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Mljet (Latin Melita, Italian Meleda) is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. Population 1,111 (2001).
Mljet lies south of the Pelje�ac peninsula, from which it is divided by the Mljet Channel. Its length is 23 miles; its average breadth 2 miles. It is of volcanic origin, with numerous chasms and gorges, of which the longest, the Babino Polje, connects the north and south of the island. Port Pola�e (It. Palazzo), the principal harbour in the north, is a port of call for tourist ferries. Mljet contains one hotel - The Odisej (from the Greek Odysseus) in the north-west corner of the island.
The northwestern part of the island includes an inland sea as well as a small island within it. It has been a national park since November 12, 1960.
Ancient Greeks called the island "Melita" or "honey" which over the centuries evolved to become the Slavic name, Mljet (pronounced "mill-YET").
Odysseus's cave is situated under the village of Babino Polje. The large cave is used as a harbor by local fisherman but is also the center of another famous shipwreck story. According to legend, Odysseus found his shelter in the cave after surviving a shipwreck on Mljet. According to Homer, Odysseus survived a shipwreck on his way back home from the Trojan war. He swam into the cave for shelter and there the nymph Calypso, daughter of Poseidon, waited for him. Amazed by the beauty of the nature and in love with the nymph Calipso, Odysseus stayed on the island for 7 years.
Mljet CoastlineOver 72% of the island of 388 square miles is forest. The island's geological structure consists of limestone and dolomite forming ridges, crests and slopes. A few depessions on the island of Mljet are below sea level and are known as blatine ("mud-lakes") or slatine ("salt-lakes"). During the rain seasons all blatine are filled with water and turn to brackish during dry seasons.
The climate is Mediterranean; an average air temperature in January is 48�F (9�C) and in July about 75�F (24�C).
Position of island Mljet