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From Cres there's bridge over narrow canal to Lošinj island by Osor. The largest town here is Mali Lošinj, which is somewhat centre of action and a port from where you can take several catamarans to nearby islands (Unije, Susak, Srakane, Ilovik) and to continent (Rijeka, Zadar).
Condensed in a secluded gulf, it's town with typical Mediterranean structure: here are narrow streets, stairways, pocket squares, riva (promenade along the sea), main square. You can buy fresh fish here from the fish market or supply yourself with vegetables, you can sit down at cafes and plenty of restaurants, visit galleries or museum, try some excellent ice cream, take a boat with organized tours... lots of choice for everyone. You can get yourself lost in side streets or spend evening at occasionally opened subculture spots.
Historically Mali Lošinj was for some time one of the most important port towns in Adriatic sea with notable seamen and boat constructors. Since late 19th century tourism began to thrive and it's now one of the main sources of income for the islands. You'll spot 'unusal' sight of menus written in German, English and Italian in August, many didn't even bother to write it in Croatian... which suggests who're targeted groups.
As a crown of town, the cathedral of St. Mary dominates the vedutta, but one of the most fascinating findings comes from the sea, where beautiful sculpture of Apoksiomen from Antiquity was discovered in the waters near Lošinj, and it became admirable attraction related to the place, now on display in Zagreb's museum of archaeology.
Updated Oct 14, 2011
A traveler who'll take a main road from north Cres 'till south into Lošinj, will eventually have to cross the narrow canal dividing two islands - yet they are connected nowsadays by a bridge at small and partially fortified town Osor. Historically, it's one of the oldest settlements (earliest findings date from 9th century BC) at the island placed at strategic point, at more turbulent times in past serving as a defence post as well as a port (and latter function still remains, of course today slightly less important than those days, and it's oriented mainly into tourist boats).
Number of significant architecture was built in town and there is museum to see for those interested; fortification walls partially enclose Osor's edge and centrally located there is a cathedral from 1463 which dominate the main square, with its bell tower from 16th century being the highest building and a landmark and loggia in vicinity. The older is smaller, 14th century church of st. Gaudentius, a bishop whom was protector of town.
Impressive sculptures of modern artists were recently scattered around Osor, and only if you walk you can see most if not all of them. There's kind of alley of sculptures by the walls and some are placed like a guardian to the buildings while other are more intimately related with open space. You'll see 'kuna' too and you'll immediately associate it with the name of their currency.
Interesting window frames, discreete details on the facade, eyecatching modern sculptures, shaded, stone cobbled streets and pocket size squares, musical events, winding old streets, cafes and bakeries... it all make Osor worth to explore and spending few hours at. Apparently thier music events in summer are fascinating.
Written Oct 13, 2011
On Cres there's no place like Lubenice, a small village placed on 380 m high rock from where your view ends towards meeting point of the sea and sky. Probably the most iconic place on the island, one can hardly compare it with any other type of settlement. It's ancient, built of stone, quite well preserved and atmospheric. It's amazing place for open space gallery and music events during summer, an inspiration for landscape photographers, architects, painters, poets.
They say it has been inhabited continually for 4000 years, yet it always remained within realms of small rural community, never broadly expanded, always in harmonic relation with local environment yet always in fight with harsh weather conditions. Beaten by strong winds, baked under hot summer sun. Few people still live here, there's church by the entrance to village that has been often strucked by lightnings and once can find a konoba or two for eating, but need to wait till noon to open. We didn't.
There's accomodation available in some of the houses but we slept outside on the rock below village. Few people spend overnight on the parking place that night. Next to thyme is certainly better than in a car and the views are amazing.
Walk 45 min to the sea and you'll get to amazing little beach, by words of some people one of the best ones in the Adriatic.
Written Sep 29, 2011
The island of Cres is full of small coves, inlets and hidden anchorages. This one is just outside the town of Mali Losijn near the southern part of the island. The water was perfectly calm and this is also part of the Mali Losijn Dolphin Preserve.
Written Nov 21, 2003
The nucleus of Mali Losinj dates from the 19th century when the citizens of Mali Losinj were very well off due to the peak of maritime navigation here. Many of Europe's crowned heads came here in search of health and vitality, among them the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and Prince Rudolph.
Written Sep 7, 2002
With 6500 inhabitants Mali Losinj is the largest insular town on the Adriatic Sea. A dozen Croatian families came to the island of Losinj from Hungary, fleeing from the Mongols. Since the primary economic activity of the Croat settlers was cattle-raising and agriculture, their houses were built above fertile gardens. The whole settlement underwent the transition from an agricultural and cattle-raising way of life to fishing, navigating and shipbuilding.
Today, in the harbour of Mali Losinj there are a couple of boats that sell fruits and vegetables (picture).
Written Sep 7, 2002
Some of the small coves can anchor only a boat or two, but provide complete, or almost complete privacy from prying eyes. There are those nosey tourists who poke their noses in everywhere.
Written Oct 18, 2003
The island of Cres is indented with coves, some large, like this one, open and wide and some small and well hidden.
Updated Oct 18, 2003
The small harbour of Rovenska is a 15 minute walk from Veli Losinj. Rovenska is a very quiet place, even smaller than Veli Losinj. It has a couple of good restaurants.
Written Sep 7, 2002
The nucleus of the town and many stately villas date from the 19th century when the citizens of Cres were very well off due to the peak of maritime navigation here.
Written Sep 7, 2002