Opatija is a town in
western Croatia, southwest of Rijeka on the
Adriatic coast. It is situated in the Gulf of Kvarner with its
attractive fishing villages and archipelago of islands. Opatija
is a popular summer and winter resort, and has become a place
beloved of foodies for its fine seafood restaurants. The
Lungomare is a 12 km-long promenade along the entire riviera
from Volosko to Lovran. This paved walk is always close to the
sea and sometimes built over it. If you walk from Opatija to
Volosko with its pretty harbour and places to eat, you can get a
bus back (runs every half hour). Opatija is the place with the
longest tourist tradition on the eastern coast of the Adriatic
and some of the most stunning coastal views. It can boast some
grand examples of late 19th century architecture, since the
Habsburgs made it their holiday retreat and started a fashion.
Opatija is the leading tourist destination in Croatia for the
organization of conventions.
What to do
Just being there in Opatija should be enough, but for those who
like to do something, the Croatian Museum of Tourism documents
the history of one of the most important parts of the Croatian
economy. Villa Angiolina in the central park, the oldest villa
in town, is worth visiting to see inside a grand mansion in the
classical style. Also of interest is the Art Pavilion “Juraj
Matija Sporer”, which puts on exhibitions from time to time.
Nearby is St Jakov’s Church, once part of a Benedictine
Monastery with bell tower, cloister and well.
Excursions from Opatija include Venice, Plitvice Lakes, Postojna
Caves, and a tour of Istria taking in Pula, Rovinj and Poreč.
Disco Seven is a seafront club featuring Croatian DJs playing
Hemingway is a fashionable bar serving cocktails with great
views thrown in.
For eating out, Bevanda offers fish and meat dishes on a huge
ocean-facing terrace, while Istranka specialises in Istrian
cuisine, accompanied by traditional folk music some evenings.
Where to stay
A popular 4 star hotel right near the promenade and the sea is
the Miramar, with 104 luxury rooms and suites and a salt water
swimming pool and fitness centre. The first language of this
hotel is German, but most of the staff speak English as well.
The romantic location of this hotel makes it a good place for a
honeymoon! Also in a great position, on the coastal walkway but
still in town, is the 5 star Hotel W.A. Mozart. The elegant
building is an 1894 private villa, modernised 100 years later
and renovated again in 2006. With only 26 rooms, the Mozart won
best small hotel in Croatia in 2010. Its speciality is Wellness
and its spa offers a Beauty Studio with qualified staff,
alongside the fitness centre. Only a few minutes on foot from
the beach and the Lungomare is the 2 star Hotel Opatija. Set in
a magnificent park yet in the centre of the city, it is housed
in a grand building with a beautiful terrace giving views of the
sea, and the indoor pool is open all year. Half the rooms are
air conditioned, and there is a choice of sea facing or park
facing rooms. The Hotel Palace Bellevue Opatija has 3 stars and
a beautiful empire-style building in a good location, while the
historic 3 star Hotel Imperial is the very mansion in which
emperors Franz Joseph and Wilhelm II spent their holidays.