From discovering ancient history, to sunbathing and scuba diving, to enjoying local cuisine, there are many things to do on Krk Island.
The largest and most populous island in the Adriatic Sea, Krk Island is an exceptionally accessible island in the Kvarner region. Tens of thousands of tourists find their way to this beautiful island each summer via a 1,430-meter-long concrete bridge from the mainland near Rijeka, said to be one of the world’s longest concrete bridges.
Krk’s popularity has much to do with this convenient location and its proximity to Slovenia and northern Italy. The numerous things to do on Krk Island, which we will get to shortly, are, of course, a massive factor as well.
Referred to as the “Golden Island” for many centuries, Krk Island lies in the middle of gorgeous Kvarner Bay, a region blessed with supreme natural beauty and a wealth of cultural attractions. In fact, the island is sometimes also called the “cradle of Croatian culture,” a status it’s justifiably very proud of.
A fun thing to know about the island of Krk is that locals believe the island is connected to the number seven. For example, Croatian people have lived there since the 7th century; pirates have attacked Krk seven times, the island survived the assaults every time, and the island now has seven centers.
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So, What Are The Best Things To Do On Krk Island
People don’t just visit Krk Island because it’s the most accessible of all islands in Croatia. Its varied landscapes, charming centuries-old towns, fascinating local culture, and beautiful beaches are why it’s such an attractive summer destination. There are plenty of things to do on Krk Island. I know, as I was just there, spending time with the boys on our summer vacation, and I was disappointed to leave as there was so much we did not get to experience during the week.
Let’s look at the most popular activities on Krk Island.
There are many Krk Island attractions to discover and enjoy, from thousand-year-old monuments to art galleries, from bare limestone slopes to pine forests and beautiful, hidden coves. You can take romantic sunset strolls along the coast or follow ancient shepherd paths in the hills. Sample homemade wine and enjoy typical Krk cuisine. Go on a boat cruise or spend the day basking on an Adriatic Sea beach.
With that said, here are my top choices for things to do on Krk Island.
Taste Wine In Vrbnik
Located on the east coast of Krk Island, Vrbnik is one of Croatia’s most famous towns—perhaps not among tourists, but certainly among Croatians. It was made famous because of its Glagolitic heritage and the popular song “Vrbniče nad morem.”
This is an undeniably pretty sight on a rocky coastal hill overlooking the sea. Its main attraction, however, is the golden wine that’s made there. Known as Žlahtina, this dry white wine is only made in and around this village. All local restaurants will have this unique wine on their menu, so make sure to head over and raise a glass (or two).
Explore The Biserukja Cave
The Biserukja Cave is a fascinating geological attraction on Krk Island. Although it’s nothing compared to, say, the Škocjan Caves in Slovenia, it still makes for a beautiful place to visit during your time on the island, especially if you travel with curious children – as my son is.
A visit leads you through a part of the cave, including the so-called Great Hall, past collections of stalactites, and stalagmites. Additionally, an excellent educational trail runs from the cave to nearby Slivanjska Cove, offering magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea.
Just be sure to get here early to avoid the crowds. The caves have one way on and out – so your views are ruined with passersby if the cave is too popular. We arrived as soon as it opened and were already one of 10 people in line.
Wander Around Krk Town
For local history, culture and architecture, you can’t beat Krk Town. The island’s namesake town, Krk’s history, goes back to Ancient Greece and Rome, but its current buildings are much younger. The main attractions in Krka Town are Krk Cathedral of Mary’s Assumption, featuring various styles, and the Frankopan family’s castle. This castle, with its towers, is the setting of a series of summer concerts.
There are many excellent beaches in Krk as well, ideal to counterbalance all that cultural immersion with a casual, laidback time near the water.
Drink Cocktails In Ancient Catacombs
You can see how old Krk Town really is in the most unlikely places. At Volsonis, you can sip cocktails, enjoy live music in an above-ground garden, and, most notably, in 2,000-year-old Roman underground catacombs.
This is where two Venus altars and several tombstones were found, reminders of this island’s long human history. This is definitely one of the most extraordinary cocktail bars and nightclubs on the entire Croatian coast—one of the best things to do on Krk Island, for sure.
Visit Franciscan Monks
You can soak up even more history and culture at the Franciscan Monastery on little Košljun Island. This monastery dates from the 16th century and was built on the remains of a 12th-century Benedictine abbey. The boat ride from Krk Island is no longer than 15 minutes, but it does take you back in time. The boat leaves from the harbor in Punat.
The monastery contains several treasures, such as a “Last Judgment” painting from the 1650s, a pretty rare copy of Ptolemy’s “Atlas,” and a wonderful collection of Glagolitic artifacts. (Glagolitic was an ancient Slavic language which is now extinct.)
Soak Up Some Sun At Baška Beach
The best beaches on Krk Island are found in Baška, a bustling town on the southeast coast. This town has more than its fair share of resorts, hotels, restaurants, and bars, so it might be better to go elsewhere if you’re looking for peace and quiet. For a fun summer holiday on the beach with friends or with the kids, Baška is absolutely perfect.
The main beach in town, Veli Plaža, is almost two kilometers long, complete with all possible amenities. Everything is readily available from playgrounds to deckchairs, surf shops, and pedalo rentals. Alternatively, the nearby bays have their own smaller or more private beaches, including a naturist beach.
Take A Healing Mud Bath In The Sea
You can find healing mud in some places in Croatia, such as Vis and Krk Island. Taking a mud bath on Krk Island can even be considered one of the best things. Meline Beach on the west side of Klimno Bay is where you can find this excellent healing mud.
This beach has extremely shallow water—you can walk for hundreds of meters, and the water won’t reach higher than your knees. Because it’s so shallow, the water is also a bit warmer than elsewhere on the island. Not surprisingly, this is a very popular destination among families with young children. There are no guidelines as to how to use healing mud. Typically, people just rub it all over their bodies and let the substance work its magic.
Discover The Origins Of Croatia(n)
In the village of Jurandvor, about two kilometers from Baška, you will find the site of one of Croatia’s most important cultural discoveries. In 1851, a student found the Baška Tablet on the floor of the Church of St. Lucy. The tablet was written in Glagolitic and contained the earliest known mention of “Croatia” and “Croatian.”
The tablet, an engraved slab of limestone, is one of Croatia’s most historically significant artifacts. In the Church of St. Lucy, the history of which is worth discovering too, you can see a replica of the tablet in the very place where it was found. The original is now in the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb.
Go Scuba Diving
It wouldn’t be an Adriatic island if the best things to do on Krk Island didn’t include some watersport, too. Besides simply sunbathing, you can also go scuba diving on the island. Plenty of shipwrecks dot the crystal-clear waters around Krk, from a Napoleonic wooden brig housing fourteen cannons to the Greek freighter Peltastis.
Visit A Unique Immortelle Farm
If you’re looking for a unique activity on Krk Island, consider visiting the immortelle farm run by Natura Consulting Company. Located in the village of Omišalj, this farm cultivates no fewer than 360,000 immortelle plants in an eco-friendly way.
Immortelle essential oils and hydrolates are one of Krk’s most popular export products nowadays. These plants are processed and used in products like perfume, cosmetics, and pharmaceutics. Immortelle has been known since the Greeks, who recognized it for its anti-aging properties—the name “immortelle” hints at that benefit.
You can explore the 8-acre farm on this immortelle farm, visit the distillery, and learn how it’s processed and used. In addition to offering an amazing view, the top of the farm’s hill is also a significant historic battlefield where Caesar’s and Pompey’s armies clashed in 49 BC.
Other Things To See And Do On Krk
Our family needs to go back to Krk Island, as we saw so many other things we need to try, such as:
- Rent a yacht for 1/2 day
- Quad Biking
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Eating On Krk Island
Food is an integral part of all cultures, and on Krk Island, it’s a major part of everyday life. As a visitor, you’re always encouraged to immerse yourself in the local cuisine. There is no better way to experience a culture than eating. After all, Cuisine combines smells and visuality, local history, and people, from farmers to chefs.
For one, people living on Krk Island live longer than their mainland counterparts. This is thanks to the region’s enjoyable climate, but certainly also to the way people eat. The Mediterranean diet is often touted as the healthiest way of eating globally, and Krk Island cuisine is the perfect example of that.
Food on Krk Island is prepared with a huge variety of healthy ingredients, such as homemade olive oils, white wine vinegar, and numerous nutrient-packed herbs and vegetables that grow on the island, including parsley, garlic, laurel, and rosemary.
Seafood also makes up a large part of the Krk diet, from shellfish to scampi and various freshly caught fish. Lamb is also a much-valued ingredient. It is so good that it’s said that the famous banquets held by Roman emperor Nero featured Krk lamb.
Add to this homemade sheep milk cheese and pastas, honey, natively grown figs, local brandy, and/or the famous wine of Vrbnik, and you have yourself a meal worthy of kings and queens.
Eating on Krk Island is an absolute delight, and all towns have several restaurants where you can enjoy this delicious cuisine.
Where To Sleep On Krk Island
When it comes to accommodation on Krk Island, you’ll have numerous options. There are numerous hotels, campgrounds, family apartments, and even hostels on Krk Island, catering to pretty much every possible type of traveler. No matter your budget or preferences regarding luxury, you will find a place to sleep on the island.
You’ll find hotels on Krk Island in all towns; there are far too many to list; start here to see some.
That said, below are a few recommended places to stay on Krk Island.
Premium Camping Krk
This is the ideal outdoor adventure campsite for families, located around close to Krk Old Town. Premium Camping Krk is right on the beach and includes a children’s playground, a heated outdoor pool, and many on-site sports activities. This is sold as an eco-campsite, so everything is pushed towards being outdoors in nature – ideal for families!
In August 2018, we stayed here in one of the mobile homes as we are not campers, and we LOVED IT!
Still, the Campground Piazza also has lots of life which families can enjoy together, including a restaurant, bakery, shops, and small markets. There are tennis courts that can be played with night lights, mini-golf, table tennis, basketball, volleyball courts, and a children’s pool. If you want some peace and quiet, you can make use of the babysitting service.
There are several kids’ clubs, depending upon your children’s ages, including the Maro Children’s Club and the Teen’s Club, which has a Nintendo Wii to enjoy. Send them to the Hobby Club for artistic fun if your kids love arts and crafts. There is also live music, movie nights, and lots of evening entertainment (we loved the disco) to enjoy as a family.
Heritage Hotel Forza
For four-star luxury in a superb location, you can’t beat the Heritage Hotel Forza in Baška. It lies just mere steps from the beach in the old part of town. Dating from the 1890s, the building still features its original wooden beams and stone walls, creating a wonderfully atmospheric setting and historic feel. Accommodation is available in 13 rooms and three apartments.
Valamar Koralj Hotel
In Krk Town, consider staying at the Valamar Koralj Hotel. Part of the Valamar chain of hotels, which are found in various places in Croatia, this three-star retreat overlooks a picturesque bay and is surrounded by scented pine forests. Amenities include a swimming pool, room service, a show-cooking buffet restaurant, and evening entertainment. The Krk Town center is only a ten-minute walk away.
One of the best hotels on the north coast of Krk Island is the Pinia Hotel. Situated in a small village near Malinska, this wellness hotel is the perfect place to wind down and leave behind the worries of everyday life. There is a large pool complete with countercurrent swimming and waterfalls, a sauna and fitness center, massages, and other body treatments. At the restaurant, you can enjoy mouthwatering Adriatic gastronomy.
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Getting To Krk Island
- Drive: Getting to Krk Island is simple! We drive to the island – crossing the Adriatic Sea via the bridge.
- Fly: You could also fly, landing in what is Rijeka Airport – which, do not be fooled, is not in Rijeka, but actually on Krk island. Weird that, if you ask me.
- Ferry: There is a ferry you can get to Krk from Cres Island (25 mins).
- Bus: Of course, if you need a bus, there are daily buses from Zagreb (3 hours) or Rijeka (1 hour).
As you can see, there are numerous things to do on Krk Island. From discovering ancient history and hiking to sunbathing and scuba diving to enjoying the delicious local cuisine, no matter what you want your holiday to be, it’s possible on Krk. On top of all that, the numerous available accommodations make the island even more attractive to tourists.
If we missed something to do on Krk, let us know in the comments below.