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RIJEKA & KVARNER REGION
Rijeka is major croatian port. It is located in the very heart of Kvarner Gulf. Because of it's location, Rijeka is a crossroads of land and sea routes connected with the rest of the world by air, bus, train and ship lines. Rough Guides describes Rijeka as a "Row of cumbrous cranes and rusty, sea-stained tankers in front of the soaring apartment blocks" :(
Despite this description by very reputable guide book, Rijeka is still nice place to visit as it has a great architecture in the old parts of the city, as well as some very interesting places to go (such as Rijeka Natural History Museum - see link bellow) ....
If you are in Rijeka, trying probably to get ferry to sail along croatian coast, take some time to discover this city! You will be surprised how much is to see here... Rijeka airport is on the island of Krk, about 30 km from the Rijeka city centre. The Railway station is in street Kresimirova 5. Info tel: 060/333-4444. Scheduled bus lines connect Rijeka with larger croatian and european cities - bus terminal in the city centre : tel. 660-360. Bellow are some useful links for Rijeka to start to explore.
Opatija, named after the Benedictine abbey of Sveti Ivan, is located in the Gulf of Kvarner , right under Mount Učka - one of the nature parks of Croatia.It is located 13 km southwest of Rijeka, where Opatija's nearest airport Rijeka Airport is about 40 km away. Opatija is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Croatia and it has very long tradition as tourist destination - all they way to 19th century, when completion of the railway Vienna - Trieste in 1857 and the branch railroad from Pivka - Sveti Petar to Rijeka in 1873 introduced easy access from wealthy Vienna to Opatija. First hotel ever on the Adriatic ( Hotel Kvarner) was built in Opatija 1884 and soon after, 12 km long promenade Lungomare was built along cost of Volosko, Opatija and Lovran as well as walking path from Opatija to Ucka via Veprinac, both attracting and making Opatija cool place to visit. The climate and the specific historic and geographic features favoured Opatija's fast tourist development.
the second largest island in the Adriatic. Limestone and dolomite dominate, creating a contrasting littoral karst landscape of occasionally snow-clad peaks and lowland plateaux; gently sloping shorelines and steep cliffs; lush Mediterannean forest and sparse maquis. One feature that deserves a specific mention is Vransko lake. Sitting in the centre of the island, the lake is a natural reservoir fed by rainwater from surface and subterranean channels. The surface of the lake is above sea level, but its bottom is 74m below.
The island is rich in plant life. In the northern part, with cold, dry winds gusting south in winter, the flora is typically sub-Mediterannean with oak and sweet chestnut woods. In the south, which is protected by the hills, are evergreen coniferous forests. Everywhere there are wild herbs that give the local food its distinctive taste, wildflowers in the pastures and, as a reminder of the human influence, thousands of olive trees. Over ninety species of bird nest on the island. As well as eagles, falcons and owls, there is a dedicated ornithological reserve for the white-headed griffon vultures which nest, unusually, on rocks next to the sea.
Kvarner presents itself as the region of shores, highlands and islands directly to the east of Istria. Cres and Krk are the biggest islands in Kvarner Bay and visitors are attracted to the former in particular by the plants and animals, the indented coast, the sea and the solitude. There are places to bike, walk, climb, swim and sail. ( Walk Europe - a guidebook )
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