One of the largest, but least developed Croatian islands and a relatively untouched gem - Cres is a raw wilderness where you will find the famous Cres olive oil, 80 pairs of rare griffon vultures and only 3000 permanent residents.
The island has two different landscapes, green in the north - the Tramuntana forest and the less fertile one in the south. In the north, there are two settlements Beli - home of the eco center Caput Insulae, which works to protect rare birds, and the town of Cres with its harbor lined with cafes.
Due to frequent trading in the past, the island’s culture and architecture are diverse and interesting. And finally, its stunning landscapes are magical, making it one of the best islands to experience.
In this guide we bring you the best and most interesting places you can experience and explore on this unique journey:
1. Vrana Lake - Vrana Lake on Cres is a natural karst phenomenon and cryptodepression. It is named after the village of Vrana, which has a spectacular view of the lake. It is considered the deepest lake in Eastern Europe.
2. City Museum - the museum was founded in the early 20th century, but since 1973 it is housed in today's beautiful Arsan Palace, which was built in the early 16th century. The museum has a rich archaeological collection that tells the story of the entire island.
3. Church of St. Mary Magdalene - Cres Church of St. Mary Magdalene was built in the early 15th century, in 1402 to be exact. St. Mary Magdalene is celebrated in the Catholic Church on July 22, and her worship began as early as the 12th century.
4. Bejski tos - built at the end of the 18th century. Legend says that the construction of the ‘tos’ was agreed upon by three people, of whom only one name is known - Desantic or Dessanti. One gave the land, the other bought the tools and all the appliances, and the third gave the money to build and start work.
5. Church of St. George - St. George is the protector of knights and crusaders, as well as domestic animals, crops, farmers, land and shepherds. In Croatia, St. George is celebrated every year on April 23, as in history a prince was elected on that day. Cres Church of St. George is small with wooden benches and a central altar.
6. Frane Petric Square - Frane Petric Square is the main square of the whole island, and is located in the old town of Cres near the waterfront. The square is home to numerous cafes and restaurants offering a large number of local specialties and quality wines.
7. Waterfront - in the center of the island and the town of Cres, along the coast is a waterfront that daily counts many visitors who enjoy the view of the sea, the surroundings of Cres and untouched nature or seek refreshment in one of the many cafes and restaurants where you can taste various premium dishes made from seafood.
8. City Tower - the function of the Cres Tower in history was the defense of the city, and it was built in the 16th century for the Venetian authorities. Its solid walls have also had a defensive function throughout history.
9. Monastery of St. Peter - the female Benedictine monastery of St. Peter the Apostle was built in the 15th century. The monastery has a quality and preserved Baroque organ and altars from the 17th century.
10. Church of St. Mark - the parish church of St. Mark was built in 1851, in a secluded place surrounded by forest. It contains the famous Valun Tablet, a Glagolitic bilingual monument from the 11th century.