6 Things To Know about Mljet Island
Mljet is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands on Earth. Those who have visited it dream of coming back, and those who have heard about it have definitely added it to their bucket list.
Dense green forests cover almost 90% of the entire island and hide a rich flora and fauna. The island of Mljet is undoubtedly a must-see. And what better way to experience it than by boat.
1. General info about Mljet
Mljet is located in the southern part of Croatia. The closest city to Mljet is Dubrovnik which is 37 km away. Mljet covers an area of 100 square km. The island is about 48 km long, and you can explore it by car, bicycle, boat, or even on a donkey. The population of the island is approximately 1000 people, but the number of visitors is increasing every year which is not a surprise.
The island of Mljet is famous for the Odysseus cave, in which once upon a time, in ancient times, the nymph Calypso held Odysseus for 7 years. Eventually, Calypso had to let him go, despite her hopes of an idyllic immortal life with Odysseus. She was ordered by the gods to release him. Calypso let him go, but never gave up hope of his return. Odysseus’s cave was the place where true selfless love was born.
Since the Greeks were such excellent sailors and very eager to colonize the entire Mediterranean, it’s very hard to pinpoint each and every location mentioned in both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Based on vague descriptions and directions that Homer provides, those sites could be placed all over the Mediterranean. Some claim that the distant and mysterious island of Ogygia is actually Mljet.
Nevertheless, the cave is stunning and breathtaking. Enjoy your swim!
The greenest island in Croatia
Mljet is a real paradise with amazing flora and fauna. Many believe that Odysseus was more fascinated by the island itself than by the nymph. Indeed, neat houses framed by greenery, picturesque bays with a bizarrely shaped coastline, and cliffs hanging by the sea could charm anyone. Idyll, isn’t it?
Most of the greenery comes from the Aleppo pine that was brought to the island back in the time of the Greeks. Holly oak and manna ash make up the rest of the forest.
The fauna is truly diverse. And several invertebrate species even have the island in their Latin name. There are several species of snakes and lizards on the island. It is also an important migration stop for many birds, but also a nesting ground as well, and home for 10 bat species.
Beaches of Mljet
The island of Mljet is perhaps one of the few islands that has a soft sandy coast, while the rest of Croatian beaches are mostly pebbly. The majority of the beaches have a gentle, shallow entrance to the water and soft sandy bottom.
For instance, the most popular beach on Mljet is Saplunara. There, a semi-closed bay shelters you from the winds. And you’ll find enough shade under the picturesque coniferous trees along the coastline to hide from the sun.
Island on the island
The island also has two lakes; Great Lake and Small Lake. The two lakes are actually a deep-sea bay. The rise of the sea level in the post-glacial period formed them. They used to be a karst sinkhole and most likely contained freshwater. Later, the sea permeated through karst fissures and the Soline Channel. The water temperature in the lakes is significantly higher than in the sea, which creates ideal conditions for swimming.
In the middle of the Great Lake lies the isle of St. Mary. Small tourist boats regularly depart to and from the isle, and the ride is included in the national park ticket price. St. Mary’s isle is home to one of the oldest church complexes in the Adriatic, along with a Benedictine Monastery. It’s also a “refugee” for a dozen donkeys.
Mljet National Park
The Mljet National Park occupies a significant part of the island. There are many quiet paths for hiking, or biking, beautiful beaches, and small bays for swimming.
National Park of Mljet, founded in 1960, is situated on the northwestern part of the island. Shores of Mljet, framed by many karst caves, are home to many unique species of animals and birds. Mljet is considered the island of mongooses, which were brought here back in 1910 to fight snakes. Now, these cuties are full-fledged inhabitants of the island. They have even become one of the attractions of the national park.
2. How to get to Mljet?
The most convenient way to get to the island is to charter a sail yacht or catamaran from our base in ACI Marina Slano close to Dubrovnik. As you may know, Nautika Centar Nava has several bases, including Slano, which was opened in 2017. We offer safe and comfortable fully equipped boats that are the perfect vessels to take you sailing to the island of Mljet and beyond. The distance between Slano and Mljet is around 8 NM. So, the sail takes approximately just one hour.
3. What to do in Mljet?
Diving, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and much more…
The Mljet area is a popular destination for divers. Ancient ships are fraught with many mysteries and surprises. The seabed around Mljet is a must-visit site for all snorkeling lovers. The two lakes are especially interesting for snorkelers with plenty of fish, mussels, and other sea animals. For instance, they can admire the noble pen shells, the biggest bivalve, and endemic mollusks. But, do not disturb them, since they are strictly protected.
In addition to diving, the island offers several activities such as canoeing, cycling, or just walking, hiking, or biking along the trails. Everything on the island is conducive to a quiet, romantic pastime. If you are planning a romantic getaway with your beloved, then this place is for you.
4. What is the weather like on Mljet?
Coastal Croatia is a part of the Mediterranean region and climate, which means that the weather is usually dry and hot during summer and wet during winter. The best months for vacation are from April to October when the weather is warm and the winds are perfect for sailing. The weather on Mljet is moderate throughout the year, there aren’t that many extreme weather changes. That’s why it’s a great destination practically all year long.
Read more on the WEATHER IN CROATIA DURING VACATION SEASON in one of our previous blogs.
5. What to eat on Mljet?
Croatian cuisine is famous for its abundance of seafood delicacies, but Mljet is so much more than that. Eel, smoked fish, or fish preserved in salt or oil, goat, game, locally grown beans, broad beans, chickpeas and lentils, collards, pickled samphire, and capers – take your pick. And pour some local wine over it all.
6. Sail to Mljet
Make sure to put Mljet on your sailing route and enjoy the views of the Adriatic along the way.
The island doesn’t have a big fancy marina but in almost every cove a local restaurant offers berths. Anchoring is also possible in many bays. One of the safest bays on the Adriatic is the Polace bay. Keep in mind it is within the national park so be prepared to pay the entrance fee.
Sobra is the only place for boat refueling, with prices higher than on the mainland. The fueling station is just next to the only ferry port on the island.
If you are interested in sailing, reach out to our charter team via firstname.lastname@example.org. They will assist you and make your cruise comfortable and unforgettable.