Your Guide to a Wonderful Day in Maslinica | Solta, Croatia
Out of the corner of my eye I saw an orange haired middle schooler excitedly walking towards the grocery store behind us. He whispered, "Magnoom" to his parents with a smile so big on his face it exposed seven or eight of his rounded square teeth. I knew exactly what he was beelining towards because I had seen the same sign. That store behind me had Magnum ice cream bars - a rare, but utterly delicious treat on a hot summer day. The main ice cream bar in Croatia is the "King" brand, but it pales in comparison to a Magnum bar. The boy and I knew, no European summer vacation is complete without the sweetness of a Magnum bar in the presence of the ocean. Sure enough, I turned around to see his dad getting out his wallet and the boy picking his preferred flavor from the freezer. Ah sweet chocolatey victory. And so our day started in Solta, where we stocked up on the best olive oil we’ve ever tasted and sipped a bottle of wine on our own little section of rocky coast.
Why Go to Maslinica | Solta
There are so many adorable towns between Split and Dubrovnik, why stop here, at this little village of Maslinica on the island of Solta? For starters, an 18th century castle renovated into a stunning five star accommodation acts as the whimsical centerpiece of town. Then, in addition to every street being drenched in blooming pink bougainvillea, this little island produces some of the best olive oil we’ve ever had in our lives (we practically went through half a bottle at dinner; we could not stop scooping it up with our bread). “Solta”, means the “Island of Olives”, and the locally grown, hand harvested, cold pressed olive oil made solely from their island olive variety, Soltanka, affirms the reasoning behind the island’s namesake. If you see a black bottle of Olynthia olive oil with a gold embossed label at one of the local shops, pick up a couple bottles to take home with you. You won’t regret it. But most of all, this small town represents the epitome of a Croatian summer: good food, charming atmosphere, and plenty of spots to lay out your towel and sunbathe with a good book.
Where to Eat in Maslinica | Solta
Restaurant Fortunato | After generous helpings of bread & oil, our amiable waitress served us the delicious classic Croatian dinner of fresh caught, grilled white fish with vegetables. With outdoor tables next to the port, this was the perfect restaurant for a relaxed evening meal.
The wonderful thing about Croatia is that seaside eating is the norm, and not the exception, so whether you simply want a drink to watch the sunset or a full meal with a light sea breeze, Croatia (and Maslinica) give you plenty of options.
For a casual lunch (but holiday paced service), walk along the boardwalk opposite the castle, and away from town until you get to the main swimming beach. There is a seasonal cafe/bar that serves cold beer and cheap, but delicious pita sandwiches.
Where to Stay in Maslinica
Martinis Marchi | Starting at 227 Euros in May, 325 Euros in June
Seven stately, yet minimalist and freshly designed suites surround the courtyard pool at Martinis Marchi, a renovated castle built in 1709 in the heart of town. In addition to the amazing space and seaside location, the staff here are friendly and welcoming, making this hotel worth the splurge.
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