The sea and the mountain in Opatija blend into a harmonious whole, just like two sides of the same coin
The sea and the mountain in Opatija blend into a harmonious whole, just like two sides of the same coin. In order to familiarise yourself with the diversity of the area, it is best to start your journey right on the coast with a cup of coffee at one of the ‘Feel&Taste’ restaurants and bars in Volosko, an old fishing village that has always lived ‘by the sea and from the sea‘.
Only a 15-minute ride separates you from the place that ’almost seems to touch the heavens’, as a well-known local poet described the historical town of Veprinac. Passing through the ancient town gate takes you back five centuries in time. Here you can find the Church of St Anne with its mysterious Glagolitic wall paintings, a dungeon with iron shackles, and Komunšćica, a former administrative building that today houses an ethnographic collection. In addition to the exhibits that will acquaint you with aspects of everyday life in this area a hundred years ago, here you can also taste something that forms part of the local history, the traditional Betini biscuits, and even learn how to make them yourself. Before returning to your car, be sure to visit the Ukić family and find out if Veprinac was named after the Croatian word for boar (vepar) or butcher's broom (veprina), a spiky yet medicinal plant whose beneficial effects are worth trying.
Continue along the mountain road until you reach Poklon Pass, which features an info point for visitors and is the starting point of numerous forest paths. Do not miss the Land Art trail, which will take you on a panoramic route offering fantastic views of the beautiful landscape and art sculptures installed along the way. The route ends again at Poklon Pass, next to the Eye of Učka, a unique wooden installation that attracts visitors with its meditative energy.
After recharging your ‘spiritual batteries’, be sure to nourish your body at the Pansion Učka guesthouse by savouring excellent traditional dishes of the area. Save some room, though, because on your way back to Opatija you should stop at the authentic tavern of the Rumac family and taste their award-winning wines.