The tiny, unspoilt island of Lošinj is a world away from Croatia’s better-known destinations
Why visit Lošinj?
A mere 20 miles by two, Lošinj (pronounced ‘loshing’) is known as the island of wellness and vitality, renowned for its healing air. It offers a pleasing mix of beach, culture and mountains, plus over 2,500 sunny hours a year.
Arriving on the tiny island, daily life stresses melt away with the heady scent of herbs that Lošinj is famous for.
What to do in Lošinj
A short drive takes you to picture-perfect Čikat Bay (main picture), surrounded by fragrant pine trees. The bay is ideal for a cycle, jog, walk or simply lounging waterside, and the clear blue sea will have you reaching for your swimwear.
Explore the towns
Culture can be found in two postcard-perfect towns. Veli Lošinj’s St Anthony’s Church reveals exquisite Italian paintings, while Mali Lošinj’s must-visit Museum of Apoxyomenos is dedicated to just one exhibit – a rather revealing statue of a young Greek athlete from the 1st or 2nd century BC.
Lošinj Aromatic Herb Garden
Pay a visit to Lošinj Aromatic Herb Garden, where fragrant herbs are grown and used to make gifts such as teas, oils and liqueurs.
For a drink with a view, enjoy selfies and sundowners at Providenca Lookout, from where you can reflect on your new-found paradise while sipping a local myrtle liqueur.
Where to stay in Lošinj
Boutique Hotel Alhambra
Čikat Bay is the location of the superbly luxurious five-star Boutique Hotel Alhambra (from £2,255 for 7 nights half-board), an Art Deco Mediterranean-style villa built in 1912, which blends seamlessly with its more contemporary architecture. Some of the elegantly decorated rooms feature classic roll-top baths – the perfect vantage point for people-watching along the bay.
There’s a lovely cosiness about Boutique Hotel Alhambra’s sumptuous Cube Spa, and after a relaxing-but-unknotting The Traveller Full Body Massage, a dip in the therapeutic seawater colour-change indoor pool is a treat.
Boutique Hotel Alhambra’s more modern-styled sister hotel, Bellevue (from £1,514 for 7 nights half-board), is ideal for families, with vast pools and a wider choice of restaurants.
The island became a renowned health centre over 100 years ago. Today, Bellevue’s mammoth spa clinic is the real deal in terms of its beauty menu, plus medical, aesthetic and holistic wellness services.
Where to eat in Lošinj
Lošinj’s cuisine is deliciously Mediterranean-based. Boutique Hotel Alhambra’s Alfred Keller Restaurant, headed by Croatian chef Melkior Bašić, makes clever use of fresh local produce. The island’s herbs are used in dishes including a carpaccio of sea bass, John Dory and monkfish, as well as the homemade herb butters – the perfect pairing for their fresh bread rolls.
Further dining options in the bay include Restaurant Cigale Čikat Bay, with simple-but-flavour-packed dishes including fried fish with polenta – we recommend trying the trofie pasta with Parmesan and truffle oil.
A boat trip on the sparkling water to the tiny island of Ilovik offers another memorable lunch at restaurant Dalmatinka – a huge shared oven tray of roasted fish and vegetables.
Getting to Lošinj
Lošinj is serviced by a ferry which sails from Pula and Zadar on Friday, Wednesday and Saturday and takes around three hours either way. See catamaran-line.hr for more details. Direct flights to Pula leave from Birmingham and Manchester, whilst direct flights to Zadar leave from London.
Words: Emma Badger