I have always loved the sea, be it swimming, boating or just walking along its shores. As such, I’ve always lived in reasonable proximity to the coast and currently live in a town in coastal Maine called Ogunquit. One of its best features is a mile or so long path which traverses the rocky coast. It’s unusual to find paths like this, so have always treasured my strolls there and always bring visitors to see its majestic views. Today in the town of Opatija in the region of Istria, Croatia I have been introduced to a Marginal Way on steroids. This more than SIX MILE path along the Adriatic Sea on Kvarner Bay is too beautiful for words. It stretches from Preluk to Lovran and given your starting point of potentially having to retrace your steps could easily be enjoyed over a two day period. It is a MUST SEE if you are in Istria, and for water lovers like myself worth a journey from afar.
Each section/town along the Lungomare has a different flavor with Opatija being the heart and most high-end feeling. Throughout the six mile stretch you’ll find quiet areas for sitting and reading as well as many cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy anything from a quick pizza and beer (recommend a Karlovacko) to a five star dining experience. Of course, there are lots of options for gelato and treats, but all seem strategically placed so you don’t feel like you’re in a mall food court. You are quickly out of a business area and find yourself in a quiet and beautiful walk along the sea once again. There are lots of hotel options and one is grander than the next. Many were built in the late 19th or early 20th century. These pepper the Lungomare, but are generally situated enough above the promenade that you don’t sense their presence, except for those that have lovely restaurants/bars right on the water – a good thing for most vacationers.
There are several options for activities. The most popular of swimming has a plethora of beaches and swimming areas that can easily be identified as more family friendly, or those better for adults with ladder access only versus a beach. It’s late September and a sunny day here and the beaches were popular, but certainly not crowded. The swimmers were a testament to the water temperature at this time of year. Oh, and don’t forget to take a ride down the slide into the Adriatic. You also could always take a boat charter, rent a kayak, fish, scuba dive, etc. – lots to do! There are landmarks that are designated on the path with the Maiden and the Seagull statue the most prominent. This picture to the right could change the name to Maiden and Two Seagulls! Another sight just steps off the Lungomare is the magnificient Angiolina Botanical Park. This is a great collection of flora from throughout the world.
Walking to dinner tonight I saw several joggers taking advantage of this great “trail,” and as I returned the moon had risen and many couples took advantage of it for a romantic moonlit stroll on a night still in the mid-seventies. Looking out one could think about the world or easily lose yourself in a state of nothingness. What a gift to be able to do this. Take the dream walk and discover for yourself.
Written by guest blogger Bob Ackley