Krk nightlife doesn't quite match up to Croatia's primo-party island Hvar, but Krk town has crowded bars along the harbour and around nearby Vela Placa, the entrance to the Old Town. Most bars close around 1am. If you want to keep the party going longer, there’s Jungle in Krk town or the Boa in Malinska.
As you cross the high-altitude bridge connecting the Rijeka motorway to Krk island, the sea looks huge, but the tall rocky cliffs that swallow the road ahead are even more imposing. By the time you reach Croatia’s largest and most populous island, the mainland feels miles away. As you might expect, Croatia's largest island packs a decent range of activities and sightseeing destinations, the Baška Aquarium being a choice pick. Read on for our local expert's guide to the best things to do in Krk.
As you cross the high-altitude bridge connecting the Rijeka motorway to Krk island, the sea looks huge, but the tall rocky cliffs that swallow the road ahead are even more imposing. By the time you reach Croatia’s largest and most populous island, the mainland feels miles away. A widely varied group of attractive resort towns awaits. Heavily touristed Krk town has bustling bars, naff souvenir stands and fancy gift shops, arranged in and around ancient buildings. Near Krk island’s southern tip is another busy resort, Baška, with a famous Blue Flag sandy beach: at nearly two kilometres, it’s one of the longest of its kind on the coast. Malinska, with perhaps the island’s best concentration of good restaurants, is less hectic, though it does boast a destination late-night club. Vrbnik is a quieter place to go for gastronomic delights. Omišalj, one of the towns closest to the mainland bridge, is the home of Rijeka’s airport. RECOMMENDED: More great travel destinations in Croatia.
Krk is most known for šurlice, thin tubes of pasta to be eaten with goulash or lamb stew; and the local white wine, Vrbnička, from Vrbnik, best tried in situ at the hilltop village itself The best options in Krk town are on the waterfront, including the Konoba Corsaro,
An 80-year-old family business that has morphed into one of the Kvarner Gulf’s best-known gastronomic destinations, the smart, stylish Rivica is one of those places that strikes an almost perfect balance between local cuisine and modern European fine-dining expectations. The menu is obviously Mediterranean-seafood based, with plenty of favourites from the local recipe books (shrimp and courgette risotto), Kvarner classics such as škampi buzara (scampi in wine sauce), and the odd fusion recipe (a tuna starter with wasabi and soy sauce). If you just want expertly grilled fresh white fish, then Rivica is one of the best places to dig in.
The big terrace by the bustling harbour is not the only asset here – Franica offers some of the better food on tourist-swamped Baška. The seafood menu includes two types of fish platter for two, plus scallops, tuna steak and mackerel. They also focus on old-style recipes from Kvarner and Istria. Local delights, concocted with seasonal ingredients, include a hearty goulash with potatoes Krk-style, and a roasted octopus so rich and filling that, were it not for the taste, you would swear it was beef.
Krk’s tradition of tourism goes back as far as almost anywhere on the coast – they were issuing picture postcards in 1866. After being inhabited by Liburnians, Illyrians, Romans and Croats, Krk was ruled by powerful medieval dukes, the Frankopans, who once held half of modern-day Croatia. Krk town’s walls date to pre-Roman times, and the oldest of the towers in that wall, the square one at Trg Kamplin, was built in 1191. The best-preserved historical site, the three-nave Cathedral of the Assumption, built on the site of an early Christian basilica, dates from the early 1200s, with a bell tower from the 16th to 18th centuries. The Kaštel, with a cylindrical tower, is Venetian, as are the three city gates and the rest of the wall. The Old Town’s squares and main thoroughfare of JJ Strossmayera, now lined with souvenir shops and fast-food outlets, throng with tourists all summer long. Nearby is Punat, where a beautiful bay shelters a large harbour. In the middle is the islet of Košljun, home to a 15th-century Franciscan monastery with a religious treasury. Tourists also pack Baška in the south, Krk island’s other main spot. Its sandy shore, beach towel to beach towel in high season, begins at the harbour edge. You walk to it via a café-lined promenade – in summer you’ll be walking three abreast.
Krk town’s options are mostly resort-style hotels with pools and planned activities. . Recommended is the small, four-star Marina on the harbour. Hoteli Baška own most hotels there, including four-starAtrium Residence Baška. In Malinska, the Malin is now complemented by the Hotel Blue Waves, the major most recent opening on Krk island.
The airport by Omišalj on Krk’s northern tip serves Rijeka. There is no public transport to Krk town, 20km (12 miles) away – a taxi (098 369 730 mobile) should cost something around 300kn. Regular buses run from Rijeka (1hr 20mins) to Krk town, via Malinska and then to Baška. Ferries hop between Valbiska and Merag on Cres (30mins), and Baška and Lopar on Rab (50mins). In high season, a service runs between mainland Crikvenica and Šilo on north-east Krk (30mins).