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.