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The Island of Ulysses

Have you heard about Ulysses, the great mythical Greek hero and king of Ithaca? According to one of many legends, Odysseus was shipwrecked on the island of Mljet and lured by the nymph Calypso into a cave where he became her hostage. 

Today, the island of Mljet is forested paradise and national park with marvelous sea lakes. Famous for its stories and legends, the Island of Mljet is the largest island of the Dubrovnik Archipelago. It is often called the 'green island' because of its lush vegetation. Its beauty consists of beautiful beaches that create an amazing contrast with steep rocks, caves and cliffs.

The western part of the island was proclaimed the first national park in the Adriatic in 1960. Because of its natural features and cultural-historic monuments, the park has been designated an area of special purpose and protected original eco-system of the Adriatic coast.

Walking across Mljet you will experience this unique environment with its cliffs, rocks, bays, scattered islets and unique geological system of salt lakes. These lakes were freshwater lakes from 10,000 years ago until the beginning of Christian era. To experience their beauty, people swim and sail across them in gondolas. This way, you can really see the inner beauty of the island. Seeing all this makes you feel like you are walking across heaven on earth.

Time magazine once named Mljet one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world, and legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau loved it here.

The natural secrets of both lakes have attracted many scientists over the years, as well as innumerable nature lovers seeking pristine surroundings.  In the middle of the Great Lake, a small isle, called St. Mary, is home to an ancient Benedictine monastery and a small church dating to the 12th century.

The small island bestows an exceptional aesthetic image to all of Mljet and is a favorite tourist destination. Beautiful rich forest surrounds the lakes and fills the park, featuring small forest roads and discrete pathways, ideal for hiking and bicycle rides. The woods gently descend all the way to the surface of the crystal clear lakes, giving hikers, bikers and swimmers refreshing shade, and enhancing the tranquil feeling which Mljet radiates. 

Whatever way you choose to go, you will be glad you visited The Green Island. It has something for everyone, beautiful walking paths and bicycle tracks, hundreds of hidden swimming spots and beaches including Saplunara beach and many more attractions like the unique Ulysses Cave.

Read more in ALH Times (page30): 

 

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