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Mljet National Park, Croatia

Open for 12 hours a day in peak seasons, Mljet National Park is enormous and covers the entire north-west part of Mljet Island. The park borders Veliko and Malo Jezero (Large and Small Lake) two saltwater lakes, which stretch for over 4 kilometres.

The Large Lake is also home to St Mary’s Island, a small island situated in the middle of the lake. Tourists love to take a boat ride, starting from the Small Lake so they can wander around this island, which is home to the former Benedictine Monastery. The monastery dates back to the 12th century and is now a restaurant.

Visitors also love to go swimming and sunbathing in the park; the lakes’ waters are much warmer than those on the seashores of the island, meaning you can swim safely all year round. You can also hike up to 200m in the hills of the park, which offer spectacular views of the sea and surrounding countryside.