Croatia – Opatija

Firstly, here are some photos taken during our bus ride north from Zadar, a lovely coastal ride passing many picture book villages.

 

dsc03616

 

dsc03631

 

dsc03634

 

dsc03642

 

dsc03646

 

dsc03655

 

Opatija, according to one guide book at least, is often called the “Croatian Monte Carlo” and its easy to see why.

The small  town stands sprawling along a rocky coastline with a backdrop of a pine covered mountains. It’s a beautiful green region and the town is very attractive with its  lovely town centre set on the  waterfront well set up for families.

I read that the town  “lost its sheen” during the Yugoslav period but thats hard to imagine as this is now a very smart resort which seems to be a favourite of  better off Croatian families and couples and from our experience, Italians.

dsc03688

 

dsc03684

 

dsc03685

 

dsc03689

 

dsc03692

 

dsc03699

 

One of many nice bars and restaurants ,often part of a hotel , where a subbed or daybed can be rented for the day - great for posing
One of many nice bars and restaurants, often part of a hotel, where a sunbed or daybed can be rented for the day – great for posing

 

This statue of Madonna has become an icon of Opatija and can be seen on tourist information and postcards everywhere
This statue of Madonna has become an icon of Opatija and can be seen on tourist information and postcards everywhere

 

The architecture of the town is lovely containing many buildings originally built as belle-epoque villas for the wealthy during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Some of these villas remain as grand residences but many became and are still up-market hotels. Some pictures ..

 

dsc03693

 

dsc03721-1

 

dsc03720

 

dsc03719

 

The coast is gorgeous but there are  no beaches as such . The coastline is rocky throughout its length but there are plenty of little bays and places where the water can be accessed usually with the help of railings with ladders into the sea. In a few places, there is a wide expanse of concrete fronting the promenade with access to the sea and with sunbeds and umbrellas for hire and refreshments available.

There is an 11 kilometre long promenade known as the Lungomare which stretches in both directions from Opatija to neighbouring villages and this makes for a really nice walk with some nice villas to ogle at and several places to stop along the way to enjoy a  drink or a meal.

The Lungamare

Another nice bar along the waterfront
Another nice bar along the waterfront

 

This one has its own pool and beds to rent for the day - a great place for the young and beautiful to hang out and pose - we didn't linger.....
This one has its own pool and with sunbeds to rent for the day its a great place for the young and beautiful to hang out and pose – we didn’t linger…..

 

Once you leave the town , the scene becomes like this
Once you leave the town , the scene becomes like this

 

dsc03794

 

dsc03791

 

If you can't find your own spot in one of the little bays or on one of the rocky promontories , or if you just want to be near to a shop/bar/restaurant , there are several places like this where you can spend day.
If you can’t find your own spot in one of the little bays or on one of the rocky promontories, or if you just want to be near to a shop/bar/restaurant, there are several places like this where you can spend the day.

 

dsc03796

 

dsc03752

 

dsc03797

 

Lungamare stretches from the villages of Icici to Volosko. Both are worth wander around and a stop for lunch
Lungamare stretches from the villages of Icici to Volosko. Both are worth wander around and a stop for lunch

 

dsc03785

 

Back in  Opatija itself there are lots of places to sit around and people watch including some very nice manicured gardens. Otherwise there is some nice shopping (but not a great deal – this is a small town) and plenty of nice restaurants to suit every taste in the town. We stayed in an apartment forming part of a family home, superb accommodation with generous hosts. The only issue was that it was situated high above the town and without a car  it was a hell of a climb up many many steps to get back to the house. We were told about the hill when we booked but saw the climb  as a challenge rather than an problem  and only once when we loaded with bags of shopping did we resort to using a taxi .

Our digs in Opatija. A large ground floor apartment beneath a family home.
Our digs in Opatija. A large ground floor apartment beneath a family home.

 

Its probably true to say that of all the places we have travelled so far, Opitija is the one place where we would consider buying a retirement home (OZ and N Z excepted) if it were not for the fact that buying property in Croatia is fraught with difficulty and potential nightmares – its just too difficult!

Here are some more photos of Opatija and the area…….

dsc03702-1

 

dsc03680-1

 

Lots of interesting architecture in the town
Lots of interesting architecture in the town and there is some nice shopping with a few high end shops – but not a huge amount, this is a small town

 

dsc03682-1

 

dsc03742

 

dsc03744

 

dsc03696

 

Croatia's Walk of Fame is in Opatija for some reason..
Croatia’s Walk of Fame is in Opatija for some reason..

 

dsc03675

 

We might well be in a minority because Croatia is full of pretty towns with lots of history but Opatija was our favourite. Our only regret was that our digs were booked up and we were unable to extend our stay.

After four nights in Opatija, our next and penultimate stop in Croatia would be Rovinj.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.