Mljet National Park
Mljet National Park information
Kiosks in Pomena and Polače both sell admission tickets to the national park. From both villages you can walk or cycle (cars are forbidden) to Malo Jezero (Little Lake) and Veliko Jezero (Big Lake). In the middle of Veliko Jezero is an islet with a Benedictine monastery , incorporating St Mary's Church (Crkva Svete Marije). A boat leaves for the island regularly from Mali Most, about 1.5km from Pomena (the trip is included in the park fee).
The monastery was originally built in the 12th century but has been rebuilt several times, adding Renaissance and baroque features to the Romanesque structure. In addition to building the monastery, the Benedictine monks deepened and widened the channel connecting the two lakes, taking advantage of the tidal surge to build a mill at the entrance to Veliko Jezero. The monastery was abandoned in 1869 and the mill housed the island's forest-management offices until 1941. It was then converted into a hotel, which was trashed during the 1990s war. Now it contains an atmospheric restaurant.
Veliko Jezero is connected to the sea by the Soline Canal, which makes the lakes subject to tidal flows. There’s no bridge over the canal, so it's not possible to walk right around the larger lake. If you decide to swim it, keep in mind that the current can be strong.