Friday, 4 March 2022

Beloved Croatian Mljet National Park Re-opens Doors Today

March the 4th, 2022 - The much loved Croatian Mljet National Park (NP Mljet) has opened its proverbial doors to visitors once again today! The gorgeous park, situated in what is otherwise the southernmost and easternmost of the Adriatic islands of Dalmatia, attracts countless visitors from all over the world, and with the coronavirus pandemic hopefully dying down, fingers are crossed for an excellent season.

As Morski writes, the Croatian Mljet National Park has announced that this beautiful protected island oasis has opened its doors once again for guests today (March the 4th, 2022).

The national park itself is a favourite place to visit for those spending time in both southern and central Dalmatian mainland destinations such as Dubrovnik, Split, Makarska and the smaller areas dotted between them. The park covers the western part of the island, Soline bay, Malo jezero (Small lake), Veliko jezero (Great lake) and a 500 metre-wide sea belt from the cape of Mljet which spans 54 square kilometres in total.

Enjoying the natural and cultural values of the Mljet National Park is possible at a price of just 70 kuna for adults, 35 kuna for children from 8 to 18 years of age and 50 kuna for students. Admission for children under the age of 7 is still free, and a purchased ticket also includes a boat ride on the Great lake (Veliko jezero) and free guided tours.

Now that it is once again open to visitors from all over the world, you can visit the stunning Mljet National Park from Friday to Sunday from 08:00 to 15:00, and you can buy tickets at the Information point at the Great lake. Visitors are also provided with free parking at the entrance to Vrbovica.

A visit to the island and the Mljet National Park is possible by ferry line from the port of Prapratno on Peljesac to the port of Sobra on Mljet, and the ferry timetable can be accessed by clicking here.

For more on Croatian national parks, click here.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Mljet National Park Digital Maps to Provide Visitors with More Safety

August the 30th, 2021 - Mljet National Park digital maps which have been developed in cooperation with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) are set to provide the southern Dalmatian national park's many visitors with additional safety.

As Ljubica Vuko/Novac writes, riding along a picturesque eleven-kilometre-long bike path around the lakes, sailing on solar-powered catamarans while taking a panoramic ride, hiking and mountaineering along roads and recreational trails are just some of the ways to get better acquainted with the gorgeous Mljet National Park and enjoy the natural beauty of this area. Mljet National Park is the first Croatian national park ''at sea'' and is also the oldest marine protected area in the entire Mediterranean.

In line with the aim of protecting nature and sensitive ecosystems, NP Mljet has replaced its old diesel-powered boats with three solar-powered electric boats over the past few years, which take care of all of the transport of visitors across the lakes. Their purchase was co-financed in the amount of 80 percent by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, and thanks to EU grants allocated to them for a project aimed at improving the visitor infrastructure, enriching the quality and number of tourist, educational and recreational facilities of the park.

Among other things, a lookout on the top of Montokuc was constructed, a car park on Vrbovica was created, a presentation centre was constructed, and promenades and hiking trails were set up. And that's not all, there are even more activities within this EU project.

''We also renovated the road around the lake, which was in a very poor condition. It's now an ideal 11 km long bike path,'' said Ivan Srsen. Digital solutions that facilitate work in the national park, but also provide visitors with more opportunities, are also important in improving the visitor infrastructure.

Srsen added that ticket sales have now also been fully digitised, so that it can be known how many visitors are at a specific location at any given time. ''It's important for us to know that some locations may become overloaded. We digitised the sales process a few years ago, and now we’re perfecting it by doing a visitor management study. The results of the study will show how many visitors there may be at any given time in individual locations. So, we'll regulate their numbers if necessary,'' explained the director.

Visitors to the Mljet National Park usually come in group visits, but a large number of visitors come in their own organisation, as such, they devised a new project to give visitors ideas for tours and to make it easier for them to move around.

''This year, in cooperation with HGSS, we've created several recreational routes, and created Mljet National Park digital maps that will be available on the web application, which we plan to release at the end of September. For example, when you come to Pomena, you'll have a map of the national park and you'll see a route you can go around. Here you have a QR code that you scan and by navigating on your mobile phone you follow the route you've chosen,'' said Ivan Srsen.

There is also a shorter description of the trail on the brand new Mljet National Park digital map, such as the Pomena-Polace recreational trail which is 5 km long. Making sure your phone has enough battery power is necessary, and as some parts of NP Mljet don't have a mobile signal, users will need to make sure they scan the QR codes when in areas which are covered by mobile signal.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Fishermen Find Mysterious Object in the Sea Near Mljet

The first version of the story of a mysterious object found in the sea near Mljet seemed somewhat strange, but now that new details are coming out, it seems to be completely unbelievable.

This morning, the Croatian media reported on fishermen near the southern Dalmatian island of Mljet finding a strange, large object in their fishing nets. The story was originally reported on Morski.hr's website, which described the 130 cm wide box, weighing around a hundred kilograms, which destroyed the nets in which it was caught. The site also connects this object with the very unusual path an American naval research vessel USNS Bruce Heezen took after leaving Rijeka. It was there at the Viktor Lenac shipyard, undergoing the regular maintenance, and after that... well, let's just say you have to see their path for yourself in order to believe it:

 

 Američki-brod-ruta-kod-Mljeta-1.jpg

(Screenshot from the VesselFinder also taken from the Morski.hr website)

 

The box contained some information which indicates that it was supposed to be delivered to Rijeka by DHL, and no definite identification of what exactly it was has been found.

 

And then comes the second part of the story: Darko Kunac Bigava, the fisherman who found the object, confirmed to Morski.hr that he has been contacted by the American vessel and that they've requested that he returns it to them. He refuses to do so until he is reimbursed for the damages done to his nets, and confirms that he has spoken to Croatian Coast Guard personnel who are on the American vessel. Morski.hr also confirms that the Americans know, as well as the Croatian Ministry of Defence, what the device was doing at the location, but are unable to make any comments for the media currently. An anonymous source also confirmed that it's a HIPAP device (link opens a .pdf document), used for the underwater navigation and can be used for various purposes.

 

UPDATE 1: At 12:49 Vlatka Polšak Palatinuš writes for tportal that several Americans, accompanied by the members of the Croatian Coast Guard came to his boat, paid him the amount of money he requested for the damages on his nets, and took the device with them.

 

We're certain the story of the mysterious object will continue to impress the Croatian public and the media, and we'll update it as more information becomes available.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

VIDEO: Stormy Jugo Batters Mljet National Park, Damage Inflicted

As Morski/Daina Dabelic writes on the 13th of November, 2019, hurricane-like storms and a fierce jugo wind that has been giving the Dalmatian coast an intense beating over the last few days has unfortunately knocked down a large number of trees in Mljet National Park.

The nature conservation services of NP Mljet, the Montokuc DVD and the Mljet JVP (fire departments) were engaged in trying to keep on top of and clear the devastated trees yesterday and that action has continued on into today in order to attempt to keep roads and promenades open and clear, especially in case of emergencies, the likelihood of which is of course heightened in these adverse conditions.

''Our services will have a lot of work to do in the coming days as well, given the number of trees that have been taken down, while only the trees which have fallen on the most essential areas are currently being removed.

Stormy jugo winds have also dragged in large amounts of waste from the seashore, which will all need to be rehabilitated over the coming months. The damage to the coastal walls and docks will be assessed after the withdrawal of the sea, as will the ecological dam in the Soline channel, which protects Mljet's lakes from the pollution of waste being dragged in from out at sea.

Major damage to the vessels which belong to this Mljet-based institution and the island's inhabitants has been prevented by great efforts and the 24-hour on-call duty shift from Mljet's park ranger and the technical service.

''We're afraid that such storms, and as such necessary interventions like these will become more and more frequent as a consequence of climate change that we're now experiencing, and each of us should think about how we can help to try to ensure a better tomorrow together,'' they say from the beloved Mljet National Park.

Watch the video of the intense storms here:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Happy Birthday Mljet! Beloved National Park Celebrates 59th Birthday

As Morski writes on the 11th of November, 2019, the beautiful Mljet National Park, Croatia's first protected marine area celebrates its 59th birthday today.

NP Mljet, located not too far from Dubrovnik in southern Dalmatia, was founded on November the 11th, 1960, and its special status of protection can be greatly contributed to the distinguished Croatian scientist and academic Branimir Gušić.

Mljet National Park covers almost 5,300 hectares, including a sea belt 500 metres from the coast, as well as numerous islets and rocks. This much loved national park contains an array of interesting areas and boasts a unique and truly stunning land (and sea) scape. With its submerged bays, the Small (Malo jezero) and Great (Veliko jezero) lakes, are undoubtedly among the most prominent and heavily frequented locations in this area and an important geomorphological and oceanographic phenomenon.

The entire surface of the national park is extremely rich in life, and the importance of its protection has been evidenced repeatedly with the presence of numerous endemic and endangered species. The island also offers an abundance of numerous archeological sites and ancestral heritage, the remnants of the old Roman palace in Polače, and a benedictine monastery situated in one of the most gorgeous locations in Croatia and the immediate region - the islet of St. Mary (Sv. Marija) in the Great lake.

The celebration of the park's 59th birthday initially began back in October with the Mljet Outdoor Festival and Open Doors Day, as well as with the presentation of autochthonous vine varieties that grow on Mljet and the opening of an exhibition on caves on Mljet.

To continue marking the birthday of this Dalmatian national park, an exhibition of underwater photographs of the island of Mljet and a lecture titled "Secrets of the Underwater of the Island of Mljet" are planned at the S. S. Kranjčević Library in Zagreb on Monday the 25th of November, 2019, at 18:30.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

More Than 200 Visitors to Open Day at Mljet National Park

As Morski writes on the 27th of October, 2019, on the occasion of marking its 59th birthday and the end of the traditional summer tourist season, on Saturday the 26th of October, the gorgeous Mljet National Park marked its Open Day.

For the last time this year, the Eclipse Wing catamaran sailed into the port of Pomena on the island of Mljet, which definitely got into the good books of Mljet's residents this year after having provided free tickets to the islanders. In addition to the neighbouring islanders from Korčula and Hvar, a little sightseeing was also undertaken by a few residents of Dubrovnik-Neretva County over on the mainland, who came by ferry from Prapratno-Sobra.

On this occasion, all visitors to this incredible national park, of which there were well over 200, were given a free tour of the oldest marine protected area. Accompanied by experienced and learned guides who work at Mljet National Park, the visitors toured the main attractions of the park, the Great Lake and the Small Lake, and were then transported to the island of St. Mary which is home to a fascinating Benedictine monastery from the twelfth century.

A group of mountaineers from Korčula also set out on a hiking trail to Montokuc, a beautiful vantage point overlooking Mljet's stunning lakes.

Visitors who were eager for some recreation spent their time cycling around the salt lakes and other numerous picturesque trails at a great price for the rent of bikes. Some people stayed to swim in the Small Lake because the calm but bright autumn weather, with rays that still pack some heat down in southern Dalmatia, was ideal for all kinds of activities. The youngest participant at the event was a one and a half month old baby.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Mljet Outdoor Festival Attracts Active Holiday Lovers to Emerald Island

Last weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, October the 19th and the 20th, the very first Mljet Outdoor Festival was held at the beautiful Mljet National Park, under the organisation of the local Deša Association, NP Mljet itself and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS).

As Morski/Lucija Radulj writes on the 21st of October, 2019, during the two days of their stay on Mljet, numerous visitors enjoyed free guided tours of the national park, cycling, hiking and walking. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to participate in yoga classes and exercises of functional strength and movement, and in addition, thanks to the nurses from the Dubrovnik Health Centre, they were able to check their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. On top of that, the first 100 registered participants also had free transportation and accommodation at the Odyssey Hotel in Pomena.

As part of the event, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service presented its equipment, activities and rescue operations, while its staff took care of the safety of all participants.

In addition, all those who visited Pomena could join the gastronomic workshop organised by Deša Association and find out how to prepare various local delights, and at the Cancer League of Korčula-Pelješac-Lastovo-Mljet's stand, they could taste yet more local desserts and, with a symbolic donation, help the praiseworthy work of that particular association.

Products were presented to the visitors by local family farms - OPG Bašica, Dabelić, Hajdić and a local school. The participants were also presented two new promotional films about the island of Mljet and the activities of the Public Institution "National Park Mljet", which were realised through an important project (MLJET – ODISE(J)A MEDITERRANEA).

The fun part of the island's first outdoor festival was taken care of by the Kopito group, who kept the participants active until long into the night after a free fisherman's dinner.

A two-day active gathering of outdoor enthusiasts was held as part of the aforementioned project which focuses on improving the sustainable management, tourism valorisation and interpretation of natural heritage in Mljet, co-financed by the European Union (EU).

The project aims to optimise visits to the national park, raise awareness of the natural and cultural values ​​of that particular protected area, and contribute to the economic well-being of the local community and the sustainable development of the island of Mljet by improving the visitor system, visitor infrastructure and educational programs on the island.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

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