Showing posts with label Cres. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cres. Show all posts

Monday 21 December 2009

The hidden beach of Lubenice

It might have been snowing here in Slovenia for the last week or so, but I just have to finish my short series of posts about a trip to the Croatian island of Cres a couple of months ago. As I mentioned a few posts back, Lubenice is a village well worth a visit if you happen to find yourself on the island.

St. John (Sveti Ivan) beach bellow the village of Lubenice on the island of Cres is one of the loveliest hidden beaches in Croatia. It is not easily accessible from land - the descent from the village 378 meters above takes 45 minutes and the climb back even a bit more. The little bay can be approached only from two directions - one is a steep, narrow path we took and for the other you need a boat.

When we were still at the top, in the Lubenice village, we thought about not doing the whole thing at all. Dark clouds were starting to role in from the sea. We figured the worst thing that could happen would be some kind of a thunderstorm. Since we were going to get wet in the sea anyway, we decided to go down the path.

The path offered great views of the village above and also the idyllic beach below.
We went by a sports climbing area which was also chosen by an eagle family as a nesting place. An eagle cry could be heard every now and then.
When we were half way down, we saw a lightning which was followed by a loud thunder. Shortly afterwards it started raining heavily. The narrow path momentarily turned into a soil coloured stream. For a few moments we tried to take cover under some bushes, but all we got from doing that were dozens of scratches. As we learned a bit too late, the bush was full of thorns and its little leaves didn't give almost any protection from the rain.
After a few minutes we decided it would be best to just keep going.

When we got to the beach we were soaking wet. There we were greeted by a few other adventurers crowded under a small roof trying to stay dry. We joined them and waited for the storm to pass. After five minutes it was all over and sun was shining again. Time to dry wet clothes and to take a swim. It was great!

The afternoon went by all too quickly and it was time to get going. On our way up we saw a person meditating alone on the picture-postcard beach during a magnificent sunset (if you look closely you can see him on the above photo). If that isn't an idyllic way to end the day I don't know what is!

Since the winding path is pretty steep the climbing time depends heavily on ones physical condition.
I guess since we needed almost the same amount of time for the climb as we did for the descent, we are not in such a bad shape after all.

This trip was really lovely and I recommend it to anyone with taste similar to ours. However if you try to do this in top summer season, you might be disappointed with hordes of tourists rushing in on charter boats from nearby towns. Luckily we didn't see any.


Wednesday 16 December 2009

A perfect day in Lubenice

On our second day on Croatian island of Cres we decided to visit another picturesque little village. Ancient village of Lubenice. This time we were following a recommendation and were not sorry to do so.

Lubenice literally translates into English as water melons. I don't know what is the connection between the name of this settlement and the fruit, but we definitely didn't see any watermelons while we were there.

It is believed that this village has been continuously inhabited at least for the last 4.000 years. Yes, that is old - Bronze age old. I guess the natural setting of the village has always been a decisive factor. From a view of a strategic position, it has always been really well protected. The side facing Adriatic sea drops straight down towards the sea - 378 meters below. Enforced with a stone wall with only two entries during the Middle Ages I guess this was an unconquerable stronghold.

Today it seems there are more churches in this villages then any other building types. When walking through the streets of Lubenice everything really feels old. In clear weather it offers magnificent views of northern Adriatic.
Local taverns are known for their excellent lamb dishes (jagnjetina ispod peke). I must say it really was delicious! The small tavern also has delicious local vine, cheeses and prosciutto on offer.
Apart from enjoying a meal in a couple of very good taverns and visiting a small museum, there isn't much to do in the village itself.

However there is a steep winding path down to the sea. Of course we went to explore it. But more about that in one of my following posts...


Sunday 29 November 2009

Exploring the island of Cres

After spending two days in central Istria, road led us to the island of Cres in Croatia. On our way to Brestova - our ferryboat link to Porozina, we passed by Plomin. There was a tall thermal power plant chimney piercing low clouds in this narrow bay.

Not an idyllic seaside destination by my standards, but it looks kind of nice in this photo anyway.

After an uneventful, 30 minute ferry ride across to the island of Cres we spent an easy day planning our stay and settling in a small apartment in the town of Martinščica.
We have been on this island many times before, but usually just to get to it's southern neighbor - island of Lošinj.

As we have discovered, Cres offers many interesting locations that are worth visiting.

Since we were hungry, we decided to visit the fishing village of Valun and taste some fresh fish. We weren't disappointed with grilled cod and relaxed setting at the restaurant Toš Juna.

The restaurant walls are covered with replicas of ancient stone tablets (Valun tablet) the village is famous for. Tablets are believed to have served as an 11th century gravestone. Written in bilingual (Old Croatian and Latin) and digraphic (Glagolitic and Latin) writing, the tablet truly is special.

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