24 Hours in Opatija, Croatia
O patija is a town in western Croatia located on the Gulf of Kvarner, which is a bay in the northern Adriatic Sea.
After having just met with several dozen fellow members of FlyerTalk in Ljubljana for a few days and figuring that this part of Croatia was not far from Slovenia, four of us — having never been to Croatia — decided to drive on down to Opatija and stay overnight before heading back to Munich and other areas of Europe.
Not expecting much, I was rather pleasantly surprised at the scenery once I checked in to the Hotel Opatija, which is located not far from the seaside promenade known as the Lungo Mare.
We decided to head on down to the sea. Perhaps it was because we were there during the month of October that the area was not crowded — but the weather was as close to perfect as possible. I decided to walk along the seaside promenade — but not the entire distance, as it is approximately 12 kilometers in length.
Hotel Opatija is a good hotel at which to rest for the night. While its exterior looks nice, the rooms themselves are nothing special — except for the balcony with the view and the breezes from the sea. The bed was comfortable; and there was a flat-screen television and a small air conditioning unit high up in the wall. I do have photographs of the room — including of the toilet in the bathroom — but I decided to “take the high road” and spare you of those photographs.
After spending most of the afternoon by the seaside, we ventured into town. I apologize for not remembering where we ate for dinner; but there are plenty of restaurants from which to choose.
We finally retired for the evening at the hotel, where I was once again treated to some nice views from the balcony of the room:
All in all, it was a nice relaxing day in Opatija. I do not know about during the summer season; but I found it to be a nice place to go if you want to just clear your mind, partake in an unplanned stroll for an unspecified period of time, soak in the sun, and simply enjoy the views.
Once a part of Italy for a brief period of time and then a part of Yugoslavia, Opatija is only slightly greater than 70 kilometers from Trieste in Italy — a drive of approximately one hour and ten minutes — which is the way we headed next when we left Opatija. Other cities located within a drive of two hours from Opatija are Ljubljana and Zagreb — approximately 109 and 175 kilometers away respectively. If you find yourself near this area of Europe, take a day or so to stop off in Opatija; or perhaps stay there overnight on your way to wherever you may be heading. In my opinion, it is worth it.
Realizing that Opatija is not necessarily representative of the country of Croatia as a whole, I agree with what I had heard for years based on my limited experience: that Croatia is a viable alternative to Italy in terms of a destination — and, depending on where you go in Croatia — less crowded.
To celebrate 170 years of tourism to this coastal town, I posted this trip report. Congratulations, Opatija!
All photographs ©2006 by Brian Cohen.