Often being called “beach and nature paradise”, the Island of Cres is the biggest Croatian island situated at the northern tip of Kvarner gulf. It is scarcely populated and covered with deep forests and untouched nature. The town of Cres is situated in the northeastern part of a large bay and thanks to its long history that dates back to the ancient times, it is full of monuments, monasteries, old town walls and other interesting historical sights.
What to visit
The town of Cres is much alike a petite Italian village. Get lost in its tiny streets in the old historical center and explore its medieval architecture. The main sights in the town are the town walls and the Venetian Tower. In the center of the town, there’s an open piazza (town square) that has been the place of all events and happenings both during the past as nowadays. In the mornings, local men and women gather at the square to sell their fresh produce – fruit, vegetables, olive oil, honey etc. Another beautiful place to visit is the Church of St Mary and the Municipal Loggia, both of which date back from the 15th century.
To chill in the afternoons, go to some of Cres’s magnificent beaches with crystal clear sea and indulge in the sunbathing and water sports.
Sport and Recreation
If all of this idyllic calmness of the island is a bit too much for you and you crave some excitement, don’t worry as you can do many of alternative and adrenaline-pumping sports here as well. Those include free climbing, windsurfing, kite surfing, sea kayak, and spearfishing. On the other hand, if you just wish to lightly move your body, you can rent a bike, go for a jog or swim or explore the rich marine life trying out some scuba diving.
Foods that the island of Cres is known for are lamb, homemade sheep milk cheese, crabs, shrimps, fresh fish, prosciutto and side dishes made of fresh veggies. All of these, of course, seasoned with local olive oil, rosemary, basil and parsley. Try out some local specialties in one of the numerous restaurants or, if you are not up for experimenting, there are many places offering non-traditional dishes.
Needless to say, you can easily leave the town and go explore other places around the island. Some of the most popular ones are Lubenice, Beli, Martinšćica and Valun. Furthermore, there is a quite interesting place called Vrana Lake, covered for ages with some gloomy legends about the origin of both the lake and caves that surround it. The myth says that mostly fairies lived in those caves. Go and find out yourself whether it’s true! Hiking in the Tramuntana Woods is another great idea for nature-lovers and adventurers.
There are many lovely islands nearby as well and you can easily take a boat tour and visit them. Trips to the island of Susak, Ilovik, Unije and Plavnik are organized almost daily during the season.