Senj, Croatia: Travel Guide & Things to Do!
Senj in Croatia, often also named as Zengg, is a truly romantic resort in the south of the Kvarner Bay. This charming coastal town is especially famous for the imposing Nehaj Fortress, which towers majestically over the old town, and for the numerous beautiful beaches and natural coves where you can spend unforgettable summer days by the sea. In addition, a sightseeing tour through the medieval town center of Senj reveals numerous historical attractions, and fabulous restaurants and cafes invite you to enjoy. However, visitors love above all the relaxed atmosphere and the unique flair, which makes this resort something very special on the Croatian Adriatic.
In this travel guide we give you all the important information and tips about Senj in Croatia. We show you beautiful pictures, the best things to do and beaches, and where to find fantastic accommodation.
General information about Senj
The town of Senj, with 7,200 inhabitants, is located at the southern end of the Kvarner Bay, about 60 kilometers from Rijeka and 30 kilometers from Crkvenica. This historical place can look back on a rich history. The first settlement was established as early as 3,000 years ago, making Senj the oldest town in the upper Adriatic! One of the most famous historical attractions and at the same time the landmark is the Nehaj fortress from the Middle Ages. It is located on the Nehaj hill above the town and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.
Today, Senj impresses above all as a wonderfully pretty vacation resort, which delights with an extremely charming old town, a dreamlike landscape with high mountains and the picturesque beaches. Unique is also the view of the opposite Krk Island, a panorama that can be enjoyed from the shore and conjures a unique scenery.
Things to do in Senj
On a visit you can look forward to a wide range of attractions. Among the most important sights in Senj are the small old town with its winding alleys, the romantic fishing harbor with its nostalgic buildings, the famous fortress Nehaj and not to forget, the beautiful beaches of Senj.
Senj Old Town
The historical old town is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Senj. During a walk you will be amazed by a labyrinth of winding alleys, ancient town houses from different eras and truly romantic squares. In addition, you can still visit parts of the former city walls, and also the city gate “Velika Vrata” from 1779 is well-preserved thanks to the restoration. Really worth seeing is the main square Pavlinski Trg, where you can enjoy the lively hustle and bustle in one of the numerous cozy cafes, ice cream parlors and restaurants.
Interesting are also the small museums and galleries, first of all the town museum, where you can learn more about the history of Senj, especially about the time of the Uskoks. Moreover, the oldest Croatian printing plate in Glagolitic script is exhibited in this museum.
Church of St. Virgin Mary
The Church of St. Virgin Mary is certainly one of the most beautiful attractions in the Old Town. Built between the 11th and 12th centuries, this church was severely damaged during World War 2. Later renovated, it is now the most beautiful place of worship in the coastal town. Very worth seeing is especially the picturesque brick facade and the imposing freestanding church tower, which together conjure up a truly picturesque ambience.
The Nehaj Fortress, also known as Kula Nehaj, is the landmark of the coastal town of Senj. Situated on the Nehaj hill of the same name, this fortress captivates visitors with a breathtaking view of the coast. It is interesting to note that in the 16th century, many of the town’s churches, monasteries and buildings of that time had to be demolished for its construction. Today, Nehaj Castle can be visited from the inside as well. During a tour you will be amazed by the imposing building and the museum with the historical cannons gives insights into the eventful history of the Uskoks. The entire area around the castle is also really worth visiting, with lovely walking paths and wonderful viewpoints of the city.
Tip: There is a fabulous restaurant in the fortress that serves regional grilled specialties and fresh fish!
The harbour of Senj is also really worth seeing. Here you can stroll along the waterfront and marvel at the colorful front of houses in the old town, which together with the blue sea and the fortress in the background conjures up a fairytale setting. Also beautiful are the long piers that serve as breakwaters for the harbor and where comfortable benches invite you to linger. On the way, you will always discover interesting statues, sculptures and huge anchors, which have incidentally become popular photo motifs.
The Best Beaches in Senj
The beaches in Senj are one reason why this resort has become so popular. Along the coast there are numerous pretty bathing places, which invite you to relax, splash around and snorkel. Most of the bays are fine pebble coves, concrete beaches and natural coves, where gorgeous sea colors, cleanliness and idyllic ambience score points.
Prva Draga Beach
Beach Prva Draga is one of the main beaches in Senj! This dream bay is a real eye-catcher. Most impressive are the almost kitschy turquoise sea colors and the unique scenery that surrounds this bay. A small beach bar provides refreshments, and water sports such as kayaking, pedal boating and jet skiing are also offered.
Tip: Not far from the beach, the top modern vacation apartments “33 Ulica Nikole Jurisica” inspire in a grandiose location with a view of the sea!
Beach Škver South
The beach Skver South is right next to the harbor, just a few minutes’ walk from the old town. Bathers love this clean, beautifully landscaped pebble beach, where the small protective coves guarantee safe beach fun. Next to it is the car camp Skver, and cozy beach bars provide the necessary catering in the high season.
Tip: The beautiful Apartment Marino is not far from the beach, and you can also reach the old town and other great beaches in no time.
The Plaza Voda beach is a real insider tip! This hidden natural cove is nestled in breathtaking scenery, surrounded by high cliffs, and can be reached via numerous stairs from the parking lot. The water is crystal clear at this part of the coast, and so you have the possibility to experience a fascinating underwater world while snorkeling.
Tip: Near the beach Voda is a small vacation settlement with numerous apartments. Really great is the Apartment Waves with bright furnishings and at a reasonable price.
Beach Škver North
Plaza Skver North is a very popular swimming beach in Senj. Especially families with children love this beautiful fine pebble beach, where turquoise sea colors and a fabulous vacation atmosphere delight. The bay is located a few steps north of the Skver car camp and can be reached on foot or by car. Parking is available right behind the beach.
Excursions from Senj
Not only Senj is worth seeing, but also the surrounding area is charming and invites to exciting excursions. Here are the most beautiful excursion destinations that you should not miss on any visit.
Only a short distance from Senj are several small coastal towns. Particularly charming is the old town of Novi Vinodolski, 24 kilometers away, and the fishing villages Sveti Juraj and Klenovica are also worth seeing.
Excursions to the Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with numerous spectacular waterfalls, 120 kilometers away, are also beautiful.
Where to stay in Senj
There is a great offer of good and cheap accommodation in Senj. Most of the places to stay are privately run apartments, guesthouses and small hotels. If you are looking for recommendations for accommodation in Senj, then we can give you these tips along the way…It’s worth a look!
- Apartment: Very lovely are the apartments of Beautiful Sea View Danijela. The proximity to the old town and the beach is only a few minutes walk away.
- Apartment with whirlpool: The apartment 33 Ulica Nikole Jurišića scores with a breathtaking view from the balcony, great furnishings and its own whirlpool!
- Cheap apartment: The Apartment Waves is a bright, nicely furnished apartment for a great price, not far from the fortress.
- B&B by the sea: The Apartman sobe Martina offers double rooms and small apartments directly by the sea and not far from the dream beach!
Find the best accommodation in Senj:
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