Mali Lošinj, the largest island town in the Adriatic with a population of 7,000, is set around a long wide harbour, lined with Habsburg-era façades. Trg Republike Hrvatske is the big square. Pop into the Art Collections (Vladimira Gortana 35, open summer 10am-1pm, 7-10pm daily; winter 10am-noon, 7-9pm daily) for modern Croatian and 17th- and 18th-century Italian works.
Neighbouring Veli Lošinj is centred around a small harbour surrounded by steep hills. On one rise right on the harbour is boxy pink Church of St Anthony, which contains seven Baroque altars and works by Italian masters. On another hill above the harbour is a crenulated Venetian tower, built as a fortification in 1455 and used for exhibitions.
The Marine Education Centre in Veli Lošinj promotes conservation with a special focus on the nearby bottlenose dolphin colony.
Great things to do in Lošinj
Run by the Blue World/Plavi Svijet Institute, the Marine Education Centre promotes conservation issues throughout the Croatian Adriatic, with particular reference to the bottlenose dolphin colony off the Lošinj coast. An attractive display introduces the world of the dolphin and the importance of protecting it. Visitors are shown a short film (with English subtitles), dioramas, and computer graphics. An 'acoustic room' demonstrates how dolphins communicate, and also how easily they can be disturbed by the rumble of boat engines. The MEC does not recommend dolphin trips (the whole point of the operation is to protect the dolphins as wild creatures, not disturb them or tame them), but it does have an important role in educating local boat captains how to respect dolphins when out on the water. Visitors who want to get involved in dolphin conservation can become a godfather or godmother to a dolphin for one year (from 300kn). EU funding will enable the Centre to expand its activities and move to a much bigger, purpose-built visitors' centre in Mali Lošinj harbor some time after 2014. The MEC is also becoming more and more involved in the conservation of sea turtles, who inhabit the sandy shallows of the Kvarner Gulf. July 2013 will see the opening of a sea-turtle rescue centre on the Čikat peninsula, right between the Aurora and Vespera hotels. Here, sick turtles will be kept in tanks until they're healthy enough to be set free (previously, poorly turtles had to be sent all