On the southern side of the island Mljet, in Babino Polje.
|Turistička Zajednica Općine Mljet, Zabrježe 2, 20225 Babino Polje, Tel: +385-20-746025, Tel: +385-20-744186, Fax. +385-20-746-022. E-mail:
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Odisejeva Špilja (Odysseus Cave) is a karst cave with a connection to the sea. It has two entrances, one at sea level, and a pothole or collapse doline higher up the hill. Small boats use the cave as harbour, especially tourist boats visit the cave. When the sun shines almost vertical around noon, the sun beams strike the water in the cave which starts to glow blue.
The following legend is mostly based on the fact, that right in front of the cave, 2 km away, there is a cliff in the sea called Ogiran. It normally forms a small rocky island, but during the high tides and strong southern winds, the cliff is completely covered by the waves. As it is almost invisible then, it always represented a huge danger for ships.
Odysseus was shipwrecked on the Ogiran cliff and swam to a cave, where he took refuge. The island was ruled by the nymph Calypso, and Odysseus succumbed to her charms as well as the beauty of her island. He was remaining "captured" on the island for seven years, when he was released by order of the gods.
The locals believe, that Homer in the Odyssey refers to Mljet when he describes the ancient Ogygia. The reason is that he states that olive groves and vineyards are right next to the site of the shipwreck. Okay, that's probably the case for any island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The cave is reached on the main road of the island. On the western end of the village Babino Polje, a single lane gravel road leads to a parking lot. From here a footpath descends in serpentines to the sea. There is a footpath along the rim of the doline, but entering the cave is possible ony from the sea. It seems the spot is quite popular, there is even a bar named Kalypso bar.