Unije is a small island just west of the larger Losinj in Kvarner bay; it is just under 17 sq. km. in total size and 10km long. The island has a population of fewer than 100 people, and there are only about 50 or so houses in the main settlement on the island, which is also called Unije. This island is the most westerly of all of Croatia’s islands. The original name for the island, Nia, stems from the Greek word heneios which means field.
The island would be a great peaceful and quiet holiday destination if you’re looking to get away from it all. The island is entirely car-free, so you could easily spend your days doing a mixture of relaxing and safely exploring by bike (hire a bike on the mainland/Losinj if you don’t have your own to bring over!) or by hiking.
Getting to Unije
There are daily ferry services to Unije from nearby Losinj and from Rijeka on the mainland, with both routes run by Jadrolinija.
There is a round-trip service from and to Mali Losinj that sails via the tiny Srakane Vele and Susak before/after Unije. (Some days the boat does not stop on Srakane Vele.)
There is then also a daily catamaran that sails from Rijeka via Cres to Unije before going on to Susak, Ilovik and then Mali Losinj. Do note, however, that the catamaran doesn’t stop on Unije every day of the week. Providing it’s on a day that it does, you could certainly use this catamaran to make a day trip from Losinj to Unije. However, it would be quite a long day as the catamaran docks at Unije in the early morning with the return journey in the late afternoon.
There is also a catamaran service from Pula to Zadar that stops on Unije (as well Susak, Mali Losinj, Ilovik and Silba). This Kapetan Luka service operates year-round, several times a week in summer and only once a week in winter.
Should you have your own aeroplane as a mode of transport (!) there is, in fact, a small airfield on the island, although there are no scheduled services to here from other parts of Croatia. You could enquire with Mali Losinj Airport about the possibility of a private air transfer to Unije if this is your preferred way of travelling.
What to See and Do
As we’ve mentioned, there’s not all that much to do on the island. You’ve won’t be doing much in the way of sightseeing here, but that means that you can spend your time exploring the town and then the rest of Unije (on foot or by bike) at a relaxed pace. Head to the island’s bays and beaches for some solitude by the wonderfully clear sea. There are beaches near the main settlement and do also head to Maracol bay for the beach there.
There is the remains of a Roman villa which shows how far back Unije has been inhabited.
The Church of St Andrew is present here; the church was originally from the 15th century although it has been rebuilt since this time.
Vnetak Lighthouse, built in 1873, is a fully automated, small lighthouse that is located on the southwest of the island. There are wonderful views out to sea and back to the main village from this point.
Eating and Drinking on Unije
Bara Bar is an atmospheric beach bar with music and drinks with a view.
Konoba Kod Joze is a laidback seafront eatery offering typical fish and meat dishes.
There is also a bakery/mini-mart and a small supermarket on the island for you to stock up with provisions.
Accommodation on Unije
There are no hotels on the island, but it is possible to stay in private accommodation – an apartment or holiday home. Options include Apartment Nadi (sleeps 6), Apartments Unesic (sleeps 6) and Holiday Home Unesic (sleeps 3).
Rooms are also available at Pansion Unijana.
More information about Unije can be found on the Losinj Tourist Office website.
There is a post office on the island with limited opening hours.
There are no ATMs on the island.