Welcome to Mljet Island, Croatia – a slice of paradise I’ve been exploring since my first visit back in 2008. In this guide, I’ll share not only the top things to do on this enchanting island but also the easiest ways to get there, drawing on my adventures over the years.
Let’s dive into the allure of the Island of Mljet, a place that keeps calling me back for more.
If you’re looking for somewhere totally natural, a place to chill out and disconnect, and somewhere blindingly beautiful, I 100% recommend Mljet Island, and it is undoubtedly your place.
This is a small island in the Adriatic, which is home to an extraordinarily lush and famous national park. Overall, the island is very calm and tranquil, and although during the summer months, it never feels bustling or too crowded.
Mljet Island’s main spots are Pomena and Sobra, where you’ll find the bulk of the tourist attractions and Govedjari, Babino Pole, and Polace. However, the natural elements on the island are, without a doubt, what draws most people to its shores.
The island isn’t so large, at just 62 meters squared, and a huge portion of it, around two-thirds, is covered by forest. The national park is located on the west of the island, and this is a major spot for visitors who want to enjoy peace and quiet.
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How To Get To Mljet Island National Park, Croatia
The fact that Mljet Island is so close to Dubrovnik makes it easy to visit. You’ll find catamarans heading over to the island and back again regularly, all year round. You can also reach Mljet Island from Split and Korcula.
There are regular ferry connections from Dubrovnik to Sobra and Polace all year round, run by G & V Line.
The ferry takes around one hour, but during the winter, the ferry only goes to Sobra. You’ll also find a Kapetan Luka catamaran service to Sobra from Dubrovnik, which also goes to Korcula and Split. This runs just once per day and only during the high summer season.
If you’re traveling from Split or Korcula, there are also ferry options for you. Kapetan Luka runs a service to Sobra from Split and another to Pomena. You can take two catamarans from Korcula to Mljet Island per day during the high summer season.
There is also a car ferry from Prapratno to Sobra, run by Jadrolinija. The ferry has several sailings per day and takes around 45 minutes.
Things To See & Do On Mljet Island
Enjoying the nature and beauty of Mljet travel is the biggest draw, but there are some specifics you should add to your list.
If you enjoy views and totally chilled-out bays, this is where you need to go. If you’re in Sobra, all you need to do is go on a wander, around 5km west, and you’ll stumble upon this very small bay that sums up life on Mljet Island perfectly – slow and relaxed.
Mljet National Park, Croatia
Without a doubt, the most popular thing to do is head to Mljet National Park, in the west of the island. This protected forested area is stunningly beautiful and completely worth the small entrance fee.
You can go walking, cycling, swimming, and check out the ancient ruins within the park. You’ll find Pomena and Polace within the park, and these are full of wonderful small restaurants and places to chill out and enjoy the sun.
Polace Roman Palace
In Polace, you’ll find the Roman Palace right on the waterfront, and it’s stunningly beautiful. Dating back to around the 5th century, the palace is so big that it splits in two as the road goes through the middle. You’ll also find nearby ruins of a fort and church.
Swimming In Okuklje
Just a short distance away from Prožurska Luka, you’ll find Okuklje, another small village and bay with abundant charm. The waters here are crystal clear and perfect for swimming in total tranquility on a hot summer’s day. There are some incredible viewpoints around this area, too, so remember your camera.
This huge cave is thought to be the very one that appears in the voyage of Odysseus’ story. It’s said that Odysseus remained on the island for around seven years, so enchanted that he couldn’t leave. Even if that’s not the case, and we’ll probably never know, the cave and surrounding area are stunning and the perfect place to snap a few photographs.
Mali Most – Smal Bridge
Mali Most is a stone bridge in National Park, connecting the shores of the small channel that links Veliko and Malo Jezero. It serves as an info point and is located near Pomena, with a ferry pier for shuttle boats to St Mary’s Island and Monastery.
Extra fun fact: the strong currents in the passage allow for floating from the Small to the Large Lake.
Snorkeling In Big Lake
Within Mljet National Park, you’ll find the Big Lake, and within that lake, you’ll discover Mljet Coral Reef. This reef is extremely popular and packed with marine life to explore. The water is very clear, meaning excellent visibility, and during the summer months, you’ll find professional snorkelers enjoying the experience.
You know about the other lakes to visit in Croatia, but a hidden gem is definitely Blatina Lakes, which offers a wonderful place to explore no matter what the weather. The greenery around here blends really well with the blue of the water, and there are countless hiking opportunities to test your energy levels. There are also many great photo spots so that you can fill up your Instagram feed with dramatic scenery.
Croatia has some fantastic beaches, but this one is extraordinary. It really does look like something out of the Caribbean, and it’s a top place to spend the day splashing and sunbathing.
The waters are calm and clear, ideal for families; it’s also a sandy beach, which is somewhat of a rarity around this area. You can also rent sun loungers and parasols for a spot of shade. There are several beach bars where you can purchase refreshments.
Kayaking at Veliko Jezero & Malo Jezero
These two lakes, known as the bigger and smaller lakes prospectively, are ideal for kayaking, and it’s a great way to get your adrenaline going without pushing things too far! There is also fantastic scenery around here and plentiful fresh air to breathe in.
There are plenty of places where you can rent a kayak, and there are several spots where you can stop and swim if you fancy a cool down.
Pomena’s promenade is a wonderful spot for a romantic walk, and it’s stunning at sunset. This small village has many winding streets to explore, but the promenade really is a very special place. You can enjoy a tea or coffee, or perhaps a delicious meal, watch the sunset, and take some photographs in really peaceful surroundings.
This small village is definitely worth visiting, and it’s a great spot if you want to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and serenity. The swimming opportunities here are excellent, as there are few people, the water is extremely clear, and there is plenty of space to roam. However, there are rocks, so be careful.
This area is also known for its hiking trails, and the views are mind-blowing.
This small village is the first settlement on the island, and it dates back to around 1793. There is a lot of history here and old buildings, but it’s really about nature and the total peace and quiet you can experience. Check out the views from the top of the hill and over the lush green forests below, packed with fragrant flora and fauna and lemon trees.
While this is a hidden gem and not the easiest place to get to, it is more than worth the effort when you see the unspoiled beaches. The water here is so clear you won’t believe your eyes, and the pebble beach is so white it contrasts beautifully against the sea.
You’ll find Sutmiholjska, around 3km away from the main road that runs between Babino Polje and Ropa. You will need to walk some of the way down to the beach, so make sure you wear suitable shoes. There are no facilities at the beach, so make sure you take everything you need for a relaxing day.
Vrh Montokuc Mljet
Right in the middle of Mljet National Park, you’ll find Vrh Montokuc Mljet, one of the best places on the island to take stunning panoramic photographs. The hill is high, so you’re going to need comfortable shoes, but it’s definitely worth your time and effort. It takes around 40 minutes to get to the top, and if you go before sunset, you’ll have your mind blown even more. Just remember to leave enough time to get back down to the bottom before the night draws in, ultimately.
Cycling enthusiasts with some experience and their trusty bicycles should definitely consider a thrilling ride across Mljet island. Clocking in at around 43 km in total length and reaching a peak of 513 m, this journey promises breathtaking views and a true test of your cycling abilities.
However, be sure to plan your ride wisely by avoiding the scorching summer heat. If you find yourself pedaling here during July and August, kickstart your day early to complete your adventure before 9 am. At the same time, the main road lacks dedicated cycling lanes; fear not!
Outside of the peak season, the roads are relatively calm and make for a pleasant ride. For a hassle-free experience, many cyclists stick to the National Park area, where you’ll find serene, traffic-free paths exclusively designed for cyclists and pedestrians. So, gear up and get ready for a memorable cycling adventure on Mljet Island!
Try The Local Cusine
On Mljet Island, you can enjoy traditional Dalmatian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood dishes, locally caught fish, and traditional specialties like lamb dishes and octopus under peka. There are various places to eat, ranging from local restaurants to charming eateries in the villages. The island offers a delightful culinary experience amidst its serene and beautiful surroundings.
- Konoba Antika in Polače serves hearty local cuisine, and their octopus peka is a must-try dish
- Restaurant Pomena in Pomena is a family-run establishment with a wide array of fresh fish dishes
- MS Restaurant & Bar in Saplunara offers a variety of meat and fish dishes with a beautiful seaside atmosphere
- Stermasi, also in Saplunara, is renowned for its seafood and goat specialties, as well as homemade olive oil.
Brands We Use And Trust
Getting Around Mljet Island
For getting around, buses are the primary mode of transport, with two main routes covering the Eastern and Western sides of the island. You can also opt for taxis, rent a bike or scooter for short distances, or try the local minibus service within the majestic Mljet National Park.
Explore the park’s wonders by kayaking or taking small rowing boats, and don’t forget to hop on the ferry boat shuttle to Sveta Marija (St Mary’s) islet for some captivating sightseeing.
Mljet Bus Details
Mljet Island has two bus lines:
- Bus 18 covers the west side, going from Pomena to Sobra, while
- Bus 19 covers the east side, going from Saplunara to Sobra