26 May, 2017
Discover the beauty of Cres island
Heaven on the northern Adriatic
Although situated next to the mainland, this island is still hidden from the surge of boaters and offers magnificent beauties of marine, inland and gastronomical areas of the island
The story of the island of Cres is one of the most intriguing ones on the entire Adriatic. Located in the Kvarner Bay, Cres is perceived by ‘southern’ boaters as being almost part of the landmass, practically touching the Istrian peninsula and the adjacent island of Krk. However, getting to Cres is not easy, whether you take the Brestova–Porozina ferry or the Merag–Valbiska ferry line via the island of Krk. Cres is therefore, although in the heart of the Kvarner Bay, somewhat isolated which in turn preserved many values for which the boaters yearn. The fact that Cres is both the largest and the most sparsely populated Croatian island goes in favour of its fascinating history. Although we cannot judge the life on the island, we can give only the highest marks for the contents it provides. Beautiful nature, the finest authentic island gastronomy, excellent anchoring possibilities in the sheltered bay and a fantastic ACI marina ascribe it attractive values that make it worth to set out on a journey to this island. From a marine point of view, Cres offers countless bays, and the fact that almost every bay is sandy will mean much to boaters with families. Thanks to the relatively small number of visitors compared to other Dalmatian islands, you will enjoy peace and quiet in an authentic marine environment.
However, if you decide to sail a bit farther, the Central Adriatic is at your fingertips (you are also connected with the neighbouring island of Lošinj with a bridge). The indented coastline allows you to find a good shelter under any weather condition and what will make the yachtsmen especially happy is the high coast offering pleasant sailing without the high waves. Cres has not yet been, from a nautical point of view, completely discovered or, better said, completely occupied. The bay of the city of Cres is the point of origin for all cruises. In the lower part of the city is the ACI marina that represents one the of the best larger marinas on the Adriatic with 460 wet and 70 dry berths and the ability to accommodate yachts up to 50 meters in length. After the existing pontoons had been replaced last year, this year in the refurbished marina you can find a new restaurant and suite accommodations, making it a frequent team-building spot for the lovers of the sea. Saint John’s Bay is the most popular bay on the island located directly beneath the magical place of Lubenica which is adorned by a medieval fort built on high cliffs offering a spectacular view. It is possible to climb to Lubenica on a very steep path. However, for that adventure you will need an hour and 20 minutes, so why not rather relax on the bow of your ship, surrounded by emerald colours and one of the most beautiful pebbly beaches? In the Žanja bay, you can find a thirty-metre-long Plava Špilja (Blue Cave) of which the residents of Cres are extremely proud and where you can only get on a dinghy or by swimming. Whether by sailing towards the Osor — or by enjoying the many bays of Punta Križ, you will experience the truly beautiful moments and begin to uncover the marine beauties of Cres. To describe them, we would need, at the very least, a whole issue of Yachts, so we will just advise you to spend as much time as possible in the Cres waters.
However, the sea is not the only thing Cres offers. It is a more or less known fact that the griffon vulture has one of its last Eurasian strongholds right here on Cres. You can examine these unusual royal birds in great detail, but also help them in a touching way by saving hatchlings who come to this world on the highest of cliff tops. A less known fact is that in the Čampari pit, in a unique speleological location, four 12-thousand-year-old skeletons of the cave bear were found, the only fully preserved skeletons in this part of Europe. Nonetheless, not even this is the reason for which Cres is well-known – another important reason to visit Cres is the gastronomy based on home-grown produce of excellent quality. Definitely, the best are the big Cres scampi, an island speciality caught the old-fashioned way, with traps. Cres also offers superb lamb from free-range grazing sheep (which can be seen across the island). They eat grass underneath numerous olives that give us quality home-produced oil. To ‘bait’ fishing enthusiasts we will simply say that with some skill you will be able to supplement your on-board menu with ‘the king of fish’ – dentex. In line with what Cres connoisseurs say, Cres is an island with the most ‘dentex per capita’ and every cape is full of them. Domestic fishermen bait them with live squids and believe that ‘when you have a squid, you’ll have dentex’ and the ‘teeth’ (a signature of the dentex fish) come to the relatively shallow seas, about 15 to 20 metres of depth. There are many reasons to visit this island, and we believe that it is the ideal alternative to the often too crowded Adriatic ‘hit destinations’.