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Losinj in the Kvarner Riviera



One of my most memorable experiences this past year, was a visit to Losinj one of Croatia’s 1000 plus islands. Of the five largest islands in the Kvarner bay, also known as the Kvarner Riviera, Losinj is the most beautiful. In the 19th century it was the preferred holiday destination of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, Franz-Josef.

This piece of paradise is relatively obscure and unspoiled and provides a near pristine form of turquoise seas, beautiful weather and rugged sloping scenery. The island’s Venetian fishing villages of Veli and Mali Losinj are postcard perfect. As far back as I can remember, Losinj was a center for pulmonary rehabilitation. The multitude of plant species, thick pine forests, medicinal herbs and the quality of the sea, create a unique environment conducive to healing. Health tourism has been a tradition here for more then 100 years and appropriately so, the island was named “Vitality Island”.

Losinj has always been magical, and a perfect escape for those who revel in nature, but the Vitality Island didn’t attract guests who were looking for the luxuries only five star hotels can offer. It was the opening of Alhambra, a boutique hotel which dates back to 1929 that brought to the island the luxuries that would please even the most discerning traveler. The Alhambra and Villa Augusta are now connected by a modern annex building to form a stunning 51 room and suite luxury boutique hotel overlooking the crystal clear Cikat Bay, one of the prettiest on the island.

Both Alhambra & Villa Augusta rooms are spacious and well appointed, and have balconies offering views of the sea, the park and the emerald green Cikat Bay. The bathrooms offer double vanities with separate shower and tub. The hotel has an indoor pool, a gym, a spa and just like everything else here, rest assured that the dining is a top notch too. The guests of Alhambra can also enjoy all the facilities, including the massive spa and numerous restaurants at hotel Bellevue, which is just a short walk away.

I especially enjoyed the flowering gardens, which are just breathtaking. With all the beauty that surrounds you, this is a place for rest and relaxation, a place where one can just get away from it all….and find a peace and tranquility. I think you will find Losinj to be perfect on its own, or as a vacation desert to be added to any European or Croatian itinerary.

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