The Kvarner region covers the north east coast running up to Rijeka in the north and then part way down the east coast of the Istria peninsula to Opatija. Within the area there are numerous islands, including the large islands of Cres, Krk, Pag and Rab.
The area is a popular holiday destination with several of the islands being linked by road to the mainland, making access easy. However, as further south in Dalmatia, the area is large enough, and in places inaccessible enough, that it is still easy to get away from the major tourist spots.
Scenically, there are great contrasts on display. In parts, the mainland coast is mountainous right to the sea whilst the island scenery is more gently rolling. In places the strong winter winds and poor soil have left the ground barren, whilst elsewhere the landscape is lush and green.
The sailing conditions are slightly more challenging than further south, the area being more greatly affected by the Bora winds. Heavens, there are even small tidal flows in some places, though nothing much compared to those found around the UK!
The main difficulty with the area though is getting there. The two main bases for chartering in the area are Punat and Mali Losinj. Both are reached via Rijeka airport, the latter requiring a ferry trip. Neither airport is particularly well served with direct flights from the UK. On Saturdays, the usual start day for charters, there’s just one flight to Rijeka, from Stansted.
An alternative is to charter from Pula on the west side of the Istria peninsula. This gives you a trip of 30 miles or more to the west coats of Cres or the top of Mali Losinj, but with Pula airport only 4 or 5 miles from town, it is at least quicker to reach your yacht. sadly flight options are not much better than for Rijeka with Saturday flights from Stansted and Manchester only.
If you can deal with getting there, Kvarner is a superb area for experienced bareboaters. It’s not an area for novices, a fact borne out by the absence of Flotillas from the area but if you sail in the UK, or have progressed beyond the more straightforward Med sailing areas, you shouldn’t find it too taxing.
More details on Kvarner, including write ups on lots of possible stops and some suggested routes, will be coming in due course. Meantime, to get a feel of the area, take a look at the pictures on this page: Kvarner: Gallery