Kvarner newsletter / no 10

Wellness services

A long tradition of hospitality, an extensive high-quality offer, and professional personnel – these are some of the reasons that make Kvarner such a highly developed wellness destination. If you want to stay in shape, prevent illness or improve your health, and also to look and feel better, Kvarner is the place for you!

Thanks to its particularly favourable climate and the ideal geographical location, as well as the discovery of the beneficial effects of seawater on human health, this region began developing tourism and health resorts at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Opatija, which was declared a climatic health resort by an imperial decree as early as 1889, featured several doctor's offices, sanatoriums and bathing places, but also hotels. The quiet fishing village of Opatija (at the time known as Abbazia) soon turned into a world-renowned European health resort and the cradle of Croatia's tourism. Soon after Opatija, Crikvenica started developing too as a holiday and health resort with the Therapia and Miramare luxury hotels and the first public baths constructed in 1888. These were the first milestones for the development of the area's tourism. Very soon, Crikvenica turned into a recognisable tourist destination. The island of Lošinj was at the time also a renowned spa, officially declared a health resort in 1882 through a resolution of the Ministry of Health of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The first tourist in the area was the Austrian scientist Conrad Clar, who came to Mali Lošinj with his ill son in 1885. The child soon got better thanks to the healthy local climate. At the beginning of the 20th century, the beneficial effects of the island and coast climate on human health were attributed to thalassotherapy – a healing method that uses seawater in the widest sense. Similarly, the healing effects in the wooded hinterlands of Gorski kotar were attributed to the "change of air", which is why the town of Skrad in Gorski kotar had a children's holiday home and a sanatorium for the convalescence of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Navy's submariners.

Continuing this tradition, Kvarner today boasts excellent resources in health tourism. Expert medical services and various recreational programmes for convalescence or prevention are combined with appropriate gastronomic programmes and offered throughout the year in the entire Kvarner region, especially on the Opatija and Crikvenica Riviera as well as on the islands. Anti-stress programmes, vital programmes, massages, natural aromatherapy, gathering medical plants, hiking in nature – all these activities have a beneficial effect on your body and soul. This is why some of the Olympic and world champions, such as the Croatian sport stars Davor Šuker or Vladimir Šola, skiers Janica Kostelić, Ivica Kostelić or Kalle Palander found their favourite place for rehabilitation after their sporting efforts right here on Kvarner, in the Terme Selce Policlinics in Selce, which is renowned for its programmes for preventing and treating sports injuries, as well as many other health and wellness programmes.
Opatija's Thalassotherapia, special hospital for medicinal rehabilitation of heart and lungs diseases and rheumatism, now features a completely refurbished and modernised Hotel Villa Dubrava (the first health hotel in Croatia), the first wellness centre for treating weight problems, and the modern Thalasso Wellness Centre Opatija including a medical advisory centre. Thalassotherapia Crikvenica, a renowned special hospital for the treatment and rehabilitation of respiratory diseases and rheumatism, is the ideal place and the first choice for all people who suffer from some kind of respiratory problems or live in areas with polluted air. September 2008 saw the opening of the new hyperbaric chamber and the first Policlinics for hyperbaric medicine within the Thalassotherapia Crikvenica.

Today almost all fine hotels, villas and small family hotels on Kvarner – especially in Opatija, Rijeka, Mali Lošinj, Novi Vinodolski, Crikvenica, islands of Krk and Rab etc. – offer their guests a variety of wellness services wellness.