Crikvenica, a local's guide
October 17, 2019
I would like to introduce you to my hometown, Crikvenica. Located on the east Adriatic coast in Croatia, Crikvenica is a tiny town that hugs the sea with its 20 km long coast that compromises of all sorts of beaches, parks, plazas and ports. If you look across the sea, to the south you will see the island of Krk. In the east the “Velebit” mountain and west the Krk bridge and the town of Rijeka in the distance. On the island of Krk is the airport if you prefer to travel by air. In the north lies the Vinodol valley, that is a popular destination for biking, hiking, paragliding and fishing on the local lake.
Crikvenica is a town of more than 10.000 people located in four smaller settlements: Crikvenica, Selce, Dramalj, Jadranovo. All of the settlements are connected by roads and are easily accessible by walking. You can find a lot of diverse shops, cafe bars, restaurants, wellness, hotels, galleries and a lot of other things on the main walkway. It is possible to walk from the westernmost part of the town to the most eastern part. The walkway takes you through more urban areas, a small foresty part of town, beaches and more. You should, however, ask a tourist guide for guidance when you are looking for something unique because not everything is easy to find. The town centre is a nice promenade that stretches along the coast. It is especially cosy for afternoon drinks during the summer, with regular events that take place on the main square. During the spring and autumn days, there are fewer tourists in the town, making the trip much more romantic.
Crikvenica has a lot of different types of beaches, that includes sandy beaches, pebble beaches, stone and concrete beaches, and a lot of small secluded places that provide privacy if you know where to find one. Most of the secluded beaches can be found in Kačjak, which is 5 km west of the town centre. The main beach is located near the town centre which is the main tourist destination with a lot of services for tourists. Essentially, you can find beaches all over the town. The beaches are full of a variety of bars, massage tents and props. The sea is very warm during the summer, and you can see people swimming and enjoying the see as early as May and as late as October, depends on the weather.
Nature and walk
In and around Crikvenica there are numerous pathways for walking, jogging, riding a bike etc. The most popular is the so-called trail of waves that is 30 km long. It starts from Jadranovo-the westernmost part of Crikvenica to the neighbouring town of Novi Vinodolski. Some of the trails are going towards the north into the Vinodol Valley. There are a lot of biking trails that go outside of the town, through the forest and hills.
In Dramalj that is five kilometres west of the town centre, there is a 40-meter hole which contains bones and remains of packs of animals from the time just after the last ice, including bears, lions, rhinos, buffalos, horses, cave lions, wolf, birds, rabbits, bats, etc. There are also a lot of now-extinct animals. However, It’s not accessible to tourists. Some exhibitions can be found in the local museum.
Crikvenica has an antique history. The area was inhabited during the Roman times. There is or rather was an old pottery manufactory which used to made amphoras. Huge clay pots with a flat bottom used to transport goods. The site of the manufactory is being researched, so tourist’s can’t freely access. You can find the pots in the town museum. Aside from the manufactory, the town was also home of ports, old fortresses such as “badanj” and other archaeological findings. There is a lot of history in this small town. The town we see today was established in the year 1412 when the local lord had built the town monastery.
Places to go
The remains of the old town which was abandoned in 1776. Because of a fire that engulfed the town. There are still old building, stone walls, and remains of old churches. The old town sits on the nearby hill overlooking the rest of the town and the sea
An excellent choice for couples who wish to stay away from the crowd. It is a narrow pass that takes you through the forest to an old Roman fort in the north of the town.
Dog beach and bar
If you travel with your „ man best friend“, this is a good place to relax without stress, since it can be quite difficult to go to a regular beach with your dog. The bar offers dog treats as well as your regular products
There are a lot of things you can do in the centre, aside the restaurants and hotels, there is also an aquarium, a museum, a port where you can book island trips, glass boats, party boats, casinos, gallery, street performances, a whole variety of events depends on the day etc.
Churches and chapels
Crikvenica has a lot of different churches, each with its history. An interesting choice for those interested in religion and history.
It’s a 3.5 km long swimming route from Crikvenica to Šilo. The events attract a lot of professional swimmers and a lot of other swimming enthusiasts from Croatia and abroad. The marathon is held every year on 15 August, on the day of the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the patron saint of Crikvenica.
Adria Advent Marathon
An international marathon that takes place during December along the seaside. Every year the marathon attracts a lot of professional and amateur runners.
Tips and advice
If you travel during the summer, and by car be prepared for a long commute. It is better if you go on foot or use public transport. If you need to use the car avoid going between 9.00 am and noon. The best time to go to the town square or the beach is around 7.00 am, that way you can choose where to park your car and you will avoid the commute.
Travelling with foreign currency? The farther away from the beach, the better the exchange rate – for you.
The summer is the main tourist season. If you arrive during June and September, you will also enjoy the beaches etc. but with smaller crowds and cheaper prices, especially accommodation.