The Croatian coast offers numerous options for an active vacation, and you can try your hand at pretty much any sport or fun (extreme!) activity around here. Most of them are organised, but every now and then, you’ll see a couple of enthusiasts taking matters into their own hands.
On the western outskirts of Rijeka, before you get to Opatija, lies the Preluka bay. It has a great sheltered geographic position and sees almost no waves or wind, except for the occasional tramontana – and the chance has it, tramontana is considered as the best wind for windsurfing. You can guess where we’re going with this.
(Preluka on the left, Volosko and Opatija on the right)
Tramontana blows only when the weather is favourable, and comes to be due to a temperature difference between the land and the sea. It starts blowing in the evening, but reaches optimal conditions in the early morning hours, from 5 AM onwards. So, when I said enthusiasts, I really meant enthusiasts, ready to get up before dawn to welcome the new summer day; when I said they take matters into their own hands, it was meant literally.
Windsurfing aficionados flock to Preluka from the close neighbourhood, but also from Italy and Slovenia. They sometimes sleep over in the Preluka auto camp, pay the fee in the morning, and run off to grab their boards. The usual route takes them to Volosko or Opatija, both towns located close by, then back to Preluka, as many times as tramontana will allow. The fun lasts until 8 or 9 in the morning, sometimes a bit less, as some of the surfers pack their bags and drive off to work. Imagine starting the morning on a board – for the rest of your workday, nothing can bring you down!
Here’s what early morning hours in Preluka bay look like:
It gets crowded pretty fast:
Occasional mishaps are not a rare occurrence:
It’s a gorgeous sight, sails gliding around like colourful butterfly wings.