Nestled at the foot of thickly forested mountain slopes overlooking the Kvarner Bay, the coastal town of Opatija is dotted with charming seaside walkways, beautifully tended parks and majestic villas inherited from its days as a posh Vienesse health resort.
With a famously mild climate afforded by its unparalleled setting between the Adriatic and the Učka Mountain, Opatija boasts the longest tradition of tourism in Croatia. Upon the arrival of a wealthy Italian businessman by the name of Ignio Scarpa in 1844, what was once little more than a fishing village soon turned into the favourite playground for the 19th century Viennese, who came here to escape the winter cold and seek cures for their various ailments. This, of course, is heavily reflected in the city’s impressive Vienese-style architecture, characterized by a succession of luxuriant parks and sweeping promenades which alternate with stately buildings.
Today, Opatija remains renowned amongst European tourists, who flock to the resort all year long in search of a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. While some visitors are drawn by its lofty mountains and the ideal conditions they provide for hiking and similar adventurous activities, others come here to dip their toes in the crystal-clear Adriatic sea and soak in the magnificent views over the nearby islands of Krk and Cres, which are easily accessed either by car or ferry.