Kvarner newsletter / no 34

Mali Lošinj
Olive, pine, dog rose – good reasons to visit the Island of Vitality

Mali Lošinj, the renowned tourist resort on the island of Lošinj, now widely promoted as the Island of Vitality, continues its dedication to the fruits of nature throughout the year. Olive, dog rose and quince in November, then pine, agave and prickly juniper in December – these fruits are characteristic of the autumn period, but their beneficial effects can be enjoyed all year long.

Olive is the most ancient and best known Mediterranean plant, whose oil is one of the secrets of the extraordinarily healthy Mediterranean diet. If you visit the island of Lošinj in November, you will have the chance to participate in olive harvest, or to plant new seedlings in the new olive grove. During your stay on Lošinj, we also recommend visiting the ancient olive mills in Ćunski and Veli Lošinj, where you can learn more about how olive oil is made, how to recognise pure olive oil, and much more. If you'd just like to enjoy the taste of olive oil, we suggest visiting some of the island's restaurants and taverns, locally known as konoba, which offer dishes made with this precious ingredient. Let us remind that, in addition to its overall beneficial effect, olive oil has been used in folk medicine for removing gallstones, and a tea of dried or fresh olive leaves reduces blood pressure and sugar.
December on Lošinj will be dedicated to pine, which has an antimelancholic effect, making winter days more pleasant and enjoyable. You can feel this effect during Christmas holidays when air is filled with the scent of pine, but also on this island, which abounds in Mediterranean vegetation. Maybe you did not know that the seeds of the stone pine, the pine nuts, are edible – they can be eaten raw or used for making meat dishes and various sweets. If you are interested in how they taste, again we recommend visiting some of the Lošinj's restaurants. It is interesting to mention another plant that thrives in Lošinj – the agave, which is native to Latin America and Mexico. To see the flower of an agave is a rather rare opportunity, because this plant blooms only once in a lifetime, which can be once in 10, 40, or even 100 years! After that, the agave withers, but not before producing new shoots. Some of the parts of the plant – the flowers, succulent leaves, the stalk, and the juice – are edible and have medicinal properties.