Tui UK (formerly Thompson Holidays) is the latest airline to announce an expansion of their flights to Croatia. From summer 2019 they will be offering flights to Rijeka airport. They will be the only UK carrier with routes between Rijeka and the UK airports of Gatwick (London) and Manchester. The weekly flights will begin from May 23 2019.
Rijeka airport is actually located on the island of Krk, a short bus ride from Rijeka, which is Croatia's third largest city. Island Krk is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Flying to the airport of Rijeka holds many advantages for visitors, not least because of the city's unique location.
The city of Rijeka lies at the very beginning of the peninsula of Istria; heading west out of the city allows quick and easy access to famous seaside destinations such as Opatija, Pula, Umag, Rovinj and Poreč. Rijeka is also the nearest coastal city in Croatia to Zagreb, the Croatian capital lying only one and a half hours away by car. Between the two cities lies the beautiful region of Lika, which holds several national parks, including Croatia's most famous, Plitvice Lakes.
Heading south from Rijeka, the next major city along the coast is Zadar, which marks the start of the coast of Dalmatia. So, within easy reach of Rijeka are some of Croatia's most famous destinations, including some of the country's best islands Cres, Lošinj and Krk and Pag. A ferry service to the nearby island of Rab will be included in the price of holidays of those flying on the Tui route. Rijeka port also runs ferries which access the far south of Croatia including Dubrovnik and islands like Hvar.
Rijeka itself is a city well worth visiting. The city has been awarded the 2020 European Capital of Culture award and its cultural programme in the run-up to that year is incredibly diverse. The city is also unique in regards to its architecture; Rijeka holds grandiose Austro-Hungarian buildings usually only ever seen in continental Croatia. This is because Rijeka and nearby Opatija were two of the first international tourist destinations of the modern age. Linked to the heart of the Austro-Hungarian empire for over 100 years, via a railway through Slovenia, Rijeka and Opatija were visited by kings and queens from many of Europe's old royal houses.