New in 2019, our Mljet Island/ Zaton Bay tour features two paddling paradises. The weeklong tour begins with a scenic drive to Pelješac Peninsula to board the car ferry to Mljet. We stay in the tiny fishing village of Kozarica, a village without shops or restaurants and cut off from Mljet’s single main road. Home cooked meals are a highlight, served at a private terrace. Zaton Bay, AKT’s mainland kayak base, is a mere 10 km from Dubrovnik. Zaton is just far enough away to escape Dubrovnik’s tourist crowds and commercialism. The deep bay is a perfect place to kayak and SUP.
Trip Length: 8 days/7 nights: 4 nights Mljet Island/ 3 nights Zaton Bay. Days 1 & 8 are transit days.
Arrival/Departure Point: Dubrovnik
Accommodations: Island guest house rooms with private bathrooms, towels and linens, refrigerators, and A/C. Guesthouses are chosen for their character, friendly owners, home-cooked meals and easy access to the sea.
Tour Inclusions: 7 nights accommodation, kayak & snorkeling gear, instruction, guiding, airport & ferry transfers, all meals except day 6 dinner & day 7 lunch (dependent on choice of activity)
Tour Price*: 10,500 Kn / €415 / US$1600 / £1260 Includes 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
Single Supplement: additional 1600 Kn / €215 / US$245 / £190
2019 Departure Dates: Jun 1, 9 / Jul: 13, 22 / Aug 12 / Sept: 23
Mljet is the most southern of Croatia’s larger Dalmatian Islands. Dubbed “the most seductive of all the Adriatic Islands” by Lonely Planet and “Dalmatia’s most idyllic destination” by Time Out Mljet is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise- unspoiled nature at its best. The long, thin island, 37 km long yet only 3.2 km wide, is the Adriatic’s greenest, with 80% of its landmass covered in pine forest. Mljet’s 1100 inhabitants are scattered among 16 small settlements connected by a single road that runs the length of the island.
Mljet has captivated its visitors since early times. The island is mentioned in 4th century BC Greek writing. Mljet’s hillsides are dotted with fortresses and tombs from the Illyrian period as well as Roman ruins. Legend has it that Odysseus stayed for 7 years after being shipwrecked, love struck by the island’s beauty. In 1960 one third of the island was designated a national park, which put it on the tourist map. But unlike Dubrovnik, Mljet is far from overrun by tourists. Tourists who visit Mljet typically head inland to the National Park. We kayak the park’s outer seaside boundaries, coves and uninhabited islands, then devote a day to visit less-visited parts of the island.
Zaton Bay, just 10 km north of Dubrovnik, is free of Dubrovnik’s chaotic tourist scene. The 2 km deep bay has 3 small villages, a lively restaurant scene, 2 small markets, and a lovely waterfront walking promenade that encircles the entire bay. Devote one day to kayak to near-by Koločep Island, an island without roads or cars, to swim, snorkel, and hike the island’s quiet trails through olive, citrus, apple and pomegranate groves. Final day: choose your activity: kayak north to visit Trsteno’s historic and well preserved 15th century arboretum, villa and botanical gardens; SUP to lunch in protected Zaton Bay; sight-see in Dubrovnik; or hike to a cove it swing from a road and cliff jump into the sea.
Zaton Bay is a perfect destination to transition back to civilization. The deep bay enjoys calm seas and protection from Dalmatia’s characteristic coastal winds, a great place to practice kayak skills or stand up paddle boarding. The 3 three small villages in the bay, Mali (small) Zaton, Veliki (big) Zaton, and Stikovica, have roughly ten restaurants, some of the region’s best local seafood, all within easy walking distance.
Day 1: Transit day
Arrive Dubrovnik by 2:30 pm/car transfer to Prapratno for 5 pm ferry to Mljet Island/20 minute scenic drive on Mljet to seaside village of Kozarica/ check into guesthouse/home cooked dinner on private terrace overlooking the sea
Day 2: 8 km
Equipment issue & basic paddling and rescue instruction in Lopud Bay/ paddle the outer side of Lopud along limestone cliffs to Šunj beach/ lunch at a beach bar. Optional paddle to St. Andrew's Island, weather permitting, or hike to the Byzantine hilltop fort. Leave kayaks at Šunj/ walk back to town.
Day 3: 12 km
Car transfer to Polace/ paddle the northeast tip of Mljet with views of Korcula and Lastavo Islands, to Pomena, the national park headquarters. Afternoon options include bike rental or hiking in the park/ car transfer to Kozarica
Day 4: 16 km
Paddle the northeast tip of the island along towering limestone cliffs/ discover the narrow break in the cliff walls connecting the inland lakes to the open sea/ paddle past the iconic island home of a 12th century Benedictine Monastery/ car transfer to Kozarica for final dinner
Day 5: Transition Day: Mljet to Zaton
Explore Mljet’s natural wonders outside the national park/ hike to swim in Odysseus Cave/ drive the length of the island to the sand beaches of Saplanara/ 4 pm ferry to mainland/ check into Zaton Bay guesthouse/ dinner at seaside Zaton Bay restaurant
Day 6: 15 km
Walk to AKT’s Zaton Bay kayak base/ paddle into caves on Kolocep Island/ swim & snorkel in Blue Cave (weather dependent)/ hike Kolocep’s trails/ seaside lunch on the island/ return paddle to Zaton Bay/ independent dinner at one of Zaton’s 10 seaside restaurants
Day 7: Choose your activity
Kayak to Trsteno’s historic arboretum/ SUP across the bay for lunch in Stikovica/ bus to Old Town to sight-see/ farewell dinner at Zaton Bay restaurant.
Day 8: Transit day
Car transfer to the airport for departure flights.