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Lovran, Croatia: Place where tourists can be at home

Lovran is a small town in Croatia, a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated at the east coast of Istria – Croatian west part of the Adriatic Sea. Istria is the Croatian biggest peninsula.

It is very rare at this part of the world to have a town between sea and mountain, making very special kind of air, light, history, and architecture.

Lovran keeps an open view at the Kvarner Bay with city of Rijeka and islands Krk and Cres at the one side, and mountain Učka with its clear and cold streams, rocks, caves, meadows, oaks, chestnuts, hornbeams, beeches, falcons, eagles, deer, wild boars, squirrels at the other.

For over a century this place is known as a mind and body healing spot because of the peace and halotherapy. Lovran is the name of herbal origin, it means laurel. Besides many laurel plantations all over medieval streets and yards, the mild wind that passes through town bears lavender, immortelle and rosemary scents.

There are so many interests you can follow here: baking and tasting (famous cherry dishes, also asparagus), walking down the seaside path called Lungomare, hiking, camping, riding a bike, sailing, swimming, fishing, wine tasting, enjoying jazz, classical and popular music concerts, visiting islands, villages and all year long festivities.

Many hotels, mainly by the open sea view, offer a pet-friendly environment for complete Adriatic relaxation. The most known are Hotel Park, Hotel Bristol, Hotel Lovran, Hotel Remisens Excelsior, Hotel Draga di Lovrana, Hostel Link, also many villas, some built at the beginning of the 20th century, such as Villa Papillon, Villa Anastasia, Villa Mittler, Villa Lauriana, Villa Lovran, Villa Astra and holiday homes called Franjo.1, Milica and Karolina.

Modern restaurants and coffee shops with palms, pines and also pet-friendly corners make comfortable and affordable oasis after all day activities. Venues have WIFI and children playgrounds.

Lovran’s main street includes beauty salons, banks, post office, money exchange offices, and pharmacy.

Locals offer their homemade products: honey, natural cosmetics, figs, liqueurs, olive oil, cakes, cheese, ice-cream, wine, jams, jewelry, clothes…

At the Old Town, there are an art gallery, 14th-century churches, tower, small squares where you can spend your summer nights listening to music and dancing.

Something interesting – there is a small trash can with a caption: throw your ex here and a dog bar where your dog is just another guest.

Lovran is not far from airports (Rijeka, Pula, Zagreb), ports ( Rijeka, Pula), buses and taxi transportation are safe and easy to get.

Every year tourists from all over the world travel to Lovran. There is something special with the fact that someone would go so far away just to see, feel and hear everything that cannot be photographed. Lovran takes you by the hand and you know that nothing is going to be the same again. Seeing the beauty, it makes you grow, wanting more out of life.

You can visit thousands of places, buy some postcards, take photos, relax and later talk about it with a bunch of friends, a few times… then forget it and move on. It does not work that way with Lovran. Reading all the internet reviews one can only conclude that every other traveler comes back, again and again, trying to relive within world hardly explainable.

There is something in the air that calms you down until it becomes your second nature, suddenly all disturbance have nothing to do with you. Time goes so quickly and you find everlasting sea motion, mountain fairy stories, songs about courage during war times, storms and love disappointment as your own, even though you do not speak the Croatian language.

Vojak is the highest peak of Učka mountain. From there you can see Istria, Rijeka, northern Adriatic islands and when the air is clear and open Italy looks so close and familiar that you instantly know you belong here, even you are in Europe, so far from what it seems like home.

Učka is also Nature Park with well-known village of Lovranska Draga within the borders of the park. Besides vineyards and green acres, the stream simply called The Stream chases its destiny until is safe and mixed with the sea life.  

Lovranꞌs neighbors are small ports Ika and Ičići and famous holiday destination Opatija. You can visit them by car, bus or walking down the Lungomare, mentioned above.

Lungomare is a unique path with old villas, hotels, trees and herbal relax sites where you can lay down on one of many easy chairs, breathing in fresh air, plants, flowers, bushes, local food. Small, secluded beaches offer privacy. There are also dog beach, fitness park, and tourists information outdoor offices with many ideas what you can do on sea excursions.

Lovran is part of the world where reality meets magic and there are only a few left out there; places you can explore, love and learn something from it as a lifelong traveler.

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Sanja Šimić

Sanja Šimić is passionate about sociology and history. She writes poetry, historical articles and teaches at Gymnasium Nova Gradiška, Croatia.

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