Of the 36 islands, islets and rocks of the Cres and Lošinj Archipelago, only seven are inhabited, including Cres, Lošinj, Unije, Susak, Ilovik and Vele and Male Srakane. From prehistoric times until the Renaissance, Osor was the island’s capital. It was first succeeded by the town of Cres, and then by Mali Lošinj in the early 19th-century.
Due to its grand and well-protected harbour, which is suitable for the development of seafaring, Mali Lošinj exceeded the size of the neighbouring Veli Lošinj. This is somewhat unusual when taking into consideration its name - Mali Lošinj (“Small” Lošinj), and Veli Lošinj (“Large” Lošinj). Today, it has 6,100 inhabitants and is the largest town on the Adriatic island.