Bargain beach days
Looking for powder-soft sands to sunbathe on? Rab Island is where you want to be. Known for being the isle with the sandiest beaches that the Adriatic has to offer, you won’t be short on choice here. Its headliners include Paradise Beach and Livacina Beach. Not only that, there’s a number of secluded coves that provide idyllic swimming and snorkelling spots and won’t cost you a penny.
You can also expect a superb beach scene on Krk Island. Each beach here is unique in its own way, whether its sandy, pebbly, urban or hidden, there’s an option for everyone. All of them share extremely inviting clear blue sea waters. The most popular beach is the Vela Plaža Baška which has proudly flown its Blue Flag status for a number of years. It stretches for several hundred metres and has an impressive line-up of restaurants, shops and hotels by its side. For those feeling adventurous, Krk Island is also home to the distinct Soline Bay and its healthy mud beach. Here you can soak yourself from head to toe in black mud which is famous for its health benefits.
Kvarner Bay mainland has a number of Blue Flag accredited beaches up its sleeve too. In Rijeka, most beaches are located close to the city centre, meaning they’re accessible by foot or there’s some low-fare bus options. As for Opatija, the town’s main beach has much more of an urban feel as although it has a few sandy sections, most of it is concrete and there’s a ladder to enter the sea. If that’s not your cup of tea, there’s the pebbly option of Tomasevac Beach too.
If you’re looking for a cheap holiday in Kvarner Bay that involves plenty of activities you’re in luck as this region of Croatia has a ton of wonderful walking routes. As impressive as its shoreline is, we’re not just talking about your standard seaside strolls. There are a number of full-on hilltop treks to get involved in and most of them won’t cost you a penny.
Rab Island in particular is one of the greenest islands in Croatia and has miles of walking and cycling trails so that you can soak up the scenery at your own pace, or there are organised walks if you would prefer. Either way, expect to find rich woodlands and breath-taking coves. Most of the trails here lead towards the highest peak on the island named Kamenjak, at the top you’ll be rewarded with some seriously impressive views of the Mediterranean Sea. If walking isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of low-priced bike hire hubs on the island too, so you can opt for cycling instead.
Hiking is also a big deal on Krk Island, particularly in the Baška area which is home to the Obzova – the highest point on the island. By climbing to the top of this peak you’ll be lucky enough to witness some of the most stunning views of the neighbouring islands, Rab, Cres and Grgur.
No money is needed to head out into the historical cities that Kvarner Bay has to offer. Whether its Opatija and its Austro-Hungarian culture embedded within its golden coloured buildings or Rijeka, the biggest town in the bay, which has allsorts to offer to its visitors. From admiring age-old sights like the Trsat Castle to mooching its aged streets or perhaps treating yourself to a glass of local vino, there’s plenty of wallet-friendly activities to enjoy.
As for the islands, there’s Rab Town enriched with Croatian island history. The town itself is encircled by ancient walls in between which you’ll find a number of museums, monasteries and one of the most impressive church bell towers. Or there’s the city of Krk, this place has it all when it comes to heritage landmarks. Things date way back here, there’s a city hall from the 1500s, a 13th-century castle and stone walls that are around 2000 years old.
If you’d rather a taste of adventure instead of history, out of the city centre in the Dobrinj region you can brave the popular attraction – the Biserujka cave. With an admission fee that costs next to nothing, head down to uncover its secrets and admire its centuries-old interior.
An island adventure
If it’s an island adventure that you’re looking for, the horseshoe shaped Kvarner Bay cradles an impressive collection. Take your pick between Krk, Rab, Losinj or Cres and experience the different Croatian culture each one has to offer.
Being so conveniently located next to one another, no matter where you choose to stay in Kvarner Bay, you can hop over to one of the surrounding isles for a fantastic yet affordable daytrip. Krk Island is the largest out of the group and is the easiest and most economical island to access with just a simple drive over the toll bridge from Rijeka. The other islands are accessible via ferry or low-cost bus routes.