5 amazing island escapes you’ve probably never considered

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By Sharon McDonnell, for CNN

(CNN)Sure, the first things that come to mind when you think “island escape” are white sands and palm trees.
Maybe a coconut with a straw in it.
But for those willing to look beyond the tropics, there are plenty of worthy island getaways around the world that have yet to appear on the tourism radar.
If the thought of amazing nature walks, a relaxed pace and fabulous food and drink sounds appealing, these five destinations are for you.

Solta (Croatia)

Little-known compared to nearby Dalmatian islands like Korcula and Hvar — which has been enjoying a tourist boom since Beyonce and Jay-Z visited in 2011 — the Croatian island of Solta has a similar look: orange-tile-roofed stone houses, the crystal-clear turquoise Adriatic Sea and pebble beaches.
On this peaceful pine-covered island of 24 bays and 1,400 people, visitors can taste local red wine, olive oil, tapenade and anchovies at the family-run Agroturizam Kastelanac.
To feast on grilled fish, seafood risotto and platters of prosciutto head for Konoba Nevera in Stomorska, a tiny fishing village. The studio of painter Vicko Buktenica, a man obsessed by local rural landscapes and donkeys, is also worth a visit.
Solta’s only hotel is the luxury Martinis Marchi, set in a seaside 18th-century castle, but inexpensive B&Bs and apartments are available.
Getting there: Take a 25-minute catamaran or 45-minute car ferry from Split, Dalmatia’s biggest city.

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