Monday, 6 June 2022

Works by Salvador Dali Exhibited in Opatija

ZAGREB, 6 June 2022 - An exhibition of about 100 works by Salvador Dali was on Monday staged in Opatija's Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion and will run through 20 September.

The exhibition includes drawings, etchings, and lithographs owned by a private collector from Bonn who does not want his identity to be known.

Most of these artworks have not been put on display until this occasion.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Opatija Celebrates World Tourism Day With a Large Number of Activities

September 24, 2021 - After a successful summer, the jewel of Kvarner Bay joins festivities across the globe, as Opatija celebrates World Tourism Day with an exciting repertoire of activities and events starting tomorrow.

Sports and recreational walks, a costumed tour through the history of Opatija, oldtimers, and klapa concerts will fill Opatija with content for three days. From 25 to 27 September, the Tourist Board of Opatija celebrates World Tourism Day with a diverse program aimed at promoting the social, cultural, political, and economic values ​​of tourism, as well as the contribution that this sector makes in the field of sustainable development.

This year, after a long period marked by a pandemic, this day is dedicated to the impact of tourism on inclusive development through the promotion of the diversity and uniqueness of each culture and individual on our planet.

The program in Opatija begins with an exhibition of oldtimers in the port of Opatija, where fans of antique cars will present their well-preserved vehicles to visitors as a "warm-up" for the Liburnia Classic Rally, a traditional oldtimer race that will depart from the port at 10.30. At 10 o'clock in front of Villa Angiolina, an active walk will start, ie a recreational Nordic walking program. In addition to contributing to the health of the participants, this activity will also provide an opportunity to see Opatija's natural and cultural sights.

On Sunday, September 26, the cultural and historical features of the "cradle of Croatian tourism" will be presented in a unique way through a costumed walk through the history of Opatija, which will start in front of Villa Angiolina at 10 am. The guided tour will take place in Croatian and English, and the participants will discover the secrets of Opatija's past with some of the interesting historical figures who participated in them. After the walk, from 11.30 am, a performance of the klapa Baladur will take place in Portić, a small port in front of the Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion.

The World Tourism Day itself, Monday, September 27, will be marked by a klapa song. On that day, from 7 pm, the music program of Klapa va Portić will be held at the same place.

Finally, let’s say all the programs are free and maintained in accordance with epidemiological measures.

To learn more about one of Kvarner's most impressive jewels, be sure to read our complete Total Croatia guide, Opatija in a page. Now in your language!

For more, check out our travel section.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Picasso and Miro Exhibition to Be Held in Opatija This Summer

ZAGREB, 9 May 2021 - The original works of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro will be exhibited this summer in the Juraj Šporer Art Pavillion in Opatija, a press conference heard last Wednesday.

The exhibition opens on 2 June and will last until 10 October 2021, the director of the Opatija Festival, Ernie Gigante Dešković, said. A part of the exhibition is dedicated to Picasso and the other to Miro, under the common title "Friendship, Freedom", said Gigante Drašković.

"A few years ago we brought back the performances of great international music stars to the Summer Stage. Thus the Summer Stage again became one of Croatia's most important music locations. Now we have decided to do the same with the Juraj Šporer Art Pavillion", he said.

Those behind the Opatija Festival have decided to turn that exhibition area into one of the most important locations in Croatia, where it will be possible to see attractive international exhibitions.

In order to meet the high standards and conditions required by this exhibition, the gallery space is being remodeled and special security measures are being introduced.

As a co-organizer of the exhibition, the director of IPL Art, Iva Piglić Lazić, said that the preparation had been underway for seven months now. The works that will be on display are part of private collections and could not be seen in Croatia by now, she said.

Of the 140 works available, we will exhibit most of them, Piglić Lazić said. She especially thanked the Opatija Tourist Board and the City of Opatija, who had recognized the project, for cooperation, as well as other associates and sponsors.

For more travel information about Opatija, be sure to visit Total Croatia's guide HERE.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 16 April 2021

Brand New Opatija Riviera Hotel Being Constructed in Autumn

April the 16th, 2021 - Yet another beautiful Opatija Riviera hotel is set to be constructed in autumn this year, bringing yet more luxury to this picturesque part of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, although there are still a lot of challenges ahead of this Opatija Riviera hotel project, the construction of a brand new luxury hotel next to the marina in Icici should begin this year. It marks an investment from the Hungarian entrepreneur Lorinz Meszaros worth a massive 50 million euros, which may bring a new global hotel brand to Kvarner.

Optimism despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis

Denis Sikljan, the owner of the DDG Group, which developed the project on the land of a former hospital, which covers 20,000 square metres next to Marina Icici, confirmed that the main project has faced delays because of the pandemic.

The new Opatija Riviera hotel will be a five star facility with 180 rooms and 12 villas, next to which a square for public use will be built, and the project includes the construction of an access road, a pedestrian bridge to the sea, and a new rainwater drainage system from Ucka. Fountains, shopping facilities and complete horticultural landscaping are planned on the public square, which will become the new center of Icici.

"We're very optimistic about it all, although we do still have a lot of work to do, precisely because a number of public institutions are involved in all of this, from the state to local government and public companies, and it involves a series of permits that must be obtained for implementation.

For now, everything is going according to plan, although slower because the pandemic has slowed down the administrative processes, and part of the property status of some of the land needs to be resolved. Once the works start, and we expect them to begin to be right after this summer season, everything should be completed within two calendar years.

It would have been earlier, but we have to take into account the ban on such work during the tourist season, which automatically takes away eight months of work,'' revealed Sikljan, who took over the project from Karlovacka banka after the bankruptcy of Industrogradnja, which initially purchased it from KBC Rijeka. There used to be a hospital for lung diseases on the land, and it end up being left totally neglected for a long time.

The investor, Meszaros, is known to the public as the owner of NK Osijek, and he connected with Sikljan, a well-known developer of luxury tourist projects in Kvarner, mostly on Krk, through sport.

The investor profile

The company that is implementing the project in Icici is Rivas Hotels & Resort, registered back at the end of 2019 in Rijeka, and its founder is the company Talentis group, owned by the family of Lorinzo Meszaros.

The company has 30 hotels in its portfolio in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Montenegro, and soon plans to develop a strategy for its expansion in Croatia, with Icici as the first hotel project.

Meszaros is also the owner of the company Mirno more, which owns Vila Maria in the bay of Ceprljanda in Ugljan, and reached the eyes of the media when five years ago a group of hooligans shot at the windows in the house where national team member Ivan Rakitic was staying with his family.

The Talentis Group points out on its Linkedin profile that it is one of the most prestigious investors in Hungary, which is currently developing a new innovative city on 5,000 hectares, with more than 300 real estate projects in the western suburbs of the capital city of Budapest.

Over the last few years, they have completed projects worth more than 100 million euros in total, and in addition to hotel facilities, they have also developed a shopping centre and logistics centres.

For more on upcoming business ventures and projects in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Opatija Camellias: A Symbol of Opatija on Display (PHOTOS)

April 6, 2021 - There is no doubt that Opatija is synonymous with Croatian tourism quality. But this beautiful Adriatic city has drawn many tourists and occasional travelers from around the world for another reason - Opatija camellias!

Just like in the past, today, the people of Opatija treat this beautiful, odorless flower with due respect, which adorns their parks and gardens with its charm in winter, early spring, and autumn again. Maybe they are shaded, maybe red or yellow or white, but each of these delicate flowers always elicits a smile of beauty, admiration, and that well-known feeling of love.

Frenchwoman Marie Duplessis, the real love of Dumas, in whose memory he wrote The Girl Who Loved Camellias (embodied in the romantic drama of the same name as Marguerite Gautier and played by the inimitable Greta Garbo), told fans to bring her camellias because she likes candied grapes because they have no taste, and camellias because they have no smell.


Slobodan Kadic

Opatija camellias exude fashion and are a recognizable brand of the city, to which fashion is another name. And if you think that's the end of the story, then you're wrong!

The Association of Camellia Lovers from Opatija successfully organized the annual exhibition "Camellia 2021." Thus, visitors to the Šporer Gallery could admire the symbol of Opatija and infinite love for three days and also choose their most beautiful flower out of a hundred that arrived.


Slobodan Kadic

"Everyone had the opportunity to see this symphony of fresh flowers, photographs, but also children's works by kindergarteners and elementary school students on the topic of camellias. Members of the Association presented their unique souvenirs, and we rewarded the owners of the most beautiful flowers and shrubs that were previously inspected and photographed," says the charming Mira Shalabi, the new president of the Association of Camellia Lovers.


Slobodan Kadic

The opening of the exhibition was an evening to remember. Gabrijela Deglin, singer of the Croatian National Theater Rijeka, accompanied by pianist Vladimir Babin, performed an aria from the opera La Traviata, "Addio del Passato," and Laura Valenčić from the Ivan Matetić Ronjgov Music School, accompanied by her father Aleksandar Valenčić, Ivanka Klovar, a member of the Rijeka Writers' Association, and Dorian Rubeš, also from the Music School, presented themselves.

Sofia Šmitran from Rijeka, Ingeborg Prasnikar from Poljane (Opatija) and Antonija Cvetković from Rijeka were chosen for the most beautiful camellia flowers. Sofija Šmitran from Rijeka (first and third place) and Nikola Turina from Opatija (second place) were also chosen for the most beautiful camellia bush. Several hundred visitors chose the camellia of Čedna Hotzi Raffanelli from Opatija as the most beautiful flower, second place to Marija Benko from Mošćenička Draga, and the third place was shared by Mirjana Mendrila from Kastav and Dolores Miletić from Rijeka.


Slobodan Kadic

"And the prizes were again camellias. You know, the camellia does not thrive everywhere, and Opatija is extremely suitable for it due to its humid climate, with shady places under the trees, possibly the northern part, and necessarily acidic soil. About a hundred flowers were reported, and each was different. They were all from private gardens," Shalabi continues, emphasizing that especially gorgeous camellias in Opatija can be seen in the Angiolina Park, a real carousel of different colors in one place.


Slobodan Kadic

The Camellia Lovers Association has been active since 2008 and has 140 members. Their goal was to promote their Opatija as a city of camellias.

"We were helped by the City of Opatija, but also by the Tourist Board of Opatija, with which we have excellent cooperation. The biggest stress in the exhibition's preparation was the epidemiological measures that we adhered to in detail, and we did not know until the end whether we would be able to hold the exhibition at all!"

They are especially proud of joining the International Camellia Society. Croatia recently and officially became the 16th region at the 2018 International Camellia Congress in Nantes. Wild species of camellias are most widespread in the countries of East and Southeast Asia but are grown in many countries. Thanks to the beautiful shapes of the tree, colorful and magnificent flowers, and bright evergreen leaves, the camellia is adored by flower lovers and appreciated by gardeners worldwide.


Slobodan Kadic

"The cultivation of the first camellia in Opatija can be traced back to 1845. In the meantime, the camellia has become a favorite ornamental flower and garden plant in Croatia. Let camellias bloom in Croatia! Let the people in Croatia be happy!" said Guan Kaiyun, President of the International Camellia Association.

Members of the Opatija Association of Camellia Lovers do not rest. They are already planning to plant five large camellias around the Faculty of Tourism Management in Opatija and organize a school in nature for elementary school students.

"I hope that we will achieve that, and in November when those autumn/winter camellias bloom, we would also like to organize a camellia planting event with a musical event that would enrich the act of planting," concluded Shalabi, inviting all readers to come to Opatija and enjoy its flowers of life!


Slobodan Kadic

The first camellia of the Camellia japonica variety with the prefix Rubra simplex was delivered to Opatija by the renowned Trieste-Rijeka merchant Iginio Scarpa. His brother-in-law Giovani Guglielmo Sartorio helped him transport from the royal park in Pillnitz near Dresden back in 1845. Scarpa wanted to plant a camellia in the park next to his villa as a symbol of love and memory of his prematurely deceased wife, Angiolina.

To read more about travel, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Opatija Advent Magic Next to New York, Paris, London in Light Magazine

February 15, 2021 – Opatija Advent magic received world quality certification as one of the world's leading manufacturers of light decorations, Blachere Illumination, included Opatija's photo in its Light Magazine catalog for 2021.

As reported from the City of Opatija, the French Blachere Illumination has thus ranked Opatija alongside the world's largest cities such as New York, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Budapest, and others, whose photos are also presented in this year's edition.

This is a new success of the Most Beautiful Advent by the Sea, this time globally. After Opatija's holiday story virtually traveled Croatia and the world, it will now remain inscribed as an example of quality and attractive city planning and inspiration for similar projects worldwide.


Source: Visit Opatija

Opatija thus received valuable confirmation of the great effort invested in the city's arrangement over the past holidays. Also, Opatija has become a model and inspiration for organizers of similar events around the world.

"We are pleased with Opatija Advent's success and promotion as the 'Most Beautiful Advent by the Sea,' received worldwide. This year, we received numerous compliments from visitors to Opatija who were enchanted by its holiday atmosphere. Now the profession, those responsible for the fairytale appearance of the world's largest Advent destinations, confirmed its success. Opatija is now among them, and it is a great success to be a part of a catalog that will tour the whole world," said the Opatija Tourist Board director Suzi Petričić.


Source: Visit Opatija

Blachere Illumination is a French company with a tradition of producing Christmas, New Year, and other occasional light decorations for more than 45 years. Today, it is an international family of companies whose primary goal is to bring light around the world. In production, they pay exceptional attention to preserving the environment and reducing the carbon footprint. They use 80 percent less aluminum in the production of light decorations, and they also recycle all parts of the decorations.

They have 30 branches worldwide, and they are also present in Croatia, where there is a branch in charge of eight countries in the region – Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro.


Source: Visit Opatija

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Sunday, 24 January 2021

PHOTOS: Incredible Seaside Opatija Villa Design For Sale

January 24, 2021 – With breathtaking views of the Kvarner Gulf and island Cres, Opatija Villa Design is an award-winning triumph of contemporary architecture, its purchase a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Sitting on the coastal road to Rijeka, only around one and a half kilometres northeast of Opatija, the village of Volosko has almost been consumed by its famous and opulent neighbour. Indeed, many today refer to Volosko as a neighbourhood of Opatija. But, that wasn't always the case.

volosko.jpegThe beautiful seaside village of Volosko and its harbour © Visit Opatija

With its own micro-climate and its own distinct bay within the Kvarner Gulf, Volosko is one of the best places in the region for windsurfing. Taking advantage of the best conditions in the very early morning, as dawn spreads a brightening light over Volosko, surfers get a great view of its harbour. Before the village became regarded as part of Opatija, it was actually tied to the great walled town of Kastav, located some five kilometres above on the mountainside. Volosko was the town's port.

Surfers eyeing the Volosko shoreline might also get a glimpse of the incredible Opatija Villa Design, sitting in the foothills above Volosko. Once you see it, it's tough to miss. It looks like literally nothing else within eyesight. An oblong box with glorious sea-facing windows, truth be told, you have to get much closer to Opatija Villa Design to fully appreciate all of its award-winning design.


While instantly noticeable because it extends out diagonally, leaving half of the dwelling floating in space, this prominent rectangular box is actually less than half the story of Opatija Villa Design. The part you can't spot from the surf is another whole half of the property - a brick-walled structure lies beneath, built into the hillside like a cave, covered atop with gardens and grass. There's also a sleek outdoor swimming pool.


Opatija Villa Design was commissioned back in 2010 and was originally called Nest and Cave House. In 2012, the villa earned architect Idis Turato the national Drago Galić award as part of the Annual Realization Exhibition for the most successful achievement in residential architecture. Later that year, Opatija Villa Design was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe International Award.


However impressive its upper floor may look from the sea, that's nothing compared to the view of the Adriatic gifted by the positioning of the Opatija Villa Design. Stretching out before you in widescreen is the entire Kvarner Gulf – to the left, the buzzing city of Rijeka, less than 20 minutes by car, similarly perched in the rising foothills. In front of you, the island of Cres floats on the waves, beneath you the Austro-Hungarian grandeur of Opatija proper, between them the speeding sails of the windsurfers. To grant maximum time before this breathtaking view, the living space is located on the upper floor, the bedrooms hidden from the intense heat of midsummer in the cavern below.


On the upper floor's 100 square metres are a living room, dining room, kitchen, storage and toilet, beside a garage of 35 square meters. Beyond the driveway and upper lawns lie solar panels which top up the Opatija Villa Design's electricity.


An open staircase leads to the lower floor - also around 100 square metres - which contains a more formal living room for entertaining plus a double bedroom and another bedroom. Outside of the cave's patio doors lie a large outdoor dining area (shaded from the sun by the floating part of the upper floor), extensive lawn space and the pool. The entire property is surrounded by hedges or walls to maintain privacy.


Ten years after its inception, the property is once again in the spotlight because it has come up for sale. Its price tag? A not inconsiderable 3,011,806 dollars, or 18 million kuna. According to great regional portal, the property is listed on the pages of luxury real estate agent Croatia Sotheby's International Realty. For someone who can meet the asking price, Opatija Villa Design offers the chance to turn dream living into a reality.

All images © Croatia Sotheby's International Realty unless otherwise accredited

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Kvarner Goes Green: Opatija and Rijeka Integrated Rail and Bus

January 7, 2021 – From the Bay of Bakar through the beaches of Rijeka to the opulence of Opatija and up, all the way to the border with Slovenia, Kvarner residents and visitors will be able to travel with just one ticket across the whole of the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network

An existing co-operation between rail and bus operators in Kvarner was today extended, allowing the Rijeka Integrated Rail and Bus network to continue for at least another year. This holds exciting implications for travel in the region for years to come.

Planned changes to the infrastructure of the coastal part of the north Kvarner Bay mean that within the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme, you will soon be able to travel from the Bay of Bakar, stop off at a series of Rijeka beaches, hop back on public transport to go to Opatija and even travel beyond the coast, all the way to the border with Slovenia, using just one ticket. Passengers will not be limited in their choice to travel by either aril or bus.

An Autotrolej bus, longtime providers of local bus services in Rijeka © Grad Rijeka

The Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme, organised through Kvarner County, Rijeka, Matulji and Bakar Town Halls, rail and local bus operators is an eco-friendly drive that seeks to encourage people to leave their cars at home and instead choose public transport. However, access to the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network is not limited to commuting workers and travelling students. Although the scheme is most cost-effective using a monthly ticket, day tickets are available for the network which may be of huge appeal to visitors wishing to explore a wider portion of Kvarner's northern coast.

The train station of Opatija Matulji © Damir Covic 1939 / Matulji Tourist Board

Rijeka integrated rail and bus: International

What makes the extension of the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme even more welcome is the planned overhaul of infrastructure that will accompany it.

Fifteen extra stations will be added (or reactivated) on the route between Kantrida in the west of Rijeka, along the Rijeka seafront and on to the outskirts of Bakar. Furthermore, the entire train line from Bakar to Šapjane will be brought into the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme with the completion of a second train track along the route.

Šapjane_train_station_from_Regiojet_1047_Prague_to_Rijeka.jpgTrains along the line at Šapjane. Next stop Slovenia! © DiningCar_

Šapjane, in the municipality of Matulji, lies 20 kilometres inland, north of Opatija. It sits right on the border with Slovenia. The train line extends across this border, through the Slovenian town of Ilirska Bistrica, and then on to Postojna and Ljubljana, Italy or Austria. This means the Rijeka integrated rail and bus scheme will be directly linked to another green, international travel network.

These routes will all be linked to the incoming, double-tracked Pan-European fast train network, which, as TCN highlighted last year, will connect this part of Kvarner with France, Spain and Portugal in the west all the way to eastern Hungary via Zagreb and Budapest. Needless to say, it will require more than a single day ticket (cvikalica) from the Rijeka integrated rail and bus network to make such a journey!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The Biggest Hit Of Advent 2020? Kvarner Christmas Online

January 5, 2020 – Thanks to the imaginative coverage of local portal, more than half a million people visited Kvarner Christmas online over the 2020 holidays. From the spectacular lights of Opatija and Rijeka, to toy bears in Rijeka cafe bars, this is what they saw...

Everyone will remember the Advent of 2020 as unusual. Many were separated from friends and family. Others weren't able to travel nor visit the places or people we wanted to. The difference was noted significantly in Croatia, where family means everything, especially at Christmas.

Over recent years, Croatia has become one of the best-known places in Europe to visit for the Advent season. Zagreb's award-winning Advent celebrations have spurred on efforts elsewhere in the country and many towns and cities in Croatia now pull out all the stops during Advent, gloriously decorating their streets and holding events that draw thrilled visitors.

Under the unusual constraints of 2020, one Advent season in Croatia imaginatively continued to draw the crowds. Although, it wasn't so much the streets that were jammed as it was the internet servers. With the considerable help of local news portal, Kvarner Christmas Online welcomed tens of thousands of visitors.

Thanks to the imaginative coverage of, Kvarner Christmas Online was visited by well over half a million people in 2020. While many bars in Europe remained closed to human customers, Rijeka cake and ice cream cafe Cacao took the opportunity to fill its empty chairs with toy bears during Kvarner Christmas Online.'s video of the scene was viewed almost 245,000 times.

Their video of the Advent lights in the Gradina part of the city fared even better. Always a spectacular highlight of Kvarner Christmas online,'s video of Gradina got more than 300,000 views.

With its beautiful city centre parks, peaceful walks and promenade, the Advent season of nearby Opatija has become an increasingly popular choice for visitors over the winter holidays. And, in 2020, that was still the case during Kvarner Christmas online. 's video from the Opatija park near Šporer generated over 190 thousand views.

It just goes to show that while the Advent of 2020 may have been curtailed in unexpected ways, there's no dampening of the love of Christmas and the festive spirit.'s video viewers will surely be lining up to visit Kvarner Christmas in person as soon as they can.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

18th Liburnia Film Festival Begins In Opatija

August 23, 2020 – 21 films are in competition at Liburnia Film Festival, the country's leading festival promoting Croatian documentaries.

Liburnia Film Festival (LFF) returns this week to showcase the very best in Croatian documentary films. Held in the beautiful surroundings of Opatija, this is the 18th annual occurrence for Croatia's original documentary festival.

Opatija's small Summer Stage will host the festival's main competition programme, with an off-programme taking place at Villa Antonio in Opatija you will find. 21 films are this year competing for jury and audience awards, of which 9 are receiving their premieres at Liburnia Film Festival.

A scene from 2020 feature-length documentary 'Storkman' by Tomislav Jelinčić. The film follows Slavonski Brod widower Stjepan Vokić and his two famous, adopted house guests, the storks Malena and Klepetan. The film opens outdoor screenings on Monday 24 August at 20.15 © Transmedia Production

This year's international film programme is titled 'State of Emergency' and features 7 movies which focus on extremist movements in Europe. Part of this year's Liburnia Film Festival schedule is being run in conjunction with Rijeka Capital of Culture 2020.

A scene from 2020 film 'My Universe' by Zagreb-based filmmaker Yuliya Molina. Russian immigrant mother Galja and her feminist street artist daughter Nastja appear to be worlds apart, but actually have more in common than they'd like to admit. The 28-minute movie won Best Slovenian Film at the recent FEKK Film Festival in Ljubljana and will be screened outdoors, after 22.30, on Monday 24 August © Akademija dramske umjetnosti Zagreb

Educational programmes and discussions with filmmakers in competition make up the afternoon sections of the festival. Screenings begin at around 18.00 each day at Villa Antonio for the off-programme, with outdoor screenings usually beginning at 20.15. The festival is adhering to epidemiological guidelines and as a result, there are a more limited number of seats than in previous years.

The Liburnia Film Festival begins on the evening of Monday 24 August and ends late on the night of Friday 28 August.

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