Island of Krk, legend and reality
Among the 1185 Croatian islands, only one of them is the golden one, the Insula Aurea – the island of Krk. Located in the centre of the Kvarner bay, it is considered one of the most attractive tourist destinations. Its mild Mediterranean climate, good geographical position and variety of natural and cultural beauties gave it, even in ancient times, the name "Golden Island". Its cultural heritage has given it another name – the cradle of Croatian culture, whilst at the beginning of the 20th century it gained the name the “sixth continent”.
The 45th parallel passes through the island, whilst its longest part is 38 km and its widest 20 km long. Its coast is around 190 km long. The closest mainland is only about a hundred meters away. Its neighbouring islands are the island of Cres and Rab.
A few smaller islands also pertain to it (the largest being Plavnik, which has 17 km coastline and the smaller Školjić with just 400 m coastline). It has an unusual and varied relief, climbing from the north western part to the south eastern part, from picturesque gentle coves and lagoons, along fertile fields and dense forests with submediterranean vegetation, to the parts of bare limestone and real mountain landscape. On the island of Krk there are three streams and two lakes.
On the highest mountaintop, Obzovi (570 m), visitors may forget that they are actually on an island. Here some very specific phenomena can be found – such as the flora in Krk, which comprises around 1400 species of land plants, which almost half of the total in Croatia. Its unique plant the “Barbašova lazarkinja” is one of the world's rarities and it only grows in the Baška lagoon.
Amongst its fauna, we can count rare species too, bird species, for example, vary from eagles/vultures to the oriental steppe "vrški tić". To all this complex contrast of natural characteristics we should add Mediterranean climate – hot summers and mild winters, a cold continental wind that blows from the north-east-the bora and the humid jugo, and a pleasant summer wind, the mistral, that blows from the west.
Literally all roads lead to the island of Krk: from the land – over the Krk bridge; from the sea – by boats into the ports or small marinas, and by ferry to the Valbiska harbour, from the air – by plane to Rijeka's airport which is located close to Omišalj.
The island of Krk is just 30 kilometres away from the city of Rijeka – which is the traffic, business, commercial, university and cultural centre of Kvarner. No matter which road you choose, on your arrival to the island of Krk, you will certainly find that the golden island has been honoured with the uniqueness of variety – and is a connection between the present and the past, the modernity and the ancient, the legend and the reality.
Since ancient times it has been believed that the destiny of the island of Krk is connected to number seven: it was inhabited by the Croatian people in the 7th century, it has survived attacks by pirates seven times, the seventh nobleman from the Frankopan family was the last Prince of Krk. Today the island of Krk has seven centres, Omišalj, Malinska- Dubašnica, Krk,Punat, Baška, Dobrinj , Vrbnik, well known touristic destinations.