Mošćenice: a dreamy hilltop village above the Kvarner bay

To drive up the road to the village of Mošćenice after the busy seaside resorts of Opatija, Medveja, Lovran or Volosko, is to enter an entirely different world. Not only that you rise above the murmur and traffic of these tourist-oriented towns, up to the hill where the air is fresher, the atmosphere quieter and the views of the Kvarner bay drop-dead gorgeous, but you also enter a place that feels almost enchanted.

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Mošćenice is a quiet village situated 173 meters above a popular summer resort of Mošćenička Draga. It is a hilltop village typical for this part of Croatia, with stone houses, narrow streets, an imposing church, beautifully cared for doorways decorated with flowers and wonderful views of the Kvarner bay, from Rijeka to islands of Krk and Cres.

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Mošćenice is very quiet. Your natural impulse as you enter the village through its main door is to keep your own voice down not to upset the dreamy microclimate. It is an old-school village where you can still experience valuable, nowadays so rare instances of hearing someone cooking or listening to the news on the TV a tad too loud. This is a place where cats can lazily rest on the stairways without being disturbed and where the locals still sit on the benches, enjoy the view and simply talk to each other and to random visitors.

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Since this is a village built as a concentrical settlement, with houses whose outside walls also function as walls of the town itself, houses are built very close to one another, separated by narrow streets, linked by covered passages.

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As you walk around the village, chances are you will mistakenly walk into someone’s back yard or patio. The private, and yet welcoming atmosphere is very present, and you can’t help but stare at all the beautifully decorated doors and windows, even though you know that you are an invader of the village’s privacy, that you disrupt its sleepy life.

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The center of the village is marked by large St Andrew’s Church built during the 17th and 18th century, while other places of interest include the local ethnographic museum full of folk costumes, tools, items and pieces of decoration that witness the life in the old days and a 300 years old olive extraction mill, Mošćenički Toš.

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With its dreamy, romantic atmosphere, friendly dwellers who greet you as you walk by and gladly share with you their stories and a way of life that many of us have forgotten, the village of Mošćenice is a perfect one-day escape from the busy seaside resorts of the area. After the visit you should stop for a refreshment or a lunch at the beautiful terrace of „Perun“ Restaurant which boasts some beautiful views or take a walk down a stair path (or use a car and drive down) to the popular beach St. Ivan in Mošćenićka Draga.

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