We come to island Krk by bridge, then take a ferry from Valbiska to Merag and here we are on Cres, the most exotic of the Kvarner islands. The first element of exoticism, perhaps even before you set foot on the island’s ground you could see in the air. Griffon vultures are one of the island’s trademarks. In the village of Beli in the north of the island, there is an ecological centre where injured vultures are cared for and returned to nature after recovery. Today in Croatia, vultures nest exclusively in Kvarner region, the total population is estimated at about 150 pairs, a large part of which is the population on the island of Cres. Lake Vrana certainly contributes to the natural exoticism of Cres.
For Croatian islands, an unusually large freshwater lake, about 5 kilometres long, is a huge reservoir of drinking water. The lake is a crypto depression, its bottom is below and the surface is above the sea level and it is extremely oligotrophic, ie with very few nutrients and decomposition processes, which sets it apart from other Croatian karst waters. Since there are almost no bacteria in the water, it is introduced into the water supply system without filtration. In addition to the stated biological conditions, the fact that there are no larger settlements, industry or sewage nearby contributes to this cleanliness of the lake.
The lake does not become turbid due to heavy rains due to the absence of torrents that are absorbed in the gravelly soil, a natural filter of drinking water. Hence the great transparency of the lake. Although it is connected to the sea by underground veins due to the specific pressure system, water can only flow from the lake to the sea, but not vice versa. The most exotic settlement on the island is one of the most interesting in Kvarner. On a 400-meter-high cliff is the small settlement of Lubenice, around 4000 years old. While elsewhere seagulls are observed looking upwards from Lubenice the flight of white beauties is observed looking downwards. On the island of Cres, of course, visit the town of Cres, a quiet and picturesque town decorated with Gothic and Renaissance churches and noble palaces.
Driving south you will come to Osor, a place where you’ll cross over the bridge to another Kvarner pearl, the island of Lošinj. Mali and Veli Lošinj are the two most important settlements on the island and the size contrary to their names.
In recent years, Lošinj has established itself as a destination for health tourism with a special emphasis on the regeneration of the respiratory system due to the combination of a favorable Mediterranean climate, aerosols and medicinal herbs. This combination is most concentrated in the Fragrant Garden in Mali Lošinj, where hundreds of fragrant plants have been planted, including about a hundred non-native plant species brought by Lošinj sailors from all over the world. In Veli Lošinj, we recommend a visit to the Blue World educational and exhibition centre, which deals with the protection of marine life and related educational programs with an emphasis on marine mammals, especially bottlenose dolphins, which live in large numbers in the Lošinj area.