A south Croatian sanctuary full of warmth and beauty

Aside from the spectacular sights of this unspoiled village, - it’s the charismatic, tiny community that shines.
  • Aside from the spectacular sights of this unspoiled village, it’s the
    charismatic, tiny community that shines.

Story and photos by Allison Gagnon

Tucked away, along the rolling hillsides and behind the vast, dark mountains of Croatia, I found an untouched piece of paradise. Pristine, crystal clear waters circle the rocky beaches and rugged coastline of the little fishing village of Molunat. It’s a south Croatian treasure, discovered purely by accident.

Situated directly on the Adriatic Sea, Molunat is protected by the islet of Veli Skolj. The 50 houses and about 150 inhabitants of the town share the area with crumbling Roman ruins, indicating a popular place in ancient times. Less than an hour away from the red-roofed city of Dubrovnik, and the Bosnia-Montenegro border, it is easily accessible — despite the infrequent buses.

I missed my ferry to the islands one morning. Instead, I hopped aboard a bus on a whim, in hopes of an adventure. The air-conditioned, distasteful coloured coach, turned into an after school special as about 20 Croatian children piled on.

I looked out the window. A freshly paved road led the way through the heavenly hillsides above Molunat. Lined with green Macchia trees and golden, grazed shrubbery, the scenery changed as we headed south and a subtropical climate was slowly revealed.

At Molunat, the bus pulled away and I was left standing in a confused whirl of dust beside a closed tourist information centre. At only 3 in the afternoon, the empty street resembled a deserted ghost town. Not a soul was around, but I could hear clearly the slight slapping of the sea on the shore. The blazing heat of the sun soaked my clothes. Maybe they have siesta in Croatia, I thought to myself.

In the distance I spotted an older woman walking towards me. Relieved at the sight of another human, I returned her warm smile with an ear-to-ear grin.

“Do you speak English?” I asked with enthusiasm.

“A little,” she replied in a thick Italian accent. She pointed to the fork in the road ahead of us. “There is a sunny way or a shady way to the main part of the village,” she said, “but follow me. I’m going this way.”

We took the shady way, and followed a sign to Camp Monika — and to a family eating lunch.

Upon asking where I could find the cheapest room in the village, Bozo, (pronounced Bono) a bright-eyed Molunat native replied, “Rooms? No rooms. You will camp.”

Readers also liked…

Latest in Travel

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation