Lovran
© Visit Lovran

The best things to do in Lovran

Fall in love with Lovran with our things to do list and discover where to drink, eat and more

Written by
Ivor Kruljac
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Named after lovorov list, the Croatian translation of 'bay leaf' (which can be find growing all over the area), Lovran is the oldest settlement of Liburnia, an ancient region on the northern Adriatic coast.

Located on the easternmost edge of the Istrian peninsula, Lovran is close to Opatija with which it’s connected by the lovely Lungomare coastal promenade. With lavish vegetation and surrounding views of the breathtaking Kvarner Bay, Lovran has been a sought-after tourist destination since the turn of the 19th century; which is evident from the eye-candy villas that date back to the time. Today, Lovran is a health tourism hotspot with rich history and traditions – plus, it tends to be less expensive than neighbouring Opatija. There is truly something for everyone in this town. Read on for our pick of the top 10 things to do in Lovran.  

Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere.

You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

Walk the Lungomare coastal promenade
© Marie Thérèse Hébert & Jean Robert Thibault

Walk the Lungomare coastal promenade

The winding Lungomare promenade in Lovran, located right by the coast, offers a stunning landscape to walk or run through away from the hubbub of the main road. Fresh sea air and a lovely gaze toward the Kvarner Bay are the promenade’s main treats, along with the aroma of pine trees and views of stunning villas above the pathway. The trail leads to some of the most popular beaches in Lovran as well as smaller, rocky, and more discrete coves perfect for swimming in peace. Restaurants, parks, and bars are easily accessible from Lungomare, too.  

Slip away from the crowds for good seafood on a terrace facing a pretty little park at the edge of Lovran’s Old Town. Along with traditional appetisers such as pršut (prosciutto) and perfectly seasoned octopus salad, Knezgrad offers goulash with dumplings and pasta with scampi in a creamy sauce. There’s also a good choice of top-quality fish, shellfish and calamari. Steak, liver and grilled meat round out the retaurant’s rich menu. Plus – service is friendly to boot.

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Admire frescoes at st. Juraj church
© Roberta F.

Admire frescoes at st. Juraj church

First mentioned in writing in 1410, St. Juraj Church houses a rectangular Romanesque sanctuary constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries. Originally built as an obscure and typical Romanesque church, the building later flourished in the Gothic period which saw frescoes added to the walls and a new mesh ceiling installed. Today, the frescoes aren’t just beautiful art with sacral motives, but also a monument to the long history of the Glagolitic script in Lovran. The most noted fresco comes from 1549 when deacon Marko left a message: 'It is said by the dead to the living: Why are you looking at me, and why do you wonder, as if you don’t know that I was before as you are today, and you will be tomorrow as I am today?' 

Celebrate a star of Mediterranean cuisine
© liz west

Celebrate a star of Mediterranean cuisine

Lovran is no exception to the many Mediterranean regions that love asparagus. Well known as a medical and nutritious plant for centuries, the local wild asparagus growing on the slopes of Učka is unique for its special taste which is crafted by a mixture of fresh mountain and salty sea air. The Asparagus festival in Lovran takes place in April when local restaurants offer tasty asparagus-based menus. This experience is perfect for exploring the flavours and creativity of the local cuisine that incorporated this vegetable as a part of the town’s traditional heritage. 

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With superb seafood, a great terrace at sea level (below most of the town) and reasonable prices despite the cover charge, Najade is a contender for having the best meal in Lovran. The wide selection of fresh fish includes less-common species like sole, monkfish and turbot, along with crustaceans aplenty such as scallops and lobster; served grilled, or stewed buzara-style. The mixed fish platter is a great way to taste a variety of delicious fish. Meat eaters can get chateaubriand for two or choose from many fresh-off-the grill delights. Najade’s extensive wine list includes around 30 whites and 25 reds, most of which are Croatian.

Admire the villas
© Visit Lovran

Admire the villas

Lovran has a rich history spanning centuries, which is evident in all of its amazing architecture – but the town seems to have a special thing for villas. The first Lovran villas date back to Roman times. Particularly famous are the villas built for the Austrians nobility in the 19th century, which still remain true architectural masterpieces to this day. Located very close to the coast, they further add to the beautiful and unique look of the Lovran promenade. Some of these stunning villas are even available for rent.

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Enjoy juicy cherries
© Isabel Eyre

Enjoy juicy cherries

June is famous in Croatia for being the month when cherries ripen and become ready for the picking – and eating. Cherries are also an important part of Lovran's history and tradition. The locals love these tiny red delights so much that they have a week-whole commemoration dedicated to them. 'Cherry Days' in Lovran include various dishes from this juicy fruit being served in restaurants and cafes all over town. Don’t miss trying out the delicious and locally made cherry strudels in the evening hours. 

Hit the beach
© Visit Lovran

Hit the beach

The Lungomare promenade is full of both discrete and interesting spots to dive into the clean and refreshing Adriatic. Two beaches stand out as the most popular: the sand and concrete Kvarner beach on the east and the rocky Peharovo beach on the west side of Lovran.  Both beaches feature showers, deck chairs, sports turf and cafes. Additionally, both are child-friendly and full of fun activities to keep the whole family active all day.

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Visit Učka
© Ana-Marija V. B.

Visit Učka

 If you can manage to pull your gaze away from the breathtaking vistas of the Adriatic enveloped in the ring of the Kvarner Bay, you’ll find an equally beautiful – but significantly more green – gem of the area. Towering over Lovran opposite the sea, marvellous Učka mountain is also a nature park. Učka’s highest peak is Vojak (reaching 1396 metres) and it offers an even more striking view of Kvarner and Istria. More than 200km in length, Učka is home to around 50 hiking trails and eight mountain biking trails. The area is filled with medical and endemic plants, too. 

Hotel Park Lovran is located only 100 metres from the sea and sits close to the Kvarner region’s famous Lungomare coastal promenade. The hotel offers breakfast and free use of the swimming pool and fitness areas with each stay. Half-board, which includes both breakfast and dinner, can be booked on request. In the evening, meals are usually presented as a buffet (with great meat and fish options for your preference, and can include vegetarian and and dietetic dishes when requested in advance. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel as well.

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