Mali Lošinj

Positioned in the August Bay, the biggest closed bay of the island, and with 6500 inhabitants, today it is the biggest island town in the Adriatic. Mali Lošinj dates back to the 12th century when twelve Croatian families settled in the eastern bay St. Martin. First Croatian settlers were farmers, later they also turned to fishing, sailing and shipbuilding, and with that the settlements moved towards the coast.The golden age for Mali Lošinj was the end of the 19th century when thanks to seafaring the “small village” turned into a maritime town. Because of the big changes and the maritime crisis in the region, due to passing from sail boats to steam boats, it seemed that the destiny of this and similar towns was sealed. Upon discovering the health benefits of the climate, and growing of the new economic realm, tourism, a new page in the island’s history was open.

Today Mali Lošinj is one of the main tourist centres on the Adriatic known in all European tourism circles, which is proofed by an ever bigger number of guest that visit the island every year.

Climate

mali losinj 2All climate research of Mali Lošinj undoubtedly starts with the work of Ambroz Haračić, professor at the Maritime school in Mali Lošinj at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when Mali Lošinj was an important research centre on the Adriatic. Professor Haračić defined all the characteristics of Lošinj, especially in relation to various localities on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. Climate research of the island of Lošinj was, at that time, of crucial importance, in that in 1892 Veli and Mali Lošinj became climatic spas, which opened a new economic realm - tourism.
The main characteristic of the Mediterranean climate are light winters and not too hot summers. The island of Lošinj is far enough from the coast, so that the sea has a dominant influence.

The sea does not warm up as fast as the coast, but looses warmth much slower, so that during winter times the sea is the reservoir of warmth that heats the air. Consequently, winters are lighter and warmer then on the coastal part of Primorje region.This specific maritime climate is seen also in its lessening of the summer heat, so that Mali Lošinj has noticeably less days with the maximum temperature higher then 25°C. Based on the temperature characteristics and the micro-climate Mali Lošinj is similar to the places on the Cote d’Azur  (Cannes, Nice), while from San Krf and Palermo it has 1 to 20°C higher average temperatures.

Sea temperatures throughout fall, winter and first days of spring higher then air temperatures. The cooling effect of the sea is appreciated during the hottest days of the year. If we take that the sea temperature of 20°C is pleasant for bathing, then the bathing season in Mali Lošinj could last up to 126 days, from the first week in June to the second week in October.

Sunny days are also one of the most important characteristics of the climate of Lošinj. Average number of yearly sunny hours is 2532,6. Based on the number of sunny days Mali Lošinj is comparable to North African cities and parts of the southern Adriatic. Mali Lošinj has on average 106 days of clear sky and 83 cloudy days. Cloudiness acts depressively on people, thus the element of sun exposure is of greatest importance for the tourists, which makes it a determinant element for choosing a vacation destination.

September, November and December have most rainfalls, while there is least in April and August. Mali Lošinj has relatively high average of rainfalls in a year, which is good for the air purification, diminishing of carbohydrate acid and stabilization of air.

AVERAGE MONTHLY SEA TEMPERATURE (m - oC), Mali Lošinj, 1981 - 1994.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 GOD
.m 12.3 11.8 12.1 14.0 16.6 20.5 23.2 23.6 21.6 19.2 16.3 13.9 17.0

t - middle monthly
M - maximum
m - minimum

AVERAGE MONTHLY SEA TEMPERATURE (m - oC), Mali Lošinj, 1981 - 1994.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 GOD
t 12.3 11.8 12.1 14.0 16.6 20.5 23.2 23.6 21.6 19.2 16.3 13.9 17.0
M 10.3 10.1 13.2 16.5 21.2 24.8 28.6 28.7 24.6 19.9 14.5 11.5 18.7
m 5.7 5.0 7.4 10.2 14.3 17.6 20.8 21.1 18.0 14.5 10.1 7.4 12.7

Flora

mali losinj 3The gentle climate of the island of Lošinj is seen in its richness of plant types. According to research, 1018 plant types were identified, of which 939 belong to the autochthonous flora. 230 of these plans fall under medical herbs. About 80 types of plants, mainly exotic plants, were brought from other parts of the world by masters and sailors from Lošinj, who planted them in and around their home gardens. Because of the typical climate plants from south Dalmatia and Sicily can be grown. Here grow agaves, Mexican cactus (opuntia), palm trees, magnolias, mirth, pistachios, mimosa, fig tree from India (karmus-nassarah), lemon, orange and mandarin trees (brought from Vietnam to Palermo, and then to Mali Lošinj).

Thick pinewoods around Mali Lošinj became the green belt that protects the town and the harbour from the north wind. On the side of Čikat the woods slowly changed into a park. Today the thick pinewoods of Lošinj are the symbol of the island and a valuable asset in its tourist development. The Čikat has been nominated a park of nature.

The vegetation on the island is growing luxuriant during all seasons. Based on professor A. Haračić’s research the state of vegetation makes the climate better. The culmination of vegetation is in May when most plants flourish. The most beautiful months on Lošinj are from March until May, because of the mild temperatures, richness of flourishing vegetation and the aromatic scents in the air.

Fauna

mali losinj 3It is significant that there are no poisonous snakes on the Lošinj archipelago. There are just lizards and non-poisonous snakes.The island of Lošinj is the habitat of geckos, small lizards of the gekkonidae family.Geckos are protected species.Killing geckos is forbidden and punished by law.Jakov Matunci, an eleven-year-old from Mali Lošinj,  was placed third in the World Competition in Environmental Protection Volvo Adventure in Goeteborg, Sweden, for his
project of protection of geckos, small Mediterranean lizards found on most Adriatic islands, in May 2004.

There is small game, as well as big game on the island – fallow deer and moufflons, which have been colonized in this area.There is a lot of feathered game.The birds of prey found in this area include hawks, sparrow-hawks, falcons and giant griffon vultures.Because of the small number of preserved individuals griffon vultures have been protected by law as an endangered species.
The most common domestic animals found in this area are sheep.The sheep on the rocky pastures in the northern part of the island of Lošinj present an idyllic picture.

The local waters of the archipelago abound in various fish, shellfish and molluscs, such as cuttle-fish, squid and octopus.
Unlike some waters of the neighbouring countries, where they have become extinct, dolphins are frequent visitors of this area, playful and ready to make contact with humans.

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