Mljet National Park
Photo by Aleksandar Todorovic/shutterstock
Mljet National ParkA scenic ferry ride from Dubrovnik, the island of Mljet is home to pristine forests, olive groves, vineyards, ancient Greek artifacts, and one of Croatia’s most beautiful national parks. In the village of Pomena, rent a bike to cycle along the park’s shaded pathways, or walk through the fragrant pine woods to Malo Jezero (Small Lake). Visitors to the park can also take a boat across the Great Lake to St. Mary Island, where they can tour a Benedictine monastery dating back to the 12th century, savor a traditional seafood lunch at Melita restaurant, and enjoy the beautiful scenery before taking a dip in the sparkling water. Afterward, hike up to the Montokuc viewpoint for 360-degree vistas of the park’s two lakes, surrounded by rich Aleppo forests.
almost 7 years ago
Croatia's Mljet National Park: See Why Homer Couldn't Leave
Mljet (pronounced Mee-yet) National Park is located on a stunningly beautiful island in the Adriatic off Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. The ancient Greek poet Homer mentions this island in the Odyssey, and according to legend Odysseus was marooned here for 7 years. The locals smile and say, “But of course, why would he want to leave?” Indeed. We reached Mljet by boat from the port city of Gruz, near Dubrovnik. Guided tours are available, and if you travel with a group you get to skip the LONG ticket lines in the harbor (for all destinations, not just Mljet). The boat ride is pleasant. Once you arrive on the island, you're transported by van, then another boat, to the monastery (located on an island within the island). Have lunch at the monastery before exploring. You should have enough time to walk around Malo Jezero (Small Lake), swim, or rent a kayak. Bring water as it can get quite hot. A few guesthouses on the other side of the island offer overnight accommodations. If I had known that Mljet is so beautiful, I would have made arrangements to stay for at least a couple of days. Ah, next time. This is a really special place, not to be missed if you're in the region. I heard that Time Magazine named it one of the world’s 10 most beautiful islands.