Beli is one of the oldest, and in the past one of the most important of settlements on Cres. This is a settlement of the acropolis type, lying on a hill 130 m high above the eastern coast of northern Cres, on the site of prehistoric walls. Now it is a typical compact coastal settlement, rich in cultural features of interest, the most important of which are: the parish church with its semi-circular apse of an older Romanesque church, in which there are several valuable Glagolitic inscriptions, the Romanesque church of St Mary with its museum collection, the Gothic single-nave little church of St Antun (Anthony) in the local graveyard, prehistoric byres at the entrance to the town, and a Roman bridge over a canyon. Interesting too is the stone head of King Abel, which is to be found next to the main square on a house at the beginning of a little street that leads southwards.
The population once lived by forestry, farming, animal husbandry and fishing. When the road to Beli was modernized and electricity was introduced, it was possible for the tourist industry to start up in this settlement with its lovely gravel beach and well protected haven. In the town there is a Tourist Office, a tavern, a general store and a post office, and there are beds in private houses, about 300 beds in the Auto-Camp. In the last few years an ecological centre called Caput Insulae has been working in town, hard at work on the revitalization of the bio-system and the study of the plant and animal species on the island and how to protect them. Because of the closeness of the marvellous wooded regions of Tramontana, Beli shows to advantage as the starting place for long walks in the country, and for tourism with a hunting slant.
For any information, inquire at the Tourist Office: Nikole Tesle 2, p.p. 52, 51410 Opatija Telefon: +385 (0)51 272 988, 272 665 Fax: +385 (0)51 272 909, 623 334