Divided from Cres by the tiniest of channels, 31km-long Lošinj is the more populated and touristy of the twin islands. It also has the more indented coastline, especially in the south, where there are some stunning deserted bays. It’s a heavily wooded island: the historic towns of Mali Lošinj and Veli Lošinj are ringed by pine forests. Vegetation is lush and varied, with 1100 plant species, 230 medicinal herbs and some atypical specimens such as lemon, banana, cedar and eucalyptus, brought from exotic lands by sea captains.
Lošinj is known for its dolphin population; in fact, its waters are the first protected marine area for dolphins in the entire Mediterranean. The Blue World NGO, based in Mali Lošinj, has done much to safeguard these graceful sea creatures and has an educational research centre.