Island Šolta, full of nature

Departing from Split on the 9.15am ferry to Island Šolta, my Canadian Croatian friend Susie Vucek and I checked out the map of the island and quickly decided too much planning can sometimes be burdensome. We opted to follow our noses and go with the flow! At 10.15am we arrived in Rogač. Climbing into the car we drove off the ferry, heading across the island to our destination, Maslinica on the other side. Whatever we might find in between would be a bonus!

Within 3 minutes we came across the famous Tvrdić Bee Keeping and Honey Store in the village of Grohote..A family with three generations of bee-keeping! It was a definite stop. Pure unadulterated honey is always high on the list. We were greeted warmly by a family member and shown through the store. A range of products from honey to propolis, (the natural antibiotic made by the bees to keep their hives clean and void of bad bacteria and viruses) Lip balms, skincare and rejuvenating creams made from herbs and flowers, were all produced locally and all available to be tried and tested.

After purchasing our honey and some skincare goodies, it was suggested we take a visit to Marinac Winery the village of Srednje Selo, in Grohote… On this Sunday morning as the church bells were busy calling the town folk to prayer, we continued along a narrow lane towards a cluster of stone houses, searching for directions to the winery. At that moment a friendly local appeared telling us where to park, and where to find the entrance to the cellars and wine tasting.

Entry into the cellars and wine tasting at Marinac Winery took my breath away!

Gold medals and awards for both the Marinac Wines and Extra Virgin Olive Oil were very impressive! While an excellent newspaper article sings the praises of Tomislav Purtić both as a superb winemaker and producer of highest quality olive oil.

The display of Marinac wines and Susie is delighted with the Pošip tasting!

Chatting with this lovely couple was effortless and as for the wines, they were superb. Loading 6 bottles into the car, we continued on our way through seemingly abandoned villages, yet nestled into hillsides here and there we came across a decent number of newly built and renovated homes.

Arriving into Maslinica, the castle of Martinis Marchi on the cove of Maslinica overpowers the whole scene, and since it was time for a little snack and some refreshments we ventured inside only to be greeted by a staff member, a long time friend of Susie’s, and with squeals of delight, hugs and kisses, we were welcomed with much pomp and bravado! Looking directly across the bay we saw the old stone house with blue door and shutters..A delightful brunch is an exquisite setting!

A walk around the bay was delightful..walking slowly, taking in the sights and soaking up the atmosphere. The boating crowd love this bay, and both luxury mini cruisers and sailing yachts were moored side by side.

Driving around to Šešula Bay only took a few minutes . I had visited the fish farms in this bay a few years ago, but today we were looking for the restaurant, Konoba Šešula, and after parking the car and walking down to the water’s edge, there it was, with seating on the rocks under shady trees and the water lapping almost under our toes! We both chose fresh fish on the grill as a main, nicely basted with olive oil and rosemary, served traditionally with Dalmatian Swiss chard, a type of spinach.. It was so delicious and grilled to perfection. Wines served were the local vintages from Island Šolta, and were so special that we had to purchase a couple more bottles to take home!

As we sailed back to Split on the 18.30 ferry, we both agreed the day had been way over and above our expectations. A day spent in harmony with nature, tasting some great food and wines and meeting some really friendly people. We had certainly followed our noses, allowing the day to unfold as it was meant to. We both agreed Island Šolta has a lot to offer and we’ll be back another day.