Crikvenica is situated in the Kvarner bay of the Adriatic Sea, at a distance of 33 km from Rijeka, a major road and railway junction at the centre of the district of Primorje and Gorski kotar, also home to Crikvenica.
The entire town of Crikvenica is in fact a Riviera with a row of almost connected small tourist resorts: Selce, Crikvenica, Dramalj and Jadranovo.
The town spreads about 28 square kilometres in the coastal zone, which is about 15 km long and about 2 km wide, and is situated between the sea and the elongated littoral reef at an average height of about 300 m above sea level.
The nearby airport on the island Krk, the passenger and the cargo sea ports in Rijeka, as well as a good road and railway connection with Central Europe have contributed to the early development of tourism which has in the region of the present Riviera of Crikvenica a tradition of more than one hundred years.
At the mouth of the river Dubračine, which was even navigable up to today’s soccer field during ancient times, at the beginning of the new era existed as the settlement called Ad Turres. It was one of the key locations along the Roman road that went from Italy to Dalmatia. This station for the exchange of horses included a military post, which secured the travel route between the coast and the neighbouring valley, Vallis vinearieae, Vinodola. At one time in this place there was an important local workshop with furnaces for the production of clay objects. During a long peaceful period, without war, wealthy Romans built their villas and government buildings in the well-protected sea coves, with the relics of Selce and Jadranova found in the cove of Lokvišća bearing witness to this fact.
To the left of the mouth of the river Dubračina the small church, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built. In addition, the Prince Nikola IV of Frankopan built a large structure in 1412 and gave it to the religious order of pavlina. This monastery marked the beginning of the foundation of Crikvenica, therefore the Prince Nikola of Frankopan may be considered to be its founder, and the Blessed Virgin Mary is considered to be its protector. Among the treasured gifts, which Nikola IV of Frankopan presented in Modrošu on the 14th of August 1412, was the oldest written poem by the name of Crikvenica, therefore this date in newer times has been declared the Day of the City of Crikvenica.
Centuries of Austrian and Hungarian rule left behind a noticeable “mitteleuropski” trace that is particularly noticeable in the hotel architecture. In this manner the first hotel of Crikvenica of the high duchess Clotide (today the pharmacy Jadran) was built, and it is especially pronounced in the hotel “Therapia”, the first large hotel of Crikvenica built in 1895, which was initially named Hotel Nadvojvode Josipa. From season to season, royalty, film stars, and other people visit Crikvenica. Many of them, through contact and friendship with the local population, have left a part of themselves here, and have taken with them a small part of Crikvenica. That is why even today they return thirty to forty times in a row to take their holiday vacations.