Cres, the second biggest island in the Adriatic, lies in the upper part of the Gulf of Kvarner. In the south, via the swing bridge at Osor, it is linked with the island of Lošinj, from which it is divided by the narrow Kavuda Channel. Cres is a mountainous island, 66 km long, and from 2 to 12 kilometres broad.
Its coastline is highly indented, being about 248 km long all told, and abounds with lovely gravelly beaches to the west and south, and steep, stern cliffs in the east and north. The highest peaks of the island are Gorice (648 m) and Sis (638 m); they offer a unique view over the whole of the Gulf of Kvarner that can leave nobody indifferent. Vrana Lake is the natural heart of the island, giving Cres its life. It is 5.5 km long, 1.5 km wide, with its bed lying 62 m below sea level. Cres is characterized by very great differences by the northern, still sub-Mediterranean parts, with dense and high pubescent oak forests, mixed with hornbeam, elm and chestnut, and the central and southern parts, which are covered with pastures and thick maquis. The great richness of the flora and fauna, with their exceptionally large number of endemic species, is an absolute challenge to lovers of nature.
The island of Cres was inhabited as early as the early stone age. The continuity of life on the island provides us with an exceptionally rich historical and cultural legacy, from the string of Liburnian (Illyrian) walls, remains of ancient cities, little early Christian churches scattered over the island, monastery churches and the remains of the city ramparts of the Venetian period, right down to monuments of the current age. Cres man, fisherman and farmer, struggling for centuries for the lives of his sheep, olives and vineyards, has set his mark on the nature of the island with magnificent monuments of human labour, the great dry stone walls of Cres.