If you’re ready to leave the busyness of your life behind you and just relax without the constant pressures of city life, Mljet will provide you with a perfect getaway. This virtually car-free island is one of the more untamed Adriatic Islands. A good portion of the island is a dedicated National Park, protected and preserved as it was since the dawn of time. Sparsely inhabited, Mljet has a population under 1,000 and really comes to life during the summer – but nice quiet spots can still be found across the island by those seeking solitude and peace.
Mljet has been inhabited since the early Roman times. It was ruled by the Order of Saint Benedict up until the 14th century when it passes under the dominion of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik). More than 85 % of the island is covered in pine forests and locals are doing commendable work in keeping the island pollution-free and sustainable.Things to do in Mljet
One of the wonders of Mljet is St. Mary’s monastery located on a small islet in the Big Lake. An island within an island, the monastery is a breath-taking piece of 12th century architecture that has been guarded by the Benedictine order for nearly 1000 thousand years.
Take a walk through the pine-scented forest on the little island and marvel at the pristine nature and the history of the area. The tour is short but sweet and you will get a chance to see inside the chapel and the monastery. The boat ride to the islet takes less than 10 minutes and the tour costs 100 HRK in high season. There is also a little restaurant on the island so you will get a chance to grab something to eat after sightseeing.
Cars are few and far between on Mljet and the best way to explore the island is by bike. The terrain is rather accessible so you can expect a nice, pleasant ride through the forest without getting too tired.
This is by far the best way to explore this untamed island and discover all its hidden crevices forest groves. Bike rental costs 40 HRK per hour, which is relatively cheap and allows you to enjoy the entire day saddled up!
Pack a backpack and start walking in any direction you like! The admittance fee to the National Park is 100 HRK but it’s well-worth it. Little, picturesque villages dot the National Park and are protected as well.
The most notable of them is Govedari, a small settlement that gets its name from the word ‘govedo’, meaning cattle. It was established by the Benedictines and populated with mainlanders who could work and live there provided that they paid homage to the monastery. Today, Govedari is uninhabited and completely restored to its previous glory and can be admired by visitors.
Soline is a small fishing village on the coast that takes its name from salt (sol). Even though a lot of families there now rent these rustic little houses to the tourists, most of the villagers still live by and from the sea. Visit the Soline channel and admire the vastness of the open Adriatic Sea you will see stretching before you!
Afterward, grab a bite to eat at one of the local ‘konoba’s’ or taverns and enjoy local delicacies and wines. Our recommendation definitely goes out to squid and octopus delicacies – definitely something you don’t want to skip!