Getty Images/Aurora Creative

Cres Island

Cres has a wild, natural allure that’s intoxicating and inspiring. Sparsely populated, it’s covered in dense primeval forests, and boasts a craggy coastline of soaring cliffs, hidden coves and ancient hilltop towns. Big skies and huge vistas are very much on the agenda in Cres, and it seems that every road and pathway offers scenery on a very grand scale indeed – this is some island.

The northern half of Cres, known as Tramuntana, is covered with dense oak, hornbeam, elk and chestnut forests. It’s prime cruising terrain for the protected griffon vulture, and you’ll see these giant birds at an excellent visitor centre in Beli, on the eastern coast.

The main seaside settlements lie on the western shore of Cres. Southwest of Valun there are highlands that include the perched medieval village of Lubenice.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cres Island.