WELCOME TO CRES
Welcome to Cres – Island of a true environmental and cultural treasure of Kvarner will leave you inspired.
The coastline of the island is indented and abounds with many bays and pebble beaches in the west and south while the northern and eastern parts are crowned with steep and savage cliffs. Coastal villages swarm with charming little bays, secluded beaches and the clean sea. A huge number of walking tracks, footpaths and hiking trails leading up to the out-of-the-way bays surround small villages located at the very coastline. Natural phenomena, remote bays and beaches, churches, museums, exhibitions, particular lifestyle of the population, their occupations, habits, original folk costumes and cuisine on the island enrich the vacation on Cres and make it memorable.
Beaches, preserved environment and the clean sea are the most treasured highlights of the island of Cres. Cres is rich in arranged, natural, big, small, stone, pebble, shingle, sand and secluded beaches: a real treat for nature lovers.
The loveliest beaches are tagged with the Blue flag that guarantees high level of both service and safety standards as well as the clean sea.
- Beach Sv. Ivan, Lubenice
- Beach Mali bok, Orlec
- Beach sv. Blaž
- Blue Cave
- Beach Pragajena, Dragozetići
- Beach Slatina, Martinšćica
- Beach Kovačine, Cres
- Beaches in Valunu
- Beach Pod Beli, Beli
- Beach Stara Porozina, Porozina
There are some 100 km of marked sand and walking tracks for nature lovers and those wishing to explore the inland of the island.
Cres - Sv. Salvadur - Sv. Blaž – Trail length: 12 km - 3 h – Medium difficult
Cres - Krčina - Loznati – Cres- Trail length: 12 km - 3 h – medium difficult
Cres – Merag – Trail length: 4,5 km - 1:30 h – medium difficult
Hiking trails, labyrinths and puddles on Tramuntana (northen part of the island)
The Vrana Lake is a crypto depression: it is 74, 5 metres deep and has a mean water level of 13 metres above the sea level which means that the deepest part of the lake is 61 metres under the sea level. It contains more than 2 million cubic meters of freshwater.
The ancient myth has it that mostly fairies lived in the caves. Once upon a time there were two sisters Gavanke who owned a huge piece of land. One sister was rich and stingy, and the other one was poor. The rich sister stole the land from her sister and was mean towards the poor. Therefore God punished her and sent her earthquake and flood. The remnants of the castle can still be seen today on the lake bed and only sometimes during the storms bell ringing can be heard from the deep.
There are carps, pikes, tenches and eels in the lake – their occurrence has still not been explained. Households from both Cres and Lošinj are supplied with the water from the lake today and for this reason the lake is strictly off the limits.
Eurasian griffons are birds protected by law.
Eurasian griffons are predatory birds from the hawk family. It has a rather small head holding it downwards when flying, big wings and a short tail that looks as if it’s cut off. Young birds are darker than adult ones who have white down on the head and neck and a whitish rippled „collar“. The griffon is a huge bird with a wingspan from 2,40 to 2,80 metres.
Life expectancy of the Eurasian griffon is 30 to 40 years. They reach sexual maturity between the age of 5 and 7. They nest between January and March and female nest only one egg between mid-January and the end of March. They eat only died animals, mostly big mammals. Interestingly, they never attack live pray. They create loose colonies and are usually loyal to their permanent habitat. They often fly in flocks.
Gourmet dishes on the island are unquestionably worth pointing out.
Imagination has always been a must for preparing food: having only a few ingredients, it takes a lot of love and effort to make a tasty dish. Dishes prepared according to the old traditional recipes, seasoned with local aromatic plants and olive oil are typical of Cres cuisine.
The most admired delicacy of Cres is certainly the lamb: its taste is extraordinary thanks to the traditional free sheep grazing – the pasture is rich in both salt and vegetation. eafood lovers can go for fresh fish, shrimps, lobsters and other crabs and shells prepared in many different ways and seasoned with homemade olive oil.
There is a long tradition of olive growing on Cres: olives along with sheep and Eurasian griffons are certainly the most distinguishable symbols of Cres.
Olive growing in Cres is noteworthy because of the symbiosis of olives and sheep. Sheep graze freely all around the island and thus both clean and fertilize olive groves. „Liquid gold“ i.e. olive oil on Cres is made from varieties plominka and slivnjača: the oil produced from olives just picked is of the highest quality. Extra virgin olive oil from Cres is an original Croatian product. This high-quality oil is produced from olives treated only mechanically: supremacy of the oil is provided by hand-picking of olives and their processing in the oil factory owned by the Cooperative Farm Cres on the very same day when they are picked. The Cooperative Farm Cres is also open to visitors: there you can taste the oil and learn everything about a hundred-year old tradition of olive growing.
Creska butega - Exhibition of native products and delicacies. In addition to tasting, it is possible to buy them, learn from the guide how they have been produced. It will be held every tuesday and friday in Cres town.
The island of Cres was populated already in the early Stone Age. Continuity of life on the island is portrayed in a remarkably rich cultural and historic heritage: from the Liburnian hill-forts, remnants of Ancient cities, early Catholic churches scattered around the island, convents, and remains of city heritage from Venetian period up to the monuments of today. Although various influences have extended all over the island, the typical island way of life has managed to preserve its indigenousness and autonomy. This is particularly pictured in preservation of language i.e. the so called Chakavian dialect that is still spoken nowadays and in language, habit and dance idiosyncrasies as well as folk costumes preserved in every town and village on the island. It is worth mentioning that every village has its own patron saint is celebrated in a particularly festal way: apart from liturgy of the mass, traditional festivities are also being arranged.
On the island of Cres apart from the city of Cres there are many other villages some of which are located at the very coastline while the other are situated in the higher parts of the inland.
The city of Cres is the biggest town on the island and its administrative centre. The best way to fell the city is to take a walk through numerous small streets in the old city centre. Narrow and high small houses attaching to each other and streets winding in a maze through the old city centre are a typical example of medieval architecture. Emblems on the house fronts and doorsteps speak volumes about the former ways of life – those of fishermen, farmers, blacksmiths and others. In the past the old city centre was walled and one entered the city through one out of three gates i.e. entrances to the town. Only a defence tower in the north-western part and a city gate, which could be seen if you take a walk through the town park, have been preserved. In the city centre there is a town square that has been a centre of all happenings in the city both in the past and today. In the square there is a Municipal Loggia where in the past declarations were read, agreements were made, where people made business and had fun. If you happen to find yourself in the square in the morning, you may see women and men from Cres selling their products such as fruits and vegetables, olive oil, honey and other island products under the Loggia.
More about history of the city and island you can find out in Cres Musem.
Next village to visit for sure is Lubenice - a small village on the island of Cres located at the top of a cliff 378 meters above the sea. Every village as well as Lubenice has a legend of its origins or at least of its name. Once upon a time lived a king who had a daughter in whom a young man from a hill, where Lubenice is located today, fell in love. The young girl loved him back, but the king dissatisfied with her decision expelled her from Osor so that the princess settled with her love on the hill. Her name was Ljubica so that the village was named after her “Ljubenice”. As the Italians, who installed their government on the island in 1918, could not pronounce Ljubenice, the village was renamed into Lubenice. Furthermore, Lubenice is believed to be named after a Latin word “hibernicius” meaning windy, since the wind is quite often in this village.
Beli is one of the oldest and was one of the most important villages on the island in the past.
Valun is a small picturesque fishermen’s and farmers’ village between two beautiful pebble beaches to the north of the city of Cres. Its origins are related to the harbour of the old village Bućev the remnants of which were found near St Mark church. In St Mark church the Valun Table from 11th Century was found: the Valun Table is one of the oldest Glagolitic monuments and is kept in the Parish church in Valun. Besides these landmarks, a collection of Glagolitic stone fragments located on the terrace of a today’s restaurant are also worth seeing: this collection shows copies of the oldest Glagolitic inscriptions from Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia.
Martinšćica is a village in a wide bay on the west coast of Cres and second biggest village on the island. On the hills around the village there are prehistoric hill-forts, remnants of the Romanesque St Christopher church, fragments of St Kuzam and Damjan Gothic church and remnants of Ancient villas in the bay.