Mljet island is one of the most picturesque islands of Croatia. Featuring a National Park with a large pine forest and two incredible salt lakes, the island is ideal for visiting on a day trip when you’re staying in Dubrovnik.
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A Brief History of the Island
In ancient times, the island was inhabited by Greeks. They first called the Island ‘Melita’ which translates to ‘honey.’ It was initially used by seamen as a refuge against bad weather and to get water.
From 5 BC, Romans seized the island. Then, it was taken by the Byzantine Empire.
Starting from 1333, Mljet Island was ruled by Benedictines. And later on, it became a part of the Ragusa Republic, in 1410.
Some of Dubrovnik’s captains built many summer residences along the coastline.
How Far Is Mljet from Dubrovnik?
This island is located about 27 kilometers away from Dubrovnik. However, it doesn’t take more than one hour and twenty minutes to get there by catamaran ferry. The inhabited island is connected with Dubrovnik and Croatian mainland by daily ferry services and boat lines. So, getting there isn’t hard at all!
How Do I Get to Mljet Island?
You can get to Mljet by taking one of the car ferries that reach the island several times every day.
How Do You Go from Split to Mljet?
You can visit Mljet island from the Split airport using one of the daily car ferry services from Split via Hvar and Korcula and to Mljet, which are available from April to October.
When Should I Go There?
The best time to visit Mljet island is in late spring and at the beginning of autumn. Meaning in May and June for late spring visitors or in September and October for autumn visitors. Not only are the temperatures mild, but you’ll avoid the crowds as people come from all over the world to spend their summer vacation!
In these months, the weather is perfect for doing any outdoor activities without being sweaty, including water activities like diving, swimming, and kayaking. Don’t let the mild temperatures fool you, the water is really warm, especially in the lakes!
How Is the Weather on the Island of Mljet?
The Weather in Mljet isn’t different from any other island of the Croatian islands, meaning in summer (particularly July and August), temperatures go up to 40 degrees celsius. And it’s definitely hot. Therefore, visiting Mljet in autumn and spring is ideal for those seeking mild temperatures.
In winter, due to the Bura wind, the island can be very cold. You might need some form of heating when you explore the park and the lakes. However, any spot away from the coast and the two villages are warmer.
Can You Stay on Mljet?
Mljet Island is one of the most incredible picturesque islands of the Adriatic Sea. With its lush vegetation and salt lakes, a trip there is something you don’t want to miss!
A perfect way to spend some quality time on Mljet Island is by going at least on a one-day trip from Dubrovnik. It is one of the popular day trips from the city.
It takes about 80 minutes to get there by a catamaran ferry. And, staying for two days is ideal so you can get the chance to see all the attractions of the island like:
- the Benedictine Monastery.
- St. Mary’s Church.
Both of these sights are located on Mary’s Islet.
- Polače Palace.
- Swim at Saplunara Beach.
- Do some hiking or even diving.
What Can I Do on Mljet Island?
- Take a walk along the two salted lakes, the highlight of Mljet island.
- Hike to the top of the hills and witness the views of Peljesac and Korcula island.
- Explore the ruins of the historic Roman Palace from 5th century AD in the village of Polače.
- Explore the main landmark on Mljet island: The Benedictine Monastery at St Mary’s Islet, located in Mary’s Islet.
- Enjoy a day on the Saplunara beach.
- Check available guided tours when you plan your trip to Mljet Island and see the prices for renting a bicycle or hiring a kayak.
- See the prices of diving and hiking to make your stay worthwhile on the island.
Mljet’s Main Attractions and Activities
Mljet National Park
The National Park is the most visited location of Mljet Island because this part features an untouched Mediterranean forest, Pomena and Polače (the two villages), and the amazing salt lakes.
Visitors seeking a bit of serenity, away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik, choose to take a walk within the pine forest and the varied flora. There is no traffic there, and it’s forbidden to enter cars.
The virgin area was established in the sixties, covering the north-west part of the island. It flanks two salt lakes, which stretch for about four kilometers.
Veliko & Malo Jezero are the main highlight of every visit to the park. The crystal-clear salt lakes are perfect for swimming or to do any water activities. The water there is warmer than any other swimming spot along the coast. So, you can sunbathe and have a drink.
Due to the high concentration of salt, the lakes are considered a resort to soothe skin problems and to reduce rheumatism effects.
If you don’t feel like swimming or can’t stand the high salinity, there are paved paths to walk or cycle around the salt lakes.
How to enter the park? Head to the villages. There you find a ticket office. For a small fee, you get an entry ticket to the park and a map to find your way around.
At St. Mary’s Islet, you can visit the main landmark: the Benedictine Monastery. The Benedictine Monastery dates back to the 12th century, along with St. Mary’s Church. Stone walls and a big tower protect the medieval complex.
Now, it’s a picturesque historical sight to explore, featuring a café, a gift shop, and a restaurant. You don’t need to buy any access ticket because the ticket of the National Park includes a free boat ride to Mary’s Islet and free access to the Monastery complex.
Since the Monastery is located on the Islet, you will be transferred by a boat from the Pristaniste spot. You find it near the bridge connecting both salt lakes.
Veliko & Malo Jezero
Malo and Veliko Jezero literally translate to Big and Small lakes. They are the highlight of any visit to the National Park. It doesn’t take much time to get there, only about a 15-minute walk from the village of Pomena.
Then, head to the stone bridge connecting both lakes, the Mali Most. You will be transferred by boat to the big salt lake, where you can explore the Benedictine Monastery at Mary’s Islet.
In Soline hamlet, it’s possible to see a canal, linking the big lake to the Sea. Avoid going there because it can be hard to swim with such strong currents. Be safe, everyone!
However, if you want a nice spot to swim, head to the other side of the lake, by the bridge. The waters there are shallow. Still, it’s a lovely spot to have some fun.
The island is dotted with many swimming spots, where you can sunbathe, snorkel, and even hire a kayak.
You will certainly find a suitable spot on the island’s coastline.
The island features many walking and hiking trails to choose from. Velji Grad is the highest point of the island, with an altitude of 513 meters. So, it would be very nice to hike to the top and see the views from above.
The trails are suitable for all people.
Some are even beginner-friendly. You find those by the lakes.
Although, we recommend you take these walks or hikes away from the summer season because it can get pretty hot, and you can be easily dehydrated.
Fortunately, for people visiting the island in the summer season, most trails are shaded by lush vegetation. All you need is a hat, a bottle of water and you’re good to go!
While you’re hiking, many cute mongoose animals will cross your way. And you can take lovely pictures of them. The animals were actually imported to the island because they feed on snakes.
Don’t freak out! There are no longer snakes here, only cute mongooses!
Another hill to hike on the island is the Montokuc hill, which has an altitude of 245 meters. You can reach it in about 50 minutes if you take the forest trail located by the large lake, near the village of Polače.
And, when you reach the top, you will be fascinated by the panoramic views of the National Park, the lakes, and the pine forest.
Kayaking and Cycling
Mljet Island features many bicycle and kayak renting spots!
If you choose cycling, you can rent a bike at Mali Most bridge, in the National Park, and go around the large lake. There are appropriate paved paths for cycling, where you can explore the lakes, go across the pine forest, and enjoy the shade. You can take as many breaks as you want!
If you want a fun water activity to do, it’s possible to rent a kayak from the same bicycle renting spots, dotted in the National Park.
A perfect way to make most of your kayak tour is to go to St. Mary’s Islet! You can get there and explore the insides of the Benedictine Monastery, the Church, and if you’re hungry, eat at the restaurant there!
For all scuba diving fans dying to plan a diving trip, you can enjoy an unforgettable maritime life experience on the island!
Arrange your trip with the diving company, located in the village of Pomena or online with their website: Aquatica-Mljet.hr
The company will take you to marvelous diving spots, featuring shipwrecks dating from the WW2 and even older wrecks dating from the Roman Empire!
Want your trip to Mljet island taken care of? Join one of our tours!