CRIKVENICA has been a tourist resort since the 1890s, when Archduke Josef, brother of Emperor Franz Josef, earmarked Crikvenica for development in a deliberate challenge to the pre-eminence of Opatija. He went so far as to name Crikvenica's first hotels - the Erzherzog Josef (now the Therapia Palace) and the Erzherzogin Clothilde - after himself and his wife. Following World War I, Crikvenica went on to prosper for a time as one of Yugoslavia's more modish playgrounds, though nowadays whatever charm it once possessed has been lost with the construction of the modern hotels and apartment blocks which straggle along its seafront. There really isn't anything to do but loll around on the succession of gravelly beaches which stretch northwest from the centre. Strossmayerovo, Setalište is the town's liveliest artery, leading along the waterfront from the main Trg Nikole Cara via a tangle of hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.

Crikvenica is easily reached by bus from Rijeka, while in July and August around ten ferries daily go to Silo on Krk. The tourist office is at Trg Stepan Paclica lc, a block north of the bus station; rooms  can be had from the Autotrans agency in the bus station, or from Kvarner Express just round the corner on Strossmayerovo Šetalište 3.

Nine kilometres south of Crikvenica, the resort town of NOVI VINODOLSKI ("Novi" for short) straggles along the main road for a couple of kilometres. It's actually of far greater historical significance than its rather suburban appearance might suggest, since it was here that the so-called Vinodol Statute (Vinodolski zakon), the oldest extant document in Croatian, was signed in 1288, recognizing the rule of the Frankopans over the surrounding district and the rights of the local citizens. Modern Novi is a dull sort of place, its waterfront lined with large hotels leading up to a scrappy harbour. Up above the main road there's a small old quarter, piled up on the hill, where you can view the austere sole remaining tower of the thirteenth-century Frankopan castle in a central square. Also on the square is a small Town Museum with a rather perfunctory display relating to the statute as well as folk costumes from the surrounding area.There's not much beach to speak of here, merely a string of concreted platforms near the hotels. -Specializing in Cheap Flights F