MLJET - Most Attractive and Shiniest Pearl of the Mediterranean
Mljet, the eight-largest and the most forested island in the Adriatic Sea just off the coast of the Pelješac peninsula is, in fact, the legendary island Ogygia. Homer’s Book 5 describes it as the island where Odyssey wrecks his ship and hopelessly falls under the charm of nymph Calypso for next 7 years.
“…On Ogygia, Calypso, aware that she must not cross Zeus, begrudgingly agrees to follow Hermes’ directions. She provides a raft and supplies for Odysseus but no escort…”
– From Cliffnotes, Odyssey.
It gets even better.
In year 61 AD, St. Paul the Apostle went through the similar ordeals on Mljet when his ship most likely hit that same hidden underwater rock. The Bible vividly describes the event in the New Testament, The Acts of the Apostles, ch. 27 and 28.
Where exactly did both Odyssey and St. Paul wreck their ships on Mljet?
There is this magical place on the south side of the island that attracts photographers and artists from all over the world. It’s called the Odyssey’s Pit because, from the mainland, it does look like a deep pit in rocks. Cave’s ceiling simply collapsed at one point of time, leaving a wide opening.
The access to the Odyssey’s Pit or Cave is a naturally made, 20-meter long and just 1.5-meter high tunnel from the open sea.
Sunrays never penetrate deep into the cave because of the high cliffs. However, when on its peak, around noon, Sun does produce a unique spectrum of colors in the sea at the bottom of the pit. Those who want to see one of the greatest natural phenomena never miss visiting the Odyssey’s Cave.
In front of the access tunnel, there is this treacherous rock formation.
It’s dangerous because it is hidden under the sea during high tide and strong south wind. As such, it represents a danger to seamen who are not familiar with the area. Odyssey and St. Paul, new to these waters, simply didn’t see it.
But there is much more to Mljet than these two legendary stories.
Mljet has the rich architectural heritage that takes a breath away
There’s only a small number of islands worldwide that house large, almost intact Roman palaces. Mljet has one. And it’s open for explorations.
A slow stroll through the yard and in-house corridors bring you back in time. You can almost hear the ancient Romans discussing political issues or gossiping about someone.
From Stone Age to modern days, each group of settlers left something uniquely theirs that endured through the time. Thanks to that, we can get a glimpse into the lives of those who were living on this beautiful island a long time ago.
On Mljet, you will enjoy the same delicacies of Roman plebeians
Fresh seafood makes up 90% of the islanders’ diet. A traditional way of cooking, that’s been passing from one generation to the next, guarantees a unique gastro experience. Open fire and olive oil is all that your host needs to prep you the healthiest dinner.
Thanks to the abundance of fish and seashells, the islanders have a variety of food storing methods that result in unlikely tastes. Salty, dry fish with that inevitable taste of smoke is a great appetizer while you are waiting for the main course of the day. For a brunch, don’t hesitate to grab a bite of fish preserved in a way similar to today’s canning but in the much healthier, almost paleo way.
But don’t think for a second that your diet will be strictly seafood. Goat cheese and a different game are also on a menu. Be it on the roast or cooked in some other way, you will definitely ask for more.
All that delicious food may cause some specific weight problems if you catch our drift.
Mljet is also known for its active-lazy vacation
Back in 2012, local Croatian hikers and wildlife enthusiasts opened a circular hiking track that allows a unique experience of Nature Park Mljet that covers approx. 2/3 of the entire island.
There’s also a network of cycling tracks for those who enjoy the nature on mountain bikes.
On the other hand, if you are looking to explore numerous ancient shipwrecks and amphorae that’s been shipping spices and finest wine across the Mediterranean, you should be more than exciting about Mljet. It was the known harbor on the main trading route in Adriatic. You can assume the number of underwater sites you can explore.
And when you want to take a rest under the warm Sun, just head to one of the Top 5 Beaches in Croatia, Saplunara.
If you choose Mljet for your vacation destination, it will turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve made lately. Every second on that island brings something new and exciting. Even to us who are more frequent visitors.
See you on Mljet!
Your CTC Team, I.K.