Opatija Croatia is the "First Lady" of the Croatian Coast and one of those classic style hotel towns my late grandmother used to take me when I was little boy. Things where different back then, when many looked up to the Hapsburg Monarchy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the noble families that discovered the benefits of enjoying the fresh Mediterranean sea breeze opposed to the winter chill of Vienna for the first time back in the 19th century.
The Opatija region was once a very quiet place where the fishermen kept their boats on some of the sandy beaches back in the 15th century. Later on in history and inspired by the micro-climate, the noble European class started building villas, grand hotels and botanical parks to follow their passion and fulfill their lifestyle.
Today the Riviera is a perfect blend of timeless classic heritage and modern day tourism that are uniquely connected with the famous Lungo Mare, a shady 12km seaside promenade connecting the towns of Rijeka, Opatija and Lovran. If long walks along the coast are what you're looking for, this is definitely one of the places to do so!
The region itself is composed of a few and quite unique small towns and lovely beaches to go along with. If you're looking for the camping Croatia experience here, well you will find it right on the beach or close to it. After all, this is a health resort that was formed in another century and therefore well worth a visit.
Once you stop cruising down the narrow and curvy coast road and find a place in one of the camping sites, it's time to explore around. The Riviera is a classic vacation spot with deckchairs and umbrellas on most beaches. Bars, restaurants and various types of sport activities are always a step away and at a reach of your hand.
Being a health resort with a long history and from another time, Opatija Croatia will show you lots of Vienna-style architecture, various monuments and shady botanical parks to start with.
The Riviera is located on the eastern side of the Istrian peninsula and surrounded by the massive mountain ranges and forests of Učka and Gorski Kotar which both make a perfect retreat in the summer heat if you're up for the challenge.
Hiking up to mount Učka will reward you with an amazing view of the Istrian peninsula, the bay of Trieste, the Alpine world and the beautiful islands of the Kvarner Bay.
Cruising the mountain roads of Učka or using the tunnel will take you to the heart land of the Istra and their famous cuisine. If you're really into this, don't hesitate asking the locals for a hint on good local restaurants.
Rent a boat, a paddle board or discover the coast with your campervan. There are quite a few smaller towns along the road. Brseč for example offers one of the best beaches on this part of the coast. Well worth a visit specially out of the main season.
There are a few camping sites along the coast around the Riviera. One of the best is camping Medveja, set at the base of Učka Mountain and next to one of the most scenic beaches on this part of the coast.
Surrounded by thick Mediterranean vegetation, crystal clear Adriatic sea and plenty of fresh air, this camping resort also offers lots of trails for walking or biking. The beautiful nature and quiet environment are definitely two strong reasons for at least a short stay.
Apart from this unique and relaxing atmosphere Medveja is also close enough to the towns of Mosceniska Draga, Lovran and Opatija. This makes Medveja a recommended outpost to explore the Riviera and enjoy Opatija Croatia.