Tourism - Islands - Losinj

 
 


 
 

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Island of Losinj - Kvarner - CroatiaLosinj

An island in the western part of the Kvarner Archipelago; 74,68 sq km (length 31 km); population 8,134. There is a bascule bridge over the 11-m wide artificial canal (the Straits of Osor), which connects it with the island of Cres. The island is formed predominantly of chalk limestone and dolomite rocks; there are sand deposits in the western part of the Kurila peninsula. The northern and southern parts of the island are much wider and larger than its central part, the narrow belt of Privlaka. West of Privlaka, there is a wide bay (5.6 km long and up to 1 km wide), comprising two coves, Kovcanja and the port of Mali Losinj. Cikat is the most popular among several coves south of the bay. The hill Osorscica (with Televrina Peak, 588 m) rises in the north, and Grgoscak (243 m) is the highest top in the south-western part. In the port of Mali Losinj, the Privlaka Canal has been dug through, so that the island of Losinj is divided into two parts; the canal has been overbridged. The north-western part of Losinj is steep and rocky; due to a lack of indents, it does not provide a good shelter for ships and boats; the central part of the western coast is extremely indented. The eastern coast is much more flat than the western; exposed to the bora in the central part, but with numerous coves in the south-eastern part. There are several islets off the south-eastern coast, such as Vele Orjule and Male Orjule, Trasorka, Kozjak, etc. The island has a mild climate and evergreen vegetation (myrtle, holm oak, laurel, etc.), apart from its highest parts in the north; Veli Losinj, Cikat and the south-western coast are ringed by pine forests. An average temperature in January is 7.3 °C. The annual rainfall is 1,008 mm (mostly occurring in the autumn). - Losinj, once important due to its naval and shipbuilding trades, saw an intensive development of tourism at the end of the 19th century; in 1892 Mali and Veli Losinj became important climatic resorts. Traditional shipbuilding (small motor and race boats) and fishery, along with tourism, are the chief occupations. The centre of the island is Mali Losinj, the main connection of the towns and villages on Losinj with the neighbouring islands. A regional road runs through the island; ferry connections (via the island of Cres) include Brestova - Porozina, Rijeka - Porozina, Merag - Valbiska and Mali Losinj - Zadar. There is also an airport on the island of Losinj.

The island of Losinj has been inhabited ever since the prehistoric period (hill-forts at the foot of Osorscica and around the port of Mali Losinj). In the ancient times, the islands Losinj and Cres had a common name, Apsirtides. In several places the ruins of Roman villas have been excavated (villae rusticae: Liski, St. James, Studencic near Cunski). In the Middle Ages Losinj was unpopulated and the property of the clerical and secular nobility of -Osor, sharing the same fate with the island of Cres, all up to recent times. - From the Romanesque period, several small eremitic churches have been preserved (St. Lovrec near Osor, St. James in the village of the same name). The first settlers from the mainland were mentioned in 1280. Pursuant to a contract with Osor, their settlements gained self-government in 1389. The name Losinj was first mentioned in 1384. Parallel with the gradual decline of Osor from the 15th century onwards, the settlements Veli Losinj and Mali Losinj were playing an increasingly important role. In the 18th and 19th centuries, trade, shipbuilding and seafaring on the island developed more intensely. After the fall of the Republic of Venice Losinj was under the Austro-Hungarian rule up to its breaking off in 1918; under Italy up to 1943. In 1945 the island was annexed to its parent country Croatia.