What is the best way to get to know Opatija, the “Pearl of the Adria”, as well as smaller, picturesque towns nearby? If you ask the locals, or even tourists, their answers will without doubt contain the word “Lungomare”.
Lungomare is a beautiful promenade, starting in the small fishing village of Volosko and stretching all the way to the Lovran harbor. This charming seaside walk was built in the 19th century, which makes it more than a 100 years old.
The construction of the promenade, which also carries the name of the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I., began more or less at the same time Opatija (at that time known as Abbazia) was declared the first climatic health resort on the Adriatic coast. According to some records, the emperor built the promenade for his wife, empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as the beautiful Sisi. Sisi suffered from a type of lung disease so she visited Opatija to take walks and enjoy the town´s mild climate which helped her health.
Lungomare offers stunning views along the way, as well as quiet sitting areas, bars, restaurants and much more. Along the promenade, which is 12 km long, you will also find many monuments dedicated to important politicians, artists, doctors… Let´s take a walk together!
We will start in Volosko, the hometown of one of Croatia´s most significant scientists – Andrija Mohorovicic. But today the town its most famous for being a true paradise for gourmets. Choose from a variety of restaurants and enjoy traditional Croatian cuisine. You can even visit one of the two restaurants listed among the top European restaurants.
From Volosko we continue our walk towards Opatija, one of the oldest summer resorts in Croatia. Opatija is for sure the most high-end section of Lungomare, with stunning, well preserved architecture, luxury hotels, villas, beautiful parks and nature. A park that stands out is Angiolina botanical park, known for many floral species brought to Opatija from all around the world. When you think of Opatija, one scene always comes to mind – the Maiden with the Seagull statue, greeting those visiting the town. A long time ago, there was another statue at the same spot, called Madonna del Mare. The statue was supposed to keep a watch over the soul of a count lost at sea.
From Opatija, Lungomare takes us to Ika and Icici, small villages located under the Ucka mountain. Today the town of Icici is mostly know as a nautical center with the famous ACI Marina that welcomes both larger and smaller boats and yachts. There is usually less pedestrians here, so it is ideal for joggers and those in search for some peace and quiet.
The final stretch of the path leads to Lovran. When you reach Lovran, you will have a feeling like you are in a smaller version of Vienna, thanks to many renovated villas from the Austro-Hungarian times. Before Rijeka took over this role, Lovran used to be one of the most important shipbuilding centers on the Adriatic coast. The town is protected from wind and blessed with mild climate so it´s no wonder that it was recognized as an ideal health resort by the Austro-Hungarian elite.
Book one of our villas located in Kvarner
and take a walk along the Lungomare promenade!