Novi Vinodolski is a popular holiday destination in Croatia, offering a combination of extraordinary historical and cultural heritage, as well as beautiful nature. And today we have for you a complete travel guide to Novi Vinodolski to make sure that you have everything covered when visiting this summer resort.
A small town with a population of just a bit over 5,000, it is the capital of the riviera with the same name, as well as the Viodol Municipality which consists of several small settlements: Klenovica, Povile, Breze and Bribir.
Novi Vinodolski is located at the edge of Vinodol, the fertile valley of vineyards. In fact, its name comes from the word ‘vinodol’ (wine dale or valley) and it can be translated to something like “The New Wine Valley”.
Fun fact: until 1953, the town was simply called Novi (which literally means “New”).
Back to the town itself, you should know that it consists of two parts: the old town situated on a hill and the new town, concentrated along the city’s harbor with several modern hotels, beaches and other facilities for visitors.
The old town core has developed around the Frankapan castle, built in the mid 13th century to defend the south-eastern entrance to the Vinodolska valley.
So even though you will most likely want to find accommodation and set up your base in the new town, you have enough reasons to visit the historical parts as well, as you will see in today’s article.
Novi Vinodolski map
Let’s take a look at a photo taken near the info center, showing the town itself, with the castle and main attractions in the middle, as well as the new part of town with its beaches to the sides:
We also have a newer map to share and I have marked some of the most important areas below. We’ll talk about them all in more details in this article!
The town itself is part of the Kvarner region and finds itself in the center of a 20-kilometer series of coastal resorts and beaches, stretching from Crikvenica in the north to Smokvica in the south.
You can check out a map of the region below:
Novi Vinodolski is located 30 kilometers away from the airport on the island of Krk and 180 kilometers away from Zagreb’s airport. The vicinity of major motorways makes it easy to reach from all over the country or anywhere in Europe, basically..
Things to See and Do in Novi Vinodolski, Croatia
Although you will most likely choose this town for its lovely water and nice beaches (we have an entire chapter dedicated to them below), you should be pleased to hear that there are a lot of things to do in Novi Vinodolski, from visiting the main attraction in town: the Frankopan Castle aka the Castle with Kvadrac tower, a couple of religious buildings, a Museum and tons of great restaurants and pubs.
Old town attractions
The most of town’s sightseeing highlights are located inside the old town core, around the Frankopanski Square and Ivana Mazuranica Square.
You can visit some of the most important town sights here:
- Frankopan Castle
- National Reading Room and Library
- People’s Museum and Gallery
- House of Mazuranic Brothers
- Law codex of Vinodol
- The Glass Chapel
- Holy Trinity Church
Novi Vinodolski Beaches
While the town doesn’t have beautiful sandy beaches on offer, it makes up for that with its fine pebble beaches, rocky beaches but most importantly, amazing views and perfect water for swimming.
The most popular town beach is called Lisanj, known under the name Glavna Gradska Plaza (Main town beach).
This rather long beach is mix type of beach where you’ll find concrete plateaus, rocks but also fine gravel.
The beach offers sports facilities for children (sand park) and adults (volleyball courts). On the beach you can rent chairs and parasols, and it is equipped with changing cabins, showers and toilets. The beach carries the Blue Flag and is the most popular in the area. stretching over a long distance.
So the farther you travel down the Obala kneza Branimira road, the more options you will find, including some nice spots between the small cafe called Tennis and the terrace called San Marino, from where you can see another attraction in the area, the Church on San Marino Island (more on this below).
However, my recommendation is to move to the other side of the town and travel West a bit to The View beach which is less popular and with better water in my opinion. Even the small Adria Beach can be a good choice if you’re looking to stay away from the crowds.
Also, there are numerous beaches along the 25 km stretch that is the Novi Vinodolski Riviera. Especially popular are the beaches in the following settlements: Povile, Klenovica, Smokvica and Sibinj.
Church on San Marino Island
Just 200 meters away from the town, you can find a small island called San Marino, with an even smaller Gothic church dedicated to Saint Marin. This can be looked at from the shore and great swimmers even manage to swim to it on a clear day.
Of course, it’s not safe to swim all the way to the Island and instead you can settle for just watching it from the shore or taking one of the may boats that offer a quick ride there. You can even use it as your base for the day and enjoy the water.
Have in mind though that the church is permanently closed, so you can’t visit it – but if you have a chance to get on the island, it can offer a nice distraction.
Lookouts – the eyes of Vinodol valley
The entire Vinodol area is spotted with beautiful natural sights and we have six lookout points that are now connected together under the project known as ‘The Eyes of Vinodol’.
So another thing that you can do while in Novi Vinodolska is check three of them out and enjoy the beautiful views.
During the building of these viewpoints, particular attention was given to protection of the natural environment with the aim of preserving the distinctive natural features of the local landscape.
A special attention was given in building the suitable roads for easy access by car or bus. In the area of Novi Vinodolski there are three viewpoints:
- Above the village of Ledenica – the viewpoint ‘Gradina’.
- Below the Svibe – lookout ‘Sviba’.
- Krmpota – the ‘Kuk’ lookout.
The other three are in the wider area of Vinodol Municipality:
- Above the village Drivenik – ‘Mahavica’ viewpoint.
- Above the village of Grizane / Tribalj – ‘Pridva’ viewpoint.
- Above the Bribir settlement – ‘Slipica’ viewpoint.
Best Restaurants and Pubs in Novi Vinodolski
You have a lot of options when it comes to trying out traditional Croatian food and taking in the beautiful views that the town offers thanks to its elevated position. Maybe even meet some Croatian women since it’s the season to make new friends!
Most of your options are located along the Lisanj Beach Promenade, but you have some solid options in the old town and even in the Western areas, towards the View beach.
I would go as far as saying that all of them are really good and you would be really satisfied if you chose any random place to eat, but my top recommendations here (especially if you enjoy traditional Croatian food and/or seafood) are:
- Bistro Tomas, my all time favorite place in the area. Great food at decent prices
- San Marino – a terrace I mentioned before. Decent food, great views and close to the beach.
- Pizzeria Val – if you’re looking for great, hearty pizza with that Croat touch (like adding sour cream to your pizza). Worth trying!
- Colibri – located in the old town area in an old, historical building. Must try their huge pizza that can easily feed 4.
- Hula Beach Bar – if you’re looking to get a drink only, this colorful beach bar is a top choice for you (and it has good coffee as well)
- Cafe Arcadia – my favorite cafe in the old town area. Try sitting inside, it’s better than outside!
Best Hotels in Novi Vinodolski
If you are looking for accommodation in Novi Vinodolski, you are in luck as you have a lot of options, from higher quality hotels to all sorts of cheaper, yet comfortable apartments scattered throughout the towns.
Below you can check out the best hotels in Novi Viodolski, in my opinion, listed from my top two favorites, to some more budget-friendly ones. No matter which ones you pick, I am sure you will be extremely satisfied.
Wyndham Grand Novi Vinodolski
The only 5-star resort in the area, this hotel offers some extremely high quality rooms, indoor and outdoor pools and some amazing views. This is a bit pricey and its biggest disadvantage is that it’s not located in the best possible area, as it is further West, towards the town’s limits and away from the main beaches and restaurants.
But if you don’t care too much about that, you can spend your entire stay inside the resort and still feel really good. You’ll have plenty to do, so if exploring and trying out new beaches and restaurants is not your main thing, you’ll find this one perfect.
Some of its highlights include the biggest SPA Center in Europe (an amazing one too), the Sea Pony club for kids: spanning over 4,000 square meters, you get a kids’ town and Pirates’ Island playground, as well as various summer restaurants, lounges, sports and outdoor activities, as well as its own Spa beach and pebble beach
So really, yes, if you visit this place, you’ll never feel the need to go elsewhere!
This one is the traditional destination in the area for a long while now. We’re talking about a 4-star hotel located in a great area, close to the main beach and offering spectacular sea views from most of its rooms.
The rooms themselves are nice and spacious, most of them with unique touches, they offer outdoor and heated indoor pools, a Spa and much more. A really good option if you want to be in the heart of things during your stay.
If you’re looking for cheap acommodation, but you don’t want to miss out on those spectacular views in the area, the Bojana Apartment is a perfect choice.
The apartment offers private parking, amazing views and is really close to the beaches, restaurants and even the old town area. With two single beds in one room and a sofa bed in another, it can accommodate up to 4 people on a budget.
And this would be my travel guide to Novi Vinodolski. I hope that I have been able to cover everything you wanted to know and help you better plan your upcoming stay. Have fun and if you have additional questions or comments, don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below.