While staying in Opatija, you can visit not only the town and its surroundings, but other parts of Croatia as well, to explore interesting natural landscapes or to learn more about the country's rich cultural heritage.
A perfect way to experience Kvarner Bay and Opatija is to take a pleasant boat trip from Opatija's harbour or the quaint nearby fishing village of Volosko. You can sail along the Riviera's coastline or continue to the island of Cres, to spot the griffon vultures or taste some fish prepared in the traditional way on a fish-picnic.
Opatija can be a perfect base for making day-trips to some of the region's most attractive destinations, most prominent being probably the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a natural phenomenon consisting of 16 mutually interconnected lakes, since 1979 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the island of Krk, the only northern Adriatic island connected to the mainland via a bridge, visitors can try the indigenous žlahtina wine in the small town of Vrbnik, or visit the beautiful small island of Košljun, which has a Franciscan monastery.
Gorski kotar, the wooded hinterland of Kvarner, is also an area well worth visiting. Less than an hour's drive from Opatija, this area features some extraordinarily beautiful sights, such as the Risnjak National Park covering an area of 64 km2 and including, among other sights, the wonderful 4.5 kilometre-long Leska educational trail. Not to forget the Kamačnik gorge, the Zeleni vir protected landscape, Lake Lokve, and Lake Bajer near Fužine.
Located on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula is one of Croatia's most beautiful national parks – Brijuni Islands. There you can visit some Roman ruins, exhibitions in President Tito's former residence, a zoo with exotic animals, or enjoy a golf game on the superb golf courses.
You can also visit other interesting places on the Istrian coast, such as Rovinj, Poreč, or Pula, whose history dates back to Roman times and even before. Rovinj's most distinctive landmark is the famous Church of St. Euphemia, whose belfry offers magnificent views of the town and its surroundings. Pula is renowned for its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, built in the 1st century under the Emperor Vespasian, at the same time as the Colosseum in Rome, and also for its other ancient monuments, such as the triumphal Arch of the Sergii, or the Temple of Augustus.
A gastronomic tour of Istria, including a visit to a typical tavern of the region (konoba) or a wine cellar where you can sample some home-made wine, cheese and pršut home-cured ham is a perfect experience for every gourmet wishing to learn more about the gastronomic tradition of the region.
Another interesting daytrip destination is Croatia's capital, Zagreb. Its historic old town, main town square and Ilica Street – these are just a few of this beautiful town's sights one should not miss.
Venice, one of Europe's most attractive destinations, is only two hours' drive from Opatija. The seat of the former Republic of Venice will surely enchant every visitor with its shops, bridges, gondolas and churches.
Finally, let us not forget the trips to Opatija's immediate surroundings. Rijeka, Croatia's most important harbour, boasts an eventful history and is characterised by the young spirit and open-mindedness of its inhabitants. Visit the historic town centre, the Korzo promenade, or the ancient Trsat Castle that offers magnificent views of the whole Kvarner Bay. Medieval hilltop towns of Kastav, Mošćenice and Veprinac, former centres of social life, today are witnesses to the area's rich history and the way people used to live here. Učka Nature Park is an extraordinary combination of beautiful nature and valuable historical heritage.