Polace (Mljet)

Polace is the main hub for yachts entering the stunning Mljet National Park on the northern end of Mljet Island. It is a fantastically well sheltered bay (the best on the island) and is utterly charming with is tiny village and heavily treed backdrop. Polace also comes complete with the ruins of an ancient roman palace (5th century); hence the name Polace. It is no wonder it is so popular with flotillas and bareboat charterers.

Polace: The town

Polace: The town

Polace has the option of town quay Med style mooring with lazy lines, restaurant quays with lazy lines or anchoring. Some buoys are also dotted about but it is hard to define what belonged to whom.

No matter which option you choose you will still have to pay the park entrance fee (see below). The town quay has power and water and obviously comes at a cost.

Provisioning here is surprisingly good. The two shops have a wonderful variety of foodstuffs and I love their decision not to “mark up” their prices too much. Many super yachts anchor in the bay and resupply here so that tells you something about calibre and cost! There are also a couple of good bakeries. There is supposed to be an ATM/cash machine in Polace but I didn’t find it. However, there is one located in Pomena if you run short of money.

Mljet National Park and Polace

The park and Polace are a must see for any yacht charter in the area. The north western end of Mljet was made into a national park in 1960 and consists of over 5000ha of Aleppo pine and holm oak forest. Within its boundaries lie two salt water lakes (Veliko/Large and Malo/Small Jezero/Lake). The island of St Marija, located in Veliko Jezero, is home to a very picturesque 12 century Benedictine monastery which can reached by trip boat or kayak. It is only a 40 minute easy stroll from Polace to the trip boat landing stage or you can take the small mini bus.

The cost of the bus is included in the price of your park admission ticket – what a bonus! The trip boat may or may not be included in the park ticket (it did when we were there in August 2015) but either way it only amounts to about 20 kuna and is well worth it. If you want to, you can also rent bikes and traverse the island’s many cycling and walking trails or access the trip boats that way. The boat trips take you out to the monastery and from there you can either go back to the same point or take the next boat to Malo Jezero and walk back from there after taking a dip.

Mljet National Park represents some of the best value entertainment in the whole of southern Dalmatia. Admission tickets to Mljet National Park cost only 80 kuna per person per day (2015). You are expected to buy your ticket at the tourist office or the kiosk located by the palace ruin.  National Park staff do come out to yachts anchored to check tickets, as do staff in the park at various points along trails. A ticket can last up to 7 days for the same price as one so if you want to stay longer than one night either in Polace or Pomena, make sure you indicate this when purchasing it otherwise you might be stung for a subsequent nights. One ticket covers both Pomena and Polace.

For the more energetic I would recommend a hike up to Montokuc; a peak located above the Soline Canal (Solinski Kanal) that links the Veliko and Malo Jerezo to the sea. Most of the walk is in the shade and the amazing views from the top are worth twice any sweat lost. A round trip takes about 2 hours depending on fitness level and route taken.

If that just whets your appetite for the park you could always give the MPO (Mljetska Planinarska Obilanznica/Mljet Hiking Trail) a go. The well marked route is 43 km long and runs over various peaks from Pomena to Sobra.

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