Orlec is a village and an excursion site on the central plain, some ten kilometres south of the city of Cres. The settlement's name was probably derived from the word eagle (orel) because eagles nest on the nearby mountain slopes, between capes Pruzni and Okladi on the eastern side of the island. The orientation of the houses in Orlec is noticeable, because they are all turned to the west so that the blows of the north-eastern wind, coming from Senj, would be less felt in the appartments.
Orlec was mentioned in the 14th century as part of the Lubenice
municipality. In the year 1398, a nobleman from Lubenice asked
permition from the administration of his municipality to build
a chapel of all the Saints in the Orlec area. According to the
number of inhabitants (458 in 1945), Orlec is constantly in the
top four or five among the sixteen settlements on the island.
The population was traditionally working in sheep-breeding. The
4.000 sheep in 1900 (today several times less), so that in the
beginning of the 20th century every household had an average of
74 sheep! Between 1945 and 1991, 200 people moved away from
Orlec, mostly to Cres (56), italy (31), Mali Losinj (30),
Rijeka (28) and to the USA (15). The two abandoned grindstones
("toš"), used for grinding olives, are indicative of another
line of work.
The parish church of St. Antun the Abbot was built in 1911 in place of a church mentioned in the 16th century.