The Central Dalmatian islands are a huge draw for tourists visiting the Adriatic coast. Beaches, nightlife, nature, heritage and the unending pleasure of one of the cleanest and most inviting seas in the world. Hvar, Brac and Vis are very popular destinations, and rightly so.
And then there is an island which is even closer to Split and usually overlooked by tourists.
The island of Solta can be clearly seen from the stylish cafes of the Split riva, one of the most popular places to check out the pace of life in Dalmatia. There are regular ferries and yet not so many people choose to visit the pretty island compared to its more distant neighbours.
As one of the UK's leading travel correspondents noted in an excellent piece on Solta in the Independent in 2010, the Lonely Planet Croatia guide devoted the same amount of space (16 lines) to cinemas in Dubrovnik, as it did to the whole of the island of Solta.
So why go to Solta at all?
For somewhere to enjoy and learn more about the natural products of Dalmatia, Solta is an ideal destination. The island is a leading quality producer of products such as olive oil and honey, and there are organised trips from the mainland, where one can learn more and see the process in action.
Olynthia Natura's olive oil mill in Gornje Selo is one such destination, and staff can show you round and you can learn all about the olive processing steps. Come in the autumn and experience the olive harvest first hand. Apart from being healthy and great fun, it is a fascinating insight into a Dalmatian tradition that has gone on for centuries.
Solta's rosemary honey is world famous, and the healthy natural climate is the perfect place for quality honey production. Why not make your learn more about the process and even make your own honey? Honey-making tours are available.
Solta is an island of natural goodness and, just as the view to Solta from Split is impressive, so too is the view back to the Dalmatian capital. What could be better than a few days in a natural paradise will one of Croatia's most vibrant cities on your doorstep?
For more information about Solta, visit the Tourist Board website.