The island of Mljet is the greenest Croatian island, covered with dense Mediterranean forests of Aleppo pine and holm oak. It comes as no surprise, then, that a third of the island, due to the rich flora and fauna that live here, was declared a National Park in 1960, with the marine part of the park receiving this status in 1997.
1. National Park Mljet
Although the star of this national park is its nature crowned with two salt lakes, it also contains numerous sites of cultural and historical heritage dating back to the Illyrian and Roman times. This guide will take you through the most interesting places in the National Park and introduce you to its natural beauty, restaurants, and some of the locations of the rich cultural heritage of the island of Mljet.
This is the first place you will come across when you come to the National Park through the Solin Channel. Today, Soline is a tourist resort, but before it was even built the Benedictine monks extracted salt on this site, which is how the village later got its name.
3. Solin Channel
This canal connects the Big Lake and the open sea. Its entrance, also known as the Gate of Solin, is adorned with a stone cross erected by the Benedictines.
4. Great Bridge - Veliki Most
This is the spot where the Big Lake meets the sea. The banks of the canal here are connected with a small pedestrian bridge. In the past, the Benedictines had a flour mill here.
5. Montokuc Peak
North of Solin, in the inland of the National Park, stands Montokuc, crowned with a wooden observatory. Since this place has the best view of the entire national park, the Mljet fire fighters use it to keep vigilant watch over the the territory of the park in case of fire.
Although this village is located in the inland of the National Park some of its most famous locations are a part of the larger Govedjari area. Permanent settlement on this part of the island was prohibited until the end of the 18th century.
7. Church of Saint Nicholas
This church serves as the parish church of Goveđari, and is a home to the beautiful folk embroidery dedicated to St. Nicholas.
8. Big Lake and the Little Lake - Veliko i Malo jezero
Probably the most famous location in the National Park, these lakes are in fact a deep sea bay that was formed in the post-glacial age. They are interconnected with a shallow canal, and in prehistory they were probably filled with fresh water.
9. Little Bridge - Mali Most
Little Bridge was built in 1939. The small canal that runs beneath it is an ideal place for swimming, and as the lake water here is shallow it is perfect for kids. The boats for the island of St. Mary depart from this location.
10. Radulj Tours Bike & Kayak Rental
In case you want to cycle along the shores of the Big and Little Lakes, or cross them with a kayak or a canoe, there is an agency right next to the Little Bridge where you can rent a bike, kayak or canoe.
11. Islet of Saint Mary
This fairytale islet with its Benedictine monastery is one of the most popular places on the island of Mljet and the absolute pearl of the tourist offer of the National Park.
12. Benedictine monastery on the island of St. Mary
This beautiful Romanesque monastery is one of the oldest church buildings on the Adriatic. It was first mentioned in 1220, and was upgraded in the 15th and 16th centuries. At the end of the 17th century, an outer rampart and tower were added to it.
13. Restaurant Melita
Located at the foot of the Benedictine monastery, with a fantastic view of the Big Lake, this restaurant is an ideal place for lunch, coffee, and a break. Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the island, you will be able to enjoy fish, meat and seasonal vegetables.
This settlement is one of the oldest on the island of Mljet and is known for the abundance of ancient remains over which Polache was later built (and that were the inspiration for its name). The port in the bay in front of it is extremely safe for mooring and anchoring, so it is almost always dotted with boats.
15. Roman remains in Polače
Ancient remains of a palace, two basilicas and a small bath adorn this site located in the vicinity of the town’s waterfront.
16. Western early-Christian basilica
Stone tablet with an inscription from the third century was found among the remains of this basilica built in the fifth century AD.
17. Tavern Antika
Located on the shores of Polača, this tavern offers fantastic dishes made under the baking bell. It is popular among boaters because it has its own mooring site, but also because of the proximity of ancient ruins.
18. Stella Maris Restaurant
This restaurant is the absolute star of Polača. In addition to the bell-baked and grilled dishes, the menu includes a range of excellent seafood salads. You can moor your boat at the restaurant’s mooring site, and also book apartment accommodation.
19. Agency ID ADventures
For all those who, in addition to sightseeing and walking in the national park, want to go exploring its sea shore, the ID Adventures agency offers kayaking. You will be able to choose between two tours, an easier and a more challenging one, and on your way you will kayak around several islands of the Mljet National Park.