Surrounded by turquoise shores and covered in a layer of lush green forest, Mljet island in Croatia is unarguably one of the most beautiful islands in Europe and is often referred to as the “green pearl” of the Adriatic.
Mljet Island lies close to the popular town of Dubrovnik, and other famous islands such as Korcula. But, if you want to experience the true beauty of Croatia, but escape the hustle and bustle of places like Dubrovnik, then Mljet Island is the place for you.
Mljet is most famous for its breathtaking National Park which was first established back in 1960, but also for its rich marine life, and oddly enough, its goat’s cheese.
So, If you are a lover of adventure, hiking, stunning landscapes, rich greenery, and delicious food then the chances are you will fall head over heels for this beautiful island.
I cannot recommend this place enough, so if you want to know about the best things to in this incredible location, then read on below!
How to get to Mljet Island
The only way to get to Mljet island is by ferry/catamaran. You can get a catamaran directly to Mljet from Split, Hvar, Brac, Korcula, Lastovo, Sipan & Dubrovnik.
- G&V Line – This will take you to the ports of Sobra and Polace and the journey time is roughly an hour. Please be aware that in the winter months this will only stop in Sobra.
- Kapetan Luka – This service will take you to Pomena only and runs from late May to mid-October.
*Pomena and Polace are located inside Mljet National Park, whilst Sobra is a 25-minute drive from the National Park.
How to explore Mljet Island
If you are heading to Mljet island just for the day to explore the National Park then you can definitely explore this on foot or by bike. There are a few bike rental companies located inside the National Park, so you can hire one as you disembark the catamaran.
The best way to explore Mljet island if you are here for a few days is by Car. This will enable you to venture outside of the National Park and witness all the other stunning spots that Mljet has to offer. You can rent a car whilst you are on Mljet with a company called Mini Brum with prices starting at just €50 a day. Their main office is located next to the ferry port at Sobra, however, you can arrange for a rental pick-up at Polace ferry port if that’s where you are headed.
I should probably warn you though, some of the cars are quite old. My boyfriend and I were given a Fiat 600 and I felt like we had stepped back in time, it did make the experience all the more memorable though!
*Please bear in mind cars are not allowed within the vicinity of Pomena.
If driving is not an option, then there are a couple of bus routes that serve the island. The bus services do stop off at most places of note on the island, however, the service is infrequent, so make sure you plan your journey with that in mind.
Alternatively, there are a few taxi services that run on the island, some of which offer tours of Mljet island. This can be a great option for those who are unable to rent a car and would prefer not to use the bus, however, this will ultimately be the most costly option.
Where to Stay in Mljet Island
Although you can indeed visit Mljet island just for the day, by heading straight to the National Park, I would HIGHLY recommend that you stay here for at least a couple of nights. There is so much beauty on this island both in and outside of the National Park and I wouldn’t want you to miss out!
Due to their closeness to beauty spots, as well as bars and restaurants, I would highly recommend staying in any of the following locations:
What to Budget for Mljet Island
- Accommodation – £100-£250 per night
- Food – £10-£15 (main meal)
- Alcohol -£3-£8
- Car Rental – £60 per day
- National Park Entrance – £15 (June-September) £8 (October-May)
Best places to eat in Mljet Island
- Konobo Mungos
- Restaurant Maestral Okuklje
- Konoba Maran
The best things to do in Mljet Island
Outside of Mljet National Park
Ok, so this beach is simply gorgeous! It’s quiet, unspoilt, the sand is soft, the water is calming and it’s the perfect place to relax for the day with a good book. There is a local restaurant nearby as well as a supermarket. So, you can either splash out on some grub, or you can pack yourself a picnic. You can also rent a sunbed for the day for approximately £7 a bed.
One day, when returning from his many journeys, Odysseus (the Greek King of Ithica) was caught in a big storm, causing his ship to smash along the Mljet coast. Legend has it that Odysseus spent 7 years living in this magical cave. So, if you’re into myths and legends then you need to come here, in fact, even if you’re not you should visit this gorgeous spot of natural beauty.
To get here simply park outside Tommy’s Supermarket. Close to the car park, you will see a signpost for the cave, where you can follow the route for roughly 20-25 minutes before reaching the cliffside.
You can get into the cave by diving into the water and swimming through the rocks. If like me, you are not a massive fan of cliff jumping, then there is also a rope and steps carved into the rock so you can get into the water slowly.
It is said that if you come here at 12 PM the sunlight will shine directly through the Cave. Meaning you get to see the cave and the water in all its glory. Although this might sound like a wonderful idea, it’s probably not the best one. It is often more crowded at this time of day, and also not forgetting that it’s when the sun is at its hottest (not the best time to be hiking). I would recommend coming here at the later end of the day (after 3 PM) when it’s slightly cooler and there are fewer people around.
Prozurska Luka is a stunning little village located in the north of Mljet Island. What’s more impressive than the village itself is the view you get of the coast as you are driving into the village. This is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat in between adventures.
Inside Mljet National Park
Undeniably the most incredible spots in Mljet National Park, if not the whole island. There are two lakes in the National Park: Veliko Jezero (large lake) and Malo Jezero (small lake). The large lake is a deep rich blue (the kind of blue you see in the middle of the ocean) and the small lake (my personal favourite) a shimmering bright turquoise colour. You are able to swim in both lakes and the water is so salty here that you can’t help but float. My advice would be to avoid the dedicated swimming spots and find a secluded spot amongst the trees, this way you feel like you have the whole place to yourself!
Want to see an awesome 360° view of the National Park? If yes, then a hike up to Mount Montokuc is in order. There are two starting points for the hike, either at the National Park car park and ticket stand or in the small town of Solina (the hike is well signposted, but if you are not sure there will always be a guide or a local on hand to help with directions). The hike is about a 3-4KM round trip and will take you roughly 1.5 hours.
You can also hike to Mount Veliki Gradac which also starts at the car park and ticket stand. This can be combined with the hike to Mount Montokuc, or done separately. If you only have time for 1 hike that I would definitely say stick with Mount Montokuc.
The Church and Benedictine Monastery on St Mary’s Island
St Mary’s island is a small island located in the middle of Veliko Jezero (large lake). Come here to explore the old church and have a bite to eat at the island restaurant. The island is tiny so you won’t need much time here and thankfully boats come to and from the island on a regular basis. The boat transfer is also included in the cost of your entry ticket.
*Please note if you plan to visit Mljet National Park during the off-season you will need to make prior arrangements. Click here to find out more.
If you’re looking for more Island adventures, why don’t you check out my guide to Sardinia?