CRES & LOŠINJ ISLANDS
Cres and Lošinj Islands are a hop, skip, and a jump away from one another. Separated by a 11m-wide channel created by the Romans and connected by a bridge, Cres and Lošinj are often thought of conjointly. Together, the islands make up the westernmost part of the Kvarner archipelago.
Lošinj (pronounced “losheen,” or Lussino in Italian) offers lushly wooded landscapes and fields of aromatic herbs—an ingrained therapy that has the island baptized as the “island of wellness and vitality.” Though people and tourist attractions pop up in Lošinj, particularly in the historic town of Mali Lošinj, it still offers plenty of natural attractions for those hoping for some idyllic respite.
Cres (pronounced “tsress,” or Cherso in Italian) flags the transition point between the Adriatic’s sparse karst landscapes and northern Croatia’s more riotous vegetation. While deciduous forests blanket northern Cres, southern Cress becomes increasingly barren. Fewer tourist trappings can be found on Cres, Lošinj’s wilder and greener cousin.
Both Cres and Lošinj are the only known resident of the Adriatic’s resident dolphin populations, and the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve protects the ocean off the eastern coastlines.
As the story goes, Jason and the Argonauts vamoosed to Cres and Lošinj with the Golden Fleece when the islands were still known as the Absyrtides. The islands’ Greek roots go further, as Medea apparently murdered her brother Absyrtus in this location; according to legend, she tossed his remains into the sea, and his limbs formed Cres and Lošinj.