Kvarner newsletter / no 40

Opatija
One hundred years of the coastal promenade

The 12-kilometre-long coastal promenade connecting the towns of the Opatija Riviera – Volosko, Opatija, Ičići, Ika and Lovran – this year celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary. Who can imagine how many people must have strolled along this path over its lifetime, how many destinies it has changed, or how many pictures have been taken here?

The construction of Opatija's famous Lungomare coastal promenade began in 1885, around the time when the first hotels in Opatija were opening – the Kvarner in 1884 and the Imperial in 1885. The first section of this promenade, from Volosko to Opatija, was completed in 1889, the year that Opatija was officially declared a climatic health resort. Construction of the promenade's second part, which would connect Opatija to Lovran, began two years later. The promenade was completed in 1911 – the year that is now remembered as the beginning of this celebrated footpath.
Over the last hundred years, Lungomare has become a symbol of Opatija and its Riviera. Many visitors who come here for leisure of business never miss the chance to take a stroll right by the sea on this famous promenade. It provides an ideal chance for recreation at any time of the year, offering nice views of the Kvarner Bay. A walk along this promenade also has beneficial effects on human health thanks to the mixture of sea air and sea spray. The winds along the coast past some of Opatija's best-known landmarks, such as its famous parks and the Hotel Kvarner, offering nice views of Mount Učka in the hinterland. It's a promenade with something special to offer at any time of the year – be it a nice cup of coffee, lunch on a seaside terrace, or a moment of rest on a laurel-shaded bench with fine views of the sea. Perhaps this is why so many people treasure its image in their memories and photo albums.