Itinerary in the Gulf of Kvarner | Surprising region little known to travelers

Itinerary in the Gulf of Kvarner | Surprising region little known to travelers


So it’s a quieter, less touristy Croatia that we’re taking you on a tour of Zagreb, the Gulf of Kvarner and the beautiful Plitvice National Park in the north-west of the country.


From Croatia, it has to be said that many of us only know the south, with Split, Zadar and the beautiful city of Dubrovnik. A highly sought-after region, often with very high visitor numbers.
This country of 5 million inhabitants has other riches to offer, well-known national parks such as Plitvice but also little-known corners of French travelers that deserve a stopover. We present the region of Kvarner, located between Dalmatia and Istria to the north. The Kvarner Gulf is known for its many islands and varied landscapes. This region is very popular with our Italian and German neighbors, who like to spend time on the islands of Krk, Rab, Cres, Losinj and Baska Bay.
To help you plan your trip, we invite you to read our articles on Croatia:

| ZAGREB – J1 & J2


When you think of Croatia, the first cities that spring to mind are Dubrovnik and Split, which have become very touristy and sometimes criticized. The country’s capital, Zagreb, is often overlooked but is an important stopover when visiting Croatia. You’ll be surprised by its architecture and relaxed lifestyle. That’s why we’ve put together a detailed guide to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Here you’ll find ideas for sightseeing, places to eat and bars where you can sample the local cuisine. Discover our guide to Zagreb.




It’s a 2-hour drive from Zagreb (130km) that we now arrive, in the Lake District National Park Plitvice. It’s certainly Croatia’s most beautiful natural phenomenon, famous for its waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes planted in the middle of the Dinarides forest. This popular park offers magnificent views, which you can discover by walking one or more of the 8 trails that dot the park. You’ll find details of the ideal organization for discovering this counter-current phenomenon in our article on Plitvice to make the most of this magical place.





Le voyage dans le Golfe de Kvarner commence dès maintenant. Cette région aussi appelée la baie de Kvarner se situe au nord de la mer Adriatique. Elle s’étend entre la riviera d’Opatija à l’ouest en passant par Rijeka et l’île de Pag au sud. Sa position privilégiée, protégée par des massifs montagneux en fait une région où le climat est clément et la flore variée.




  • Ile de Rab

Now we’re off to the Adriatic coast and much more peaceful places. Direction Stinica for a short 10-minute car ferry crossing to the island of Rab known as the sunniest place in Europe and the greenest island with over 40% forest on its total surface area. The island nicknamed “Happy Island” Happy island, with its smiling inhabitants, is a small haven of peace. Here, green and arid spaces coexist due to the bura, the wind that sweeps across parts of the island, preventing vegetation from growing. The island is mainly visited in summer by Germans and Italians, but remains much less busy than the south, with its famous city of Dubrovnik.

The city of Rab is its main asset. Founded 350 BC, the town is surrounded by well-preserved ramparts and boasts a rich heritage and character, thanks in particular to its characteristic white stone. From Rab, you can enjoy active tourism with kayaking, wreck diving, hiking and mountain biking as we did on the island’s many trails. Enjoy the seaside with small coves and woodland passages to keep you cool when the sun beats down. Discover the city strolling through the narrow streets and admire the views offered by certain church steeples, such as the one at the top of the Kriz Tower.

If you want to discover the island’s hidden coves, you can explore by sea kayaking one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. Visit Rab geopark is a wild island in the Dalmatian archipelago. It offers spectacular seascapes and ancient architecture. Paddle at your own pace and explore its rustic charm, abundant nature, caves and beaches accessible only with the tides.


➡️ Check availability and book your kayak online


For epicureans, don’t miss out on Rab’s culinary delights. Taste their honey but also the Rabska Torta, an 800-year-old almond-based pastry that you’ll find in the store on the square at the end of the medina next to the tourist office. At the back of the store is a tearoom where pies are made for you to take home. Tested and approved by us! (140 HRK per medium-sized torta).




  • Lopar

The island of Rab also offers a beach side just a 10-minute drive away, on the peninsula Lopar. This seaside resort is very popular in summer, but it also offers 22 sandy beaches and plenty of coves and spaces where you may only be able to lay down one or two towels at most. Peace and quiet are guaranteed, but it takes a little physical effort to get there. Yes, being alone in the world has to be earned! But isn’t that the price of paradise? The largest beach is paradise beach but it’s also the busiest. For families, there are 88 geopark points, including 44 on Lopar. Every Thursday, there’s a free walk to discover the geological sites.

Here are a few deserted beaches for you to enjoy: the Stolac nature beach hidden in a pine forest and Ciganka beach, (nudist beach )a little more deserted and arid.



✖️ We stayed at the Valamar Padova a modern seaside hotel with a lovely view of the old town. There are boutique hotels, but they were being renovated when we visited. An apartment rents for an average of €35 a night in May, and for €60 to €80 a night in high season. Homestay is also available. To reserve click here.

✖️ If you prefer to book an apartment, I suggest save €34 on your Airbnb reservation

We recommend Rab’s best addresses:

  • De tester le restaurant « Konoba Trattoria » une petite taverne locale très atypique par sa décoration, où vous goutterez une cuisine traditionnelle très savoureuse. (au mois de mai ils ont un très bon risotto aux asperges).
  • De ne pas rater un dîner au restaurant de l’hôtel « Barbat » à 4 km en dessous de RAB où vous pourrez déguster un menu de 5 plats absolument délicieux avec un dessert à la truffe à se taper les fesses au sol. (Environ 300 HRK/pers avec le vin).
  • A Lopar, déjeunez au Stella Bistro sur l’île de Lopar (calamars grillés avec croquettes de pomme de terre + dessert le tout pour 150 HRK/p)



On the island of Rab, enjoy a drink at the bar “Banova villa ” along the promenade from where you can enjoy a pleasant waterside ambience with a beautiful view of the city.

✖️ Entrance to the bell tower of the Kriz tower (admission €3 from late May to early October).

✖️ Electric bike rental 250 HRK/p on Rab Island

✖️ Unlicensed boat rental at Lopar, approx. €50 per day

✖️ Rent a scooter for a ride in Lopar, €20 for about 3 hours



  • Trajet Plitvice → Rab : 2h15 de route départementale sinueuse et longue
  • Traversée Lopar → Kirk comptez 1h30 de bateau (1 voiture + 2 personnes 202K). Attention les bateaux sont à l’heure!
  • Traversée du car ferry 132 HRK pour 2 Personnes + 1 voiture / temps de traversée 13 minutes. Trajet toutes les 30 minutes sauf en haute saison où les navettes sont plus fréquentes.




Krk is a rather surprising island in the Gulf of Kvarner. the island’s administrative, cultural and religious center. This large Croatian island in the northern Adriatic Sea is linked to the mainland by a bridge. The island of Krk is divided into seven municipalities: Krk, Punat, Baska, Dobrinj, Malinska, Omisalj and Vrbnik and attracts over 500,000 visitors every year in search of tranquillity, authenticity, charming villages and relaxation.

The island has a wealth of sandy and pebble beaches for the seaside, but it also offers more sporting and thrilling activities, which can be found along the coast and in the mountains. For example, we tried out the Tyrolean traverse in the mountains, with a breathtaking view!


➡️ Book your accrobranche online now


We have prepared a detailed article on krk island must-sees as well as our favorite accommodations and addresses.





  • Dans la continuité du trajet depuis Rab, et pour rejoindre l’Opatija Riviera, vous ferez une nouvelle traversée en car-ferry depuis Lopar (300 HRK/ 2 pers + 1 voiture ; 2h). Cette île, plus grande que RAB est reliée par un pont au continent sur sa partie Nord et possède un aéroport et un accès directe à la Riviera à partir de Rijeka.





  • La ville de Rijeka

Rijeka, located on the Bay of Kvarner, is not a large city, but it is the 3rd largest (143,000 inhabitants) and the country’s main port. Rijeka, which means “river” in Croatian, built its wealth on its port, which under the Austro-Hungarian Empire was one of Europe’s biggest cargo ports. At first glance, the town didn’t appeal to us, but Rijeka’s main attraction is its not-to-be-missed market located around the old 19th-century halles. You’ll feel the Latin spirit of this incredible city, where there’s no mass tourism, only locals! On the heights, discover Trsat, with its castle overlooking Rijeka, is also worth a visit. Take a stroll down Rijeka’s main pedestrian shopping street, where you’ll find boutiques and cafés. Numerous events are organized here and in the city throughout the year, including rock festivals. And yes, Rijeka also has a lively nightlife. Bars and clubs are open until the early hours.

➡️ If you are looking for accommodation in Rijeka, you can always find what you’re looking for here.

Le Saviez-vous ? Le Carnaval de Rijeka qui a lieu au mois de mars, est le 3ème carnaval d’Europe le plus connu avec Venise et Nice ? C’est une bonne raison pour y aller car la ville sera capitale culturelle de l’Europe en 2020.

Si vous souhaitez vous poser davantage à Rijeka, nous vous recommandons quelques activités atypiques à faire autour pour découvrir des grottes de mer aux eaux translucides mais aussi de vivre des sensations fortes.




Vous trouverez autour de Rijeka, une palette d’activités intéressante. Découvrir le catalogue des activités ici. Nous vous avons sélectionné celles que nous aimions bien:


  • Rafting à Karlovac
C’est de loin l’activité d’eau vive la plus excitante de la côte nord de la Croatie à 1h de route de Rijeka. Situé à seulement une heure de la ville de Rijeka, cette excursion est facile-modérée, dans certains cas après de fortes pluies, il peut être très intensif. Vous ferez l’expérience des vagues d’eau vive et des rapides. Sensations assurées


  • Kayak de mer à Kamenjak

Découvrez les trésors cachés du cap Kamenjak, à 25 minutes de route de Rijeka, lors de cette excursion amusante et passionnante en kayak qui vous mènera dans les plus belles grottes le long de la côte croate!


➡️ Vérifier les disponibilités et réservez le Kayak de mer en ligne


  • Allez déjeuner au restaurant « konoba tarsa ». Une adresse au cadre rustique et une cuisine traditionnelle avec de l’agneau grillé, du cheval, et des spécialités de pâtes à la truffe et de risottos. Environ 30€/p pour un déjeuner copieux avec vin de table en pichet. On a vraiment très bien mangé.
  • Vous avez aussi la possibilité de déjeuner autour du marché dans 3 restaurants: Konoba Na Kantunu, Konoba Fiume et Konoba 051





  • Opatija

As it is always very important to end a trip on a positive note, we found the right destination, theOpatija Riviera. This coastline, laid out in the 19th century by the Austro-Hungarians, is a combination of aesthetics, charm and authenticity. It starts after the town of Rjeka, approaching Italy, more precisely Opatija. This seaside resort is absolutely enchanting and I can tell you that we’ve fallen under its spell. Numerous villas and boutique hotels line the seafront, all in the refined Austro-Hungarian architectural style.
Coming here is like walking through the history of the “belle époque”, when people began to enjoy the pleasures of vacations on the shores of the Adriatic. You’ll find beautiful pebble beaches and a very pleasant town center, where we can only recommend stopping for a stroll along the coast, on the ” lungomare “not forgetting the port and botanical gardens”. Angiolina » where superb period pavilions look out over the sea. Here, you can take your time and enjoy the surroundings alone.

Did you know? Opatija is well known among our European neighbors for being one of the most attractive wellness destinations and one of the cheapest places in Europe for dental treatment.




  • Lovran

Then take the road to Lovran where you’ll find a smaller, quieter but equally authentic town center. Then off to Mosćenička Draga to visit this small village perched high in the hills, offering you a magnificent view of the Gulf of Kvarner. The newer part of the village is on the seafront. A beautiful beach and a false air of Cinq terre in Italy await you. A real treat!


  • Nous logions à « L’hôtel Remisens Premium Héritage », un établissement de charme récemment dans un bâtiment d’époque. L’endroit parfait pour se sentir comme à la belle époque! Le buffet soirée n’est pas le meilleur mais le spa de cet hôtel est vraiment bien notamment le massage aromatique ainsi que les salles de sauna et hammam.
  • L’hôtel continental Millenium sur l’avenue principale est à coup sûr l’endroit à ne pas rater pour le cadre et l’ambiance de son espace restauration/salon de thé.
  • L’hôtel Bevanda très luxe au bord de l’eau, avec ses seulement 10 chambres. Comptez entre 350€ à 410€ la suite en haute saison. En basse saison, environ 290€ la nuit.
  • L’hôtel Kvarner tout jaune et authentique
  • La villa Mascagni ou Dubrava pour faire opérer le charme

➡️ If you are looking for accommodation in Opatija, you can always find what you’re looking for here.

➡️ If you prefer to book an apartment, I suggest save €34 on your Airbnb reservation

  • Le « Lido Bevanda » pour profitez en même temps du bord de mer, où vous pourrez manger une des meilleures pizzas de la ville.


  • A Lovran, le restaurant « Knezgrad » est un lieu intimiste à la cuisine authentique. Goûter à l’assiette Bacalao, aux poissons grillés, aux anchois salés et à la salade de poulpe marinée et à la bière locale, la « San Servolo »



  • L’ « Angiolina bar », un lieu tendance au bord de l’eau et du jardin botanique dans un bâtiment d’époque remis au goût du jour pour aller boire un verre.


  • L’hôtel continental possède une décoration comme on les aime pour se détendre et passer un bon moment en salle ou en terrasse. Leur strudel est délicieux!


  • Au 1er étage du musée du chocolat, il y a un chouette salon de thé et une boulangerie (dalla nonna)
  • Goûtez à l’alcool de teranino (liqueur de vin rouge réputé au Nord de la Croatie) dans un des cafés de la plage de Mosćenička Draga
  • Allow 15 minutes by car between Rijeka and Opatija From Pula airport, Ryanair and Easyjet fly to the destination.
  • A full tank of petrol costs about €50, or about 368K


As you can see, the golfe de Kvarner is such a beautiful discovery that we can’t recommend visiting this part of Croatia enough. Places that are less well known than those in the south, but which have a completely different charm to offer because of the history of this region, a tasty and delicious gastronomy, very friendly locals, peace and quiet in the many villages, very pretty coves with translucent waters. You’re sure to be charmed, just as we were! To request a quote for this destination, please refer to the “Tailor-made trips” tab in the menu, or write to me at



N’oubliez pas d’épingler l’article sur Pinterest pour le retrouver plus facilement 🖤


croatie | golfe de kvarner | krk | rab | itinéraire | conseil | mademoiselle-voyage | 






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.