The Kvarner Bay area is a region in Croatia that is perfect for a holiday getaway, no matter if you arrive from nearby Italia or any other place in the world. And today, we’re here to talk about the top things to do and see in Kvarner, Croatia.
I want to start with a summary of the things that make the Kvarner Bay area such an amazing attraction – and then we’ll go a bit more in depth when needed.
So here is what makes Kvarner Bay such an important part to visit in Croatia:
1. The Kvarner Islands – a world of their own
Kvarner is home to several breathtaking islands, each with its own unique charm and perfect to be considered a vacation destination for a perfect stay.
From Krk, Rab, and Cres to Losinj Island, you’ll find yourself transported to a world of natural beauty, serenity and still plenty of off the beaten paths places to see, but also plenty of modern & popular destination.
No matter if you are looking for adventure or relaxation, crowds or remote spots for soaking in the sun and enjoying the sea, Kvarner’s islands have it all.
2. Beaches that suit all wishes
Are you looking for a large or small beach? Rocky, pebbled, or sandy? Hidden, naturist beaches or a party beach with non-stop fun?
Again, the beaches in the Kvarner area have it all!
You’ll find some of the best party beaches in Croatia, including Zrce Beach on Pag Island and Pudarica Beach near Rab Town, as well as beaches that are suitable for families and a more relaxed stay.
Best Kvarner Croatia Riviera beaches
As I said, this region is home to some of the most breathtaking coastal areas in the country. The stunning coastline stretches from Opatija to the Zadar region and offers a ton of amazing beaches for you to explore.
Simply going to any of the regions recommended above will guarantee that you will stumble upon a nice beach, but if you want to prepare a bit in advance, I’ve got you covered!
Here are some of the best beaches in Kvarner for families with children, but also party-goers and even naturists, based on where they are located:
Baska Krk Island: The largest and one of the most beautiful beaches in Kvarner is Baska’s Vela Plaza, also known as the Great Beach, located in the center of the town.
It is a natural pebble beach that is actually a combination of pebbles and sand. Some parts of the beach are sandy, which is perfect for kids, but I still recommend wearing water shoes when you visit.
Island Rab, Lopar beaches: This small village located 13 km from Rab town is famous for its 22 sandy beaches that are bordered by pine groves.
The shallow sea makes them perfect for small children and ideal for snorkeling and diving activities, or simply for spending a fun or relaxing day under the sun with friends and family.
The best-known sandy beach in Lopar is Rajska, or Paradise Beach, which is almost two km long.
Kandalora Beach: Also known as English Beach, Kandalora is one of the best naturist (nudist) beaches in the region. For all available options in the area, read my guide to the best Kvarner naturist resorts.
It got its “English Beach” name from a supposed event, when King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson took a skinny dip here. This beach is easily accessible by taxi boats from Rab town.
Party beaches: While Croatia is as famous for its party beaches as Ibiza or the Paradise beach in Greece, the Kvarner region has one beach that stands out and is considered one of the best Party Beaches in Europe.
Zrce Beach in Novalja on the island of Pag is the name of that well known beach, perfect for party-goers, no matter their age. It’s probably the only beach in Croatia that has an Ibiza-like vibe and I am sure you will LOVE it.
The beach has plenty of facilities, but also three popular open-air clubs that entertain until the early hours of the morning.
Aquarius, Euphoria and Kalypso are the most popular clubs here, but you have other options for an amazing party, like the Ice Bar Zrce (to cool off after a hot day soaking in the sun) or the Festini Party Boat for those who want to party on the sea.
If you’re here for the fun and the endless nights, then the Zrce Beach is the best choice not only in Kvarner, but also Croatia (and definitely one of the best party beach places in Europe!)
Here is a video of the Zrce Beach festival held in 2021 (when most of the world was still in lockdown!) to see what you could expect here:
3. Opatija – Nice of the Adriatic
Opatija is a town of refined elegance and I have to list it as a stand alone attraction because… well… it is one!
Called the “Nice of the Adriatic,” it has a tradition in tourism that spans over 160 years and one of Croatia’s most popular and best-known destinations – especially for the more upper class traveler. But there are plenty of budget options here as well.
The Opatija promenade, which stretches for 12 km, is a favorite walking path for locals and visitors alike, providing stunning views that are perfect for Instagram photos that you will always cherish.
Or just personal photos that only you and your family will enjoy. The great memories will be the same!
Along the way, admire the magnificent villas, discover the important monuments in the area (like the Girl with the Seagull seen above), and enjoy a drink or meal at one of the many restaurants offering amazing sea views. You won’t regret it!
4. Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski Riviera
These two rivieras are the best to visit in Kvarner, in my opinion. With a diverse range of activities on offer, including hiking, flying, sailing, horseback riding, and diving, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their stay in Croatia.
5. High-quality health tourism
The Opatija Riviera offers a wide range of high-quality health tourism options, especially Spa & Wellness hotels. If you’re looking for a wellness retreat, Kvarner is the perfect destination.
I wouldn’t recommend getting actual procedures done here – like visiting dentists or other more traditional health tourism due to the higher prices. Instead, opt for the larger cities if you want these done at more reasonable prices.
6. National parks
The Kvarner bay area is home to two national parks in Croaia – the Northern Velebit National Park and the Risnjak National Park – as well as one park of nature, the Ucka Nature Park. These natural wonders are a must-see for any nature lover.
7. Excellent connections between mainland and islands
Finally, Kvarner has an excellent connection between the mainland and islands, making it easy to explore everything in just a few hours by boat or car (or bus / taxi).
8. Outdoor Adventures
The popularity of adventure travel in Croatia has grown significantly in recent years. Many travelers are looking for more than just traditional city sightseeing, museums, or art galleries.
They want to experience fun and adventure, and the Kvarner region is a great place to get all these outdoor adventures for a fair price.
With two national parks and one park of nature, Kvarner offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, biking, kayaking, diving, cruising, sailing, and fishing.
The stunning natural landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for these activities, and visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region while getting their adrenaline pumping.
And this would be it! The absolute best things to do or see in the Kvarner Bay Area, Croatia. You can check out a map of Kvarner here.
From stunning beaches that cater to families, naturists, and party-goers alike, to thrilling outdoor adventures that will get your adrenaline pumping, this region truly has it all.
It doesn’t matter if you’re first-time visitor in Croatia or already a veteran, Kvarner Bay is guaranteed to leave you breathless with its beaches, history and natural charm.
Don’t forget to take lots of photos and make memories that will last a lifetime! And if you have additional suggestions for things to do in the area, let us all know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.