Dobrinj District is situated in the central part of the island of Krk. It is bordering with Omišalj District in the northern side, with Malinska-Dubašnica District in the western, and Vrbnik District in the south-eastern side. The eastern border of the District, from cove Petrina to cove Slivonska, has a direct access to the sea.
Dobrinj area was already settled before the arrival of the Croats to these places, what can be attested with various archaeological finds. The toponym Kras reminds us of an age old pre-Roman time, perhaps Illyrian or Liburnian, and the presence of the Illyrians in these places is witnessed by the remnants of the Illyrian castle near Kras. The remains of bricks, graves and coins found near villages Gostinjac and Solina give evidence about Roman settlements. The arrival of the Croats to the island of Krk took place by the end of the 6th and at the beginning of the 7th century, while, later, in the 15th c., Dobrinj area is colonized by Vlachs from Velebit. They were brought here by Ivan Frankopan VII, the last prince of Krk. Comparatively numerous Italian and italianized surnames (Dunato, Malatestinić, Variloa...) tell us about further individual settlements on the area of Dobrinj, during the time of the Venetian Republic (1480-1797).
Dobrinj area has been marked with agriculture for centuries. Cattle breeding and olive growing as a source of forest exploiting were also present. A high-quality salt was produced in the salt works on Meline in the bay Solanski until the 15th century, and ceased functioning due to Venetian monopolistic status in the salt production. In the 19th c. the maritime-economical activities start to develop in Klimno (shipyard) and Šilo (the first steamboat company on the island). In the second half of the 19th century, when the island of Krk gets connected to the mainland with a ferryboat connection, the tourism experiences its revival, especially in Šilo and Klimno, being the favourite excursion areas for the tourists of nearby Crikvenica and the Croatian Littoral.
However, the economical outlook of Dobrinj in general presents a passive, economically ill-used and unvalued area. On the other hand, the positive side of that passiveness is ecological pureness which can be valorised and put into function of tourism, in the first place, with its abundance in cultural-historical heritage, what would result in the improvement of the economic restoration.
Dobrinj District in its structure possesses most villages and hamlets (about twenty) on the island of Krk. From the Middle Ages until 1850, and today, the Town of Dobrinj is a centre of Dobrinj District, that is, the cultural circle which manifests itself in the material, spiritual and social culture.
© Ineco, 1995./2005.