Below you will find our recommendations for the region surrounding us.
When you look towards the sea from our terrace in the evening, the lights of Rijeka reflected on the calm surface of the sea in a symphony of colours and shapes will take your breath away.
Visit Rijeka. In 2020, the city will serve as the European capital of culture. Be sure to visit the beating heath of the city, the main market and its beautiful Art Nouveau pavilions. Next to them you will find the Croatian National Theatre “Ivan pl. Zajc”, whose ceiling images were painted by Franz Matsch in cooperation with the famous Klimt brothers. Here you will also find many restaurants and taverns with an excellent selection of fish. In the old city, be sure to pop into the many narrow streets, where you will probably stumble upon the Principij Archaeological Park, small shops offering local products or the Peek&Poke computer museum, a unique feature in this region, which has boasted the TripAdvisor certificate of excellency for many years.
A little closer to our house, some 10 minutes away by car, you will find the tourist pearl of the Adriatic, Opatija. It became a famous tourist destination back in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when it was frequented by many famous people such as Franz Joseph I, Empress Sisi, Chekov, James Joyce, Isadora Duncan, Giacomo Puccini and the Lumière brothers.
To get the feeling of the spirit of the “old lady” Opatija, take a stroll along the waterfront promenade Lungomare, which is 12 km long and connects Volosko and Lovran. In Opatija you can visit beautiful buildings, parks and restaurants. The summer season bursts with events; some our favourite ones are “Opatija – the Imperial Town”, during which Opatija is once again visited by the celebrities from its history and the entire town becomes one huge stage, RetrOpatija, dedicated to the 1960s and 1970s, the Coffee Festival in the spring and the Chocolate Festival in December.
The beaches of Mošćenička Draga
The beaches of Mošćenička Draga
If you wish to swap the swimming pool of our house with the sea, be sure to visit the beautiful beaches of Mošćenička Draga, located some 15 minuted from Dobreć, which we ourselves visit very often. 16 kilometres of the shore boasts no less than seven beaches; in our humble opinion, the most beautiful one is the biggest one, the Sipar beach. It is interesting to note that it was formed by the sand of the Draga stream, which springs in the slopes of Učka.
The beaches of Mošćenička Draga have all the amenities you can wish for in the summer: showers, parasols, deck chairs, many hospitality and sports facilities and sport equipment for rent.
Nudists and anyone who likes to be a little isolated can visit the Senjavac FKK beach, which follows Sipar.
If you decide to take a day-long excursion, you can visit the entire Istria some half hour away from Dobreć. We could recommend many medieval towns, family farms and tourist attractions, but we will narrow the selection down to Rovinj, the Pula amphitheatre, the Brijuni National Park, the Istralandia Waterpark and Hum, the smallest town in the world.
The Plitvice Lakes, one of Europe’s biggest natural attractions, are located only 2.5 hours away from Dobreć. We recommend that you set out for this 1-day excursion in the morning because there is a lot to be seen of the beautiful Lika along the way.
We usually take a lunch break in the “Lička kuća” restaurant located in the national park, which is famous for its authentic cuisine. We recommend roasted lamb and Lika’s delicacies made “under the bell”.
On your way back, be sure to visit the town of Senj and the Nehaj tower, which is also an excellent photo opportunity. When taking the Adriatic highway back to our house, you will also pass by many tourist destinations, such as Novi Vinodolski or Crikvenica.
The greenery of Učka
The greenery of Učka
Our house is overlooked by the Učka mountain, greatly respected by the population of Kvarner and Liburnia. It is the highest mountain of the Istrian peninsula, which separates Istria from Liburnia; it is also the “master of the weather”, because it is usually Učka that “decides” what the day will be like, whether it will rain or if we will see the sun set behind the mountain. Moreover, Učka is a mythical area inhabited by fairies and elves, settled by the first Slavs, with forests where you can smell the history even to this day.
You could spend days in the Učka Nature Park and you will still be unable to tour all the interesting locations and find everything there is to learn. The best way to set off for Učka is to take the roads well travelled, in this case the many educational trails and promenades along Učka. One of them is the Plas trail (2 km long), rich in rare endemic plant and animal species and traversing the lush maritime beech forest. If you not a seasoned walker, do not worry; the trails has several resting stops and observatories.
Be sure to visit the Slap promenade (cca 800 m), which goes through Lovranska Draga and is one of Učka’s most beautiful valleys. The promenade leads to a waterfall which springs in several places in the Vela draga canyon and flows into the sea by Medveja.
Many consider the Vela draga canyon to be Učka’s most attractive locality. It has been made a geomorphological monument of nature, which means, among other things, that the nature has decorated it with impressive limestone towers. If you are into mountain climbing, Vela draga is also a well-known climbing spot. The trail itself is 2 km long.
If you like to conquer peaks, visit Veli Planik, the highest peak of the Ćićarija mountain (1272 m above sea level), boasting a stunning view of Slovenian Alps on one side and the islands of the central Adriatic on the other side.
Be sure to conquer Vojak, the highest peak of the Učka Nature Park (1401 m above sea level), housing a tower which also offers a view in all directions: Istria, Kvarner, Velebit, Alps, Italy… It is interesting to note that the tower was built in early 20th century by Austrian mountaineers who were enamoured of this region.
We would like to recommend much more, but let’s close with the Korita spring, the “pearl of Ćićarija”. This is a spring of fresh water, which cascades into ten massive wooden troughs. They were used for watering animals on pasture, and today Korita is a resting spot with a wonderful view and a fantastic energy.
It goes without saying that the Učka Nature Park has all the requirements for an active vacation (cycling, mountaineering, handgliding and paragliding).
What to try
What to try
In 2010 the English newspaper Guardian named the Lovran Marunada one of Europe’s top gastronomic festivals, and The Observer featured an article naming this event dedicated to the marun chestnuts and Lovran itself one of top 10 autumnal gastronomic destinations.
This is all well-deserved; if you visit Dobreć during the autumn, you will kick yourself if you do not visit the nearby Lovran to see the beginning of the event, after which you can return to Dobreć or Liganj for its continuation.
The Marunada is a time when the smell of roasted chestnuts wafts through the streets of the town, and there are sweet temptations such as chestnut ice cream, cakes and honey at every corner. During that time the restaurants of Lovran and the surrounding area also offer special menus, so you can try rib eye steak with chestnut dressing or chestnut pancakes. The gastronomic events are accompanied by various cultural and entertainment events, so you can also get to know local customs and traditional music.