Rijeka is the third biggest city in Croatia and the country’s biggest seaport. It is located in Kvarner Bay, which is an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.
The city’s history is closely related to its fortress – Trsat Castle, located on Trsat Hill. Thanks to its excellent defensive position at an altitude of 138 m, it served as a lookout during prehistoric times and the Roman period, and was later owned by various noble families who valued it very much because of its strategic importance. Its appearance today is attributed to Count Laval Nugent who bought it after it had turned into a ruin because of an earthquake, repaired it, and built a mausoleum for himself in the early 19th ct. Nowadays it has a café and exhibitions and concerts take place here. The Shrine of our Lady of Trsat, the largest pilgrimage in western Croatia, is located near the castle.
The centre of the city is dominated by Korzo – a promenade lined with cafés that leads you through the city. When you walk down this busy promenade, you’ll notice the City Tower, one of the most recognizable symbols of Rijeka. If you pass under it, you’ll reach Ivan Kobler Square, the most important square and entrance to the medieval city of Rijeka, former Governor’s Palace, Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Capuchin Monastery, and the breakwater are just a few of the things that will keep you occupied while you’re wandering around this hilly industrial city.
The name of the city means “river” in Croatian, while the small river that flows through the city is, ironically, named Rječina, meaning “big river”.
Rijeka Carnival is the city’s biggest event (and the biggest carnival in Croatia), with more than 100 groups and thousands of participants every year.
You can find out more about Rijeka here and see what the city during Carnival looks like below:
Located just southwest of Rijeka, Opatija (abbey in Croatian) is an elegant winter and summer resort with the longest tradition of tourism in Croatia. This is where the first sailing club on the Adriatic was founded (1886), and where the emperor Franz Joseph I used to spend several winter months because it was the first climatic seaside resort on the Adriatic (declared in 1889).
Opatija’s has a 12-km-long coastal promenade (called Lungomare), which many people walk along even during winter months. The moderate climate (7°C in winter, 22°C in summer) combined with medicinal herbs and salt from the sea have numerous health benefits.
In addition to luxurious villas and hotels that you can see in Opatija, one of the main tourist sights is a statue of maiden with a seagull.
Visit their website and watch the video below:
There are buses from Zagreb to Rijeka on average twice an hour, starting at 50 kn (one way ticket), and you can find them here. It takes 15-20 min to get from Rijeka to Opatija, it costs 17-30 kn, and you’ll find the buses here.
Croatia Active has a great package deal, starting at €112 per person.