Krk Travel Guide, Croatia
Krk Island is Croatia’s largest island with an area of 409 sq km. It is also known as the “golden island”, since ancient times. The capital of the island bears the same name Krk and together with other seventy settlements make up the inhabited area.
The island is not overpopulated, the majority of its inhabitants that number 16,402 live in the northern part while the southern part is covered with dense forests that represent 30.9 % of the total island's area.
The forests are perfect for wildlife watching and hunting; species like the fox, duck, griffon vulture, roe-buck, wild cat and marten are at home here.
There are two major lakes that provide the inhabitants with fresh water. The North West coast is also bare and rocky not suitable for tourists especially for the strong wind called “bura”. So the best parts to visit are the south-western and south-eastern coasts that abound in greenness and gentle bays. On the island the landscape is a combination of rocky and fertile fields that are mostly adequate for cultivating grapes and growing sheep.
Major cities lie on the coast as many of their industry rely on shipbuilding and fishery, but there are other branches like wine production, farming, livestock breeding and of course tourism.
The climate is mild and temperatures vary between 5.6 °C in January and 24.1°C in July.
Getting on the island is easy and include three ways by road as there is a bridge linking the island’s main road M29 with the mainland road M2; the island has been connected with mainland since 1980 when a 1400m long bridge was made of reinforced concrete; you can take the ferry from Valbiska to Merag or from Baska to Lopar, or you can just take your own boat; there are a lot of Italians that do so. You can get here by plane landing at Rijeka and then head towards Omisalj. There isn’t a railway on the island but you can get to Rijeka by train and from there head towards the island by road. There are many who choose to come from Italy and the other neighboring countries by train. Rijeka being the main connection of Croatia with the other European countries there are also daily coaches to and from these countries.
The history of the island dates back to the Neolithic and there are proofs of the ancestor inhabitants called Liburnians. The island did not escape Roman domination and the present town of Krk was called then Curicum. Krk was also under the rule of the Byzantine Empire and Venice, but in 13th and 14th centuries, the Frankopans who were powerful Croatian families ruled over the island.
With such a rich history and mixed cultures around Krk’s historical heritage prides itself with sights like the Roman terms, churches and Venetian paintings, but also monuments such as the oldest Glagolitic monument in Krk dating 11th century. The Glagolitic script continued to be used till the first decades of the 19th century. Other Glagolitic monuments: the Baska Tablet from Jurandvor that originates from Krk can be found near Baska.
Christian ruins can be seen at the old cathedral in Krk, the Romanesque period left its mark on the cathedral and church of St. Quirinus and on St. Vitus near Dobrinj.
If you want to see some Gothic style you can find some in Krk town for example the chapel of the Frankopans. In the town of Krk you can also see the medieval moats.
Besides architecture Krk island is of great ethnographic interest as there is a great heritage preserved. You can see some traditional costumes and many other things connected to local folk traditions.
Activities on the island vary from water based ones to land based ones. Among the water sports there are paragliding, waterskiing, jet skiing. You can also practice diving and snorkeling but you need a license to dive if you don’t have one and you can get one at the local harbor master's office for a small amount of money. There are a lot of diving clubs around that can tell you more about diving here.
On land you can choose to hike in the woods. There are a lot of marked trails and printed guides are available at the tourist office.
The most interesting towns to visit are Malinska with great sand, Baska that also has nice beaches and Vrbnik with its dashing looks.