As the largest city in the Kvarner region, Rijeka offers its visitors a variety of cultural events, concerts,and culinary experiences throughout the entire year, and though known for its natural beauty, there are various sports related activities and well-known services related to health and wellness on offer too.
FYI, Rijeka is also known as the city of rock in Croatia, whilst at the same time is announced as the European City of Culture 2020.
If your taste buds are tantalising and you want to go on a culinary adventure, then you cannot leave without trying Kvarner scampi which are a specialty of the region, characterised by their bright red colour, thin shell and tasty meat. The entire Kvarner region is specific in that it has the largest concentration of restaurants of quality gastronomy in Croatia. Recommendations include a visit to the undiscovered culinary jewel named Volosko which is a small fishing village with much to offer, and the island of Krk is an ingenious culinary destination to be explored from top to bottom. Wishing to explore even more, then on the island of Rab you can try dried octopus or their very own Rab cake, whilst the mountain ranges of Učka and Gorski kotar are known for venison and frog specialties. A wide selection of restaurants is open year round along the gorgeous Opatija Riviera, and then Istria which isn’t far away is a separate gastronomic province of many attractions.
Adventure enthusiasts can choose from hiking on Mount Učka or skiing on Platak, it’s one of the few ski resorts where you can enjoy a view of the Kvarner islands from the top of the chairlift. Sledging and snowboardingis on from December to March whilst other months of the year are ideal for mountain biking. Fresh mountain air isn’t seasonal, it’s all year round! Fast speed car racing can be seen at the Grobnik race track, while those who prefer a slower pace can enjoy long walks along the various ‘Lungomare’, promenades in the area.
Due to the uniqueness of nature and the favourable climatic conditions that are found in the Kvarner, this area has long been known as a destination for health tourism. The number of health care clinics and institutions are indeed large with specialised centres for the treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, orthopaedics, dentistry and cosmetic surgery. A wide range of wellness facilities can be found with specially arranged packages in many of the surrounding hotels and wellness centres. In addition, it must be said that much of the authentic natural cosmetics used by these centres is produced in this particular region.
The city of Rijeka is also important for religious tourism, namely on Trsat, which is located in the eastern part of the city at an elevation of 135 meters above sea level. Once there, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat stands tall, it’s the oldest Croatian sanctuary which worships the Mother of God and has existed since 1291. Many spiritual and cultural events are held right here. The view of the city itself and the Adriatic Sea is breath-taking from the Castle just down the road!
If heading away from the coast and up to the mountains, particularly Gorskikotar, then we recommend a visit to the Risnjak National Park, famous for its crystal-clear air, centuries-old forests and three carnivorous mammals; wolves, bears and lynxes. Apart from exploring the area on foot, you can take part in game stalking, fishing and mountain biking - as well as indulging in hearty mountain cuisine. Whilst there, you can also visit the Museum of Frogsin a small place called Lokve, the only of its kind in Europe. As this area is full of forests and streams, frogs have always played an important role in peoples' lives, so why not get an insight into their secret habitat and learn about their role and impact on the culture of the region, including literature and art. Gorski kotar offers a quiet yet serene holiday amidst nature, a place to thoroughly relax.
To sum up, the city of Rijeka and the entire Kvarner region are wide awake during the winter months with a number of interesting events and activities up for grabs, and the rest is left to you dear readers. May your holidays begin!