8 secret islands of Croatia
Location: A silent forest lost in the Dalmatia region
Off the radar rating: 3/5
The last stop before Italy, Mljet is a verdant national park so quiet that a group of monks still call the island home. Captain Ryan Fitzgerald, of 50 metre Liberty, which charters through Northrop & Johnson, knows it well. “Every inlet has so many little places where you can tie up stern-to and feel like you are actually in the forest,” says Fitzgerald. The prohibition on toys is another plus. “The speed limit and Jet Ski ban by park authorities help to keep it feeling totally natural,” he adds.
For activity, Fitzgerald recommends the bike trails through Mljet’s 98.4 square kilometre interior. You can also visit the picturesque lake that surrounds the Santa Maria monastery or the egg-shaped Odysseus Cave. On the island’s southern tip, the sands of Saplunara glow gold. Visit seafood eatery Konoba Stermasi and indulge in crab tartare and amberjack sashimi, then explore the sandy-bottomed lagoon and the two swim-to islands offshore.