Mljet island is one of the larger islands you will find in the southeastern part of the Adriatic coast. It is the greenest island in Croatia and Mljet National Park covers big part of it. Mljet is one of the few islands that preserved its natural beauty and authenticity, still attracting numerous tourists looking for a holiday in a relaxing atmosphere.
Mljet is known for its wine, olives and cheese, all thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate. The average temperature during the summer is around 24°C and 9°C during the winter period. The rain is very rare during the summer months, as in other Adriatic islands, it is mostly expected from October to April. Besides that, the island is known for its National Park of which the most popular spots are two salted lakes, Veliko and Malo jezero.
If you plan to visit Mljet, this guide will give you all the necessary information regarding the island, its beaches and campsites, nightlife, travel information and, of course, a detailed list of things to do during your stay.
Ferry to Mljet
Mljet has more than one port, but there is only one ferry car port situated in Sobra. The other ports are Polača and Pomena where the catamarans operate. Ports are well connected to Dubrovnik and Split on the mainland as well as with other islands on the relation between those two cities.
The only car ferry terminal of Sobra is situated in a little island town of Sobra. This is the main port of the island and the place where all the ferries arrive. The Mljet port authority is located there, as well. Sobra is well connected to the other parts of the island with regular bus lines as well as with the national park of Mljet. Read more about Sobra port here.
List of ferry and catamaran routes to and from Sobra
Car ferry: Prapratno (Pelješac)-Sobra
Catamaran: Dubrovnik-Luka Šipanska-Sobra (Mljet)-Polače (Mljet)-Korčula-Ubli (Lastovo)
Polače is a village on the northwest side of the island of Mljet in part of the national park of Mljet. It’s located in a wide bay surrounded by four little islands, that’s why it’s considered one of the safest ports of the Adriatic, located right in the center of the village. Read more about Polače port here.
List of catamaran routes to and from Polače:
Catamaran: Dubrovnik-Luka-Šipanska-Sobra (Mljet)-Polače (Mljet)-Korčula-Ubli (Lastovo)
Pomena is a small village at the west end of Mljet, it is very close to the entrance of National Park Mljet being only 20 minutes in walking distance from Malo Jezero. As Polače, it is considered a very safe harbor for anchorage, especially because it is protected by a tiny island Pomestak.
It takes around 3 hours to get from Split to Pomena and it goes across the islands, and from Mljet goes to Dubrovnik. There is only one departure per day, but this could be a great option for island hopping.
Getting to Mljet from Dubrovnik and Split airport
→If you land in Dubrovnik airport you need about 20 minutes from exiting the terminal to get to where the catamaran departures, to get a ticket you should be in the port 30 minutes before departure.
→In case you land in Split airport, you can take a shuttle bus that takes you directly to the Split ferry port, it will take you around 30 minutes (maybe a bit more during the summer period because of the traffic).
Getting around the island
On Mljet island there are two bus lines operated by Libertas Dubrovnik:
→Bus line 18 operates the Western side of the island from Pomena to Sobra and passes through Govedari, Pristaniste, Polace, Blato and Babino Polje, the whole journey takes 20 minutes.
→Bus line 19 operates the Eastern side of Mljet, it goes from Saplunara to Sobra via Maranovici and Pozura, the whole journey takes a bit less than an hour.
Apart from using the island buses, you can always rent a car or a scooter to drive around the island and explore all the towns and villages, hidden bays and coves that are the true gems of every island. There are several companies offering this service, most of them can be found close to the National Park.
For those that are interested in hiking and cycling, it is possible to rent a bike and explore the island in a more adventurous way.
There is also an option of using a taxi service which is available to/from any Mljet port. When you arrive to the port, you will probably get to see a few taxis waiting for the passengers in front of the terminal. The price which you can expect to pay between Sobra and Polace can reach 300 HRK (40 €).
Getting around the National Park
To get to the National Park Mljet you can use some of the aforementioned means of transport. To get around the NP there is the option of renting a kayak or a rowing boat. Another option is a minibus service which can take you from Polace to Pristaniste. To get to the St. Mary islet (Sveta Marija) you have to take a minibus from Mali Most. You can check the timetable here.
National Park Mljet – This is one of the largest national parks in southern Dalmatia and a big attraction of the country. It covers a big part of the island and its most attractive sights are Malo and Veliko jezero and villages of Govedari, Polace and Pomena. There are many activities on offer in this NP such as walking, cycling, swimming, scuba diving, canoeing and kayaking. The entrance fee is 125 HRK for adults in the peak season (June – October) and 70 HRK in the rest of the year. You can check the prices for 2021 here. Also, for more information about the park check here.
St. Mary’s Island – The biggest attraction of the national park is definitely Veliko jezero with its St. Mary’s island (Sveta Marija). There lies a 400 years old Benedictine monastery and when you get done with sightseeing, there is a cafe where you can relax. Also, if you’re up for some activity, you can swim and snorkel here. The boat goes to the island every hour and it is included in the entrance ticket.
Roman Palace – This impressive fortified construction is located in Polače and dates back to around the 5th century. As the name reveals it, it is a sign of early Roman presence in this area, as well as in the rest of Dalmatia. Besides the palace, there are other ruins scattered around which you can explore.
Odysseus Cave – This natural phenomenon is the most attractive cave on Mljet and the reason for that is firstly the legend of Odysseus who is said to be trapped here after surviving a shipwreck. Well, one cave on Malta bears the same story, probably because of the names. The cave can be entered from the sea by boat, only under good weather conditions, and if you find yourself in the cave around noon, that is when you will get a chance to see the amazing spectrum of colors created by the sun.
Top beaches on Mljet island
On Mljet island, you will find a lot of gorgeous bays and many beaches of which most of them are pebble ones. Being one of the most rural Croatian islands, the beaches are authentic with a lot of vegetation and a crystal clear sea. Besides beaches, the shores of Veliko and Malo jezero are also popular spots during the summer and the lakes can reach the same high temperatures as the sea. Anyway, we picked our favorite beaches on Mljet:
Saplunara – This is the sandy beach located on the southeast end of Mljet and its name means ‘sand’ in Latin. It is divided into two beaches, Mala and Velika Saplunara (large and small one) and although very beautiful, there are no big crowds since there are no many residents in the area either. As you can already guess, you won’t find many activities on this beach, as well as restaurants and shops, just one bar and a toilet. Therefore, this is an ideal beach to enjoy the tranquility of nature which is also considered a protected area. The beach can be easily reached by bus from Sobra or taxi.
Blaca (Limuni) – Just a few minutes away from Saplunara is located another sandy paradise known as Limuni Bay or Blaca. Here, you will also manage to find peace and solitude while the beach is well protected allowing you to swim carelessly. That also means you won’t find many things around so be prepared and bring your own snacks. The beach is surrounded by pine trees which make a perfect shade on hot summer days.
Sutmiholjska – This is a tiny, lovely pebble beach ideal for families with children. It is situated on the southern shore of Mljet and there is no direct public bus route leading to the beach. the only option is to take a bus from Pomena to Sobra, take off in Babino Polje and continue, for example, by taxi. There is a bit of a natural shade on the beach, but mostly in the afternoons when the sun starts to go down. If you’re looking for something around, this beach has a bar, restaurant, a shop and a rental agency. Still, you won’t find any sports activities.
Okuklje – This beach has mostly concrete surface but a lot of good spots for swimming, but still maybe not the best option for families with small children. It has a good natural shade where you can hide from the sun and the entire bay is full of apartment rentals so it can be a good place to stay at. Also, you will find several restaurants and shops in the area.
Regarding the National park Mljet, there are two pebble beaches on Mali Most and Polace, while there is also a concrete ‘beach’ in front of the hotel which is also very popular. The rest of the shore in the National Park is rocky but there are many accessible spots.
Camping on Mljet
Many people enjoy spending their vacation in nature, lying in the shade of pine trees listening to the sound of waves and crickets. It really is a peaceful and unique experience, especially if you are spending your summer vacation on a Mediterranean island surrounded by beaches of crystal clear sea and you can get the best of it if you decide to spend your vacation camping instead of booking a hotel room.
On Mljet island, there are three campsites at the moment. Campsite Marina is a small one located in Babino Polje, you can get any info you want by sending them a direct message. A bit bigger camping ground runned by a family is Lovor, located in Kozarica, a very peaceful spot providing a lot of natural shade, equipped with reception, electrical connections, sanitary facilities, hot water and parking. Insurance is also included, contact them for more info. The largest of these three is campsite Mungos, also located in Babino Polje, it has a good capacity, washrooms and showers and many facilities around such as restaurant, exchange office, store, etc., contact them for more info.
Mljet hiking trails
Mljet has many good trails where you can walk and hike, but there is a trail of 43 km which can be split into 4 main routes.
There are no venomous snakes on the island but still, make sure you do not disturb any and bring the proper hiking equipment so that you can enjoy nature to the fullest. Summer is not the ideal period for hiking due to high temperatures but long days still allow you to take a walk in the evening.
- Pomena – Govedari: the route starts in Pomena all the way to Govedari, all within the National park, passing the bays of Liskovje, Stupa, Bijela, Zaklopatica and Rogac. The route lasts around 5 hours.
- Govedari – Blato: The route starts in Govedari which is still within the National Park and continues outside the park to Blato, the route lasts around 7 hours.
- Blato – Babino Polje: The route starts in Blato which is basically the center of the island, passes through Rogovici, all the way to Babino polje. The route lasts around 6 hours.
- Babino Polje – Sobra: The route starts in Babino polje, across Veliki Grad which is the highest point on Mljet, to Sobra bay. The route lasts around 6 hours.
Mljet cycling trails
Mljet is great for cycling and it offers both macadam and asphalted roads passing through towns and villages. As mentioned in the section about hiking trails, the same road od 43 km can be used for cycling, the highest peak is Veliki Grad (513 m). The route can be divided into smaller ones and you can combine them as you wish. Besides the main road, there are also some macadam roads perfect for mountain biking.
In the area of National park Mljet you will easily find the routes, they are all marked and intended for cycling and hiking only. If you’re not carrying your bike with you on Mljet, you can rent it, and there are several renting companies within the park.
When you go cycling, make sure you are well equipped and have enough time dedicated to the activity. Cycling can be done throughout the whole year, but Mljet is very hot during the summer months, so cycling can be very exhausting if done when the sun is up. Always bring water with you!
Snorkeling & diving on Mljet
Since Mljet is the greenest Croatian island and a National Park, it is highly protected, so all water sports and activities are limited and controlled, as expected. Snorkeling on the Mljet’s coast is very popular, but maybe even more attractive is snorkeling on Malo and Veliko jezero in the park. The underwater life of both is lush and diverse.
Besides the lakes, the most popular spots for scuba diving on Mljet are Rikavica, a cave whose name means ‘’roaring’’ because of the waves strongly crashing and producing the roaring sound and Odysseus Cave, with the water so clear that lets you perfectly explore the underwater life, also, there are some great rock walls surrounding the cave from where you can jump.
Snorkeling doesn’t require that much preparation and physical shape nor the theoretical and practical knowledge important for scuba diving. Snorkeling equipment can be rented at the beach or from many different rental agencies in towns/camps, or you can even buy it from the stores/stands in the main towns.
Mljet is not a popular party destination, moreover, it is not a type of island where you can find word-recognized nightlife, it is more of a tranquil and relaxing summer destination. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great night out while staying on the island.
Although most of the beaches in bigger places have cafes and bars where you can enjoy a good night with your friends while sipping a drink, there are two which most tourists and locals consider being the most popular places to go out. Komarac (Mosquito) is located in Babino Polje, serving coffee during the day, it gets louder and wilder at night, the best place you will find on the island. The other one is Hippocampus, it is more like a beach bar offering a bit more relaxing type of nights out, but still great for hanging out with your friends.
Besides the bars, Mljet has various events such as concerts and cultural events, but the best way is to check that online before your travel.
Food & supplies
On Mljet island you can easily find grocery stores, bakeries, pastry shops, pharmacies and another kind of small shops, so you can buy anything you want right there on spot without bringing anything from the mainland.
In Pomena, there is a small ‘’Studenac’’ store right on the left when you get from the ferry, there you can find anything regarding food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, for cooking in your apartment. It is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm. Just a few meters away is an entrance to the National Park Mljet. In the park you won’t find any shop, just souvenirs, so make sure you buy all the necessities before you enter. Two well-equipped ‘’Tommy’’ markets can be found in Babino Polje, also ‘’Tisak’’ where you can easily send/receive packages etc.
There are also numerous restaurants around the island and you can always eat outside. As for the local food, you should definitely try some of the fish specialties, like grilled fish or scampi, “black” risotto with squids, octopus with potatoes baked under the lid on an open fire… Dalmatian cuisine is a Mediterranean style cuisine which is similar to the Italian one, so you will find a lot of olive oil and herbs like rosemary and sage, garlic and tomatoes in almost every sauce, a lot of vegetables and fruit, etc.
Some of the local specialties we recommend you to try are makaruli, homemade macaroni with premium goat cheese, an eel prepared in several ways such as baked under the lid, in a sauce called brodet etc., and prandispanj, a traditional cake in Dubrovnik, but also on Mljet island.
ATMs & exchange offices
Remember that the official currency in Croatia is Kuna and most of the places accept Kuna only. In large tourist places, especially on the coast, it is acceptable to pay in euros or credit cards. However, make sure you always have a local currency with you and some cash because not every restaurant, bar, or market accepts credit cards. Still, larger supermarkets and pharmacies, usually accept them but in case you need something from the bakery, mini markets or newspaper stand, always bring cash. All hotels should accept all major credit cards.
Bargaining in the open-air markets may save you a few kuna, but that is not a common thing to do in this area, so expect to pay the fixed prices.
ATMs can be found from three different banks – OTP banka, Privredna banka and Euro Bancomat. Most of them can be found in Pomena and Polace, also in Hotel Odisej and ferry port Sobra. There are post offices in Babino Polje and Govedari where you can also exchange currencies but have in mind they only work in the mornings till noon, from Monday to Friday. There is also one i Maranovici which opens only during the summer period.
Emergency contact info
In case of an emergency, or if you require immediate assistance of any kind – medical or police assistance, fire department, mountain rescue services, you can call the toll-free number 112 from any location in Croatia (the calls can be made via landlines, cell phones or phone booths) at any time of day or night.
If by any chance, you need to seek medical assistance while you’re on Mljet island, there are ambulances in Babino Polje and Govedari:
- Clinic, Babino Polje: +385 20 641 550
- Clinic, Govedari: +385 20 744 060
If you need to contact the police, you can call the universal Croatian number 192. The police station on Mljet is located in Babino Polje.
Should you need a pharmacy, there is one in Babino Polje, Zabrježe 94, +385 20 745 158
For all tourist information, you can consult tourist boards on Mljet island is in Babino Polje, Zabrježe 2, TZ Mljet
If the situation requires further urgent assistance or hospitalization that cannot be provided on the island, a speedboat or helicopter will be sent for the patient and take them to the nearest hospitals in Dubrovnik or Split.
Foreign citizens/tourists coming from countries that are signatories of the Health Care Convention don’t have to pay for medical assistance in Croatia, while patients coming from countries that are not signatories of this convention, must pay for medical assistance provided, according to the valid tariffs.
Map of Mljet
FAQ – Island Mljet
It is possible to bring a bicycle on a car ferry, but you need to buy a separate ticket for it. On the other hand, bringing a bicycle on a catamaran is in most cases forbidden as there is simply no space. In case you are traveling off-season, the boat crew might let you bring it if there are no many passengers.
In the case of the catamaran, you can buy a ticket for a specific departure, but for the car ferry you can buy a ticket for a specific travel date, but not for a specific departure.
Dubrovnik is the closest bigger city on the mainland, so it is possible to make a day trip, especially during the summer when the lines are more frequent. n the other hand, Split is a bit further away, but it is still possible to make a short day trip during the summer season.
On catamarans, you can NOT bring your dog, but on the car ferries you can, but you are not allowed to take them into the closed areas where passengers are sitting.
On ferries up to 100 kg, on catamarans up to 20 kg but as the luggage it not weighed, it is normally not an issue if you bring a bit more.
You can explore all the mentioned sights in 2-3 days, but if you want to properly relax and discover all the authentic places on the island, take a few more days.
The best time is the summer because you can spend your days on the beach, relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. The downside is that the island is packed during the summertime since everyone is visiting then. Although, Mljet is not the most popular destination like some other Croatian islands (Hvar). If you wish to avoid the crowds or you don’t like the heat that much and would like to go to the beach without getting sunburnt, then you should consider the postseason. September is one of the best months; the air temperature is milder and the sea is still quite warm. October is good for hiking and cycling enthusiasts since it is not that hot anymore so you can spend most of the day exploring the island. Plus the prices are not that high anymore. If you are keener to travel in the preseason, then May and early June are good months regarding the air temperature but the sea might still not be that warm for some, with the temperature of about 18-20 degrees.