Despite its proximity to Split, ŠOLTA is one of southern Dalmatia’s more sleepy and understated islands, with a landscape of Mediterranean maquis and olive groves interspersed with a collection of stone-house villages and attractive harbours. Small, compact and not dramatically mountainous, it’s ideal for walking and cycling, especially once you get away from the island’s single main east–west road. Apart from a bland (and not particularly recommended) apartment complex at Nečujam, accommodation is limited to private rooms and the odd hotel. Main attractions are the picture-perfect harbour villages of Maslinica and Stomorska and the half-forgotten, kasbah-like villages of the interior.
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Spreading along both sides of a long thin inlet, MASLINICA is a blissful blend of unspoiled fishing village and chic hideaway. There’s a small but swanky yachting marina on the south side of the harbour, a Renaissance castle-cum-boutique hotel (Martinis Marchi), and not much else save for a palm-shaded huddle of stone houses and a spread of garden-shrouded holiday villas. Walk up the north side of the bay to reach a pebbly promontory known as Češka plaza (Czech Beach), a good place for bathing and a great place to watch the sun setting over nearby islets. On the south side of Maslinica’s harbour, a path leads beyond the yachting marina and round the headland towards Šešula Bay (Uvala Šešula), a beautiful S-shaped inlet popular both as a yachting anchorage and a rocky-beach bathing spot.
Šolta island produce
Šolta island produce
Šolta is an excellent place to pick up traditional Dalmatian delicatessen items, with local producers having banded together to form Šoltanski trudi (w soltanskitrudi.hr), a cooperative that sells their wares at a stall in Grohote market (at the T-junction at the centre of the village; daily 8am–noon) and a shop on Maslinica harbourfront (daily 8am–noon & 6–10pm). Honey produced by the Tvrdić family and Anka Burić’s fruit preserves are well worth picking up, and the outlets also sell Dobričić wine – an indigenous dry red that has been revived by the Kaštelanac family winery – and Olynthia olive oil. You can also buy the olive oil direct from the pressing plant in Gornje Selo (t 021 658 385, w olynthia.hr).