Islands of Kvarner: Cres (photos)

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For some reason, when I hear someone say island-hopping, my mind instanly jumps to Split and the islands of central and southern Dalmatia. An inexcusable thought for someone who lives in Rijeka and is constantly trying to draw attention to Kvarner bay, the stunning northern part of the Croatian coast.

Apart from the best known locations such as the city of Rijeka, the Opatija riviera and Crikvenica town, Kvarner includes a bunch of islands, the biggest being Krk, Cres, Lošinj and Rab. Considering I’ve done my fair share of island-hopping around the area, it’s about time I write a couple of lines about Kvarner gems.

As this is meant to be a photo piece, I’ll leave the enamoured essay I’d easily come up with for another occasion and keep it simple. I’m also skipping Krk because as soon as we crossed the bridge and reached the first island, we headed straight to Valbiska ferry port to catch a ferry to Merag on Cres. There’s only so much you can pack in a day, especially when you have some business to do along the way.

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Cres is by far my favourite Croatian island. To be fair, I still have a lot of them to check out (looking at you, Hvar and Vis!), but there’s a certain magic to this understated gem that still hasn’t drowned in tourism as some other parts of the coast. We sat for coffee in Cres town – 7:30, the streets still quiet, white masts reflecting on the surface along the waterfront.

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We stopped at a water fountain in the middle of nowhere, at my favourite junction on the island:

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I discover a new quiet, tranquil place every time I visit – this time it was Orlec, a charming village located halfway across the island. You could cut the morning silence with a butter knife, sitting on warm blocks of stone and soaking in the August sun before it gets too intense. No sound to be heard except for bare feet of an occasional tourist, tapping on the asphalt on their way to get some fresh bread in the local market.

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We headed to Lošinj island next, and I’m leaving that for a sequel to this piece; on our way back, as we were driving to the ferry port, we couldn’t resist stopping in Osor town.

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Lovely late afternoon atmosphere; a musician holding a piano rehearsal in the church, good-spirited tourists having Aperols in front of a local bar, spoiled cats falling over to their sides in order to get a couple of pets out of people passing by…

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…nature defying man-made structures everywhere you turn…

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…a perfect end to a perfect day.

Up next: Lošinj!

Photo credit: N. Demark and A. Demark

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