Top 18 Things to Do for an Epic Journey on Mljet Island

This enchanting island, known for its serene beauty and tranquil ambiance, offers a plethora of activities and sights that promise to make your visit unforgettable.

From exploring the lush landscapes of Mljet National Park to delving into the historical depths of St. Mary’s Island and Church, every corner of Mljet Island is a treasure trove of experiences.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deep dive into the island’s culture, my guide on awesome things to do on Mljet Island will lead you through the best that this Croatian paradise has to offer.

Mljet National Park

Mljet National Park, a serene oasis on Mljet Island, covers nearly a third of the island, including a 500-meter marine area with islands and cliffs.

This park is a haven for nature enthusiasts, boasting the saltwater lakes Veliko and Malo Jezero (Grand Lake and Small Lake). The Benedictine monastery on St. Mary’s islet, nestled in the Large Lake, stands as a testament to historical grandeur.

Visitors have a plethora of activities to choose from. You can cycle or stroll along the lakes, rent kayaks, or hike up hills for breathtaking views. The park, accessible through Pomena and Polače, upholds a tranquil environment by prohibiting motor vehicles, though bicycles are available for rent.

Opening hours vary with the season: 8 am to 8 pm during high season and 9 am to 5 pm in low season. Entrance fees are reasonable, with adults paying 10 € in low season and 25 € in high season. Children and students enjoy reduced rates, and those under 7 enter for free. Note that there are additional charges for the ferry to St. Mary’s Islet and guided tours.

The park’s rich biodiversity, archaeological sites, and cultural heritage add to its allure. Your ticket, valid for seven days, includes transport and boat rides.

For a peaceful visit, arrive before 9 am, and remember to book in advance for the restaurant on St. Mary’s Island. While it echoes the charm of the UK Lake District, an extended stay is recommended to fully absorb its beauty.

St. Mary’s Island and Church

In the heart of Mljet National Park, St. Mary’s Island beckons with its serene beauty and rich history. The island, a jewel in the Large Lake, is home to a picturesque Benedictine monastery and church, established by the Benedictines of the Apullian Order in the 12th century.

A short boat journey from Mali Most unveils this tranquil retreat, where visitors can delve into the monastery’s past, stroll through its grounds, and admire the ruins. The panoramic views across the lake are simply breathtaking.

For those seeking a blend of adventure and tranquility, St. Mary’s Island is perfect. Opportunities for swimming or snorkeling in the lake’s vividly colored waters are plentiful.

The local restaurant, ‘Melita’, offers a spot for refreshments amidst this idyllic setting. Intriguingly, visitors can cycle to a nearby spot and signal a local skipper for a complimentary boat ride to the island, adding a unique twist to the journey.

The monastery, having undergone several reconstructions, now showcases a blend of Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles. Its complex includes a defense wall with towers and a beautifully landscaped courtyard. The adjacent church of the Blessed Virgin Mary shares a similar historical charm, having been expanded in the same periods.

For those exploring the wider Mljet National Park, bike rentals are available. However, remember that entry to the monastery in swimsuits is not permitted. The monastery welcomes visitors from 9 AM to 6 PM, offering ample time for exploration. This historical and natural sanctuary is a must-visit for anyone seeking a peaceful yet engaging experience.

Mali Most (Little Bridge) and Veliki Most (Great Bridge)

In Mljet National Park, the Mali Most (Little Bridge) and Veliki Most (Great Bridge) stand as iconic landmarks. Mali Most, a charming connector between the Veliko and Malo jezero (Large and Small Lake), is not just a bridge but a central hub of information near Pomena.

Its proximity to a ferry pier offers easy access to St Mary’s Island and its historic monastery. What makes Mali Most unique is the strong current that playfully carries visitors from the Small to the Large Lake, adding a touch of adventure to the experience.

Meanwhile, the Veliki Most, bridging the Big Lake with the open sea, is steeped in history and modern achievement. Rebuilt in 2016, it replaced the original bridge demolished in 1958.

This site, once used by Benedictine monks for a flour mill, harnesses the power of the sea currents. The strait, once narrow and shallow, has been a witness to time’s passage, nestled in the picturesque village of Goveđari.

Odysseus Cave

Odysseus Cave is a marvel steeped in the legend of Odysseus’s shipwreck. This enchanting spot, accessible by boat or a hiking trail, beckons adventurers to its turquoise embrace for an unforgettable swimming and snorkeling experience.

The journey to the cave is an adventure in itself, involving a steep, challenging trail. Sturdy walking shoes are a must, and for those daring enough, the only entry into the water is a thrilling jump from the rocks above.

The cave’s surroundings can be wild, with loose rocks and some easy climbing, adding to the thrill. It’s wise to consult with locals, particularly at the nearby bar, about the safety of swimming, especially during high tide.

This bar is not just a place for refreshments but also offers a chance to send a postcard or enjoy a sea-side art exhibit.

Parking is available in a small lot above the cave, though the road is narrow. An alternative parking spot near the Tommy market leads you through an olive tree path straight to the cave.

The cave’s deep blue waters promise a profound experience, particularly suited for the adventurous. However, it’s not recommended for those with claustrophobia or mobility issues.

Sobra Village and Ferry Port

Sobra, a quaint bay on Mljet Island, is more than just a fishing harbor and one of Mljet’s key ports. This village, with its 130 inhabitants, is a hub of activity, especially with ferries from Dubrovnik and Prapratno, and a summer fast ferry from Split. Its connection to other island locales via a regular bus line makes it a convenient starting point for exploration.

Despite its modest size, Sobra is bustling with modern holiday apartments, traditional stone houses, and a variety of dining options. Visitors can find comfortable stays in local rooms and B&Bs.

The village, established around 1920 primarily as a harbor for Babino Polje, now houses Mljet’s harbor authorities and offers essential amenities like a supermarket, taxi service, and the only gas station on Mljet.

While Sobra itself may not boast major attractions, its proximity to Mljet National Park and the scenic Blatina wetlands provides ample hiking opportunities.

The northern location of Sobra offers stunning views of the Pelješac Peninsula. For those inclined towards the sea, there’s a dive center and boat rental services. The small fish farm in the western bay adds a unique touch to the village’s charm.

Prožura and Prožurska Port

On the eastern side of the Island of Mljet, facing the northern mainland, lies the enchanting Prožura and Prožurska Port. This destination, renowned for its beautiful beach, is a haven for those seeking a blend of history and natural beauty.

Accessible via a coastal road with switchbacks, the journey itself is an adventure, leading to a quaint, car-free fishing village where vehicles find rest in a large parking lot.

The environment is a tapestry of nature, with the Islands of Borovac and Planjak, rolling hills, and dense pine forests forming a serene backdrop. Prožura, with its roots in fishing, shipbuilding, and maritime trade, offers a glimpse into a rich past.

The Holy Trinity Church from 1477, the 14th-century Church of St. Martin, and the 15th-century Church of Sveti Rok stand as testaments to its historical depth.

For the active soul, hiking, biking, boating, snorkeling, and diving await. The beaches here, though short and pebbled, are perfect for a swim in the Adriatic Sea.

After a day of exploration, indulge in the local flavors at cozy taverns serving southern Dalmatian cuisine, where fish and meat specialties promise a culinary delight.

Okuklje Village

This quaint bay, nestled on the northern shore, is a haven for sailors and a summer paradise. Its view of the Croatian Mainland enhances its charm, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle of everyday life.

Accommodation is plentiful, with Apartment Curo Poša, Apartment Okuklje, Apartment Mljet – Okuklje, and Apartment Prozurska Luka standing out for their comfort and hospitality.

The village isn’t just a place to stay; it’s an experience. With a handful of restaurants and cafes, it promises delightful culinary adventures.

For those who love the water, Okuklje’s clear swimming spots are irresistible. Surrounding hills invite hikers to explore, rewarding them with breathtaking views over the channel.

A gem within this picturesque village is the Church of St. Nicolas. About 500 meters from the bay, a morning walk to this simple yet captivating church is highly recommended. Though the church is closed, its windows offer a glimpse inside.

More than a religious site, it’s a vantage point for spectacular sunsets and panoramic views of the ship, bay, and mainland. The journey by car is possible, though the road is narrow, adding to the adventure.

Saplunara Village

In the serene embrace of Mljet Island’s eastern tip lies Saplunara Village, a hidden gem established by the settlers from Korita village.

This picturesque locale is celebrated for its sandy beachesVelika, Mala Saplunara, and Blaca, each cradled by dense pine woods that whisper tales of tranquility.

The village’s heart, a one-kilometer-long bay, boasts warm waters throughout the year, a haven shielded from the Bura and Maestral winds.

Saplunara, though small with about 20 houses and 30 permanent residents, offers a cozy array of accommodations.

Notable among these are Apartments Posta Saplunara, Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, and Puhjera Apartments, each offering a unique window into the village’s soul.

Despite its secluded charm, Saplunara is conveniently 16 km from Sobra, a key ferry point, making it easily accessible by bus or taxi.

For those seeking a blend of rustic charm and serene beach life, Saplunara is an unmissable destination.

Pomena Village

Pomena Village, a quaint harbor nestled on the western tip of Mljet Island, is more than just a scenic spot; it’s a vibrant hub of activity and culture. With a population exceeding 50 permanent residents, this village, originally a fishing hub founded by Goveđari people, has blossomed into a sought-after tourist destination.

Its charm lies in its seamless blend of traditional livelihoods like farming and fishing with the dynamic world of tourism.

The village’s proximity to Malo Jezero in Mljet National Park positions it as a prime gateway for explorers. Visitors are greeted with a variety of amenities including Hotel Odisej, quaint restaurants, cozy coffee bars, and a selection of grocery and souvenir shops.

For those seeking a unique experience, the nearby island of Pomestak offers a naturist beach, tucked away in Pomena’s sheltered bay.

Accessibility is a breeze with day trips and fast passenger catamaran ferries connecting Pomena to Korcula, Hvar, Split, Brac, and Dubrovnik. The summer months see a delightful surge in visitors, drawn to the allure of Mljet National Park.

Accommodation options are plentiful, ranging from the comfort of Hotel Odisej to various local rooms and apartments.

For the adventurous at heart, Pomena offers activities like boat trips to the monastery on Sv Marija Island, bicycle rentals, and hiking trails leading to Polace and beyond. Yachting enthusiasts will find a haven in the sheltered cove just outside the village.

Korita Village

Korita Village, a hidden gem on the island of Mljet, boasts a rich history dating back to the 15th century. Originating from migrations from Žara and the aftermath of Okuklje’s devastation, Korita’s name stems from its unique natural stone depressions that collect rainwater.

Its strategic location was pivotal for overseeing the Mljet Channel and the vast open sea, a feature that played a significant role in its past.

The village’s landscape is marked by a historic defense tower, a testament to its resilience against frequent pirate invasions. In its heyday during the 17th and 18th centuries, Korita thrived as a bustling fishing hub, renowned for its salted fish, particularly sardines.

This prosperity drew nobles from Dubrovnik, Ston, and beyond. However, the late 18th century saw a dramatic shift with the mysterious vanishing of sardines, leading to economic hardships, emigration, and a devastating plague.

Korita is also a sanctuary of religious heritage, housing the 16th-century Church of St. Vid, the 14th-century Gospa od Brijega, and the 16th-century Church of St. Ilija (Elias), the latter being the village’s patron.

The Feast of St. Elias, celebrated on July 20th, is a focal point of local culture. Visitors can also explore the Church of St. Mark and St. Clare’s house, adding to the village’s historical allure.

Maranovići Village

In the heartwarming village of Maranovići, history and faith intertwine at the Parish Church of St. Anthony the Abbot. This church, a beacon of continuity, stands proudly in the eastern part of Mljet Island, tracing its roots back to the ancient church community of Žara.

Over centuries, the community’s heart shifted from Žara to Vrhmljeć, then to Okuklja and Korita, finally settling in Maranovići in 1769.

The current church, constructed between 1860-1872 on the remnants of a smaller, older structure, was consecrated in 1888. It’s a testament to resilience, having risen from the ashes of the old St. Anton church, which pirates destroyed in 1725.

The church’s journey through time is remarkable. After being restored as a parish church in 1769, it underwent minor renovations, including a roof change in 1977 and interior decoration in 1990, ensuring its splendid condition today. Visitors can marvel at this historical gem, which is open for exploration daily. 

Veliki Školj Islet – Place of St. Paul’s Shipwreck

Veliki Školj Islet is a site steeped in history with the 16th-century shipwreck of St. Paul’s Shipwreck. Uncovered in 2006, this archaeological marvel has been under meticulous study since 2007 by the Croatian Conservation Institute and University of Ca’ Foscari experts.

The shipwreck’s treasure, Ottoman ceramics from Iznik, is a rarity in the Adriatic, boasting a collection of which only three thousand pieces exist globally.

These artifacts, known for their intricate Quranic, animal, and floral motifs, echo the grandeur of Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign.

The ship’s Venetian roots are evident in its design and the marks on its cannons. This discovery has gained significant cultural recognition across Europe, leading to exhibitions in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Paris, Marseille, and Trieste.

The findings are also immortalized in the publication “Sveti Pavao Shipwreck” and the “Iznik – Ottoman Pottery from the Depths of the Adriatic” exhibition.

Roman Fort Remains in Polače

Roman Palace in Polače, a testament to the island’s rich ancient history. This significant historical site boasts well-preserved Roman structures, including imposing high walls and a distinctive round tower.

As you wander through these ruins, you’ll feel the echoes of a bygone era. Adjacent to these remnants is the Rimska palaca beach, a serene spot perfect for visitors seeking relaxation beside the clear waters.

The village of Polače, named after this historic palace, cradles a monument dedicated to the apostle Paul, commemorating his shipwreck near Mljet in 61 AD.

This monument, established in 2016, adds a layer of historical significance to the area. While the site’s tourist presentation may be minimal, with only an information board for guidance, its understated nature preserves the tranquility and authenticity of the ruins.

However, be aware that the aesthetic appeal might be slightly diminished by cars parked around the ruins. The fact that these ruins have not been fully explored or restored hints at exciting possibilities for future archaeological discoveries.

Konoba Stermasi (Saplunara)

Konoba Stermasi offers an unforgettable dining experience with its exquisite selection of local seafood dishes and traditional Croatian cuisine.

The ambiance is both professional and personal, providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant is renowned for its breathtaking views and fantastic location, making it a perfect spot for a memorable meal.

Additionally, the restaurant features comfortable and upscale apartments, ideal for those looking to extend their stay in this beautiful setting.

However, it’s important to note that both the dining and accommodation experiences come at a higher price point, reflecting the quality of ingredients and service provided.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Fish Antipasti
  • Octopus under Peka
  • Fresh, locally-sourced Seafood
  • Whole Squid
  • Mussels (with a commitment to quality and safety)

Practical Information:

  • Average Price Range: High (reflecting quality and exclusivity)
  • Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM–11:30 PM daily
  • Reservation: Highly recommended to ensure availability
  • Additional Notes: Offers mooring buoys near the dock; sources 80% of ingredients locally

Maestral Restaurant (Okuklje)

Maestral Restaurant, located in the serene setting of Okuklje, is renowned for serving the most delicious food with a focus on local seafood and meat dishes.

The ambiance is highlighted by its stunning view and a welcoming atmosphere, making it a perfect dining spot. The restaurant is celebrated for its extremely fine fish tartar, fettuccine with squid and prawns, and beef ribs.

The restaurant is not just about great food but also offers excellent local wine and impeccable service, making it a top choice for both locals and visitors.

It stands out for its beautiful setting and high-quality, fairly priced food, ideal for those seeking a special culinary experience.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Fish Tartar
  • Fettuccine with Squid and Prawns
  • Beef Ribs
  • Roman Gnocchi
  • Fish Filet
  • Black Spaghetti

Practical Information:

  • Location: Okuklje, Mljet
  • Average Price Range: High-end (pricey but excellent value for money)
  • Hours of Operation: 6 PM – 11 PM daily
  • Reservation: Recommended, especially during busy times
  • Additional Benefits: Free mooring for dining guests, WiFi available
  • Ideal for: Sailing stopovers (offers free berth for the night with dining), upscale dining experience

Konoba Riva (Sobra)

Konoba Riva is a charming restaurant located in the quiet town of Sobra, offering a delightful dining experience, especially for those visiting by sailing yachts.

The restaurant is known for its excellent service, both in assisting with mooring and in serving guests. It boasts a serene terrace with a full view of Sobra, creating a perfect ambiance for both lunch and dinner.

The place is particularly busy in the evenings, yet the service remains faultless, contributing to its reputation for great value for money.

The friendly owner and waiters add to the welcoming atmosphere, making it a hidden gem on the island of Mljet.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Steamed Lobster with Tomato Sauce
  • House Wine and Fish Platter
  • Grilled Fish and Tuna Steak
  • Octopus Goulash
  • Seafood Pasta
  • Fried Squid & Chips

Practical Information:

  • Location: Sobra, Mljet
  • Average Price Range: Reasonable/Fair
  • Hours of Operation: 8 AM – 12 AM daily
  • Reservation: Advisable due to evening crowds
  • Payment: Cash only
  • Additional Notes: Excellent for morning coffee; welcoming to yachters with mooring assistance

Hiking

Mljet Island, a hiker’s paradise, unveils its splendor through a 43 km long hiking trail, intricately divided into four shorter, distinct routes.

Each path, adorned with scenic views of the island, the Peljesac peninsula, and the neighboring Lastovo island, promises an unforgettable journey. The routes, well-marked and dotted with 20 control points, ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

The first route, a 5-hour semi-circular hike from Pomena to Govedjari, meanders through the National Park. It’s a visual feast, passing enchanting bays like Liskovje, Stupa, and Rogac.

Route 2, stretching from Govedjari to Blato, offers a 7-hour linear hike, partly cradled within the National Park’s embrace.

For those seeking a gentler adventure, Route 3 presents a 6-hour, mainly flat hike from Blato to Babino Polje, skirting the park’s edges.

The fourth route, a 6-hour trek from Babino Polje to Sobra, ascends Veliki Grad, rewarding hikers with breathtaking vistas.

Kayaking with “ID Adventures”

Working Hours: Please inquire for specific timings.

Ticket Prices: 45€ per person.

Exploration Time: Approximately 3 to 3.5 hours.

This tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the enchanting islets of Kobrava, Ovrata, and Moračnik.

A highlight of the adventure is a stop at Cape Lenga, a perfect spot for diving and swimming, where the beauty of nature unfolds in tranquility.

Covering around 7.5 km, participants are guided by seasoned experts, ensuring a safe and enriching experience while unveiling the secrets of these stunning locales.

More than just kayaking, this tour encompasses a complete experience with water and fruit provided to keep energy levels high and a light meal of homemade cuisine to conclude the excursion. 

Priced at 45€ per person, this 3 to 3.5-hour tour represents an exceptional blend of adventure and serenity. Payments are accepted in cash only.

About the author

Tomislav is the main contributor and creator of Croatia Wanderlust. With a deep appreciation for his homeland, he dedicates his time to sharing detailed stories and insights about Croatia's rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. His writings aim to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Croatia a unique and must-visit destination. Through his articles, Tomislav hopes to inspire travel enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore the beauty of Croatia.

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