Complete Guide to Lubenice Beach on Cres Island, Croatia

If you remember, I’ve mentioned Lubenice Beach while describing the beauties of Cres Island in Croatia’s Kvarner region. Read more about Croatia’s regions here.

The official name of this beach is St. John (Sveti Ivan in Croatian), but it’s better known as Lubenice Beach, named after the ancient town nearby.

Lubenice, which means “watermelons,” is a 4,000-year-old town that now has around a dozen residents and an incredibly scenic location.

When speaking of this place, many will tell you about its past, rarely about the present, and none about the future.

Its name probably derives from the Latin word ‘hibernicius,’ meaning ‘chilly,’ likely due to the frequent winds and the harsh winters with occasional snow. Still, you don’t have to worry about anything if you plan to visit during the long summer season.

But back to the town, it’s so tiny that it has only two parallel winding streets. The streets have no names, and the houses are numbered from 1 to 42. There is a school, but no students, as no one younger than 65 lives there (at least at the moment of writing this article).

There are five churches and chapels, the oldest dating back to the 15th century.

Despite this, the unique little town comes alive in the summer. The town of Cres traditionally organizes musical evenings in Lubenice, attracting many tourists.

In the Church of St. Mary, many concerts are held, and the square in front of the church hosts the opening and closing ‘Lubenice Evenings,’ featuring numerous international and Croatian artists.

I highly recommend visiting the town, even if you’re only interested in the Lubenice beach.

It’s like walking into a real life museum – stone houses, quiet streets… it really takes you back in time. There’s even a decent tiny bar there (offering some food too) which you have to try out.

But let’s get back to the main topic of today’s article – the beach itself!

Where to stay close to Lubenice Beach

While there are no accommodations directly on Lubenice Beach, you can find excellent places to stay in nearby Cres town, Martinšćica or even the Lubenice village which now has a few apartments offered for rent (but usually booked):

Hotel Kimen

Located in Cres town, Hotel Kimen offers comfortable rooms, a wellness center, and stunning sea views. It’s perfect for a relaxing stay and is just a short drive from Lubenice.

  • Address: Melin I/16, 51557 Cres, Croatia
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, spa, beachfront
  • Booking Link: Hotel Kimen on

Hotel Zlatni Lav

Situated in the village of Martinšćica, Hotel Zlatni Lav provides modern amenities and easy access to local attractions. It’s a great choice for those looking to explore the wider area of Cres Island.

  • Address: Martinšćica 18d, 51556 Martinšćica, Croatia
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, terrace, pet-friendly
  • Booking Link: Hotel Zlatni Lav on

Villa Lavanda

A lovely bed and breakfast in Cres town, Villa Lavanda offers comfortable rooms and a welcoming environment. It’s perfect for travelers looking for a homely feel.

Accommodation (apartments) in the Lubenice village: my top choice is the Hobbit House, but also good are Apartman Biba, and Apartmani Milenko.

How to Reach Lubenice Beach

Before visiting this unique beach, it’s important to know the best way to get to Cres Island, since once you are here, you will be able to get to the beach itself too. The quickest route is by taking a ferry from the Istria peninsula.

Ferry from Istria Peninsula

The Istria peninsula is regularly connected to Cres Island by a car ferry from the small port of Brestova. From Brestova, which is 63 km from Pula, a ferry departs to Porozina on Cres Island.

  • Brestova to Porozina Ferry: The ferry ride takes only 20 minutes from Brestova to Porozina, a small village on Cres Island. During the high season (July 1st to September 4th), the ferry runs 13 times a day, with the first departure at 00:30 AM and the last one at 10:30 PM. This service is operated by car ferry Line No. 334. Double check all info!

Ferry from Krk Island

Another option is to take a ferry from Krk Island. From the port of Valbiska on Krk, you can take a ferry to Merag on Cres Island.

Getting to Lubenice Beach and Town

Lubenice Beach and the town of the same name are only 25 km from Cres town and can be easily reached by car.

However, the entrance to the town is very narrow, so drive carefully. The beach is located under steep cliffs, 383 meters above sea level, making it difficult to reach – but totally worth it. Still, it’s easier to get to the Lubenice beach by boat.

By Boat

The easiest way to get to Lubenice Beach is by boat. You can rent a boat or join one of the tours departing from Cres town.

By Car

There is very limited parking in Lubenice, and there is a parking fee of about 2 Euros per day. Once you arrive by car, you will be greeted by a stunning view from almost 400 meters above the beach.

Hiking to the Beach

If you decide to hike down to Lubenice Beach, be prepared for a challenging walk. The descent is manageable, but the climb back up requires more strength.

Ensure you have appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water, as there are no facilities on the beach.

Hiking Time: It takes about 40 minutes to walk downhill and more than an hour to climb back up. Despite the challenge, the breathtaking beauty of the beach and the surroundings makes the hike worthwhile (if you are in a solid enough physical shape to attempt it).

All in all, I can say that Lubenice Beach on Cres Island is a true hidden gem, just like the nearby village.

Thanks for sharing this article!

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