The island of Lošinj is part of the larger Cres and Lošinj Archipelago, which, with its 36 islands, islets, rocks, and reefs, is a veritable labyrinth of inlets, anchorages, and harbors. Lošinj and its neighboring island Cres were once a single island, but since the Roman era, they had been separated by a human-made canal.
ISLAND OF VITALITY
Lošinj is an incredibly green island, widely known for its centuries-old pine forests and abundant plant species – some of which are indigenous while others were brought by seafarers from their distant journeys. In recent times, Lošinj has become known as the ‘Island of Vitality’ and a shining example of eco-tourism.
Lošinj has a very mild, Mediterranean climate thanks to its distance from the mainland and strong influence of the sea, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Owing to the exceptional characteristics of its climate, Lošinj was proclaimed a climatic health resort by a decree of the Ministry of Health of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy in 1892.
You can also walk the 3 km forest footpath between Mali Lošinj and Veli Lošinj, with its educational panels that instruct you on the importance of proper posture, movement, and breathing. The walk is around 10,000 steps— the daily number of steps recommended by the WHO standards.
The island’s 1,200 therapeutic and aromatic botanicals, used in the island’s aromatherapy treatment and medicines, not only scent the air delightfully but help to deter mosquitoes as well! And with over 200 days of sunshine and clean waters too, it’s not hard to see why this is an island that can make you feel good!
The best way to enjoy the natural beauty of Lošinj is by walking, cycling, or hiking. You should also pay homage to the island’s legendary biodiversity and botanical fame by visiting the hillside Lošinj Garden of Fine Scents, a nursery of the island’s medicinal herbs. Also, no trip to Lošinj is complete without a dolphin-spotting trip and a visit to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre.
The town of Mali Lošinj became the second most important port in the Adriatic, immediately after Trieste. The inhabitants of Lošinj were not only known for their skillfulness in constructing sailing ships but they were also known as the best seamen in the Mediterranean. Mali Lošinj exceeded the size of the neighboring Veli Lošinj which is somewhat unusual when taking into consideration its name – Mali Lošinj (“Small” Lošinj), and Veli Lošinj (“Large” Lošinj).
In Mali Lošinj you can find a museum dedicated to the antique bronze statue of Apoxyomenos, whose beauty and value genuinely stand out among the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the island. The Museum of Apoxyomenos is a unique contemporary museum dedicated to a majestic work of art – a sizeable ancient bronze statue of a young athlete, Apoxyomenos, created between the 2nd and 1st century B.C. The statue finished in the sea surrounding Lošinj about 1,800 years ago and was extracted in 1999. Well-preserved and fascinatingly beautiful, the Lošinj Apoxyomenos is one of the most important artifacts of the world’s ancient heritage.
Also, in 1893, due to the clear skies and very good visibility, a very modern Astronomical Observatory was built in Mali Lošinj, which soon became famous and was visited by astronomers from different countries in Europe and America.
However, the most valuable legacy is not preserved in the museums and churches, but in the islanders themselves and their way of life. The tradition is not just kept alive by folklore associations, festivities, and church traditions, but also by authentic cuisine, fishing, and their care of the olive trees and sheep.
With the Adriatic Sea on the doorstep and a plethora of locally-grown herbs and other plants to use, it’s not surprising that fish, seafood, and wild herbs feature heavily on the menu in Lošinj! And don’t forget about Olive oil. Olive oil is used liberally and the local shrimp is considered the best in the world by some critics.
Try Croatian specialties like buzara and Lošinj dishes such as cod in Lošinj onion spring sauce, devilfish in olive sauce, mixed fish brodetto with fragrant polenta, and cow shark in sauce with fried sage. Several restaurants specialize in ‘Apoxyomenos antique cuisine’, serving dishes that contain only ingredients that would have been used in ancient Greece. You’ll find many of them offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options alongside island and Croatian dishes such as aromatic Lošinj gnocchi, omelets made from Lošinj asparagus, and island maneštra.
If you’ve seen the sights and want to spend the day shopping, there are numerous shops selling authentic, local products, including Lošinj natural cosmetics and air fresheners made with the island’s medicinal plants. For souvenirs and natural products, visit Čarobnjak for authentic jewelry, ceramics, and art, or Gourmet Boutique for olive and lavender wood souvenirs, plus delicious liqueurs made from lemon, pine needles, sage, and myrtle is grown on Lošinj. Radović Atelier displays and sells award-winning photos and also offers courses in underwater photography.
With a coastline of 112,7 km, Lošinj has plenty of bays and coves for swimming and multiple water sports on offer, including sailing, windsurfing, and diving, with a large shallow cove ideal for diving beginners and a wreck dating from 1917 for more experienced divers to explore. There’s also kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), and even SUP yoga for those with good balance!
The pine-ringed, remote and sheltered bay of Krivica is worth the 30-minute walk down from the nearest parking area, but for a full-facility, family-friendly beach, choose Čikat Bay, a sandy beach offering beach volleyball, a water polo pool, hire of SUPs, kayak and jet-skis, and beach massage. Both Sunčana Uvala and Srebrna Uvala (near the Čikat campsite) are White Flag beaches.
For more water-based fun, head to the Aquapark Čikat, with its seawater pools, slides, ramps, fountains, and hydromassage facilities. But if water sports aren’t your thing, you’ll find tennis courts at Čikat near the hotel Bellevue and at Sunčana Uvala near hotel Aurora.
Many of the resort hotels are just out of town near the stunning bays of Sunčana Uvala and Srebrna Uvala, where late 19th century villas and luxury hotels sit alongside modern hotels in tranquil pine forests. These hotels all use fresh, local, seasonal, eco-certified, and authentic ingredients in their restaurants, such as homemade olive oil, sheep cheese, lamb, boškarin meat, fish, and shellfish.
Camping and glamping are also available at several sites on Lošinj. Camping Čikat holds numerous awards for excellence and innovation, and it’s certified to ISO 14001 for environmental management. It has a White Flag beach, bikes available to rent, and several eateries offering local delicacies.
So make the trip. Admire the scenery. Experience the tastes and scents of the island, and let its therapeutic atmosphere make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated! Explore yachts on Early booking offers.