Visiting Mljet from Dubrovnik

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mljet is one of the most tranquil and picturesque islands off the coast of Croatia, famous for its two milky blue salt water lakes and a picture postcard perfect Benedictine monastry. It's perfect for a day trip from either Dubrovnik or Hvar, as it sits almost half way between the two!

Mljet Island

We dragged ourselves out of bed bright and early for the only ferry crossing of the day at...8:30am yikes! (You can find a ferry timetable here). The ferry got us in to Mljet Sobra at 10:25am, giving us exactly 5 and a half hours to explore before the ferry back at 4pm. 

Just a note on catching ferries in Croatia. Croatian people will tell you to arrive at the port from any point between 90 and 60 minutes before departure. This isn't necessary; the ferries generally begin boarding about 20 minutes before departure and you can normally board up until 2 mins before. So providing you have your tickets, go with that logic!

Anyway, we arrived on Mljet and hired bikes from the port (60HKN for 5 hours). Some other people set off on foot, so you can reach the lakes without the help of a bike, but I would definitely recommend it if you want to see a lot of the island. 

Hiring bikes on Mljet Island
Happier times with our bikes.
Another note on Croatian peoples' time framing skills. Though they might over exaggerate on the time you need to catch a ferry, whenever you ask for how long it might take to do something, a '10 minute walk' becomes 30 minutes, a "short hike" will take you an hour aaaand a "10 minute bike ride up a gentle hill" will be a 40 minute grueling uphill battle on the thighs. Just to warn you!

After about 20 minutes cycling and a bit of complaining we reached the main gates of the national park which makes up the majority of the island. You have to pay 80HKN to go beyond this point and enter the park and you can also hire bikes and pick up water.

After 40 minutes total of almost entirely uphill cycling, 2 mini heart attacks and a strop later, we arrived at this gorgeous lake and all was forgiven.

Mljet Island

Mljet Island

We abandoned the bikes on the pebbly shore and jumped right in. Even though the lakes are salty, they were cool and refreshing and just the thing we needed after the dust of the road!

Mljet Island

Time sort of slipped away from us and before long it was time to set off and explore again. Luckily, given that we had travelled entirely uphill on the way in, it was a breezy downhill stretch on the way back!

Mljet Island

Hiring bikes Mljet Island

Mljet Island

If you're thinking of visiting Mljet, despite my grumblings I would definitely recommend hiring bikes as the ferry times don't give you a whole lot of time to get out exploring. Also - bring food or buy pastries as the port as it's all back to nature once you head into the National Park!

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