Dubrovnik’s Secret Escapes: Molunat

Lauren Simmonds

Continuing our look at some of the beautiful townships and villages close to Dubrovnik, let’s go almost to the Montenegrin border and visit one of Konavle’s coastal gems…

A 43 kilometre journey south from Dubrovnik down the D8 Adriatic road and a mere 20 kilometre journey south of the southernmost town of Cavtat, lies Molunat, one of the southernmost Croatian villages. This charming fishing settlement is located in the peace and quiet of the Konavle region, in a natural bay formed by the peninsula Gora od Molunta. With signature Konavle evergreen pine trees and mountains flanking one side of the village, and the beautiful blue Adriatic flanking the the other, Molunat is one of the absolute best hideouts to run to when it comes to escaping from the overwhelming crowds in Dubrovnik, and in contrast to a great many other places on the Croatian coast, particularly this far south, Molunat boasts sandy beaches.

Owing to several significant archaeological discoveries over the years, it can be confirmed that Molunat has been inhabited since before properly recorded history, most likely since Greek colonists first arrived in the area in the 7th century, a theory upheld by the fact that the village derives its name from the Greek word for port (molos). Molunat fell under the rule of the powerful, autonomous Republic of Ragusa during its heyday in the 15th century and the ruins of a former wall on the inland section of the Molunat peninsula can be seen to this day confirming that fact.

Untouched nature is, as mentioned, a signature of the entire Konavle region and Molunat holds more than true to that. The area, while remaining close to its very traditional roots, now obtains a large proportion of its income from tourism. Various physical activities can be undertaken while in Molunat, from sailing and diving to mountain biking through the unspoiled, pine infused beauty of the Konavle area. Fishing, Molunat’s profession of the past, present and indeed future can also be enjoyed.

Molunat is relatively sheltered when it comes to the various versions of bitter winds the Croatian coast sees throughout the winter and spring, owing to this, the swimming season opens earlier than in most other places. The early, sun filled days of May can give an impression of summer and the sea usually offers prime swimming conditions right up until the very end of October, making a snooze on one of Molunat’s exquisite sandy beaches a truly relaxing experience.

The beauty (or inconvenience? you decide) of Molunat is that there are no hotels in the area, making it feel like an authentic step back in time if nothing else. To counteract this, very many locals rent out private rooms, apartments and houses in the village, many of which prove much cheaper than a hotel. If you’re a fan of the outdoors and you’ve arrived with a motorhome (or just a tent), the well equipped Autocamp Monika is the place to head for. Molunat is a real symbol of traditional, Croatian village life and this can be quite isolated, so be prepared to not be inundated with things to do – that is part of the beauty of the area. Molunat boasts a handful of bars and two restaurants as well as a local general shop.

There are a few bus lines connecting Dubrovnik to Molunat which run a few times throughout the day, as well as Cavtat and Molunat and Cilipi and Molunat. You can find out more by clicking here and selecting the suburban timetable (prigradski vozni red).



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