OPATIJA – THE QUEEN OF THE ADRIATIC
Opatija, a magnificent coastal town on the Adriatic Sea and a well-known 19th-century health resort for Austro - Hungarian aristocracy and nobility of that time, today is a popular holiday destination for tourists from all over the world. This elegant tourist destination, lies at the centre of its Riviera with the longest tradition of tourism in Croatia, in complete harmony with nature.
Well-maintained public gardens, the illuminated 10-km-long coastal promenade known as the "Lungomare", well-kept beaches and fountains provide a stunning backdrop for the villas and hotels that cater comfortably for over 9,000 guests. The magnificent villas and hotels are only part of Opatija's attraction which, like the sirens's chant, is hard to resist. Their classical beauty has easily weathered the ravages of time. The contrasts of sea and mountains, green parks and blue ocean, old buildings and modern comforts, entertainment venues and quiet destinations for excursions, excellent restaurants and indigenous taverns and a mild and pleasant climate all combine to make Opatija and its surroundings a very attractive tourist resort at any time of the year.
Opatija was officially declared a climatic health resort for the aristocracy and prominent people of the time in 1889, and was the first of its kind in the entire Adriatic. Today, Opatija is one of the most popular wellness and health tourism destinations in Croatia and beyond. Opatija is a thriving and vibrant town throughout the year and the list of cultural and entertainment events goes on and on.
After the New Year celebrations, a whole string of interesting events follow. January and February are traditionally marked by the Carnival, which transforms Opatija along with the 12 km distant city of Rijeka, into a huge international carnival stage. February also dresses Opatija in a romantic veil celebrating the Day of Saint Valentine. It is the period when many international couples choose Opatija as the venue for their most romantic day, a wedding day.
After a cold winter, Opatija from March until May turns into a paradise for wellness lovers thanks to an annual series of events entitled “Opatija– An Oasis of Wellbeing”.
From the end of May to the end of September, Summer in Opatija events take place, which include numerous concerts, festivals, operas,… held in the beautiful surroundings of the Open-air theatre. The last weekend of June is reserved for the popular RetrOpatija, a musical time during which hundreds of participants and thousands of visitors revive the spirit of the "swinging" thirties, the "crazy" seventies, the "rocking" eighties and other periods through fashion, music and decorations, but also through the special offers of local restaurants and craftsmen.
The year traditionally ends with Winter in Opatija, a rich program with many events such as the Opatija Advent - The Most Beautiful Advent by the Sea. Luxuriously decorated streets and squares, an ice skating rink, and various musical and theatrical performances at numerous magnificent locations are just a small part of the enchanting Advent programme. The sound of Christmas carols can be heard all around, and the delightful scents of mulled wine and hot chocolate guarantee a truly memorable experience for all visitors.
The Chocolate Festival is another event that traditionally takes place during the Advent and brings together excellent chocolate manufacturers. During the festival, Opatija turns into a small chocolate paradise offering its visitors interesting lectures and workshops dedicated to chocolate, as well as various musical programmes and entertainment for children. The alluring scent of chocolate wafts through the air, inviting everyone to enjoy a piece of their favourite chocolate.
Top things to do
What to see in Opatija
Opatija is one of Croatia’s most famous tourist destinations and is considered to be the cradle of tourism in Croatia. Its rich history of welcoming visitors dates back to the 19th century. Opatija was initially a winter health resort for elite guests and is today a much-frequented destination throughout the year and a favourite summer resort, thanks to the area’s pleasant climate and numerous beautiful beaches.
Walking down the main street of Opatija, you’ll find the Croatian Walk of Fame with marble stars commemorating famous artists, musicians, writers, and other prominent people. The famous Lungomare coastal promenade, which stretches from Volosko to Lovran, winds its way through Angiolina Park, which is distinguished by its camellia flowers and a variety of other plant species. Take a walk to the Church of St. James and the surrounding park to acquaint yourself with the site around which the town emerged. Discover the charming symbol of Opatija, the statue of the Girl with the Seagull, and the enchanting small harbour known locally as Portić. Here, you’ll also find the statue of Opatija’s legendary boatman, the ‘barkajol’, which reminds visitors of the importance of this profession in the past.
Wellness & Spa
Opatija is a town visited by many people for its relaxing atmosphere and numerous wellness centres that offer authentic anti-stress experiences. If you’d like to take a break from your daily worries, Opatija will help you invigorate your body and soul.
Did you know that Opatija was officially declared a climatic health resort for the aristocracy and prominent people of the time in 1889, and was the first of its kind in the entire Adriatic? Today, we can say that Opatija is one of the most popular wellness and health tourism destinations in Croatia and beyond.
After a cold winter, Opatija in March turns into a paradise for wellness lovers thanks to an annual series of events entitled “March – An Oasis of Wellness”. Fantastic massages, facial and body treatments, relaxing baths and sauna sessions, as well as soothing aromatherapy are all here to help you restore your energy. Special daily offers, weekend getaways, and personalised holiday packages will pamper you regardless of the length of your stay.
Opatija’s superb cuisine is renowned throughout the area. Its numerous restaurants offer interesting recipes prepared with fresh ingredients. The town also hosts a number of festivals dedicated to selected specialities and quality food. Opatija is home to some of Croatia’s best restaurants. Opatija’s top restaurants and traditional konoba-taverns, which offer fresh local ingredients and extensive wine lists, round off the experience of this fantastic town for every visitor.
Walking along the Lungomare coastal promenade and the town’s charming streets, you’ll find excellent restaurants offering a wide range of fresh seafood, interesting Mediterranean dishes, and a variety of meat platters.
Opatija is the right place to enjoy food. The town regularly hosts various festivals dedicated to selected specialities.
December is the time for a festival dedicated to the most popular sweet of all: chocolate. During the three festival days, you’ll experience chocolate combinations that you’ve never seen before. Take this opportunity to try fantastic chocolate desserts prepared by top confectioners and chocolatiers from Croatia and abroad.
Caring about health, and taking part in sports and recreational activities is of great importance. Pleasant walks, hiking, swimming, cycling – you can experience all these in Opatija and its surroundings.
If you enjoy hiking, we recommend climbing up to Vojak, the highest peak on Mount Učka. The view from this peak is worth every effort! Mount Učka and its protected nature park are ideal for trekking and hiking, and if you’d like to try something more adventurous, the area is also ideal for mountain biking.
For all those who like putting out to sea, enjoying the scent of the sea and feeling the wind in their hair, sailing in Kvarner Bay is the ideal choice. The proximity of the islands, the fantastic sea and the excellent climate are just some of the features that make an enjoyable boat tour.
The charming fishing village of Volosko, close to Opatija, is a place where you can go windsurfing. In the centre of Opatija, you can enjoy an unforgettable kayaking adventure. Rent a kayak or go on a guided kayak tour along the beaches of Preluk, Volosko and Ičići. If you like to explore what’s beneath the sea, you can also rent scuba diving equipment.
Racing car enthusiasts will enjoy the Opatija Rally that traditionally takes place every year along the challenging roads in Opatija.
Luxuriously decorated streets and squares, an ice skating rink, and various musical and theatrical performances at numerous magnificent locations are just a small part of the enchanting Advent in Opatija programme. The sound of Christmas carols can be heard all around, and the delightful scents of mulled wine and hot chocolate guarantee a truly memorable experience for all visitors. A festive atmosphere, mild winter climate and the closeness of the sea together make the perfect recipe for the Advent of your dreams.
If you decide to take a walk through St. James’s Park and next to the Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy unforgettable musical programmes in a real Christmas atmosphere. Just a few steps away from the sea, there is an ice skating rink at the town’s Open Air Theatre which offers visitors an unusual experience. An event not to be missed is the traditional lighting of Advent candles, which will additionally lift your Christmas spirits.
The Chocolate Festival is another event that traditionally takes place during the Advent in Opatija programme. For more than 10 years, this festival has been bringing together excellent chocolate manufacturers and continues to get better each year. During the festival, Opatija turns into a small chocolate paradise offering its visitors interesting lectures and workshops dedicated to chocolate, as well as various musical programmes and entertainment for children. The alluring scent of chocolate wafts through the air, inviting everyone to enjoy a piece of their favourite chocolate.
A Christmas Tale at Učka Nature Park offers visitors an authentic winter setting at the info point located at Poklon Pass. Children will love the festively decorated room where they can meet Santa Claus, who will carefully listen to their wishes and give them candies. While children are whispering their secrets into Santa’s ear, their parents can enjoy a hot drink in a relaxing atmosphere.
A packed musical programme is an indispensable part of any New Years’ Eve party, which in Opatija lasts until the early morning hours. With fireworks and good music, this is always a great way to see in the new year. See you during Advent in Opatija.