Mljet is Rather Crappish

I’m writing this from Korčula at the moment, which is a lovely island, just a stone’s toss off the Croatian coast. I love it here. It’s very quiet even though it has a rather strong tourist population. I’m not sure where they go, but unlike Dubrovnik, it’s like paradise here.
Of course, this comes at the cost of having seen another island called Mljet right before this. The experience was nothing shot of utter craptasticness. For those who know me, you know that I love Croatia. I will speak endlessly about how great the country is. Mljet has changed that to some degree as I’ve found the first place that I really hate. The beaches really aren’t that great there and there’s not much to do except waste money. The landscape isn’t even that nice and there’s no freaking winemaking!
Tour books write a bit about the national park that is on the island. It features a working monastery called Sveta Marija. It’s okay, but it’s not worth the 90 kuna (about 16 USD) entrance fee, because that’s really all there is to see in the park. You go out to the island, wander around for 15 minutes, then you wait for an hour to go back to shore. Then there are two main towns on that end of the park: Polače and Pomena. There is really nothing worth visiting on either of these villages of less than 50 people. Then there is Sobra in the middle of the island that’s even smaller. There are some other towns on the island, but in total 1,000 people live in a place that is 40km long and 3km wide. In other words, it’s pretty barren. There is no Starbucks, and not even in Irish Pub, which will put the level of tourism in perspective for you. This is great if that’s what you want, you have your own transportation, your own gas (there are no gas stations), and you feel like wasting a lot of money getting around. I was not in any of these camps.
You see, there are three ferry lines that go to Mljet: Jadrolinija to Sobra, Atlantagent to Sobra and Polače, and then Atlas to Pomena. The only place you’d really want to go is Pomena since it has more flats to rent, a hotel, and is closest to the park. The big catch is that there are absolutely no connections between these three towns. There are no buses and there are no local ferries. This leaves you renting a bike to make 4.5km trip from Pomena to Polače, or renting an old car from Mini Brum or others to put around the island. None of these are good options and all will cost you a bit.
Ultimately, there should just be one port to make it easier to get around and also, it would be nice if the damned tourist offices in any of the towns gave enough of a damn to tell you information about another town. That’s what ultimately screwed us because no one could tell us anything. They didn’t care and so we got the shaft and parted with a good deal of money in less than one day to get around this island.
The moral of it all is that if you really, really want to visit Mljet, do so on an organized day tour. If you want to spend longer and enjoy the vast emptiness of it, take a car with a full tank of gas. Otherwise, don’t waste your time. Go in to southern Bosnia if you want a better day trip from Dubrovnik.
Mljet is Rather Crappish