Mljet is Croatia’s greenest island with its Mediterranean vegetation, clear and clean sea, gentle sandy shoreline and a wealth of underwater sea life. The island is conisdered to be one of the most beautiful of the Croatian islands too (which I really cannot argue with). Over two-thirds of the island is covered by forest with the western half of the island declared a National Park.
Mljet is a quiet island with only a few sunset bars and one official hotel. It’s all about relaxation and taking in the natural beauty that is Croatia.
Size: 98.01 km2
Ethnic: 97.93% Croats
The island of Mljet is situated near Dubrovnik, in a group of southern Dalmatian islands, and National Park Mljet covers his north western part.
Mljet has no airport. You can get on National Park Mljet by a ferry from Dubrovnik and by numerous tourist charter boats from Korčula, Hvar and Split, which dock in Pomena and Polače. You can also choose the ferry which dock in Sobra (the main port on the island) but from here you will need a car. Find the ferry schedules over here.
How to get around
The best way to get around the island is by car. If you can’t rent a car, there is also a bus that runs and connects towns to the national park. You can also rent a scooter but the road is quite treacherous and dangerous.
Things to do
The Western end of the island is known and protected as National Park Mljet, where there’s an entrance fee of 40kn. Within the national park there are two salt water lakes: Veliko and Malo Jezero (large and small lake). The lakes are interconnected by a narrow canal. They are also connected to the sea by narrow passage.
On the large lake (Veliko), there is another small island called Melita Island which has the Benedictine Monastery on it. You can hire a kayak and paddle around the lakes, stop at the monastery and go exploring. You can also choose to jump on a small ferry boat to cross the lakes. There’s a small restaurant with local produce on Melita island too.
You can hike around the small lake or hire and ride a bike. It’s about 3km, but you’ll be able to stop along the way and dip into the water for a swim. Both lakes are perfectly fine to go swimming in and are so clear that you can almost see to the bottom!
Explore the Odysseus Cave, which according to legend, captivated Odysseus for seven years, in the village of Babino Polje. Watch out for a sign saying “Odysseus Cave” in the main village, follow the path down to the water. You’ll either have to climb down a gravel path or jump into the water and dive through a small underwater channel. The visibility in the water is incredibly clear so it’s easy to see your way through.
You can rent a car and visit the other villages more central on the island such as Govedjari, Babino Polje and Korita, but since population has dropped, they are almost like ghost towns. Houses are deserted, windows smashed and nature is taking over. In saying that, it creates a very special atmosphere that makes it well worth the trek.
The village of Polače features a number of remains dating from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Most impressive is the Roman palace from the 5th century. On a hill over the town you can see the remains of a late-antique fortification and northwest of the village are the remains of an early Christian basilica and a 5th-century church.
There are numerous small pebble beaches and swimming spots around Mljet island, located in various bays along the Island’s coastline. However, the only sandy beaches on the Island is Saplunara. It’s located at the south eastern horn of the island, surrounded by pine trees and other woodlands.
Eat & Drink
Konoba Galicija: A small restaurant on the harbour side with some of the best grilled fish you’ll ever taste. It’s probably the most popular restaurant in Mljet and a favourite among Croatia sails as you can moor up right beside it.
Maestral Okuklje: The slightly hidden entrance to Okuklje is situated on the North facing coast of the magical island of Mljet, off the coast of Croatia, opposite the Pelesac peninsular. The seafood is both fresh and delicious, and the atmosphere is just breathtaking.