|An insider's guide to little-known places to go and things to see in Dubrovnik|
MLJET, THE ISLAND OF ODYSSEUS
When you find yourself in Dubrovnik looking for more interesting things or places to see, remember the island of Mljet. It is a place to "get away from it all". The vegetation of Mljet is one of the most precious treasures of Adriatic. The impact of green colour on the human eye gives a relaxing and comforting feeling. And when Mljet overwhelmes you, it is impossible to think of anything else...
Green Gold of Adriatic
The north-west part of Mljet got the National park status in 1960. This was the first step in protecting the authentic ecosystem of the Adriatic. Walking across Mljet you will feel this protection in cliffs, rocks, indented shores, scattered little islands and a unique geological system of salty lakes. These lakes were freshwater lakes from 10 000 years ago until the beginning of Christian era. To experience their beauty people swim and sale across them in gondolas. This way, you can really see the inner beauty of the island. Seeing all this makes you feel like walking across the heaven on earth.
A Glimpse of History
The pages of the island's history contain a story of one great personality, Odysseus. After a shipwreck, Odysseus found the shelter in a cave. He swam into the cave that saved his life. He lived on the island for seven years. The cave is called Odysseus' Cave and, if you ask, any resident will show you how to get to the village Babino Polje where the cave is.
Interesting thing to see are the remains of Christian history on little island Melita in the heart of Mljet. When there, you can easily imagine the life few hundreds of years ago. There are regular boat lines to visit this tiny island.
Melita, Island Inside the Island
Accomodation and Mobility
When searching for a place to stay over night, or many nights, you will come across famous hotel "Odysseus". It has a beach in front with children's pool and a beach bar, diving center, pizzeria and a tavern with terrace. It is located in a nice harbor Pomena. Harbor is full of yachts and boats that come there to hide from the wind and enjoy the scenery. If you prefer private accommodation then you will have no problem finding it. There are numerous apartments throughout the island in all main settlements of Mljet.
Mljet is a long island and I wouldn't recommend crossing it by foot... To move around easily I suggest renting a Mini-Brum. These are small cars, each painted in a unique style. Brums make tour across Mljet very enjoyable experience because they give a sense of freedom in visiting places distant from each other. Without much trouble you can find Odysseus' cave, park the Brum near the village and walk. There are also a lot of small places with beautiful landscape and secrets to discover in each.
And Finally, How to go There from Dubrovnik
There are direct boat lines from Gruž harbor to main ports of Mljet. The schedule is regular throughout the day, every one hour. Boats are rarer on Sundays. The distance from Dubrovnik to harbor Sobra is 25 miles. I recommend you to take catamaran Nona Ana that takes you comfortably and quickly there in just 45 minutes or so. The ticket costs about 3-5 Euro. There are also other options like private boat-tour companies that take you to Mljet very quickly, but they will also charge for that :).
There is much more to say about this island, but to make it more "secretive" and exciting, I will let you to explore by yourself. And if you discover something that nobody or very few people know, and if you feel like, you can send it to me and I will surely put it as one more secret of Odysseus' island...