Mljet is the eighth largest Croatian island and one of the most wooded Adriatic islands. This island was populated by the Illyrians more than four thousand years ago. It is across from Pelješac, at about 18 km from Korčula and about 30 km from Dubrovnik.
Mljet is 37 km long and on average 3 km wide. The tallest peak on Mljet is Veliki Grad (“Big Town”, 514 above sea level), located around the middle of the island, above Babino Polje.
The shortest sea connection with Pelješac is 5 NM. In the central southern part of the coast there is a pit, Jama (Ulysses’ cave) – a karst recess whose ceiling caved in so it really does look like a pit or a wide well. Sea is at the bottom of it, because Jama is connected to the open seas with a natural tunnel. According to the legend, after his shipwreck, Ulysses found shelter in the cave and for seven years remained “captured” there by the natural beauties of the island, after which he was released upon a decree by the gods. The cave can be entered into from the sea (the entrance is 4–5 m wide and 1–1.5 m tall). The sea in the cave tunnel is 8–10 m deep, and the tunnel itself is about 20 m long. The cave can be entered into from the land too, taking some rather steep improvised stairs.
The southwestern part of Mljet, thanks to its significant natural and cultural richness, was declared a national park in 1960. A special geological and oceanographical phenomenon is a system of salt lakes – Malo jezero (Small Lake, the deepest point is 29 m), an important habitat of the noble pen shell, and Veliko jezero (Great lake, 46 m). There are four springs on Mljet, and they never go dry: next to Polače, facing north, in Vrbovica next to Goveđari, flowing southward, Vilinsko spring next to Kneževo polje, facing west, and the waters next to Babino Polje gush out eastward... Mljet national park is home to a number of endemic and endangered species. There are also numerous archaeological locations witnessing the rich cultural heritage. In the southern part of Veliko jezero there is a Benedictine monastery with St. Mary’s church. The monastery was built from 1177 to 1198.
The eastern part of Mljet has two bays, Saplunara and Blace, where there are beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for families with small children.
Sobra on Mljet is connected with the mainland by ferry from Prapratno in Pelješac, while there is a hydrofoil from Dubrovnik to Mljet.
It is interesting to note that the island was full of poisonous snakes until the 20th century, when small mungo was brought to the island and exterminated them.
It is not easy to describe all the beauty of Mljet. It is perhaps the legend about a young exiled Roman that says it best. The youth answered his father’s worried question “How is it going?” by showing a small bough with a bird’s nest on top, and a sea shell on the bottom.