Areas & Ranges
Page Type: Area/Range
Kvarner, Croatia, Europe
45.05560°N / 14.36390°E
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
2125 ft / 648 m
Created/Edited: Jun 18, 2005 / Apr 27, 2016
Object ID: 154239
Page Score: 89.77%
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Branko - Sunset above Krk island
What's New On This Page?
April 27th, 2016 - A major page redesign.
> March 22nd, 2009 - Some text added and pictures attached.
> June 18th, 2005 - Initial setup of the page.
The aim of this page is to give a geographical overview of Kvarner region, stress a few mountaineering highlights and give a few other general logistics info about the area.
Kvarner And Its Islands
OverviewYou might think that good 600 m of altitude don't make a mountain. Yes, true, the Kvarner mountains are not high, nor can they impress with high rocky walls. What is most beautifu, there are nice views over the sea landscape, beautiful nature and archaic towns and villages of these islands.
Kvarner is the largest bay of Adriatic sea, lying between Istra penninsula and the rest of Balcans. Both continental coasts are hilly. On Istra there's the Ucka chain and on the eastern side there are Kapela and Velebit mountains. As this coast of Adriatic is slowly sinking (from the anciant Roman times the coast is more than a meter deeper), Kvarner islands are actually rests of mountain chains, thus having the same NW-SE direction as their continental counterparts. At the end of Kvarner bay a big Rijeka town stands and also the coast towards Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski is much populated. South of Senj the coast under Velebit is much less inhabited. Also on islands there are some flourishing towns, but generally nature there is quite well preserved.
The biggest Kvarner islands and their mountains are the following:
- Island Krk, with Obzova, 568 m. A broad mountain massif with two streaks on both sides of Baska valley.
- Island Cres, with Gorice, 648 m. A high, narrow mountain ridge.
- Island Rab, with Kamenjak, 408 m. A bare, wind-beaten mountain, protecting the flourishing Rab.
- Island Losinj, with Osorscica, 589 m. A high mountain massif, rising out of open sea.
- Island Pag, with Sv. Vid, 349 m. A bare mountain above the Pag bay.
And there are some more islands, where hardly anyone goes, let alone mountaineering:
- Island Prvic, with Zakantun, 354m,
- Island Grgur, with Standarac, 225m,
- Island Goli, with Glavinat, 227m,
- Island Unije, with Kalk, 132m, etc.
What To Do There?
On Kvarner islands people are coming to enjoy beautiful beaches and the sea. I can't help myself, but I allways have a feeling that locals are thinking that everyone who is not discovering this area in a natural way, meaning - with a boat, is completely crazy. Let alone to walk-up those bare limestone hills! But ok, some people have sailing in their genes, some have walking. And, there's not only summertime in Kvarner. The most beautiful seasons for hiking are spring and autumn, even winter if you know when to avoid bura wind.
All described hikes are quite easy. Even if terrain can be also steep and overgrown, there are no majod dangers on the paths. Due to rough rocks it's always good to have good trekking shoes and poles. Hikes can also be hot, and there's no water on those hills, so have in mind to take enough drinks with you.
For climbing on Kvarner mountains some nice crags are arranged, for example: crags on Osoršćica, Pag climbing area, etc.
And there's one more great option - cycling. With an ordinary bike or with a mountain bike you have almost endless opportunities for great tours. Some islands (like Cres) are quite strenuous, others are more easy. And what's most beautiful - you can take your bike on any ship or ferry and thus make great round tours, jumping from an island to another island.
Overview & Access
By their area, Krk and Cres are the biggest islands on Adriatic. The NW part of Krk is gently undulated with quite flat coastal areas. The SE part is however high and rugged, suitable for hiking. There are two mountain streaks, encircling the valley of Baška.
The island is easily reachable. From the mainland south of Rijeka a mighty bridge is overarching the sea channel. On the other, W side, a ferry line is connecting Valbiska on Krk with Merag on Cres.
N and W Coast
Spring in Punat woods St. Martin bayThe N area has some industry, but also nice tourist destinations. The coast between Njivice and Malinska is nice for cycling. On the south, Malinska bay ends with Porat (small monastery there), beyond which nice forrests are criss-crossed with narrow roads, suitable for biking. On the coast there are nice bays, like St. Martin cove, where once a monastery stood. A few hundresd meters from the coast there is a panoramic Fumat hill, hosting a big cross.
The N part of Krk is more populated (tourist areas of Soline and Klimno, Šilo peninsula). In the interior there is on almost 300 m the worth visiting old town of Dobrinj. Many marked hiking trails around can be combined with biking.
On the SW coast there's the old Krk town and the nearby tourist landmark of Punat bay with a small Košljun island, hosting a monastery.
St. Juraj bay Sršćica bay
Vrbnik is one of the most picturesque old towns of Krk. For hikers it's a gate to the SE mountains. After a stroll through its narrow streets we can continue the hike along the coast towards SE, or we can try to reach the bay of Potovošće by car. From there a good marked path goes along the coast, passes Sv. Juraj bay and then over a saddle reaches the nice Sršćica bay. 1 h 30 min till there.
From above Sršćica the path continues on Vinca pasture, then further up on Mali Hlam, and back down to Vrbnik.
From the central Krk you reach Baška valley over the Malmašuta (Treskavac) saddle, 319 m. Hikes over the streaks on both sides of the valley can be combined by a bike descent, if you leave bikes on the saddle. The valley and the town of Baška are interesting in historical sense and worth a stroll.
Mala luka from CorinthiaThis plateau-like massif stretches from Vrbnik town towards the SE. The NE walls are almost impassable, from the other side many shepherts path reach up there. From the summit of Diviška towards the NE the misterious Trget (also Triget) canyon descends. That's the narrowest gorge of Croatia. Up to 300 m high walls are on some places only 2 m apart. Passing it requires easy climbing of UIAA II degree. Towards the SE a much more kind Vrženica gorge descends.
A nice hike connects Baška with the bays of Vela luka / Mala luka. From Bunculuka camp we best continue by the coast and then follow up in easy climbing the canyon of Vrženica, until reaching the direct upper path. On the crossroads we turn right, ascend the ridge and continue to Vela luka bay. Don't stop there, but go also up to the walls of ancient Corinthia fotrtess. From there we have anice view also to Mala luka bay and its archeologic site. Then continue to Baška by the direct path (or take a boat).
Baška from Bag summit Bracol covesThe highest streak of Krk rises on the SW side of Baška valley. Most of its hikes finisk on the panoramic summit of Obzova, which can be reached from Baška valley, from Malmašuta saddle, from the west or from the south. See the page of Obzova for all details!
Nice is also the hike from Baška to Bracol, the southernmost end og Krk. We start in Zarok, S of Baška, from where a nice path brings us on the saddle below Bag, 185 m. Great views on Baška bay from there! On the other side the path descends across the slopes, passes above the ruins of St. Nikolaj church and finally descends to the coves of Bracol.
Hiking Highlights Gorice, 648m on Cres. The main Cres road brings you as high as 370m, where on Krizic pass you start ascending by the south ridge. In goot 30 minutes you will reach Sis, 639m with the beautiful view over Kvarner. If 10 meters mean so much to you, proceed by the ridge to the highest point, Gorice. Cres is also one of the last habitats of a rare and one of the biggest European bird species - griffon vulture. You will likely see them on Gorice!
Around Beli, on Cres. Beli is one of the oldest towns in Kvarner, estimated to be erected some 4000 years ago. Its surroundings is really archaic, but known also by a colony of protected white headed griffons, one of the biggest birds in Europe. But you are not allowed to approach the beach, where these birds have nests in cliffs above the sea. Around Beli you have a couple of well marked paths, leading you over nice pastures, a Roman bridge, and more...
Lubenice on Cres. This 4000 years old village is one of the most picturesque ones in Kvarner. 382m high on the rock it monitors the western coast of Cres. Go down to a big sand beach and spend a day there. South of it some smaller beaches lie, where (out of the high season) you can have a full privacy. Even further is Modra spilja (Blue cave) - it's worth swimming in it! From Lubenice you can also hike by the streak towards the south. Soon there is the panoramic Helm summit, 482m. From it, you can also beautifully see the famous Vrana lake - the protected reservoir of drinkable water. By the marked path you can continue all the way to Martinjščica village, return by a boat to sand beach and walk-up to Lubenice.
Osorscica on Losinj. The best idea is to cross this nice mountain (good, marked path). Perhaps even come for two days and sleep on the top! Otherwise just ascend from Nerezine to St. Nikola, to the main summit and down. Take a bath in a clear sea!
Hike above Veli Losinj. There's no major mountain there, but reaching the streak above this picturesque town is worthwile and from the church of St. Ivan and from Pogled, 242m, you will enjoy nice panoramas - from the latter especially on Ilovik.
Obzova on Krk. From Malmasuta pass, 316m, you can drive (or walk by a cart-road) towards south till the last shepherds huts. Follow marks further towards south. Over a few elevations and passes between them you can reach the highest point of Krk in an hour. To Obzova from all sides many other mountain paths lead. The most interesting could be the one from Draga Bascanska (east) or even by the whole SE streak of the mountain!
Hikes around Baska. Baska is a flourishing town at the end of a broad bay. In its surroundings there are many wonderful sand beaches, but to the most beautiful of them you must walk, in some cases also over passes, up to 300m high. One such nice tour is from Baska (or Bunculuka) towards east to Vela Luka and Mala Luka. Between the two there are ruins of Carinthia - an old Visigoths town from the 4th century. A nice hike goes also towards south. Through a beautiful pine forrest you ascend Bag, the last higher elevation of Obzova streak. On the other side you can descend to some nice sand beaches, the last one being Bracol.
Kamenjak on Rab. You can reach Kamenjak and its highest point Straza by a narrow road, or from the neighbourhood of Rab town by a marked path. The summit is a funny stone desert, but with a nice view, especially towards east (on Velebit mountain) and also down to the flourishing town of Rab.
Some sections of the marked path ascending from the village Mundanije are covered by large rocks (apple-size), so it’s not very easy to walk on, a good pair of boots is very welcome. From Rab it’s much easier to reach the summit via the road, leading to the TV-tower, but that option is far less ”romantic”.
Sv. Vid on Pag. Ascend the highest point of Pag island by one of three routes, as described by Sasa Gospic - Velebit on his beautiful page of this mountain.
Getting ThereIslands Krk and Pag can be reached from the mainland over two big bridges. In addition, the long Pag island can be reached also by a ferry boat from Prizna village. Island Rab can be reached by a ferry boat from Jablanac. In summer (high season) there's also a ferry boat connection Baska (Krk) - Lopar (Rab). Cres can be reached by a ferry boat from Istra (from Brestova) and from Krk (from Valbiska). Along the whole Cres island a good road runs and over a bridge at Osor reaches also Losinj island. On Losinj the road goes till Veli Losinj.
Ferry boats usually go frequently enough. Outside of the main season this can still be every hour, in many cases also every half an hour. You should have in mind that last ferries go usually somewhere around 8 p.m.
The biggest ferry boat operator on Kvarner area is Jadrolinija. Using this link choose one of the three uppermost areas and explore itineraries.
The ferry boat Jablanac-Rab is served by Rapska plovidba. Here the link to itinerary.
Red TapeOn these mountains there are no restrictions. Camping is generally not allowed outside established camping places, but if you come in the evening and sleep in a tent over the night, nobody will probably bother you. Due to low altitudes, almost all tours can be undertaken in one day.
When To ClimbAll the year. In any case do choose a clear day, which will offer you good visibility. Nothing can be more valuable! Usually the best visibility is, when bura wind (north wind) blows. Also, you can choose to climb up early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it's not so hot. By far the best seasons are spring and autumn.
CampingAll bigger Kvarner islands are turistically well developed. So in neighbouring destinations you will easilly find decent camps. And there's even one official mountain hut! On the north ridge of Osorscica, there's St. Gaudent hut, standing on the altitude of 274m. Make sure in Osor town if the hut is opened.