Mljet Island is the perfect place for nature lovers, cyclists, landscape photographers, or those who seek tranquility. Mainly covered in a dense Mediterranean forest, the island is most known for its two salted lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero. Mljet National Park Island offers an off-the-beaten-path escape from the more touristy Croatian Islands. This guide will help you plan a nightly stay on your trip through Croatia.
GETTING TO MLJET FROM DUBROVNIK
All visitors must arrive to the island by ferry. Departing from Dubrovnik, the best option is to take the TP Line from Gruz Harbor. Gruz Harbor is about 2 miles from the Old City Pile Gate and takes about 15 minutes by taxi, so plan accordingly.
Ferry: Dubrovnik → Polace Mljet on the TP Line
Mel’s Tip: Depending on the time of year, I highly recommend purchasing your ferry tickets in advance online.
ARRIVE ON MLJET ISLAND
- There is only one hotel on the entire island, Hotel Odesij. The hotel is beautifully located on the edge of the island with gorgeous sea views and walking distance to many tasty restaurants. The entrance to Mljet National Park is also a few steps away, making Hotel Odesij an ideal place to stay.
- Other Accommodation Options: There are a few vacation rentals and guesthouses located on the island as well. Look on Airbnb or Booking.com.
- How many nights should you stay on Mljet? One night allows you more than enough time to explore both saltwater lakes and the majority of Mljet National Park. If you are wanting to see more of the island and to hike or have more travel time, I suggest staying two nights.
EXPLORING THE SALTWATER LAKES
Once you have dropped off your bags at Hotel Odesij it is time to explore Mljet National Park! The park has multiple entrances, but no official gate. Entrance fees can be paid at the kiosks in the villages of Polace and Pomena for a small fee. If you are staying at Hotel Odesij you will see the kiosk right next to the bike rental shops.
The park is mainly a paved concrete path, making it very easy to explore the park by foot or bicycle. I HIGHLY suggest renting electric bikes, especially if you have only one day to explore. We easily covered the entire park and had so much fun along the way! You can rent regular bikes or electric bikes right before entering the park near the hotel.
The map below provides a visual overview of the park and both lakes. The white line is a paved smooth path, I suggest going counterclockwise around the large lake.
Once entering the park from the north entrance in the Village of Pomena, you will go down a dirt path then reach the Small Lake. You can ride a short way along the small lake before it turns into another rocky path. Ride back to the fork towards “Mali Most” bridge and continue around the Large Lake.
Google Map Bike Route (it shows as walking, but definitely rent bikes!)
Take a Dip!
Exploring Mljet is quite simple. Ride your bike along the lake, find a secluded spot, take a dip into the beautiful water, get out, dry off and continue biking! Repeat this process until you reach The Isle of Saint Mary.
The Isle of Saint Mary
In the middle of the Large Lake, you sill spot the gorgeous 12th-century Benedictine Monastery located on Saint Mary’s Island.
Mel’s Tip: Instead of taking the public ferries to Saint Mary’s Island, use the restaurant’s private boat! Wave the red flag located on the side of the pathway and a boat will be there within 5 minutes! Check out the process on my Instagram.
Once on the island, enjoy a refreshing beverage, tour the church and walk around the tiny island. DO NOT eat at the restaurant – read reviews online if you don’t believe me :).
Head back to the main island of Mljet and continue your bike ride!
Go past the bridge to the end of the path
Ride your bikes all the way down to the end of the path. The water becomes an even more vibrant blue and you will reach a small beach and viewpoint where the “lake” meets the ocean. After soaking in the beauty, head back to the bridge and towards the village of Soline.
The most quaint fishing village I have ever seen. It truly feels like you are in a fairy tale. Bike over the bridge and towards the village of Soline. Here you will enjoy a tasty lunch with a spectacular view. Restaurant or Konoba SO – is “SO” delicious. After lunch head back to the main town of Pomena and return your bikes. Take a dip in the salt water ocean pool at Hotel Odisej and relax before dinner.
WATCH SUNSET & EAT FRESH SEAFOOD
Enjoy a nice evening and sunset walking around the cute town of Pomena. There are many restaurants along the water. If you can, make reservations the morning you arrive, the restaurants do tend to book quickly during high seasons.
DAY 2: DEPART TO KORCULA
VISITING AS A DAY TRIP FROM DUBROVNIK
If you only have time for a day trip, it is still worth taking a trip! If planned properly you can spend around 5 hours exploring the island’s saltwater lakes.
- Take the earliest ferry over to Mljet
- Rent electric bikes in Polace and enter the park to bike around the 2 salt water lakes!
- Return bikes, and board the late ferry back to Dubrovnik.