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
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
“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.”