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The island of Cres

Cres: a meeting with the mysterious world of nature
If you enjoy unspoilt nature and love exploring the diversity of life Cres is the best place for you. Here you can watch Griffon Vultures fly, contribute to their protection by adopting one and discover the wondrous phenomenon of Lake Vrana. And that is just for starters...
Cres is located in the northern part of Kvarner Bay with its southern side connected to the island of Lošinj by a lift bridge. There is an array of coves and shingly beaches scattered along its western and southern shores, while steep cliffs line the island’s north and south. In the northern sub-Mediterranean part there are high and dense forests of oak, hornbeam, elm and chestnut trees while the central and southern Mediterranean part is covered with rolling pastures and dense evergreen underbrush.
There are as many as 1,300 plant species thriving on the island of Cres which is equally rich in animal life, so this is a true paradise for nature lovers. Cres is one of the last habitats of the Griffon Vulture and home to freshwater Lake Vrana, a nature’s wonder with its surface located above and its bed located at 74 metres below sea level.
The island has plenty to offer in every way. In addition to beautiful flora and fauna Cres enjoys a rich cultural and historic heritage. It is home to numerous Liburnian castles, remains of ancient towns and Catholic churches, monasteries, remains from the Venetian period and present-day monuments. The history preserved here and old churches and villages that seem untouched by time will be a true treat for anyone with a penchant for organized or self-planned island exploration, as the Tramuntana area and the entire island are simply wonderful. All this, paired with an extensive choice of accommodation, restaurants and events, makes Cres an interesting and attractive holiday destination.

The Griffon Vulture - Ruler of the Sky
Cliff-nesting Griffon Vultures build their nests on the island’s stone cliffs towering above the sea. These huge birds with a wingspan of almost three metres reach a speed up to 120 kilometres per hour. In most European countries the species is already extinct, but not on Cres and the neighbouring islands of Krk and Prvić. Because of this there are ornithological reserves on all three islands.

Lake Vrana - A Wonder of Nature
Perhaps one of the best testimonies to how surprising nature can be is Lake Vrana – a freshwater lake located on the beautiful island of Cres. It is a wonder of nature Cres, Kvarner and Croatia take great pride in.

ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS BY THE BEACH 
Outdoor lovers and sports buffs will enjoy spending time here. In addition to the usual options - tennis, miniature golf, beach volley, table tennis, basketball and football – there is also sailing, spear fishing and parasailing and innumerable underwater activities are available so everyone will find something for themselves. Equipment can be rented and serviced at dive schools and rental stores in Cres, Martinšćica and Beli. Everyone interested in sailing, children and adults, should contact one of the local sailing schools.

CYCLING TRACKS
Besides walking and hiking, cycling is also an excellent way to discover Cres and enjoy captivating scenery of the island.
Besides walking and hiking, cycling is also an excellent way to discover Cres and enjoy captivating scenery of the island. The best period to ride a bicycle is in the spring or autumn when temperatures are not that high and the weather is nice.You can discover Cres by bike easily – from Dražica bay and ACI marina Cres, through the centre of the city, then along the seashore to the hotel, camping site and beaches all the way down to the tourist resort Gavza: cycling tracks are simple and easy.
You can get to almost every village on the island using the major island road or any old roads or macadam. One of the most popular cycling tracks is macadam running from Cres marina to Valun and is 15 km long. This track also further leads to villages above Valun that is Pernat, Zbičina and Lubenice. The track starts in Cres marina from where a path runs to the water pipeline route. After you leave marina you’ll see macadam and just follow road signs for Valun. While cycling you’ll come across hurdle-gates that prevent sheep from entering so please keep them closed after you pass through. After macadam you’ll see a paved road leading to Valun.
From Podol, a village above Valun, another attraction-grabbing track goes along the Vrana Lake and gives a stunning view over the lake and its surroundings. The track goes to the village Grmov above the Vrana Lake and further on to the major road.
An attractive track in the north of the island is macadam Sv.Petar – Ivanje. You can reach this track if following the major island road in direction of Porozine. Turn right at the road sign Beli and go on to St Peter.  You’ll reach Ivanje by an eight-kilometre long path which is partially paved. At the 5th kilometre of the road to Ivanje you’ll come upon an abandoned village Petričevi where the path forks. If you turn left, the track will take you through the woods and mountains of Tramuntana. At the end of the track you’ll get to the major island road.
You should take tours all over the island to find out its beauty; because, Cres once discovered, will always stay in your heart.

BEST ISLAND WALKS
If you wish to combine the enjoyment of beautiful nature, island exploration and sports tourism the instructive nature trail of Tramuntana and other footpaths on the island are just what you need. Tramuntana is 12 kilometres long and takes some 3 to 4 hours to complete. The walk will take you to the ecological centre in Beli and along the way you will see an exhibition, a small church, an Illyric castle and enjoy the shade of lovely oak and chestnut forests. Numerous valuable natural and cultural localities are scattered along the way so this walk is certainly the one to take.
Island walks are a great way to appreciate the natural and cultural wealth of the island, offering ample opportunities for enjoying Cres cuisine and its fabulous beaches.

Gastronomy
Cres cuisine is both healthy and tasty, owing to the island’s mild Mediterranean climate, intact nature, habitat diversity and rich tradition.
The most popular specialty is Cres lamb. The meat has special quality, as it comes from free range sheep that are left on island pastures filled with aromatic herbs to graze undisturbed throughout the year.
Mediterranean fruit, locally harvested organic vegetables, aromatic herbs and locally produced olive oil will excite your taste buds and you will never forget the Cres lamb, fresh fish and seafood and all the fine food and wine you enjoyed here.
Another must is meat or fish prepared in the traditional manner – in a cast iron cooking pot with hot coals placed on the lid. Such delicious food must be matched with excellent local wine and pastries made with figs, grapes, citrus fruit etc.

Beaches, preserved environment and the clean sea are the most treasured highlights of the island of Cres. Cres is rich in arranged, natural, big, small, stone, pebble, shingle, sand and secluded beaches: a real treat for nature lovers.
The loveliest beaches are tagged with the Blue flag that guarantees high level of both service and safety standards as well as the clean sea.
Naturist beaches are located in Cres within the camping site Kovačine and in Punta Križa. In the camping site Kovačine there is also a beach for disabled users with all the necessary aid and a special access to the sea.

Beach Mali bok, Orlec
The island of Cres is famous for its secluded bays and beaches. The bay Mali Bok is set in the small village of Orlec not far away from Cres: here is a pebble beach sheltered with high cliffs providing the beach with shade.   A steep path runs to the beach: nevertheless, you should spare no effort in taking the path since the beach is worth every step.

BeachValun, Valun
Valun is a small coastal village with two lovely shingle beaches rimmed with dense pine forest. The village offers everything you need: a shop, restaurants and coffee shops. You can also come across numerous smaller isolated bays next to the bigger beach.

Beach Sv. Ivan, Lubenice
The beach Sv. Ivan is located in the bay under Lubenice and is one of the loveliest beaches on the island. You can get to the beach on foot from Lubenice or by boat - your own or you can embark on an organized boat tour. The beach is isolated and frequented by only a few visitors which makes it perfect for a peaceful vacation. The beach Sv Ivan was ranked fifteenth among the forty most beautiful beaches in the world by the German magazine Bild.

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Cities of The island of Cres

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