Due to its excellent geographical position, healthy climate and thermal baths, Opatija became the first tourist destination in Croatia and a favourite resort for the European elite mostly.
Opatija was famous already in the 19th century as a bathing and a spa resort. Iginio Scarpa, a merchant from Rijeka, built a villa along the seashore in 1844 and named it after his wife Angiolina. A number of distinguished people and noblemen visited his beautiful villa, surrounded by many exotic plants, and spent their holidays there. It was the beginning of tourism development in Opatija.
Building of hotels contributed to the future development of that charming and magnificent resort. Kvarner was the first hotel in Opatija, built in 1884. It was soon followed by a range of hotels, sports, recreation and entertainment facilities. Today, tourist offer includes various attractions throughout the year; wellness programs, swimming pools, congress centre, discotheques, wonderful parks, beaches, restaurants, various cultural events. There is a great choice for everyone. This marvellous tourist centre provides a fabulous setting for both active and relaxed holidays. Many beautiful hotels and villas along the narrow coastline perfectly merged into lush gardens and parks of the town.
Opatija is a remarkable oasis with the longest tradition in tourism on the east coast of the Adriatic. Tourist capacities and moderate climate contribute to both summer and winter tourist arrivals. Holidays in Opatija provide excitement and leisure opportunities. Visitors can enjoy amazing nature environment and stylish architecture, enjoy the fragrances of different exotic plants around the Church of St James, a horticultural monument, attend exhibitions in the Art Pavilion, or simply absorb the sun on a lovely beach of Opatija. Reconstructed facades of the old Austrian villas give the town a particular charm and a classic beauty, but still with modern attitude. Take a stroll along the promenade to see that marvellous architectural heritage. Picturesque places along the magnificent coastline are within easy reach and include the charming village of Ika, the renowned summer resort of Ieiai with well equipped marina and a number of sports facilities, then Volosko, an ideal setting for windsurfing, Mošaenieka Draga, famous for the most beautiful pebble beach on the Riviera, and finally Lovran, a town of rich history, charm and hospitality.