The Mediterranean as it once was ...
... according to the Croatian National Tourist Board. And
how right they are! Ask any Croatian to describe their country and they will say things like "laid-back,
friendly, good food, great sea-food!, sun, crystal clear waters, beautiful islands, and wild
natural landscapes". Ask any non-Croatian visitor and they are likely to say "all of
the above plus
a cross between Italian coffee bar culture / fashion and Austrian "kavana" - meaning
These two extremes perfectly describe Croatia - illustrated by the imposing
architecture to be found in Zagreb, (designed and built in the 19th century by the
same architects who designed the grand buildings to be found in Vienna and Budapest), through
to the rugged and picturesque coastlines and crystal clear waters found in the Kvarner
Gulf along the Adriatic coast.
Situated in Central Europe, Croatia borders Hungary to the north, Slovenia
to the west, Serbia to the east and Bosnia / Herzegovina to the south.
With Italy only 17 miles from the Croatian border, the canals of Venice are less
than 3 hours away whilst Vienna can be reached in about 4 hours by car.
The majority of the 4.9 million population are of Croatian descent and follow
the Roman Catholic religion, with the remainder descended from Serbian, Bosnian, Hungarian and
Italian roots. As far as climate is concerned, on the coast its very definitely Mediterranean. With
an average of 2,600 hours of sunshine each year, the Adriatic is one of the sunniest coastlines
in Europe where the sea temperature can reach 27°C during summer. Inland its more of a
continental climate with warm summers and colder winters.
The Kvarner Gulf
Located in the north-west of Croatia, and adjacent to the Istrian peninsula,
the Kvarner Gulf is easily accessible from all Mediterranean and mid-european countries. It stretches
from the Opatija Riviera in the northwest to the island of Pag in the south and encompasses the
islands of Krk, Cres, Losinj and Rab. Being a very deep gulf means that the city of Rijeka at
the northernmost point of the region is a bustling sea port that can handle the largest ships
and tankers. You can find an aerial
map of the Kvarner Gulf here.
With more than 2,100 hours of sunshine annually in Rijeka, and as much as
2600 hours in Rab, the Kvarner region truly belongs to the sunny Mediterranean. Snowfall is extremely
rare, especially on the islands. Thus it is not uncommon to find hotels offering free accommodation
in the unlikely event of snowy weather during your stay - and as the hotel owners know full well,
it's a pretty safe gamble on their part!
The Kvarner Gulf is rich with a variety of fish. Typically there is a prevalence
of blue fish such as sardines and mackerel. However a wide variety of quality white fish such
as hake, bass and skate can also be found. The waters of the gulf are particularly good hunting
grounds for squid and octopus, many of which find their way to the tables of the numerous coastal