Opatija, often called the pearl of the Adriatic, is one of Croatia’s most famous destinations, boasting a tradition of welcoming visitors dating back more than 160 years. Located at the edge of the Mediterranean, on the slopes of Mount Učka gently descending towards the coast of Kvarner Bay, Opatija with its local climate, beautiful architecture, quality hotels and luxurious, well-tended parks and promenades, offers plenty of possibilities for a pleasant stay throughout the year.
After that, Opatija started intensely developing under the supervision of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Director of the Austrian Southern Railway Company Friedrich Schüler and its shareholders wanted to improve passenger traffic to the south. After choosing Opatija as the region’s most promising destination, they started building the first hotel in this new bathing and climatic health resort, advertising it widely as the “Austrian Nice”. Several important facilities were built alongside the first hotel: a pavilion with indoor pool for warm sea baths, a bathing place with separate areas for ladies and gentlemen, and the 12-kilometre-long coastal promenade from Volosko to Opatija and further to Lovran.
Kings and emperors, writers, philosophers, poets and composers used to stay here – let us mention some of them: the emperors Franz Joseph and William II, the queen of Romania Elisabeth who used to publish poems under the pseudonym of Carmen Sylva, then the empress Sissi, the writers A. P. Chekhov and James Joyce, the ballet dancer Isadora Duncan, and the composers Gustav Mahler and Giacomo Puccini. To see and be seen – this was the motto for those who came to Opatija.
(taken from www.opatija-tourism.hr.com)