About Kvarner



Culture, history and the emergence of tourism

Owing to its protected and attractive geographical position, the Kvarner Bay has since ancient times been an interesting goal of many conquerors. Already in 1200 b.C., the Illyrian tribe Liburni settled on the Kvarner shores, where they traded in amber. The remains of walls from their fortresses have been preserved until today. After them, there were the Greeks, the Romans, the Eastern Goths, the Slavs, the Franks, the Byzantines, the Hungarians, the Venetians and the Austrians. 

All of them left an indelible imprint of their civilisations. Today, in the Kvarner region, there are 276 protected cultural monuments, 177 of which are historical units and 161 are historical buildings. 

Those who are interested can read the history of the region from these monuments and art works.

Development of tourism

  • In 1844 the Rijeka patrician Iginio Scarpa set the corner stone for the development of tourism in the region by raising his summerhouse “Villa Angiollina” in Opatija. At the time, Opatija was a small fishing village settled around a Benedictine monastery, i.e. church of St Jacob.
  • In 1878 the family Merzljak built the first wooden bathing place in Novi Vinodolski.
  • In 1884 the first modern hotel Kvarner/Quarnero started working in Opatija.
  • In 1885 the first tourists from Austria, Dr. Conrad Clar and his sick son, visited Mali Lošinj on the island Lošinj, where he regained his health.
  • On March 4 1889 the Emperor Franz Josef proclaimed Opatija as a health resort.

Geo-traffic position

Kvarner has a fantastic geo-traffic position considering that it is the closest exit to sea for the most part of the middle Europe. This is where the middle Europe crosses over into the Mediterranean, and the hilly area with its fortresses, castles and Baroque churches changes over into a Mediterranean landscape with elite coastal villages, harbours, beaches, islands and stone houses.


  • Opatija riviera: Opatija, Lovran, Mošćenička Draga, Medveja, Ičići, Ika, Matulji and Volosko
  • Croatian Littoral: Crikvenica riviera (Crikvenica, Selce, Jadranovo, Dramalj) and Vinodol riviera (Novi Vinodolski, Povile, Klenovica, Drivenik, Grižane, Bribir, Tribalj)
  • Island Krk: Krk, Omišalj, Njivice, Malinska, Punat, Stara Baška, Baška, Vrbnik, Dobrinj, Šilo, Klimno
  • Island Cres: Cres, Osor, Punta Križa, Valun, Lubenice, Beli, Martinšćica
  • Island Lošinj: Mali Lošinj, Veli Lošinj, Nerezine
  • Island Rab: Rab, Kampor, Supetarska Draga, Barbat, Banjol
  • Gorski kotar: Čabar, Delnice, Fužine, Lokve, Ravna Gora, Skrad, Vrbovsko, Mrkopalj,Brod Moravice
  • City of Rijeka and its surroundings: Rijeka, Kastav, Kostrena, Bakar, Kraljevica, Hreljin, Čavle, Jelenje


The excellent geographic position and traffic connections of the entire destination form the basis of a comfortable connection with the road, railroad and air traffic network of the middle Europe, including the sea.

  •  Regular and fast ferry lines from the mainland to the islands: – from Brestova to the islands Cres and Lošinj, – from Jablanac to the island Rab; – inter-insular connection Valbiska (Krk) to Merag (Cres), – line Valbiska (Krk) to Lopar on the island Rab and the bridge connection of the island Krk with the land
  • Regular air lines, low cost carriers and charters of the KVARNER AIR PORT: Rijeka on the island Krk (international), Mali Lošinj (sports), Grobnik (sports)

Zagreb, Ljubljana, Pula, Trieste, Venice

Railroad traffic is based on two rails of international character in the direction of Ljubljana and Zagreb, while the railroad Zagreb – Rijeka is a constituent part of the international transport corridor Budapest – Zagreb – Rijeka.

Highway Rijeka – Zagreb is a part of the European route E65 and a part of the pan-European transport corridor Vb, which is extremely important for the development of tourism and economy and considering the traffic, it is the most cost-efficient Croatian highway. With the end of construction of the full-profile roads on sections of A6 Rijeka – Zagreb, the last section of the highway A4 Zagreb – Goričan and the highway M7 Budapest – Letenye, the construction of the 496.2 km long highway Rijeka – Zagreb –Budapest also ended on the pan-European corridor Vb. Of the total length, 232.5 km are in Hungary and 263.7 km are in Croatia. The duration of the trip has been reduced by 5 hours. Furthermore, a section of the Rijeka beltway, junction Škurinje – junction Diračje, has been opened for traffic in its full profile, 5.2 kilometres long, including the newly-built junction Rujevica, and at the end of 2009 the final 4.5 km long section of the Rijeka beltway was opened in the full profile.

Distance from Rijeka
1120 km
920 km
519 km
400 km
460 km
777 km
250 km
184 km
80 km


Climate Owing to its location, that is, mixing the Mediterranean and mountain-depression climate, Kvarner is regarded as climatically the mildest area of the Adriatic with extraordinary and beneficial climate.

Interesting facts


Bora: dry, cold wind, usually of northeastern direction. Scirocco: humid, warm wind from the southeast. It brings rain. Landward breeze (called maestral): typical daily wind, blowing from the west or southwest, it brings fine, clear weather and makes the summer heat bearable.

The quality of the sea: is better than in other parts of the Adriatic (poor population density with barely any industry), and many beaches obtained the blue flag – symbol of cleanliness, quality of service and ecologically preserved environment.

Ecology, flora and fauna
Area of extremely large biological diversity

Kvarner encompasses in a small area what Croatian nature means to Europe – in the smallest area, we can find different herbal and animal species: Kvarner flora encompasses more than 2700 species (the most famous and the most important for their aromatic effect are sage and rosemary, basil, laurel, myrtle, mint, palms, agave and chestnuts, figs, olives, forest fruit…), and thus it is considered as the richest part of Croatia according to its flora. More than 114 species of birds, considered endangered on the European level, nest in the area (golden eagle, peregrine falcon, griffon vulture, Bonelli’s eagle, short-toed eagle, grouse, owl, snipe…). The island of Krk is the richest area in herbal species, 1500 of them, while Cres and Rab, besides Krk, are proportionally to their size, the richest islands of the Mediterranean according to the number and kind of mammals. The forests of Gorski Kotar are the home of the lynx, bear, wolf, chamois, mouflon, while the river rapids are abundant with the largest trouts in the world. The valley of the river Kupa is famous as “the valley of butterflies”. There are just a few steps from the sage near the sea coast to the pines at mountain peaks!

The following facts clearly show the preservation of natural heritage, today the most important touristic resource: Kvarner is proud of its ecological cleanliness and good, drinkable water which may be drunk directly from the tap. The awards by the international ecological and educational organizations are definitely among the most significant results of ecological activities and educations, so in 2009 in the area of Kvarner, according to the evaluation by the European Evaluation Committee by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), we have 38 “Blue Flags” for beaches (35) and marines (3).