Zora", a popular children's movie from 2008, was filmed in Senj.
A special treat for motorcyclists is the municipality of Mošćenička Draga. Amid winding roads with breathtaking views hide the picturesque Mediterranean villages of Mošćenice and Brseč. And to cool down, you drive - always on sight - to one of the two beautiful beaches Sipar or Sv. Ivan.