Geographical position of the Cres and Losinj archipelago

The Croatian coastline is so beautiful because it contains more than one thousand dazzling islands. Most of the islands, however, are small and uninhabited and there are therefore only 20 or so larger islands which are popular with tourists. One of the most favorite destinations are island of Cres and island of Losinj.

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The Cres-Losinj group of islands, situated in the Kvarner Gulf, is the largest group in the Adriatic. It is made up of 36 islands, islets and reefs. The cause underlying the formation and current appearance of the islands of the Kvarner was the transgression of the Adriatic Sea in the last 12-6 thousand years.

Some 20-30 thousand years ago the whole Kvarner underwent elevation, including northern Dalmatia and the Italian coast of the Adriatic. With the melting of the icebergs, at the end of the Ice Age, there was a rise in the level of the Adriatic Sea of about 100m, and the mountains and hills of the mainland became islands, the higher hills became smaller islands and the lower hills became underwater reefs and rocks. Cres and Losinj, with their neighboring islands and islets, are a continuation of the Cicarija mountain range, that is, of its southern extension - Ucka.

 

The islands of this archipelago form the natural bridge between Istria and Dalmatia. It is very particular that the island is positioned right in the middle between the Equator and the North Pole, where the 45th parallel passes through the north side of the island of Cres and the biggest part of the island is in the subtropical zone of the southern half of the northern part of the Earth.

Cres is the second largest island in the Adriatic, covering 155 square miles. Together with Losinj and another 28 smaller islands in the group, it covers an area of 193 square miles (513 square km), making it the largest group and equating to 16% of the total surface area of all the Adriatic islands. Both islands are accessible by ferry from Brestova in Istria or Valbiska on the island of Krk. Mali Losinj is connected by boat to Zadar (about four hours).

 

The main resort is the town of Mali Losinj, whose harbour is said to be the most beautiful in the entire Adriatic. Thanks to it's position Mali Losinj has become a very important maritime and commercial center and also an important tourist destination. The tourist area is centred around Cikat cove, which is well known for its beach and good windsurfing. The town of Veli Losinj is quieter and there is easy access to it from Mali Losinj. Cres Town is also popular, and reminds many of an Italian village due to the fact that it was ruled by Venice for several centuries.

In this archipelago, one of the strangest islands is Susak. This island has a small population of less than 200 who speak their own dialect, which is not easily understood by other Croats. It is also distinct because the women often dress in a colourful costume, comprising of a short, multicoloured dress, white blouse and red leggings.

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