Krk Island Travel Guide. Krk Tips
Island of Krk off Croatia’s coast: Beach, Sights & More / Krk Island Travel Guide. Krk Tips
The Croatian Adriatic is at the top of the wish list for many holidaymakers. A particularly beautiful spot is Krk, one of the two large islands in the Kvarner Bay. Here you will find wonderful beaches and many historical sights.
Krk Island overview
Krk is an island in the Adriatic Sea with an area of more than 400 square kilometers and enchants holidaymakers from Central and Eastern Europe year after year. Thanks to the warm-temperate climate, the wonderfully warm water and the favorable location in northern Croatia, the island is an ideal travel destination for everyone who wants to lie on the beach and experience some culture and history as well as nature. The island has more than 200 kilometers of coastline and consequently a certain choice of bathing beaches in the sheltered Kvarner Bay east of Istria. Water sports lovers will also get their money’s worth here. Many centuries of history unfold in the villages and towns.
Even before the ancient Romans established a settlement on Krk, the island was inhabited and cultivated by Celtic Illyrians. The favorable location on the Mediterranean Sea, directly on the trade routes between northern Italy and the Black Sea, favored the growth of Krk, but also that of piracy.
Similar to other areas of Croatia, it was part of various empires for many centuries. Sometimes the Venetians, sometimes the Austrians and then again the Italians ruled the island. Since the collapse of Yugoslavia, Krk has belonged to Croatia, which is now independent again.
Krk is considered one of the centers of Croatian culture. Significant parts of the Croatian written language and culture have their origin here or were maintained on Krk even in times of foreign rule. Accordingly, their cultural identity is still important to the inhabitants today.
The island of Krk has a number of architectural sights, some of which can be found in the town of the same name. There are also natural attractions such as the Biserujka stalactite cave and the legendary Baška tablet.
If you arrive by car, you will see the first sight before you even set foot on the island. We are talking about the Krk Bridge, a bridge about one and a half kilometers long that connects the island and the mainland. Strictly speaking, the construction consists of two partial bridges, with the small island of Sveti Marko in the middle. The Krk Bridge was opened in 1980 and at that time was the longest-span arch bridge in the world with a span of more than 400 meters. You may even have to hurry to be allowed to cross the bridge. A new bridge is said to be built soon, as the old one shows clear signs of corrosion from the salt of the Adriatic.
Old town of Krk
Krk is the largest and also the most important town on the island, although it only has around 3,700 inhabitants. The city of Krk looks back on thousands of years of history, which can be seen on every corner in the old town. If you visit Krk, then definitely pay a short visit to the main town. Discover the Venetian city wall with the 600-year-old harbor tower, around 1,800-year-old Roman mosaics or the many small shops and boutiques that sell regional products and handicrafts. The cafés and restaurants are perfect for taking a break and chatting with the locals.
Cathedral and churches of Krk
In the south of the main town, near the old Frankopan castle from the 12th century, is the well-known Cathedral of the Assumption of our Blessed Virgin Mary. An early Christian basilica once stood in its place, while the current cathedral is around 800 years old. The interior with figures, decorations and reliefs by artists from different centuries and epochs is particularly worth seeing. Not only in Krk, but also a little more remote on the island you will always find old churches or at least their remains. The ruins worth seeing include the Church of St. Chrysogonus near Milohnici and the Church of St. Donat near Kornic.
Biserujka stalactite cave
In the north of the island, not far from the airport, there is a stalactite cave called “Pearl’s Cave” or Slivanjska Shaft. A large number of magnificent stalagmites and stalactites have developed here just a few meters below the surface of the earth. The 110 meter long cave is open to the public on guided tours over a length of around 65 meters. A little tip: take a jacket with you. Even in midsummer, the temperature in the cave rarely exceeds 15 degrees. You don’t want to get a cold on vacation.
Tablet from Baška
At the south-eastern end of Krk lies the village of Baska, a tranquil community with around 1,600 inhabitants. There, or more precisely in the suburb of Jurandvor, stands a chapel in which one of the oldest and most famous cultural monuments in Croatia was found – the Baska Tablet. The 900-year-old stone tablet is considered the oldest relic of the Croatian written language and tells of a gift from the Croatian king at the time to a church. The original is in Zagreb, but you can find a replica on site.
The best beaches in Krk
Hardly any vacationer who spends his vacation time on Krk does not go to the beach at least a few times. Why should you miss the great sand and pebble beaches? We have picked out some of the beaches for you as tips.
You reside in the main town and don’t want to drive extra far to lie on the beach? Then we recommend the city beach Portapisana directly at the old town. Here you can relax after the sightseeing tour and enjoy the sunset with a view of the old city walls of Krk.
Vela plaža Baska
Have you just looked at the Baška tablet and would like to go to the beach for something else? Then lie down on the 1,800 m long pebble beach Vela plaža. Advantage: The beach has had the Blue Flag for years, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands.
A real insider tip for the island of Krk is the Potovosce beach near the town of Vrbnik on the east coast. A beautiful bay with blue water blends into a lush green landscape. Here you can swim, snorkel, simply enjoy the sun or take a photo for your holiday pictures.
If you have some skin or joint problems, then give the beach near Soline in the northeast of Krk a chance. Instead of a white sandy beach and azure sea, there is healing mud here that is said to work wonders.
Activities in Krk
There is also a lot to experience on Krk away from the beaches and old walls. Hiking, diving, sailing and rock climbing are just some of the activities you can do on Krk. With the right timing, you can also experience one of the many festivals that take place regularly on the island.
Try white wine from Vrbnik
Viticulture has developed around the coastal town of Vrbnik in the east of the island. From here comes the Vrbnicka Zlahtina, a dry white wine that is distinguished by its straw yellow color, freshness and characteristic aroma. If you are a wine lover, then visit one of the wineries near Vrbnik and try a sip of this delicious wine.
Having fun at festivals
Numerous festivals and events take place on the Croatian island every year. If you plan your holiday cheaply enough, you can celebrate with us – for example at the annual summer festival or one of the great food festivals. Sailing fans like to come to the Croatia Cup in May, a well-known sailing regatta that is often combined with some other sporting events.
use the zip line
In the southeast of the island, where the landscape is hilly, you will find Treskavac Nature Park. Here you can hike and enjoy the view from Obzova, the highest point on the island. The brave dare to descend the two-kilometre-long zip line. It goes downhill on a wire rope – a rapid “walk” between the treetops.
practice water sports
As in most other places on the Croatian Adriatic, you can of course also pursue several water sports on Krk in various places. In almost every place you will find diving schools, jet ski rentals or people who will guide you to the most beautiful places for snorkeling. Those who cannot dive themselves or have small children should pay a visit to the underwater world of Punat. In the facility east of the town of Krk you can take a safe and guided underwater walk without diving knowledge and see the great flora and fauna of the Adriatic Sea up close.
Catch big fish
On an island like Krk, fishing has had a great tradition and importance for generations. For anglers, the waters around the island have proven to be a real Eldorado for friends of the big game. For a small price you can get a fishing license and book a trip out to the Mediterranean Sea. Cast out your fishing rod and catch big tuna or swordfish as well as cod, sea bream, perch, mackerel or squid.
Excursion to the island of Košljun
If the island of Krk is not yet exciting enough for you, then why not visit the small island of Košljun, which lies east of the town of Krk in the Punat Bay. Visitors can take boats several times a day to the island, whose only inhabitants are Franciscan friars who live in the St. Mary’s Monastery there. Some parts of the complex are open to the public and have been transformed into a museum. In addition to books, liturgical utensils and vestments, the museum contains an important collection of Croatian and Venetian art as well as an ethnological collection with exhibits about the life and work of people on Krk in the past centuries.
Krk Travel Info
Whether with children in Croatia, traveling alone or as a couple – there is something for everyone here. Could we inspire you for a holiday on Krk? Then get in the car or on the plane and off you go! So that you don’t forget anything, we have put together some helpful travel information for you.
Best time to visit in Krk
Krk is located in the northern Adriatic Sea and is also protected from the weather in the Kvarner Bay. So it doesn’t get quite as hot here as further south, but still warm enough to lie on the beach all day in summer. If you want to avoid the main season, you still have a good chance of warm days in spring and autumn.
Travel duration & travel preparation
The island is quite large and spread out. If you want to explore it on foot or by bike, you should plan a week or more for your vacation on the island of Krk. If you are content with a town and want to go to the beach, Krk is definitely suitable for a long weekend.
Krk is part of Croatia and therefore also part of the European Union, but not part of the Schengen Agreement. This means that you only need your valid identity card to enter the country, but you have to be prepared for border controls at the border or the airport. Unfortunately, this can lead to delays, especially during the peak travel season.
Arrival & getting around on site
Conveniently, the airport of the city of Rijeka is not on the mainland like the city itself, but in the north of the island of Krk. So you can land on the island by direct flight from Frankfurt, Hamburg or Stuttgart and then get to the accommodation by shuttle or taxi. If you prefer to travel by car, then be prepared for a breathtaking, but also quite long drive. From Munich you cross the Alps, travel through Austria and Slovenia and after around 600 kilometers and around seven hours you reach the Adriatic island.
If you want to be independent and flexible on site but have traveled by plane, you should use a rental car. Apart from taxis and a few buses, there is no public transport worth mentioning. If you stay in one place, you don’t need a vehicle, because the villages and towns are mostly small and easy to explore on foot.
language & understanding
As in other parts of Croatia, the language spoken on Krk is mainly Croatian. Speaking a few words of the local language can make you popular with the locals. Otherwise, German and English are also sufficient, as the island is well prepared for travelers from Central Europe.
Food & Specialties
Although the island is not exactly ideal for agriculture, some local specialties have developed within Croatian cuisine. These include the olives grown here, but also cheese and honey and of course the diverse fish and seafood from the Mediterranean. Traditional Krk dishes include:
Surlice, a kind of noodle, with lamb goulash
Anchovy buzara with potatoes
Presnac, a sweet made from young sheep’s cheese
Hotels & Accommodation
It is not surprising that you will find most of the larger hotels near the largest cities on Krk. In Krk, Malinska or Baška you can even stay in luxurious 4-star hotels. If you like it more rustic and cheaper, you will find old farmhouses and country houses in many villages that have been converted into apartments or small family hotels.
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