Cres Island is located near the top of Croatia, between the Istrian Peninsula and the mainland, below Rijecki Bay. At the south end, Cres Island is joined to Losinj Island by a bridge, and a road runs the entire length of this long skinny island down to Losinj. The island does not see huge numbers of tourists and is only lightly populated. The north portion of the island is home to a colony of protected griffin vultures, as well as eagles, hawks, buzzards, and many other species. Cres is well known for the large number of birds that nest on the island.The southern portion of Cres Island is more populated than the north and sees a more mild climate because it is more protected from the bura winds which race across the north side of the island. The center of the island contains the large Vransko Lake, which supplies water to the island. The main communities on the Island of Cres are the towns of Cres, Osor, Martinscica and Valun.
Cres Town, Croatia
The town of Cres is located on the western side of the island of Cres in a protected harbor. The setting here is beautiful, with a seafront promenade, pastel colored buildings, with olive groves lining the hills behind the town. Fishing boats crowd the harbor. Cres has an obvious Venetian influence, with town walls and a stone arch built during Venetian rule. The town also has some old architecture worth exploring, a pebble beach, and a variety of hotels and other tourist facilities. On August 5th the town celebrates its patron saint, St Mary of the Snow with outdoor markets and events.
Cres - Old Town
Cres' old town is the historic center, fortified in the 16th Century. Three of the original town gates, Gradska Vrata (Town Gate) Mala Vrata (Little Gate) Vrata St Mikule (St Michel's Gate), still remain in tact, as well as a tower. The main square in the old town is Trg F Petrica with the loggia dating to the 16th Century. A morning market is held here daily. Also in the old town of Cres is the Church of St Mary of the Snow which is not available for viewing other than during mass.Outside of the old town, the 14th Century Gothic Renaissance Franciscan Monastery (Francevaski Samostan) is also worth noting. It contains a small museum with religious paintings.