If you’re visiting the Slovenian Coast and you like wild beaches, then you really should pay a visit to Mesečev Zaliv, or Moonlight Bay, a hidden paradise on the Strunjan peninsula which is only accessible on foot.
How to get there
I am absolutely terrible at directions, so here’s the link in Google Maps for the nearest parking place. You can park opposite the church for free if there is space, otherwise use the car park at the bar a few metres up the road, where they charge €5 to park all day. It’s a lovely chilled-out place to enjoy a coffee or a cold drink before or after your walk. They don’t serve much in the way of food however, so bring a picnic if you’re planning on making a day of it. Bathers often change into their swimsuits in the toilets here before making the trek down to the beach in summer.
Once parked, head on up the hill towards Beli Križ – The White Cross. You can’t miss it. The original cross was built in 1600 to warn sailors of their proximity to land, and also to mark the location of the church below. The cross you see today is a far more recent replacement. From this point, one trail continues along the cliff top, affording magnificent views of the bay with its turquoise waters (see Featured Image.) The trail to the beach veers off to the left down a series of uneven steps. Take care here, as there are many protruding tree roots and stones, and a steep drop to the left hand side.
On the beach
The crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming and snorkelling in summer. There are no showers or changing facilities: this is a wild beach, so bring all you need with you and take all your rubbish away when you leave. It is a rocky beach and the cliff face is prone to landslides, so it perhaps isn’t the best idea to visit after a heavy rainstorm:
Because of its lack of accessibility, the beach shouldn’t be too crowded even in summer. Be warned (or informed, if naturism is your thing) that there is a nudist beach just a little further down the coast towards Strunjan. All in all, the place has a hippie vibe, and off-season it is a great place for a serene walk accompanied by only the sounds of nature.
On a clear day, from the cliff top above the bay, you can easily make out Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav, and even Venice island, like a glittering jewel on the horizon:
I hope you enjoyed this trip to Moonlight Bay. I’m afraid I told a little lie; the name Mesečev Zaliv literally means ‘Bay of the Moon,’ but that didn’t sound anything like as romantic, and it didn’t remind me of this song: