One of the the things that excites us massively about now living in northern Croatia, is our proximity to so far undiscovered islands, very close to home. Greece has alway been our favoured destination of island exploration and we’ve never really given the Croatian islands a second thought. Until now…
We’ve extensively explored the Istrian peninsula because it is quite small and all roads tend to lead you back to the same places. So recently, we decided to get off the peninsula and head to the nearest island. Krk.
Krk is located on the eastern side of the peninsula, meaning we could do a stop-over in the beautiful, and very opulent, Opatija. With its wide sweeping beach, flower filled boulevards and imposing, stunningly beautiful Austro-Hungarian residences (mostly now hotels and apartments but perfectly preserved). Opatija is just the place to go to if you live in the middle of nowhere and need a city blast 😉 It also has the added advantage of a public lido which is just the best place for sunbathing, swimming in the sea, dipping in the pool, being massaged or just generally people watching…
Unlike most islands, Krk is reached by a road bridge, just beyond the port city of Rijeka. It’s a small island so within 20 minutes of leaving the mainland we were in the centre of fortified Krk old town. You can feel the history of the town, as you wander the cobbled streets and explore the Romanesque cathedral and the 12th-century Frankopan castle. The harbour is beautiful – fishing boats and small ferries bob about on crystal clear turquoise waters, and restaurants, serving up largely the freshest of fish, line the seafront. Although clearly a tourist destination, Krk still manages to retain the feeling of a small town. Albeit in the most spectacular location.
We found a gorgeous place to stay, right in the heart of the old town. Again, via Booking.com – and no, we’re not on commission! We just find this website to work best for us and it generally comes up trumps. As it did this time with Citta Vecchia Apartments. Located just off one of the cobbled streets, behind the city walls, these apartments are described as a B&B, but the word “boutique” springs to mind a whole lot more. A restaurant (where breakfast is served) is located downstairs at street level – small & cosy, with typically traditional stone walls. Up a flight of external stairs, and through a gorgeous garden with outdoor dining tables, is the accommodation. Pristine and well presented, with another one of those showers which you just need in your own home. We were offered welcome drinks in the garden (with views of the city walls) and had the option to dine in the garden in the evening. As this was a short stay, we decided against dining in, preferring instead the harbour, but we think we’ll do this on a subsequent visit, especially as the menu was very enticing.
Citta Vecchia is located on J.J. Strossmayera 36, 51500 Krk, Croatia – we paid €95.20 for a suite (suitable for 4 people) with two separate rooms and a private bathroom, with breakfast included. Well worth every penny! Friends with us took another room, which was €68 and was more than adequate for 2 people, with breakfast included – copious coffee, juices, cereals, meats, cheeses, eggs, fresh bread etc and all served in the gorgeous vine covered garden. A thoroughly recommended place to stay.
Krk harbour – and just behind it – the old walled town – are pretty stunning. We had a real show the evening we stayed. The city walls were lined with people setting off flares, boats in the harbour were full of peole singing and letting of bright pink flares and a spectacular fireworks display erupted just as we arrived. We thought it must have been a festival, but no – it was football fans, celebrating Rijeka winning the league 😉 A memorable trip to a very beautiful city.