Friluftsfrämjandet in Sundsvall on kayak around the Island of Mljet September 10-16,
2016 with Adria Adventure
Read the story by clicking at this link…Kayak Mljet 10-16 sept 2016 (1)
We were ten paddlers from Sundsvall in Sweden that went to Dubrovnik for a one week
kayak tour to the island of Mljet organised by Adria Adventure. After arriving to Dubrovnik
eight of us were picked up at the airport by Adria Adventure for the trip to the Catamaran at
the harbor. Two arrived earlier and was already waiting at the dock. The weather ten days
before we arrived has been cloudy with some rain but we arrived in sunshine. At the harbour
two representatives from Adria Adventure met us and we had time to buy some food before
we jumped onto the Catamaran that took us to Pomena in the west of Mljet.
Our tour guide for the week Josip met us in Pomena harbour and drove us to the apartments
we shall live in for the coming week. We had all together four apartments in the same
building. The apartments were comfortable and had all the things we needed including air
conditioning. We were ambitious the first two mornings and started with some 7 minute
exercise on the terrace belonging to the apartments. Breakfast was served at nine o’clock at
the restaurant Ogigija so we had time. After breakfast on Sunday September 11 two
minivans took us from Polače in the east to Sapulnara in the west part of Mljet. Here, we will
pick up the kayaks and start paddling on the north side of the island. The kayaks were in
good condition, most of them had rudders. Aquabound paddles and sprayskirts made of
Our tour guide Josip was friendly, helpful and made a good planning of the tour. After
adjusting the kayaks to suit everybody we start paddling to the small bay or lagoon in the
very east of Mljet. We had a short stop there while our tour guide, Josip, informed us about
security and signals we should use on the sea. After the short break and safety instructions
we paddled to Prozurska Luka where we had a late lunch where two of us had black risotto.
Black because the dish gets it colour from the ink of an octopus. Like most restaurants on
Mljet it has a beautiful ocean view.
All of us together before taking off for the first day in Saplunari in the east of Mljet.
We were rather tired when we were driven by the the minivans back to Polače. Back at the
hotel we got together for an evening for non-alcohol beer and cheese on the terrace
belonging to one of the apartments.
On Monday September 12 we started 8 o’clock by seven minutes aerobics led by Karin
followed by a swim in the ocean. At nine o’clock we had breakfast as usual at the restaurant
Ogigija where we now knew that the wasps were friendly. We gave them honey and most of
them went to the small package of honey. A few hang around the table but during the week
none of us were stung. There was plenty of time for breakfast so there was no rush before
we were driven to Prožura where we had left the kayaks the day before. We paddled during
Monday from Prozurska Luka to Kozarica. We stopped for lunch at Sobra about half the
way to Kozarica. The coast consist of mainly cliffs and there are few possibilities to go
ashore. For lunch some of us had picnic either bought on the lunch stop or bought in the
morning. Some preferred restaurants and it was nice that we had the possibility to choose.
After reaching Kozarica, where we left the kayaks, we were transported
back to Polače for a dinner at Ogigija.
Maria looking cool while paddling.
On Tuesday September 13 Josip met up at 7 o’clock in the morning and we took a hike to a
viewpoint Montekuc with a spectacular view of the lagoon Veliko Jezero that is connected to
a small lake M. Jezero. After the walk we were hungry when we reach the restaurant for
breakfast. Paddling on Wednesday went smooth as all other days and we paddled from
Kozarica to Pomena and stopped for lunch at Polače. Pomena is a small city hosting many
tourists and tourist boats. Some of the boats were made of wood and well kept. Pop music
streamed from the boats with mainly young people that could be heard from a long distance.
A hike to the top of the mountain Montekuc. From left to right Kristina, Maria, Janne,
Örjan, Karin, Bo, Heidi and Greger.
A stop for a picture from left to right: Greger, Janne, Heidi, Örjan, Karin, Bo, Maria,
Gustav, Åke and Karin.
A visit to Odysseus cave early in the morning with our guide Josip to the left and Åke
to the right.
A swim into the cave of Odysseus.
We were also early birds on Wednesday morning on September 14 as Josip had planned a
trip to the cave of Odysseys. After roughly 20 minutes of driving and 20 minutes of walking
we came to this peaceful place. Perhaps, it is only peaceful in the morning because later in
the day more tourists might come. We only met a couple who said they have dived into the
cave and could hear the music of Calypso. After taking a swim into the cave we were back to
breakfast at nine o’clock. The sun was brighter than ever before this day and we paddled
from Pomena to Pristaniste which is located far in into the lagoon. We had lunch in Soline
which is located close to the entrance of the lagoon and is at the very west of the island. We
continued after lunch to the island into the lagoon and passed by the island with an old
monastery, where we made a stop to look around.
On the last paddling day, Thursday September 15, we had some winds coming from
southwest so instead of paddling to Ropa on the outside of the island we paddled a short
distance on the outside to feel the waves and then back into the lagoon and all the way into
the lake M. Jezero which is connected to the lagoon through a small channel with a bridge
on top of it. It was a nice tour and since this area is popular among tourists we saw quite
many of them. In the afternoon we took a bicycle tour around the National park before we
head back to the apartment where we stayed at in Polače. The Trek bicycles had perhaps
27 gears and extremely good breaks. The number of gears and the good brakes were handy
because the scenic roads were bumpy and hilly.
Janne took this image of Bo on a bicycle tour on the west side of Mljet on Friday
On Friday September 16, eight out of ten people in the group travelled back to Dubrovnik in
order to have some sight seeing in the old town. Bo and Janne had been there before so we
asked our guide Josip if he could rent bicycles for us which he kindly did. He also drove us to
Maronoviči between Sobra and Saplunara were we started our bicycle trip on a track that
follows the coastline. We followed that track up and down about 15 km east until we reached
Odysseus cave where we took a cooling swim in the sea. We were there around noon
together with a bunch of other tourists, so it was not as peaceful as the first time when we
were there in the morning. A short walk and ride from Odysseus cave to the road and Babino
Polje were the last activity we did on the island. We had agreed with our guide Josip that he
would come by car and pick us up there. Back in Polače we had some lunch and then Josip
invited us for a beer while waiting for the ferry and listening to some musicians playing and
singing in the bar on the other side of the street. We paddled totally 74 km, hiked 10 km and
bicycled 5 km for most of us and 20 km for two of us. We were all satisfied with the trip and
how it was organised by Adria Adventure. We all agree upon that it is difficult to find any
better vacation than this.
The tour we paddled from Sunday to Wednesday September 11 to 14.
Sandy beaches are always favorite spots to find on our family kayaking trip.
Such as Sunj beach, on the south side of Lopud Island. We kayak there on the first day, so it is the first arrival at a beach, and it is the biggest sandy beach in this area. We come around a corner and suddenly you see it, just keep paddling towards it for three or four minutes and then we land directly on the sandy beach with the kayak. Kids love that feeling of landing on a sandy beach, and it is a shallow bay, so you can play there for ages.
That is always interesting for them, and they love to run around the fishermen, watching them preparing their nets for the next day, or bringing in their fish. And of course, Croatians are always very friendly with children.
They were Canadian, and they had learned so many things along their travels all around the globe for six years, taking their kids to different schools and so on. That was really amazing. They hadn’t kayaked before, so they found our trip and chose to spend one week with us. Even after six years, they enjoyed this new experience. They liked the islands, the trip, and particularly Lopud Island.
She kayaked in a double kayak with one of her parents and everything was really great. It wasn’t the first time she had been kayaking, they had done it before, but it all went really well.
As well as the sea and the smell of the pine trees, on Kolocep Island you can smell the fish being cooked on a restaurant’s barbecue, with rosemary too, as you arrive paddling into the bay. A lot of food is cooked outdoors here, so that is a common smell.
The kids find this fantastic. The highlight of our trip is paddling out to the caves actually. There is a small hole to get in there, so you don’t need to dive under the water to get in. But when you enter into the cave, the colours inside are really amazing. On the bottom there is sand, so if you come at the right moment, and the sand is still on the good side, the water reflects on the sand under the water, and in the cave everything is bright, and the water is all green and blue and turquoise colours. They are lovely and light inside, and not scary at all. But really beautiful.
Maybe some sweets or something like that for when they are out paddling. Kids always need something, and also for energy. They should bring something for me too, of course, although I love chocolate!
This is a good combination, with the children in front and the parents behind, so that they can look and take care of the children. They don’t ever seem to fight with their parents when they are out kayaking. I think it makes them calm on the water. Because usually if you want to go left, they want to go right, but when they have a guide, they know that they have to follow the same direction. And they know that they need to listen to me!
It is a very popular dessert. They prepare the chocolate in a pot, and then they burn the surface and add one cup of vanilla ice cream on top. So it is really nice. We call it Chocolate Soufflé in Croatian too, we use the international word, and it is a big favorite with families.
They jump of the docks in small bays, and we take lots of breaks for swimming and snorkeling, and so this makes it lots of fun for them. We have snorkels for everyone which we hand out on the first day to anyone who wants to snorkel, along with their dry bags.
I can usually tell if a child is not having so much fun, so I suggest a boat ride, I give them a captain’s hat so that they feel like the captain, and so they are kept entertained in a different way, and still have fun. It is quite an active holiday, but it is a good combination, because they are not only kayaking but also going in a speedboat, on a driving trip, and not paddling all day every day.
But they usually appear early in the morning, around 7am, so you need to keep an eye out on the sea when you are having breakfast. And kids love that when they see them.
At every moment, we have a guide on Lopud Island who can get to us in five minutes on any of the other islands. We have phone signals, as we don’t go far, and so they can be with us very quickly to get us back if there is a problem.
It is really great to see families bonding on the water, and spending time together in this way. That is what I also hope for my future, and do the same with my kids, in a family on a kayak trip like that. Especially when I see how happy they are on the water together. And that makes me really happy and makes me keep going with this job. That is really the soul of this job, I think. I am just here to give them the best of Croatia and that’s all.
It is a normal map, with all the nautical things that need to be on there, and we make lines where they will travel during that week, and then they like to keep these as souvenirs. On the back of the map, they put contact details of other guests and signatures and so on, so they all love this as a souvenir of their kayaking trip.
But personally, for white water river kayaking, I think Slovenia is amazing. The river Sohja is really really nice. There are lots of rivers, but Soja is great. It is an alpine river with sand on the bottom, and so it is really really clear. The colour is amazing. The guides are good and everything is great. I go there every year in March when the snows have melted and the white water is great. But also in summer, with the kids, it would be nice. It isn’t so far from Croatia, so you could go there as well as Croatia.