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215 215 9814

Travel Guide to Cres: Notes for Visiting Cres

May 30, 2024 7 min read.

The island of Cres is known for its natural beauty, diverse landscape, and charming seaside villages. In this travel guide to Cres, you will find the information you need to plan a dream vacation.

Trip to Cres: General Information

Cres, located on the Adriatic Sea, is a natural and cultural treasure of Croatia that attracts visitors with its diverse beauty and rich history. Surprising with its landscape ranging from lush forests to rugged rocky coasts and beautiful beaches. The main city, also called Cres, captivates with its cobblestone streets and Mediterranean architecture, offering authentic charm. One of the most notable aspects of the island is its commitment to wildlife conservation, being home to the majestic Griffon Vulture. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the population of these birds of prey on the island.

Cres stands out for its historical connection, being the access point to the Brijuni Islands National Park. Also, with idyllic beaches and a variety of outdoor activities, the island of Cres presents itself as a captivating destination that combines unspoiled nature with a rich historical heritage.

What to See and Do in Cres

The island of Cres offers a wide variety of activities and places to explore, combining natural beauty, history, and culture. Here are some options to see and do on the island:

1. Cres Old Town

Explore the charming town of Cres, with its cobblestone streets and Mediterranean architecture. Visit St. Francis Square and discover the church of the same name.

2. Flora and Fauna

Participate in excursions to see the impressive Griffon Vulture, a species of bird of prey that has found refuge on the island. Also, visit the island's unspoiled landscapes through hiking trails. Explore the Tramuntana forest and enjoy panoramic views.

3. Beaches

Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Cres, such as Valun Beach and Lubenice Beach, which offer crystal clear waters and picturesque surroundings.

4. Brijuni Islands National Park.

You can take the ferry to explore this national park, famous for its biological diversity and its historical connection to former Yugoslav President Tito.

5. Archaeological sites

Visit historical sites such as the ancient city of Osor, which reveals the Roman presence on the island.

6. Picturesque Towns

Explore the island's charming villages, such as Lubenice, known for its narrow alleys and stone houses.

7. Water Sports

Take advantage of opportunities for water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing.

Eating in Cres

The gastronomy of the island of Cres is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean flavors, and Italian and Croatian influences, taking advantage of fresh local produce and rich culinary tradition.

Fresh fish and seafood are an integral part of Cresian cuisine, reflecting its location by the Adriatic Sea. Dishes such as brudet (a fish stew) or brodetta cresiana are examples of the island's rich fishing tradition.

Cres sheep is famous for its tasty meat, and the local-style roast lamb is a delicacy not to be missed. In addition, sheep cheese, especially Pasiego cheese, is a delicacy appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

The island of Cres is also known for being home to the Istrian white truffle, a variety prized for its distinctive aroma and flavor. Expert chefs use these delicacies in a variety of dishes, from plates of pasta and risotto to oils and sauces.

Besides, Locally produced extra virgin olive oil imparts its distinctive aroma and flavor to many dishes.

The Culture of Cres

Every cultural event in Cres is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the authenticity of the island, where history meets contemporary creativity, creating an enriching experience that leaves a lasting impression on those who participate.

1. Summer Festival in Cres

This summer festival offers a wide variety of events, from concerts and theatrical performances to art exhibits. It allows visitors and local residents to immerse themselves in culture and entertainment during the warmer months.

2. Truffle Festival at Cres

Given the presence of truffles in the region, a festival dedicated to this delicacy could highlight the island's truffled delights. Visitors can enjoy gourmet dishes, truffle-related activities and learn more about truffle hunting.

3. Cres Classical Music Festival

If you are a lover of classical music, this festival could feature concerts and performances by local and international artists. The unique atmosphere of the island adds a special charm to this type of event.

How to Get to Cres

Getting to Cres is an easy and accessible experience. It is accessible by land, air and sea, offering several options for visitors. Below we tell you about the access routes to the island.

1. By Air: Rijeka Airport (RJK)

The island has an airport which is located on the neighboring island of Krk. From the airport, you can take a ferry to reach Cres or cross the bridge that connects the islands of Krk and Cres.

2. By Land: Krk Bridge (D102)

You can reach the island of Cres by car from the Croatian mainland. Access by road involves crossing the bridge that connects the island of Krk with the island of Cres.

3. By Water: Ferry

You can take a ferry from the Croatian mainland or other nearby islands. The main port of Cres is the town of Cres, and there are regular ferry services connecting the island with places like Rijeka on the mainland and Mali Lošinj on another nearby island.

Photo of Emtisquare Studio in Unsplash

How to Get Around Cres

Cres offers a variety of transportation options. Exploring on foot is a delightful way to discover the coastal villages, beaches, and natural landscapes. Many places on the island are accessible on foot, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Cres.

Also, given the relatively compact size of the island and its varied terrain, cycling can be an excellent option for getting around, especially if you enjoy outdoor activity. There are routes and trails suitable for cyclists.

1. By Car

Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring the island of Cres. This will give you the flexibility to move at your own pace and access places that are more remote or less served by public transportation. Roads are generally passable, although some can be narrow and winding.

2. Public Transport

The island of Cres has bus services connecting the main places on the island. However, please note that the frequency of buses may be limited, especially in less populated areas.

3. Private Boat

The island of Cres has bus services connecting the main places on the island. However, please note that the frequency of buses may be limited, especially in less populated areas.

When to Visit Cres

The best time to visit the island of Cres will depend on your preferences and the activities you wish to do. Here are some considerations for different seasons.

1. Spring (March to May)

This season is excellent for avoiding the crowds and enjoying the pleasant weather. Temperatures are milder, making it ideal for exploring nature, hiking, and enjoying the tranquility of the island.

2. Summer (June to August)

This is the high season, with warm temperatures and sunny days. It is ideal for enjoying the beaches, water activities, and summer festivals.

3. Autumn (September to November)

Autumn on the island of Cres offers an opportunity to experience the serenity of the island in a calmer atmosphere, enjoying the natural beauty and outdoor activities in a more relaxed environment.

4. Winter (December to February)

Winter on the island of Cres can be quiet and picturesque, but many tourist facilities may close during this low season. If you are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere and don't mind the cooler weather, winter might be an option.

Destinations Near Cres

Cres is a fabulous island with many outstanding sites to explore, making it a beautiful destination. In turn, because of its proximity to Pula and Split, many travelers combine their visit with these beautiful destinations.

Looking for incredible historical sites? Want to discover a vibrant and artistic culture? Want to taste delicious dishes? If your answer is "yes", in Greca we have several proposals of tours to Croatia, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and time.

There are trips for all tastes, choose your adventure according to your needs!

When is truffle season in Cres?

The truffle season generally runs from late fall to early spring.

What is the typical climate on the island of Cres?

The climate is Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters. Temperatures vary, with the summer months being the warmest.

What species of fauna stand out in Cres?

The island is known to be home to the griffon vulture and offers bird-watching opportunities.

What is the best time to see Griffon Vultures in Cres?

The best time is spring and early summer when the birds are most active.

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