Along the Mljet‘s 135 km long coastline numerous coves, bays and stretches of coast form a variety of beaches and swimming spots. Inside the island, on its two salted lakes, there are also some great places to swim and sunbathe. Beaches and swimming spots on Mljet are mostly pebbly and rocky with the exception of two sandy beaches situated on the southeastern tip of the island.
Situated just 13.5 nautical miles west of Dubrovnik, Mljet is the island that contains one of the Croatian national parks – Mljet National Park (info). It covers the area of about 54 square km of the whole western bit of the island. The Park also includes two salted lakes – Veliko and Malo Jezero. The population of the island is about 1100 permanent inhabitants. Initially settled by Greeks and Romans, in 1410 the island becomes part of Ragusa, the Dubrovnik’s republic. After the brief Napoleon rule at the beginning of the 19th century, the Austro Hungarian empire continued to rule the island for a number of years. The island became part of the Croatian territory at the end of the WW1.
Here is a list of my top 5 favourite Mljet beaches:
This sandy beach (above and below photo) is situated at the southeastern tip of the island, positioned in the deep bay facing south. Sunny for most of the day, a beach is an ideal place for children and families. Due to its location away from the National park, the bay is peaceful for most of the tourist season. The scenery and views are breathtaking. Several great accommodations options are available in the bay itself, the best one is definitely the Pine Tree Boutique Apartments. Facilities on the beach include a couple of restaurants, beach bar, beach rental shop and a small grocery store with basic supplies. Popular among passing by sailors, the bay is also easily reachable by car or bus from the main island’s ports – Sobra, Pomena and Polace. (GPS Location 42°41’59.3″N 17°44’24.4″E)
Another sandy bay on the island, in the near vicinity of Saplunara. A wonderfully unspoilt beach, hidden from the crowd, Blaca Limuni is a great place for naturists, nudists and nature lovers. Just a 15 minutes easy walk from Saplunara, virtually around the corner (or horn) lays this isolated bay completely wild and unspoiled. Waters here are very shallow so passing by sailors rarely stops here, making this swimming place quite for the most of the time.
Dense pine trees surround the beach offering plenty of shade on hot and sunny days. The facilities here are non-existent, you would have to go back to Saplunara to get any supplies so make sure you take all you need with you in advance. There is no public transport to here, it is accessible by foot, mountain bike or boat only. Tarmac road is also used by cars and motorbikes. (GPS Location:42°41’28.0″N 17°44’25.5″E)
One of the most popular pebbly beaches on the island, Sutmiholjska is situated in the sheltered bay on the southern coast. Sunny all day long, the beach is popular among families with the small children and non-swimmers. There are a couple of old cottages in the bay, right at the beach, and a few larger ones, offering some basic accommodation. This beach tends to get crowded in the high season, although it is also outside the National park but much closer to it than Saplunara.
The only public transport from island’s main ports goes as far as Babino polje which is about 2.8 km away from the bay. The distance is walkable if the weather is not too warm. There are some scattered facilities on the beach, however, on a couple of the occasions when I was there they were closed. Definitely, a nice swimming spot if you are after swimming in the sheltered bay. (GPS Location: 42°44’30.6″N 17°29’57.3″E)
Sveta Marija islet @ Veliko Jezero:
Islet of Sveta Marija, located in the Veliko Jezero lake is probably my favourite swimming as well as snorkeling spot on the island, especially if I visit the island just for a day. Situated in the very heart of the National Park (map), the islet is easily reachable by small electric powered boat running up and down between the main entrance to the park and islet.
The best place to swim here is on the northern part of the islet’s coast, away from the restaurant and tourist crowd visiting the island’s Monastery. The coast here is rocky with some gentle slopes into the sea making entry easy for swimming or snorkelling.
The views across the waters to the hills are stunning while underwater world here is abundant in small fish schools. Some tall pine trees offer a shade here all day, particularly in the afternoons, so this spot is great for a hot summer afternoon. As a restaurant/beach bar is just around the corner, food and refreshing drinks are readily available. My favourite choice is pancakes with ice-cream. (GPS Location: 42°46’09.8″N 17°21’36.5″E)
Mali Most @ Malo Jezero:
This swimming spot is a fun place – just lay down on the surface of the water and let yourself float all the way from Small Lake (Malo Jezero) to the Large Lake (Veliko Jezero) passing under a small bridge (Mali Most). As water is continuously circulating between two lakes it forms a fairly strong current right at the spot where two lakes are connected.
If you have an inflatable mattress or any kind of inflatable beach toys or accessories, this is the best place to enjoy the ride. Some people like to kayak here, just for fun too.
Situated in the very heart of the National Park, this spot gets very crowded in the high season as absolutely everyone, including adults and children, want to experience this floating fun. This is not the place to spend all day on the beach, this is the place where you get into the water, float a couple of times down the current and get out to do something else in the area.(GPS Location: 42°46’59.2″N 17°21’03.2″E)
Map of Mljet Beaches:
See Mljet location on a large map
Getting to Mljet:
The island is conveniently connected all year round by daily car ferry from Prapratno on Peljesac peninsula (which is on Croatian mainland). Foot passenger ferry from Dubrovnik also serves once a day in all seasons. The fast catamaran services from Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Brac and Split are running from April to October. In July and August, it is also connected two times a week by fast catamaran ferry from Lastovo. Check croatiaferries.com website for schedules and details. Organised private tours from Dubrovnik, Korcula and Hvar are also available – check here