A Croatian island devoted to health and wellness
At the end of the 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian government declared the island of Lošinj a natural health resort. In addition to its mild climate and Category 1 air quality, 2,600 hours of annual sunshine make this Croatian island a truly restorative environment. Old pine growth and natural Mediterranean herbs populate the island, including wild sage and lavender, creating natural outdoor aromatherapy that soothes while strolling on trails and promenades. The pristine Adriatic Sea contains 262 species of algae, which, combined with sea salt, are excellent for the skin and a great reason to go for a swim.
More than 1,000 types of plants grow on the island, and 230 are medicinal herbs. “This is our tradition on the island,” says Sandra Nicolich, who created Miomirisni otočki vrt—Garden of Fine Scents. Visitors can take an interactive tour of her herbal garden and sample homemade myrtle liqueur. She explains that various herbal remedies have been used on the island for centuries. “When we had a problem with the throat, my grandmother made one cup milk, a spoon of honey and two sage leaves.”
Natural product lines made with local herbs are available in treatments. Boutique Hotel Alhambra, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World member is situated on tranquil Čikat Bay. Alhambra Spa has an indoor heated seawater pool, Finnish and Turkish saunas, and a variety of treatments that feature the island’s herbal bounty. Massages are available with locally produced Quarnero massage oils, which earned the prestigious NaTrue certificate for organic and natural products and are suitable for vegans.
The Alhambra Experience is a signature facial featuring Mirta natural cosmetics (prirodna-kozmetika-mirta.com), a local line based on the medicinal herbs and essential oils characteristic to the Lošinj archipelago. Lara, my therapist, customized a sensitive/dry skin facial using lavender-based products: a facial scrub with exfoliating ground olive pits, cleansing cream, toner and body butter. The treatment finished with anti-aging immortelle serum and cream. “Croatian immortelle is the best in the world because of our special microclimate—the strength of the plants is enormous,” says Mirta Lozančić, founder. She created Mirta after taking an aromatherapy class on Lošinj four years ago. “My inspiration is this beautiful island and its tastes, colors and smells. In a small bottle, visitors can take a little piece of Lošinj home with them.”