Island of Krk challenge
I challenge you to find me a longer walk than the promenade that stretches through the entire town of Punat and beyond.
It’s probably over 5 km long and what a blessing to have it in my hometown. In winter months, it’s a place of encounter, chit chat and exercise for the locals, who will stop every 5-10 minutes to say hello to each other. In the summer, it’s the beach route but also the place for obligatory evening strolls by locals and tourists alike.
The promenade starts in turistic port Marina Punat, among the yachts and the sailing boats and the well dressed people enjoying their well deserved holidays. It goes through the dockyard, a historical place that used to employ all the men in the town, but is now a fraction of its old glory. It goes past my grandma’s birthplace (above restaurant Sidro that my cousins now run extremely successfully) that used to be on the old bus route so the kids had to spray the old dirt road with water when they heard the bus coming to stop the whole house filling up with dust when the bus swished past. The promenade then enters the town and goes past the local boats. It’s very difficult to get a spot for your boat if you are a local, some people will go as far as buying an old dysfunctional boat as long as it brings them a mooring spot. Most local families will have one or several little boats and will steal a few Sunday afternoons even during the peak tourist season to take their children for a swim. Not far, they will go just on the other side of Kosljun where the sea is permanently calm, or just outside the bay.
Meet Traditional lifestyle
As we approach the centre of town we pass the small fish market on the left, where my grandma used to spend her early mornings, with her hands often as icy as the fish she was keeping fresh in ice. Then you get to the larger tourist, fishing and diving boats, some acting as all of the above, as people converted their boats slowly in response to overfishing and more tourist demand. Lately, quite a few fishing boats have been sent to scrap as the government was subsidising it heavily in order to reduce the number of fishermen on the Adriatic coast. Past the large boats you get to the central green lighthouse, one in a series of lighthouses marking a zig-zag route into the Punat Bay which for amateurs can be a handful – if not followed boats can get stranded when entering.
After the lighthouse, you pass the hotel, the edifice that marked my childhood as my mum (and many other families) were employed there. The biggest curiosity for us kids practically growing up in this hotel was the non-existent third floor. It must have seemed like solid advanced thinking to bring the lift all the way to the third floor when it was being built, but unfortunately the third floor was never built so the lift only brings you up to a rather overheated viewing platform and sticks out sorely over the rest of the hotel. We loved going up there as kids though.
After the hotel and the still very socialist-looking bus station, finally the long stretch of the promenade starts that goes along the entirety of the pine-tree heaven of the campsite Pila and up to the beach area, the dominion of the bikini-clad tourists, ice cream parlours, cocktail bars, slides and pizza places, all infused with a smell of sunscreen. If you are feeling ambitious (and wearing the right shoes), your walk needn’t stop here. You can continue beyond the beaches taking an unpaved trail along the coastline all the way to the nudist campsite Konobe where you will eventually need to stop and turn away out of curtesy.
What more of can you ask? 5 kilometers of pure nature with hints of a traditional lifestyle on one side and sounds of our crystal-clear turquoise Adriatic see on the other is inviting you to come to our island of Krk, relax and enjoy fully! See you!