You may have heard of places in Europe like Stockholm, Rome, and Paris, but perhaps not Opatija. This stunning town in Croatia is found on the blue-green waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Opatija is considered the birthplace of coastal tourism in Croatia. Located between the mountains and the seas, the town is renowned for being a go-to place for improving your well-being.

This jewel of a place is wonderful to visit if you’re looking to escape from the holiday crowds.

Opatija might sound like it’s a world away, but it’s actually not. It’s just over 2 hours drive from Venice, Italy. Or a short 2-hour flight from London brings you to the nearby town of Pula in Croatia.

Opatija is a gem of a town. Here are 9 things we recommend you do when visiting Opatija.

 

1. Explore the Lungomare coastal promenade

This promenade is a picturesque footpath that follows the shorefront of Opatija. You’ll be able to enjoy the calming blue waters of the Adriatic Sea on one side and the charm of Opatija’s town on the other.

Following the Lungomare coastal promenade will take you past many of the best beaches in Opatija. You’ll be able to take in the fresh sea air as you stroll along one of the town’s favourite walking paths for locals and tourists alike.

The promenade will also take you past many landmarks and pieces of history. The footpath goes past the famous “Girl with a seagull” statue. You’ll also be able to take in the 19th century architecture, hundred-year-old trees, Opatija’s many stunning parks and enjoy a refreshing drink by the water.

If you’re feeling energetic, the gorgeous promenade spans 12 kilometres (7.4 miles). It allows you to walk from Volosko to Lovran and explore the coastline in between.

Fortunately, you don’t have to hike it all in one day. You can pick a section of it and enjoy!

 

2. Feast on Mediterranean seafood

Chefs in Opatija make the most of the town’s seaside location. In Opatija, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating fresh seafood.

Dine on local ingredients that have been made into delicious Mediterranean meals. From wild asparagus and truffles to Kvarner scampi, there are lots of culinary delights to enjoy.

Opatija boasts some of the best dining in Croatia. The food at Opatija’s high-end restaurants is superb. If you’re after adventurous and seasonally focused cuisine, make sure you visit Volosko. This area has a reputation for being the gastronomic hub of the Opatija region.

Whether you’re into fine dining or prefer something more toned down, Opatija has a wide range of mouth-watering restaurants to choose from. And it’s not just the seafood that’s a must-try, there’s also a range of Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine to try.

Your taste buds won’t be disappointed in Opatija.

 

3. Spend a relaxing day at a wellness centre

If the thought of destressing sounds wonderful to you, a hit of Opatija could be just what you need!

Opatija has some of the oldest health spas in Croatia. The town was founded as a health resort in 1873. Since then, the Opatija has grown into one of the most respected wellness and health tourism destinations in Croatia.

The town is an oasis of relaxing baths and soothing wellness treatments. It’s certainly a place that can help restore your energy and make you feel rejuvenated.

In Opatija, you have many wellness centres to choose from. You’ll find Finnish saunas, a wide range of massages, pools filled with heated seawater and lots of other treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and pampered.

 

4. Watch a show at the Open Air Theatre

Opatija’s Open Air Theatre is located right by the gorgeous waters of the Adriatic Sea. You’ll be able to soak up the fresh sea air and enjoy entertainment under the starry night sky.

The theatre is located next to the famous Angiolina Park. With its charismatic stone walls and lots of greenery, Opatija Open Air Theatre is simply beautiful.

The Open Air Theatre isn’t just for theatre shows either. You can also enjoy film nights, concerts, and festivals at the venue. From jazz, ballets, symphony orchestras and operas to plays and popular music, the Open Air Theatre holds events for a wide range of tastes.

The theatre is well worth a visit for a hit of culture in a spectacular location.

 

5. Hike up Učka mountain

When many people think of Opatija, they think of relaxing days at the beach, peaceful strolls in beautiful parks and scrumptious dinners with a stunning water view.

With the amazing coastline Opatija has, it’s understandable that seaside activities might first spring to mind. What is a little bit of a secret is that the mountains behind Opatija are gorgeous as well.

If you’re feeling active, take a walk up Učka mountain. The peak stands 1,400 metres above sea level and offers gorgeous views of Croatia’s Kvarner Gulf.

At the peak of Učka mountain, be sure to climb the stone tower. From the top of the tower, you’ll be rewarded with incredible 360-degree views. You’ll be able to soak up the sights of Opatija, the Adriatic Sea, the Kvarner islands, Istria and beyond.

 

6. Explore Croatia’s tourism history

Opatija has deep roots in wellness. The town was originally founded as a health resort. It was even declared a climatic health resort in 1899.

Don’t miss visiting the magnificent Villa Angiolina. This historic mansion was built in 1844 by the merchant Ignio Scarpa and is renowned as one of the grandest buildings in Opatija. It now houses the Museum of Croatian Tourism.

Opatija also boasts the first hotel on the Adriatic Coast. Hotel Kvarner set a standard for elegance and is well worth a visit. The hotel helped to create an image of Opatija as a fashionable health resort back in the 19th century, and its sense of luxury continues to this day. Head over to Hotel Kvarner to indulge your taste buds at its à la carte restaurant or enjoy a cocktail on its seaside terrace.

 

7. Take a relaxing day at the beach

A trip to Opatija probably wouldn’t be complete without a day of relaxing at the beach.

Stretch out and soak up the sun on one of Opatija’s stunning public beaches. Or try one of the town’s beach clubs.

Once the sun goes down, you can still make the most of the seaside. Continue your seaside outing with a drink at one of Opatija’s popular beach bars.

 

8. Wander the historic town centre

What visit to a European city would be complete without visiting its historic town square?

Stroll around the narrow streets, taking in Opatija’s historical charm and unique ambience.

You’ll be greeted with sights of Austrian architecture and get to explore the local Croatian culture.

 

9. Stroll Opatija’s gardens

Opatija is a town of parks and botanical gardens, with many dating back over 100 years. In these green spaces, you’ll find yourself in an oasis of peace.

If secret gardens appeal to you, make sure you pay a visit to the American Gardens. Located in the centre of town, this is a magnificent park with views of Kvarner Bay.

Another garden to visit is The Angiolina Park. This botanical garden boasts over 124 plant species, including a number of exotic plants. It’s easy to stroll around The Angiolina Park and feel your worries melt away.

 


 

If you’re wanting to travel to a gorgeous seaside town where you can relax, unwind, and indulge in European culture, Opatija could be the next holiday destination for you.

Some of Save on Medical Tourism’s trusted dental partners are located within Opatija. If you’re interested in combining affordable dental care with an overseas holiday, get in touch.