Opatija has been called the "Pearl of the Adriatic" and the "Queen of Tourism" being a popular health resort for European high society in the 19th century when Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The town of Opatija is just a few minutes drive northwest of the city of Rijeka at the beginning of the Istrian Peninsula and along the Adriatic Coast. The Kvarner Hotel was the first hotel on the Adriatic to accommodate the new chic tourists and sprinkled throughout the town are elegant villas from the Habsburg era. Famous guests included governors, archdukes, emperors and empresses, composers, authors, dancers and other royals and artists.
The 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) long Lungomare (seafront) promenade winds along the coast and almost the entire stretch of the town. Built in 1911, this famous walkway allows you to take in views of the grand hotels, beautiful villas and nearby islands. As you travel to the center of the promenade you reach Slatina beach and a tribute to those who have contributed to the promotion of Croatia through science, culture, sports or arts called the Croatian Walk of Fame.
At one end of the Lungomare you can visit Tomasevac beach and on the other you can find the "Maiden with the Seagull" statue. Built in 1956, she is a classic symbol of not only Opatija, but the entire Kvarner region. The sculptor, Zvonko Car, and model for the statue, Jelena Jendrašič, are both from Crikvenica! From here you can see St. James Park, which has been awarded as the most beautiful park in Croatia and St. James Church built in the 15th century. Around the corner is our favorite spot to grab coffee with a grand outdoor terrace, Amadria Park Hotel Milenij.
Other sights include the Open Air Theatre and Arts Pavilion, where film shows, concerts, operas, folklore and festivals take place. In front of the theatre is Lido beach, know as one of the most charming beaches in Opatija. Park Angiolina is located near here, known for stunning gardens with exotic plants and you can visit the Croatian Museum of Tourism close by as well.
Opatija offers five star restaurants and local taverns, fantastic shopping, like at the Operetta shopping center, and a dazzling nightlife of several bars, lounges and clubs. Take a 40 minute drive from Crikvenica and spend some time discovering all the splendor of Opatija.