For most people, Mljet is an island lost in
the open sea, and the island is indeed hard
to reach. But do not let this landscape - mentioned
in the stories about Odyssey and St. Paul,
as well as Benedictine monks and the Mediterranean
Seal - remain a secret for you.
Mljet is an elongated island,
with an average width of 3 km, 37 km long.
It is an Island of great diversity and contrast,
and "Mljet" National
Park covers his northwestern part with an
area of 5.375 ha of protected land and surrounding
sea. This area was proclaimed as national
park 11 November 1960 and represents the
first institutionalized attempt to protect
an original ecosystem in the Adriatic.
Mljet National Park has been proclaimed as
an area of special interest for the following
Its unique panoramic landscape of
well intended coastline, cliffs, reefs and
numerous islands, as well as the rich topography
of the nearby hills, which rise steeply above
the sea and hide numerous ancient stone villages.
Mljet's outer coastline is exposed to the
south sea and is therefore steep and full
of "garmas" collapsed caves. The
inner coastline faces the mainland and is
exposed to the "bura", a strong
northeasterly wind, but is less elevated
with easier access.
The salt lakes are a
unique geological and oceanographic phenomenon
of worldwide importance. They originated
approximately 10,000 years ago and, until
the Christian era, they were freshwater lakes.
Some endemic Dalmatian plants can only be
found on the rocky coast of the island. A
beautiful endemic plant, named Dubrovačka Zečina
is the best representative of them all.
Mediterranean karst landscape hides two natural
specialties. The first are typical karst
underground habitats: half-caves, caves and
pits. The other specialty is Mljet's "blatine",
which are rare occurrences of brackish lakes,
which vanish from time to time. There is
life in the lakes, but we know very little
about it today apart from the fact that people
have caught eels and marsh birds in them
Beautiful, rich forests once covered large
areas of the Mediterranean Coast, but they
are rarely preserved today as beautifully
as they are on Mljet. The woods on Mljet
gently descend all the way to thesurface
of the lakes, thus creating animage of unspoiled
The little isle of St. Mary in the
Great lake, with an ancient Benedictine monastery
and a church dating from 12th century. The
small island is the symbol of the entire
island, because of its exceptional aesthetic
image and strong cultural and spiritual dimension.
Polace site, a cultural and
historic complex consisting of the remains
of a Roman Palace with fortifications and
ancient Christian basilica nesting in a sheltered
An exceptional cultural and historical
heritage dating back to the eras of the Illirian
tribes, the Roman Empire and the Republic
of Dubrovnik. Today, Mljet island is characterized
by stable human settlement living in complete
harmony with nature.
The world-renowned Lakes
of Mljet consist of the Great Lake, covering
an area of 145 ha, with a maximum depth of
46 m. The Small Lake has an area of 24 ha
and a maximum depth of 29 m. The natural
secrets of both lakes have attracted many
scientists over the years, as well as other
nature lovers from a wide range of professions
and personal interests.
The rich vegetation
of the island, especially in the area of
the national Park, explains why Mljet is
also known as the Green Island. Today, there
are five types of forest on Mljet, including
the remains of a Mediterranean primeval forest,
although the original Holm Oak forest is
only found in fragments. The best preserved
of these are in the area of the Great Valley.
It has been replaced with dense maquis, karst
and spacious forests of fast-growing Alpine
pines which tend to dominate the vegetation.
Besides the forests, there are other areas
of biological interest: sand dunes on the
coast, high, steep coastal cliffs, as well
as cliffs further inland, and, finally, the
vegetation on the reefs.