Avansa Travel Agency Dubrovnik, your partner in Dubrovnik
You are here: TRAVEL GUIDE General Info DUBROVNIK ISLANDS Mljet Island

Mljet Island

Island Mljet

One of the most beautifull Adriatic islands is also known as the 'Green Island,' due to the fact that is largely forested. Mljet is famous for its two saltwater lakes with an island on one of the lakes. It is believed that Mljet has been visited by Ulysses (Odysseus) and St. Paul on one of their journeys.

Ferries from Dubrovnik to Mljet

On this elongated island of 162 sq.km. there are 13 hamlets with approximately 2000 inhabitants, engaded in olive and vine growing and processing of medicinal herbs, fishing (especially lobster) and the tourist trade. Connections with the mainland are via Polače, which is the port for the island and Sobra, a smaller port. Both are connected with a 60km log road. The distance from Gruž is 33 n/m and from Korčula 14 n/m. There are regular services with Dubrovnik and frequently whole day excursions are arranged by ship.

It is the eight largest Croatian island, covered in the rich Mediterranean vegetation. On the western side there are dense woods of holy oak while there are stone-pine woods in the eastern side of the island. The woods cover about 72% of its surface and therefore it is considered to be one of our greenest and woodiest islands. In the north-west part of the island there are two lakes - the "Great lake" ant the "Small lake" connected by a channel, while the Great lake is also connected to the sea.

Mljet's history goes back even further, to the 4th century B.C. During Roman times there were many pirates on the island and the Roman Emperor Augustus punished the population by destroying the main settlement, Melitussa. Emperor Septimus Severus banished Agaesileus, as he would not pay his homage after victory and he built his palace, the ruins of which can still be seen at the port of Polače. Ancient Greek poet Homer writes about this island in Odysee, and how he had sailed in this region. Apostotle Paul mentions this island on his voyage through Adriatic and visits the island on his way to rome. During the Illyrian times, antique writers called the island Melite and Melitea and the inhabitants were called Melitenoi. After the arrival of the Slavs in the Adriatic, the island was taken by the Dukes of Neretva and Zahum in 9th cetury and later by the rulers of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1333 the island came under the suzeraintly of Dubrovnik and recieved its statues in 1345.

Among the ancient buildings, outstanding is the Benedictine Monastery on a small islet in the middle of a salt water lake, surrounded by wooded hills. The Benedictines are mentioned as early as the 11th century, while in the 16th century their monastery was the leading one of the order in the Dubrovnik area. In this monastery lived as monks, well known Dubrovnik writers, amongst whome there was the historian Mavro Orbini (Il regno dei Slavi) and the poet Ignjat Đurđević (also Ignazio Giorgi), whose "Suze Marunkove" (The tears of Marunko) is interwoven with motifs from Mljet.

The tourist attractions of Mljet are mentioned in both Croatian and international tourist circles. With extensive public works it has been possible to convert the island into a well known excursion centre and tourist resort. On Mljet you can find a camping site, a hotel and large number of private accommodation mainly located in a village of Goveđari.

Mljet was proclaimed the National park because of its exceptional natural beauties, the richness of flora and fauna and its cultural and historical monuments. National park covers about 31 sq. km in the western part of the island. Great lake and Small lake with the surrounding grounds are a part of it. It is possible to go around the park on foot or to ride a bike. Ones interested in hiking can climb on to the tops of Montokuc, Veliki Gradac and others from which they can enjoy the view on other islands.

More information about Island Mljet National Park