Lubenice (Cres) Guide
Although it has nothing to do with juicy watermelons (Croatian: lubenice), which we use as a refreshment during the summer months, this place offers a different and perhaps even better kind of refreshment - one of the most beautiful bays in the Adriatic.
Village Lubenice is located on the west coast of the island of Cres, on the 378 meter high ridge that offers a beautiful view of the bay, but also the nearby pebble Beach of St. John. The beach, often simply named Lubenice, is a common theme on Cres postcards and 'silent suffering' of many visitors, since it is accessible only by boat or by steep track that starts just below the northern part of the local walls. If you decide to hike, you should know it takes about 40 minutes to reach this beautiful bay, and twice as much for a walk back (because of the uphill climb).
The village is almost four thousand years old, which also left its mark in architecture, since in Lubenice (home to a bit more than 20 residents) there are as many churches and chapels as in many larger towns on the island or the mainland. Lubenice is very compact place and the main attraction is the parish church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a distinctive bell tower from the 18th century. Ten meters away lies a Gothic church of St. Anthony the Hermit. Small churches of St. James and St. Sunday are nearby.
At the beginning of the season and during the summer months, Lubenice is all full of tourists, who enjoy the beautiful nature, architecture and 'Lubenice nights', music event at which the Croatian and world musicians are presented. One can enjoy in the café which is located at the foot of the bell tower and in the tavern Hibernicia, which is the old Roman name for Lubenice. Near the tavern there is a small gift shop, where you can buy postcards, magnets and ceramic souvenirs that will remind you of this rural pearl of Cres and whole Croatia.
The legend of the origin of the name Lubenice
In the end we left the legend of the origin of the name Lubenice. The old people used to say that once upon a time in the near Osor lived a king who had a beautiful daughter in whom a young man from a hill, where Lubenice is located today, fell in love.
Since the king did not like his daughter's choice, he expelled her from Osor, she went to her love and they settled on the said hill. Kings daughter was named Ljubica (Violet), in whose honor the place has been named 'Ljubenice'. When Italians came here later, they changed the name of the place because it was difficult for them to say 'Ljubenice', so they formed the name 'Lubenice'.