EXPLORING THE ISLANDS LOŠINJ AND CRES
Croatia has many hidden treasures. One of them are definitely the islands of Lošinj and Cres.
While many of you heard about the sunny days in Hvar (they allegedly have the most of them in whole Croatia) and Korčula, the birth town on Marco Polo I am sure Lošinj and Cres are one of the islands not many people know about.
It all started one hot August day when we did not feel like going to the beach or chill on the terrace of our holiday home. It was that kind of day when you want to go out and explore the place you have been coming to for years and years and … well, since forever.
So I took my husband and our dog and hopped in the car.
The way to Mrtvaska
Our first stop was the newly opened Providenca lookout. Well, it was also our first disappointment of the day and it was entirely our fault! We arrived there just minutes after the midday closure of the place so we only took a few really mediocre photos before we continued to our main destination of the day – Mrtvaška. Or so we thought.
To reach it we had to proceed on that same road that took us to the view point. It is in a quite bad condition and many tourist would not bother to drive there but it takes you all the way to the end of the island! There is also a really nice beach and a ferry that takes you to the neighbouring island of Ilovik. A small island with no cars, fairy tale village … well, we thought it would be great to visit it!
And so we drove. Up a steep hill, again downhill, on a bumpy road. Great view of the local flora and we even discovered some hiking trails we decided to hike on a more hiking friendly day.
On our exploring day it was really hot and not hiking friendly, at least not for the unprepared tourists like we were. So we put the hike to Krivica bay on our Bucket list!
We proceeded driving past a really nice touristic farm and finally reached the last descend towards our destination. It is a really steep downhill road and I was glad I was only a passenger! But the views are awesome!! Another advantage on being a passenger in the car – I could admire the views in all of their beauty undistracted.
I was not aware so many islets were scattered around the end on Lošinj Island! And they are forming nice natural harbours for the sail boats. The water was so calm, dark and turquoise and … just breath taking!
Yet then again we were stroked by reality: there is a small parking place at the near end of the Island for all of those who came to swim here or for those who were continuing their way to Ilovik. And since we arrived near 1 o’clock in the afternoon all of the parking places were taken! Another bad planning mistake …
So we only took photos and decided to visit another great spot, the village of Lubenice on the neighbouring island of Cres.
The road that brought us to Mrtvaška is the only one so we drove back, catching some more of the fantastic views and already discussing that next time we will go there earlier, catch the first ferry of the day … you know, all excited and pumped by the beauty we just saw.
On the way to Lubenice
Another hour later we arrived to the crossroad where we usually do not turn because we are always hurrying to reach the final destination asap!!
It was a new territory for both of us so we followed the road cautiously and in one moment decided to try visiting Valun. A small village with a famous little beach … and when we arrived, the story with packed parking place repeated. What were we thinking anyway?? It was high season and a space would just wait for us? At the beach?
So we turned back to our original plan to ascend up to the peak of the island to visit the village of Lubenice, famous for their sheep, traditional dance and an awesome beach under the village.
After the turn at the sign for the village the road became steeper and narrower with every turn! At some places there was no way to meet another vehicle! What an adventure! Of course we met other cars and it was really exciting looking for places where they could meet … but all of that was rewarded when we reached the top.
At the Lubenice village
There as a parking space waiting only for us! We parked and were blinded by the afternoon sun. When our eyes adjusted to it we saw another magnificent view. Sea everywhere, neighbouring Islands lurking out of it … and there it was … the beach, lying down at the sea just waiting for us! A small sandy line among the rocks …
Yet again we did not do our homework. We were not properly equipped to descend to that beach. We also did not have enough water, any shade … so we decided to stroll through the village. We visited the Sheep museum, had a beer with the best view ever and made a plan: next time we will come back early in the morning. We will wear hiking shoes, bring enough water, smacks and some shade and go to that beach! It is a 45 minutes descend on a goat trail so you can imagine what the climbing up looks like … in the heat of August … worthy of a days trip.
But village is a gem, too. Tiny, reigning on the hilltop, with narrow, cobbled streets. Maybe and apartment for rent or two, one restaurant and one café … really an idyllic getaway for those who want to escape the noise of their reality. We stayed there for some more time, enjoyed the energy and soaked the sun before we returned to our base.
Plan for the future
We did not have the chance to go to Lošinj after that yet, but we will for sure go in the spring and hike some of the new trails we discovered. Will keep you all posted how that goes and what new discoveries we will meet on the way!
Till then I challenge you to visit these Islands in the Kvarner Bay and to uncover their further secrets!