Though one of the closest islands to Split, ŠOLTA can't compare with neighbours Brač and Hvar in terms of attractions or holiday facilities. Indeed it's the lack of any meaningful mass tourist industry that gives the place its charm.The island was used by the Romans to dispose of political exiles, and later by the Christian church to banish heretics, and on the face of it seems to have changed very little since either era.A fertile island of red soil, with several compact, hive-like villages and an agricultural economy that's somewhat gone to seed, it's more a place for quiet escape than high-level tourism.
About five ferries and two catamarans arrive daily from Split at ROGAČ, which is little more than a dock and a bar, although there's a small tourist office by the quayside which can fix up rooms. Ferries are met by two buses, one heading east towards Maslinica, the other west to Stomorska. Both go through Grohote, perched on a hill overlooking the harbour and the largest settlement on Šolta — a pleasant, peaceful village whose half-ruined houses area monument to rural depopulation.
Seven kilometres to the west, MASLINICA is the perfect antidote to the more commercialized places up and down the coast, an attractively becalmed fishing village of green-shuttered stone houses sporting colourful wallflowers and window boxes — all squeezed into a narrow bay. There area few concrete bathing areas, private rooms from the tourist office on the front (mid-to end June & early to mid-Sept daily 8-10am & 7-8pm; July & Aug daily 8am-8pm), and a restaurant, the Avlija, housed in a fortified eighteenth-century villa which once functioned as a hotel.
East of Rogač the bus passes through the small tourist complex of NEČUAM, a pine-shaded bungalow settlement which stretches away from a crescent-shaped shingle beach. Hard by the bus stop, there's a tourist office housed in a rickety stone house where Renaissance man of letters Marko Marulić stayed as a guest while penning his magnum opus judita.
Five kilometres further east lies the village of Stomorska, a slightly less cosy version of Maslinica; another narrow harbour with a tourist office doling out rooms; a campsite squeezed into a private garden near the village entrance; and a couple of pizzerias.
Flightnetwork.com -Specializing in Cheap Flights F