Rich heritage of Cres
The largest town on the island of the same name, Cres has everything you might need on a sailing vacation – and a healthy number of delightful trattorias that will make you want to stay a bit longer than needed
The first thing you will notice sailing toward Cres (44.96’ N, 14.41’ E) is the long ferry dock, and north to it, the mandracchio, a small harbor for fishing boats and small private boats, protected by two docks facing each other. On the outer side of the western dock, which closes the mandracchio, there are ten mooring spots with water and electricity outlets. The water is 5 meters deep around the western dock, and the bottom is sandy, but will hold an anchor. South of the ferry gate, there is a small boat yard, whose water and electricity outlets, as well as other amenities (toilets and showers) are available for use during summer. The southern part of this large cove is reserved for the big ACI Marina, whose amenities, services and number of docks are unmatchable in that part of the country.
Although the marina is well protected from all sides, northern and southern winds can make it unpleasant, so on those days take a stroll around the town of Cres. Downtown Cres is old and picturesque, surrounded by defensive walls with five towers and three walls. The heart of the city is a maze: tall and slim houses bundled together in narrow streets that lead to one of the small squares. If you are into history, there is a lot to see in Cres – other than walls and towers, there are many churches small and big, monasteries, palaces, old town hall (and the pillory right next to it!), the Venetian tower and the town museum. Finish your history lesson at the medieval mandracchio, sipping something cold and looking at old boats. Cres is known for its local cuisine, and has many trattorias where you can enjoy it. Our recommendations include Belona downtown and Bukaleta in the Loznati village (some 5 kilometers from Cres) famous for breadcrumb-coated deep-fried lamb.
Walk the dinner off taking a brisk walk down the picture-perfect promenade meandering by the sea all the way from downtown to the Kovačina cape, stopping for a reflective moment in the St. Nicholas church on your way. The cape is know for its beaches, so don’t forget to dive into the crystal blue sea. After leaving Cres, set sails for the not-so nearby, but totally worth it Lubenice, if for nothing else, than for a dinner in trattoria Hibernicia. The nearby Valunski bay is a peaceful place to drop your anchor – for example, in the mostly empty Nedomišlje cove – and go find the nearest beach. The town of Valun nested in the bay is small, lovely and a favorite among yachts. Once you round the Pernat cape, you’ll find it difficult to choose where to drop your anchor: there are numerous peaceful little coves and bays on this side of the island – Grabovice, Zaglav, Miračine, Luka, Sveti Ivan, Žanja – almost all of them with 10 meters or more of water depth, all ready to welcome you for a relaxing day or two. The loveliest of them – and the prettiest cove in these waters – is the Sveti Ivan cove. If you are more interested in the well known Plava Špilja (Blue Cave), set sail for the southernmost cove of Žanja.
Photos by Boris Kačan and ACI Marina Cres