Novi Vinodolski is a small tourist town on the Kvarner Riviera, in a location where there aren’t too many other holiday towns! It is located about 42km southeast along the coast from Rijeka, and about 10km away from Crikvenica, another popular resort.
Somewhat unusually given its present-day role as a holiday kind of place, Novi Vinodolski has quite a bit of historical importance. It was in the town as far back as 1288 that the Vinodol Statute was signed, which is a law code that is one of the oldest in the Croatian language (written in the Glagolitic alphabet). The statute sets out the ruling law between the people of the region and the rulers, the Frankopan lords. The Frankopans were a noble family of prominence that existed from the 12th to the 17th centuries. There are the remains of a Frankopan castle in the centre of the town.
Getting to Novi Vinodolski
The nearest airport to the town is Rijeka Airport, located on the island of Krk. However, as there are relatively few flights to that airport, you may also consider flying to Pula Airport or Zagreb Airport instead to reach the town.
There are regular buses from Rijeka to Novi Vinodolski which take about one hour. You can look up timetables and book tickets on the Arriva website.
There are also direct buses from other locations in Croatia (for example) from Zagreb, many of which are also run byArriva.
What to See and Do in Novi Vinodolski
You’ll quite easily stumble upon the old part of Novi Vinodolski, with its pretty little cobbled streets and old buildings. The remains of Frankopan Castle – originally thought to have been built in the 13th century or before but largely torn down in the 18th century – consist of a tower that today houses a library and museum documenting the local area and its inhabitants.
The remains of Fort Lopsica on the edge of town are largely unknown – the fort either stems from Roman times or may also be from the time of the Frankopan noble family. Unfortunately, the fort stood well preserved until World War II.
The Cathedral of St Philip and St Jacob houses a three-nave basilica and is also home to a 36m high belltower.
Just off the coast of Novi Vinodolski (205m away) is the tiny islet of San Marino on which lies the Church of St Marin, which gave the island its name. If you’re a strong swimmer, you may like to make it out to the islet yourself! (Otherwise, ask locally for a boat to take you.)
The town is home to two smart, modern marinas, the Marina Novi, which offers 204 berths, and the 180-berth Mitan Marina. Both offer facilities for sailors, including servicing and maintenance of boats, as well as a restaurant/cafe and more.
The main beach in Novi Vinodolski is Lisanj Beach, a pebbly/rocky beach that also offers some shade surrounded as it is in parts by trees. There is a very good offering for beach-goers with numerous cafes and restaurants nearby, plus changing facilities, sports courts, beach furniture rental and more.
Lopar Beach is another place to go for a day in the sun; this pebble beach also has beach chairs and similar for rent; the shallow water entry at this beach means it’s ideal for those with young kids. Opposite Lopar Beach is San Marino islet (mentioned above) for those who fancy trying the swim to it!
There’s even a dog beach a little southeast out of town for those holidaying with their four-legged friends.
Eating and Drinking in Novi Vinodolski
Pizzeria Nava doesn’t just do pizzas! (Although it does do them very well.) There’s a wide range of typically Croatian meat and fish dishes, plus pasta options and even a small kids menu.
Marina in the centre is a good option for a quick bite to eat – they do tasty fish/seafood takeaway.
Restaurant Vinodol is a cosy place with a wide-ranging menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner – they offer plenty of fish and meat choices.
Pivnica Nill is an excellent place for getting the beers in (there’s a wide choice) and they also do food. The outdoor terrace is a very pleasant place to sit.
Head to Hula Bar on the beach for evening cocktails – or daytime coffee with a view!
Accommodation in Novi Vinodolski
There’s a small selection of hotel accommodation here, including the 5-star Wyndham Grand Novi Vinodolski Resort which has rooms, suites and apartments, several pools, a children’s playground and is located by a beach.
There are only a few villa options in this part of Croatia, but there are plenty of apartments for rent. Check out what’s available for accommodation in Novi Vinodolski on Booking.com.
You can learn more about the town on the tourist office website.