The island of Losinj
The island of Losinj, situated in the Kvarner bay, is just one of the largest groups of islands in the Adriatic Sea, which in turn comprises of up to 36 islands, islets and crags. The city of Mali Losinj includes the southern part of Cres, and incorporates a group of smaller islands: Susak, Unije, Ilovik, Vele and Male Srakane. Housing almost 7,000 residents, it is the largest city of the Adriatic islands.
Mali Losinj is the largest settlement on the island, situated on the south side of Losinj in the Augusta bay. Thanks to this position, it has established itself as a significant maritime and trading centre, and more recently as a tourist destination.
The history of Mali Losinj dates back to the 12th century. Losinj's "golden age" was in the 19th Century when, thanks to the maritime industry, this "small village" swelled into a major maritime town. With an increasing general awareness of the benefits of a pleasant climate towards well-being, and the emergence of new industries such as tourism, Losinj has turned a new page in its history.
Today, Mali Losinj is a major tourist destination of the Adriatic, well-known in all European tourist circles, as evidenced by the many loyal visitors and various awards from tourism organizations.
Veli Losinj is situated in the southern part of the island with two adjacent bays, and is situated on the northern foot of Mount Sveti Ivan (St. John). The tall houses, primarily around the harbour, as well as the abundance of luxurious villas owned by former captains, ship owners and wealthy gentlemen, each with their own beautiful gardens, form the main attractions in this lovely town, whose 1,000 inhabitants make it the second largest settlement on the island.
The gardens of Veli Losinj and Veli Losinj park (situated in front of the modern-day spa, a former residence of Archduke Charles Stephen) boast more than 200 botanical species. In the immediate vicinity of Veli Losinj is a small fishing harbour called Rovenska, which is very popular on account of its beautiful beaches, excellent fishing atmosphere, and tradition of sheltering people who have dedicated their lives to the sea, and who regularly lock horns with nature itself.
Nerezine, situated at the foot of Osorscica hill, is the first settlement that we may encounter on the island of Losinj. The site has developed from a working and pastoral village into a fishing and maritime centre, with a famous shipyard for making wooden boats. Now a popular tourist destination, Nerezine boasts two campsites, two small family hotels, and a large number of private apartments, as well as restaurants that serve excellent cuisine. These days, Nerezine is the favourite destination of many regular visitors who appreciate a relaxing holiday.
Climate, flora and fauna of Losinj
Since research first began on the effects of the climate way back in the late 19th Century, Losinj has been a popular health resort for the treatment of respiratory diseases and allergies. Temperatures here are moderate, with stable air pressure and humidity, and fog is only recorded here for four days each year, with mostly sunny weather in-between. Every year there’s approximately 2,600 hours of sunshine (that’s more than 216 sunny days). Temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius are rare, and the shade of the tall pine trees and light summer breezes make afternoons here very pleasant.
Average monthly sea temperature
ºC, Mali Lošinj, 1981 - 94.
Monthly air temperature
ºC, Mali Lošinj, 1981 - 94.
Losinj microclimate characteristics
- Average air temperature in the summer 23.5 º C
- Average air temperature in the winter 7.9 º C
- 2,580 hours of sunshine per year
- Humidity between 62% - 73%
- Air pressure between 1,006 – 1,014 hPa
- Average of 4 foggy days per year with visibility less than 1 km
- Average wind speed of 3 on the Beaufort scale
- Maximum sea temperature 23.6 º C
- Minimum sea temperature 11.8 º C
The mild climate is reflected in the diversity of plant and animal species occupying the island of Losinj. The waters around Losinj are home to the last of the large pods of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the northern Adriatic, thereby indicating the exceptional cleanliness of the sea. It’s also noteworthy that there are no poisonous snakes in the Losinj Archipelago, although you will be able to see non-poisonous snake species, as well as lizards such as geckos.
More than 1,018 plant species have been recorded in the vicinity of the Cres & Losinj archipelago - of which 230 species are considered to be medicinal herbs. Among these we can recommend some of the more exotic plant species in this area, such as lemon, palm, aloe, eucalyptus, magnolia, myrtle, etc.
Certain protected areas of natural heritage may be found at the Cikat Woodland Park in Mali Losinj, and the Podjavori Woodland Park in Veli Losinj. Foremost among these is the Cikat Woodland Park, which was planted at the end of the 19th Century by Ambrose Haracic, a famous professor at the Losinj Maritime Academy. Losinj sailors and captains brought back many exotic plants from their overseas trips that can today be seen throughout the many gardens of Losinj.
Losinj has 220 km of hiking trails and footpaths, forming both inland and seafront promenades. These provide unlimited opportunities for strolls along the seafront, or more demanding hikes in the fragrant surroundings of the lush Losinj vegetation.