Punat is the second largest town in the Gulf of Kvarner and the Island of Krk. The town’s small houses built closely together create an adorable view. Due to its port, which is among the most equipped, cleanest, and safest in the region, people call it the Mecca of sailors. The oldest and largest marina of the Adriatic Sea welcomes the lovers of the sea in a big gulf, Puntarska Draga. The gulf has all the beauty and convenience a boatman can dream about. It has an indented coast suitable for sunbathing, crystal clear water that’s transparent to the depth of 10 to 15 metres, and all the necessary equipment is available.
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Punat, a town also known as the gate of the island, is an optimal base for exploring the island and its neighbours. In terms of size and number of residents, it’s the biggest settlement on the island after Krk. The onetime tiny village has significantly grown with the areas reclaimed for grape and olive tree plantation from the 19th century.
Today, Punat is best known for its yacht port. It lies in a completely protected environment on the boat way to the attractive Kornati islands. The Marina Punat is able to host nearly 1200 boats.
People living on the island make their living primarily from tourism and welcoming guests with boats. There are several good restaurants near the port. The Hotel Kanajt is only 50 m away, which is a traditional meeting place of boatmen.
Besides tourism, locals of the region work mainly in fishing, sheep breeding, and olive growing. One thing’s for sure: they always serve fresh, delicious fish in the restaurants, which is a trademark of the town. There are several restaurants, cafés, and wine vaults in Punat. We recommend the Vele Vode restaurant for its friendly prices. Lovers of fish and seafood will enjoy the menu of the K-Ribaru restaurant for example, which is on the edge of the city in the direction of Stara Baška.
What to see in Punat
The centre of the old town is known for its narrow streets and old stone houses. With a short and pleasant walk, you can find numerous sights here. Such as the St. Trinity church built in the 18th century, the votive chapel of St. Roch, and the oldest architectural memorial of the island, the church of St. Donat from the 12th century. Watch closely, and you can even see some characteristic farmer houses from the 18th century. In the old town, there’s an agricultural and zoological exhibition as well.
A tiny electric railway goes along the seaside. Besides entertaining children, it’s practical for travelling between beaches.
In the Gulf of Punat, sheltered by land from almost every side, there’s a tiny green island, Kosljun. The island has captured the hearts of many visitors. In the middle of the rich Mediterranean greenery, the main sights are a church and a monastery. The island is only a few hundred meters from the port, but swimming there is strictly forbidden! Benedictines lived on the island from the 12th century, 4 monks still live there today. There’s a library on the island with nearly 30.0000 books, and they also keep oldest Croatian Christmas Bethlehem Manger here.
The main sights of Krk island
The island of Krk is not only the largest Croatian island but also the most developed in terms of tourism. This is especially true for the northern part of the island, where they have a non-free 1430 m long bridge providing connection to the mainland. After its ancient Roman name, they also call the popular Krk island Gloden Island (Isola Aurea).
Only 2 km from Punat, you can view the ruins of the oldest Slavic church of the seaside from the 8th century.
The capital of the island, Krk, is a few km from Punat. Though only 2000 people live here, it’s a true historical town with 6 churches, a town gate, walls, and the ruins of the old castle. It has been the administrative, religious, and cultural centre of the island since Roman times. Its current form is mostly due to the effects of Venetian domination and the Frankopan family. The narrow streets and alleys have a unique medieval atmosphere.
Starting from the port, after a few restaurants and cafes, you can catch the sight of the pentagonal tower, the sea bastion. Following the town wall, you’ll eventually reach the next tower, the Kamplin bastion, under which there’s a gate to the old town. There are restaurants and cafés in the zigzagged streets. Walking further you can view the St. Quirinus cathedral with its onion dome tower, and a baroque style palace. Finally, you’ll reach the Frankopan castle.
Also a few km from Punat, there’s the gem of Krk, Vrbnik. The characteristic Mediterranean small town on the eastern side of the island was built on a 48 m tall cliff with a beautiful view of the sea. Vrbnik is one of the oldest settlements on the island. It’s a famous wine region. The Vrbnicka Zlahtina, a famous type of grape of Krk island only grows on the meadows of Vrbnik. The wine is light yellow or straw coloured and has a tender aroma. The Vieziceva street goes between the famous buildings of the town. The tower of the church on the highest point of the town is also a symbol of Vrbnik. It’s a wonderful view either from the sea or the land, the sight can’t be mistaken for any other town. At the end of your walk, don’t forget to visit the panorama terrace to take pleasure in the beautiful landscape while enjoying a glass of white wine.
Baska és Silo
The road from Punat to Baska is winding with steep sections. It’s the southernmost settlement of the Krk island. Here you’ll find a bell tower, an 18th-century church, a museum of local history, and 4 km long seaside promenade as well. The 2 km long beach has everything necessary for an ideal vacation.
Silo is a small fishing village. It’s among the most peaceful parts of the island. The region has great conditions for diving. There’s a yachtwreck in the largest local gulf.
Beaches and gastronomy
Two of the beaches in the top list of the best beaches in Croatia are on the island (Vela Plaza and Stara baška). The island of Krk has a highly developed bicycle route network. There’s a variety of hiking opportunities on the designated tourist paths as well. Visiting the small, but beautiful Biserujka limestone cave by the Gulf of Soline is also a good programme.
The Rivica restaurant at the port of Njivice is considered to be among the best restaurants on the island. On a hidden little street in Malinska, there’s one of the friendliest inns, the Primorska Koliba, which also serves the freshest fish dishes.
Residents of Punat are proud of their tradition of making olive oil. Every family has its own plantation, and they make excellent olive oil at home. Besides your photos of the sea and other vacation memories, it’s worth taking home some of Punat’s symbols: olive oil, local fig brandy, and the world-famous Zlahtina wine as well. HELP ME TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT BOAT