Centering on the industrial port town of Rijeka, the Kvarner region is backed by mountains and overlooks the deep blue waters of the Kvarner Gulf. The region’s best known and oldest tourist destination is Opatija, with its 19th-century villas, lush gardens filled with palm trees, and upmarket waterside seafood restaurants.
From the port of Rijeka, travelers can catch ferries and catamarans to the islands (most—but not all—leave from Rijeka). To visit the island of Krk, with its lovely long pebble beach in Baška, you don’t even need to board a boat—it’s joined to the mainland by a bridge, so a bus journey will suffice.
The island of Lošinj does requires a boat journey. Its main town, pretty Mali Lošinj, is one of the region’s top destinations. Ecologically savvy tourists can explore the rocky hills of Cres Island, joined to Lošinj by a bridge, where rugged paths monitored by grazing sheep run a dizzying course to deserted azure coves.
Kvarner’s southernmost island, Rab, is connected by regular boat service to both Rijeka and the island of Krk, so with a bit of planning you can island-hop around the region and see several places in one go.
Visitors to the mainland can expect a broad range of accommodations and services, while island hoppers will find large package hotels along with modest family-run hotels, rooms to rent, and campsites.