The original Croatian name of the larger island was Tovarnjak (hence the Italian name Asinello), but later it became known as Ilovik (after a type of soil), while the smaller island has been named Sv. Petar. The islands are located opposite one another and form a long (2.5 km) and narrow (up to 300 m) channel, a perfect natural anchorage that has served as a shelter for ships during storms since ancient times.
The southernmost of the inhabited islands of the Lošinj Archipelago, with a fishing village of the same name, nowadays has a population of 170 inhabitants. The first Croatian settlers arrived here from Veli Lošinj at the end of the 18th century and the present-day ILOVIK has been growing and developing ever since.
The locals of Ilovik are engaged in wine growing and market gardening, facilitated by the large number of wells which supply this land with water; they are also engaged in fishing, sheepfarming and tourism.
The location of Ilovik is ideal, situated in a small bay, protected from the north by the uninhabited islet of Sv. Petar where the local cemetary is located. The coast is easily accessible from all sides, and has numerous safe gentle coves. The largest cove with a sandy beach is Paržine on the southeastern side of the island.
Between the two islands, there is a well-protected channel, 2.5 km long and 300 m wide, which serves as a harbour for the local fishermen as well as for the numerous yachtsmen who come here to enjoy the pristine nature. Its maritime zone is naturally protected from all winds, except from the south wind (Jugo) to some extent, and can provide a safe haven for yachts and smaller boats.
The Island of Ilovik is covered with evergreen Mediterranean vegetation, dominated by holly oak, and in some places there are small forests of Aleppo pine. Ilovik is called the Island of Flowers as oleander, palms, roses and other flowers grow around every house. High eucalyptus trees are a distinctive feature of this island. Thanks to its strategic maritime and transport position, Ilovik Channel has been used for mooring since the earliest times, so the islands bear traces of different historical eras.
The oldest traces of settlements date from the Illyrian tribe Liburna. The islands are rich in Roman artefacts. Here we come across the remains of walls, numismatic coins, a sarcophagus and there is also an underwater archeological site nearby.
The walls surrounding the present-day cemetery date from the 11th century. This was the time when a Benedictine abbey was built on the site, which probably used to be a Byzantine fort.
There is a shop, post office, bakery, patisserie and several restaurants on the island.
A daily boat line connects Ilovik with Mali Lošinj and a fast boat line with Rijeka. During summer, excursion boats leave for Ilovik from Mali and Veli Lošinj.