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 reasons: • 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. • The 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 for centuries. • 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 nature. • 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. • Polače site, a cultural and historic complex consisting of the remains of a Roman Palace with fortifications and ancient Christian basilica nesting in a sheltered bay. • 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.