Nestled between the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea and the rugged Dinaric Alps, Omiš is a Croatian gem that beckons travelers with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and diverse activities. From the ancient fortresses that whisper tales of pirate legends to the serene beauty of the Cetina River, Omiš offers a blend of adventure and relaxation.
Whether you’re keen on exploring the historic Old Town, seeking thrills through ziplining and rafting, or simply wanting to immerse yourself in the melodious strains of Dalmatian folk songs, Omiš promises an experience that is both memorable and enchanting. Join us as we delve into the heart of this coastal town and uncover the myriad wonders it holds.
- Time to explore: 1 hour
- Ticket price: 5 €
Let me tell you about the Mirabella Fortress, a famous Omiš landmark with an intriguing pirate history. Built in the 13th century, this fortress served as a lookout over the Channel of Brač. Its age was determined by a Byzantine coin, which is pretty cool, right? Over the years, Mirabela has witnessed numerous wars and battles, particularly against the Venetians.
Sadly, a storm in 1988 caused significant damage to the fortress, but it has been beautifully restored since then. Now, it’s a popular tourist spot in Omiš, known for its accessibility and fantastic views of the town. Trust me, the effort you put into climbing those stairs will be well worth it!
To reach the fortress, you’ll need to take the stairs from the main gate of the Parish Church of St. Michael. Keep in mind that there’s an entrance fee of 5 euros, and they only accept cash. Once you start the ascent, you’ll be following the very same stairs used by pirates to reach their fast boats back in the day. How exciting is that?
As you climb, prepare yourself for the stunning views from the top. However, be aware that a ladder is required to reach the highest point. My advice? Try to visit around lunchtime when it’s less busy. Remember, though, that the stairs are uneven, so you’ll be climbing at your own risk. Inside the fort, there’s a difficult steel ladder, so I’d recommend wearing proper footwear.
Sure, the climb might be thrilling and tiring, but you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view from the top. You’ll see legendary scenery with red roofs, and even though the last section is tight and crowded, I promise you it’s worth the climb.
Starigrad Fortress – Fortica
- Working Hours: Site Opens at 7 AM
- Time to explore: 2 hours
- Ticket Price: around 5 €
- East Trail: harder to climb but shorter in duration (takes around half an hour)
- South Trail: easier to climb but longer in duration (1.2 kilometers or 0.8 miles – takes about an hour)
- Hight Difference: 290 meters from sea level
Another must-visit spot in Omiš is the Fortica fortress, also known as Starigrad Fortress. It’s over 500 years old, and just a short climb will take you to magnificent views of Dalmatia. From there, you can see islands like Brač, Hvar, and Šolta, as well as the Cetina canyon and Poljica. Fortica’s primary purpose was as a lookout, which helped keep Omiš unconquered, and it also served as a refuge for medieval inhabitants.
There are multiple paths to reach Fortica, but the most common one starts from Vangrad street. This 50-minute, easy climb takes you along a well-marked forest path. Just so you know, an entrance fee is charged during the summer months. Once you reach the top, you’ll be treated to views of the Channel of Brač and the Dalmatian islands. On a clear day, you might even see Italy in the distance!
For this recommended hike, which takes about 50 minutes, head to the right part of town. Remember to bring water and 5 euros for the entrance fee. There’s also a 30-minute climb from the south side which is harder but not impossible. For example, families with kids take that route routinely without difficulties. Elderly and people with disabilities should not pick this route, however.
Good footwear and moderate fitness are recommended. My suggestion? Ascend via the East Trail and descend via the South Trail for the best experience.
Mila Gojsalić Statue
- Time to explore: 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the mode of transport you’re using to get there
- Reachable by car or bycicle
Now let me tell you about a lesser-known gem in Omiš: the statue of Mila Gojsalić, created by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The story of Mila was inspired by the writings of August Šenoa and an opera by Jakov Gotovac.
The legend is based on events that took place in 1530 when the Ottoman army tried to conquer Poljica. Mila bravely entered Ahmed Pasha’s tent, pretending to be in love with him, and sacrificed herself by blowing up the gunpowder storage. Her heroic act inspired the locals to defeat the Ottoman army.
Mila’s statue watches over the Cetina River and Omiš, making it a fantastic viewpoint to admire the town and the surrounding mountains. There’s a small, safe parking area near the viewing spot, but it’s best visited early in the morning to avoid any parking issues. You can reach the statue by car or bicycle, and from there, a narrow path leads to the statue itself, offering a great view of Omiš and the mouth of the Cetina River.
This spot is among the best sightseeing places in the area, and the best part is that there’s no entrance ticket needed. The statue has a similar feel to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, albeit on a smaller scale. It’s an underrated location that offers a beautiful view of the sunset. Just a word of caution: be mindful of parking problems and the low visitor safety level at the site.
Old Town of Omiš
- Time to explore: 1-2 hours, depending on crowd
The Old Town of Omiš is a fantastic place to explore, especially during an evening stroll when the town’s charm and intrigue truly come to life. Make sure you check out the Renaissance building known as “the House of a Happy Man.” As you wander, you’ll come across traces of the medieval wall on the riverbed, which were built by pirates.
One historical gem you’ll find here is the well-preserved 10th-century Church of St. Peter. Don’t miss the old gates, built under Venetian rule in the 15th century. While walking along Pjaca, the historic main thoroughfare, you’ll see charming bars around Franjo Tuđman square and St. Michael’s square. St. Michael’s Church is a must-see, featuring a decorative portal, window rosetta, and a statue of St. Michael himself.
Omiš Old Town is famous for its history with the Omiš pirates. As you explore the main street, you’ll be surrounded by historical buildings and narrow streets. The Corsairs of Almissa, known for their Sagittas (ships) built for attack and fast retrieval, once roamed these waters.
They formed an alliance with the highlanders of the Poljica Principality, which enabled them to harass seaborne trade without fear of inland attacks. This fascinating history makes Omiš Old Town a unique and captivating destination for every visitor.
Omiš City Museum
- Time to explore: 30 minutes
If you’re into history and want to dive deeper into Omiš’s past, make sure you visit the Omiš City Museum. Founded in 1986, it’s located right next to the Eastern Town Gate. The museum features a permanent exhibition that includes archaeological, cultural, and historical artifacts.
You’ll find exhibits dating back to the New Stone Age and Iron Age, including ceramics and tools. Some notable archaeological sites showcased in the museum are Omiš fortifications, the Old Cemetery, an early Christian church complex on Brzet, the Church of St. Peter, and the Illyrian Seminary on Priko. The ancient Oneum settlement provides evidence of a prehistoric hillfort center for the Delmatae tribe of Onastini.
The museum boasts valuable exhibits such as a stone grain measure pot, a 15th-century balustrade, and church furniture from St. Cyprian in Gata. You’ll also see cultural-historical material, like monuments from the medieval Principality of Poljica, Venetian and Omiš noble families’ coats of arms, and stone artifacts from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Omiš City Museum also offers educational programs and workshops for both children and senior citizens. Its purpose is to collect, document, protect, preserve, and present Omiš’s cultural legacy. Though small, this museum holds a wealth of knowledge about Medieval and Antique Omiš. Plus, the professional guide on-site is eager to share the history of Omiš and the region with all visitors.
The House of a Happy Man
- Time to explore: 15 minutes
“The House of a Happy Man” is a beautiful Renaissance house in Omiš, located in a small stone street. What makes it stand out is the Latin inscription above the entrance, which translates to “I thank thee, Lord, for having lived in this world” (GRATIAS AGO TIBI DNE QUIA FUI IN HOC MONDO). The original owner of the house is believed to have been Ivan Primojević, a lawyer and Omiš commune ambassador in Venice.
This well-preserved example of classic Dalmatian architecture from the Venetian period was built in the 16th century. The interior organization includes workshops and a living room on the ground floor, sleeping quarters on the first floor, and the kitchen on the top floor. This placement of the kitchen was designed to reduce the risk of fire damage, and it became a standard in Omiš.
The House of a Happy Man is not only a symbol of architectural beauty but also represents an important milestone in the evolution of Omiš’s residential architecture. It was one of the first houses in the town to have a kitchen on the top floor to prevent fire damage.
Church of St. Peter
- Time to explore: 30 minutes
- Sunday Holy Mass services at 7:00, 10:00, and 20:00
The Church of St. Peter in Priko is an old Croatian church built in the 9th or 10th century, an important example of Early Croatian Pre-Romanesque sacral architecture. This single-nave domed structure unites longitudinal and central plans, reflecting the Byzantine influence typical in Southern Dalmatia.
There used to be an early Christian sacral building on the site before the current church. The Church of St. Peter was first mentioned in 1074 during the rule of King Slavac. In the mid-18th century, a Glagolitic seminary was founded next to the church, and it operated intermittently until 1879.
Nowadays, the Church of St. Peter is a simple, modern temple with ample seating and standing space. There’s plenty of parking nearby, making it convenient for visitors. Holy Mass is celebrated beautifully and attended by many people. For those who want to attend Sunday Holy Mass, there are services at 7:00, 10:00, and 20:00.
After exploring the church, make sure to stop by the gift shop at the bottom of the tower to find some unique souvenirs and mementos to remember your visit.
Parish Church of St. Michael with Bell Tower
- Time to explore: 30 minutes
The Parish Church of St. Michael, built in the early 17th century, is a beautiful landmark in Omiš that combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Early Baroque stylistic features. The lavish portal carved from Brač stone by the Bokanić family workshop is one of its most remarkable features. You’ll also see a window rosetta, a statue of St. Michael, and the Omiš coat of arms prominently displayed on the church.
Above the side entrance, you can find the coats of arms of Venetian governors (provveditore). The new bell tower was designed by Venetian engineer Giovani Battista Camozzini. Inside the church, there are valuable religious art pieces, a single nave with a high vaulted ceiling, a gilded high altar, and beautiful paintings.
The Parish Church of St. Michael is located in a picturesque spot in the center of Omiš, surrounded by narrow streets and pubs. The square in front of the church is a lovely place for morning relaxation and breakfast. Don’t forget to visit the viewpoint above the church for amazing views of the surroundings.
The interior of the church is well-decorated, but if you’re visiting in the summer, you might need a fan to stay cool. There are plenty of great photo opportunities in the nearby alleys, and during Mass, you can enjoy a romantic atmosphere with the fantastic choir.
- Time to explore: 30 minutes at the actual Skywalk but getting there and back to Omiš will most likely take 3-4 hours of your day
- Ticket holder is required to present the appropriate, valid identification card to park staff at the entrance for verification!
- Ticket Prices:
- Adults: €8
- Children under the age of 7: Free
- People with disabilities: €5
Skywalk Biokovo, located at Ravna Vlaška, 1,228 meters above sea level, offers stunning views of the sea, islands, and even Italy on clear days. To get there, you’ll need to travel up the 13th kilometer of the Biokovo road. A geological column at the site displays rock formations and a geological time chart for visitors to learn more about the area.
The Skywalk features a glass platform that extends over the cliff edge, made with pre-stressed concrete construction for safety and stability. The attraction is accessible for all ages and is disabled-friendly. It’s open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the tourist season. Tickets can be purchased up to five days in advance.
Keep in mind that there are limited tickets for vehicles, so reserve a time slot. No campers longer than 7 meters are allowed in the park, but motorcycles and bicycles can enter without a reservation. Parking and restroom facilities are available.
The narrow, steep mountain road (13 km or 8 miles) to reach Skywalk can be challenging, so plan to finish your visit before sunset. The temperature can drop quickly, and darkness may fall faster than expected. Make sure to use the restaurant facilities if needed, as there are no restrooms or maps available at the mountain top.
Trails are marked with the same color, so be cautious not to get lost unintentionally. Network connectivity on the mountain is limited, so don’t rely on your phones or the internet. Dress appropriately for cold temperatures and strong winds. Keep an eye out for horses or other animals on the road, drive slowly on blind turns, and use your horn when necessary.
For those who want to relax and enjoy the view, there’s a picnic area with tables available for visitors.
Radman’s Mills (Radmanove Mlinice)
- Time to explore: 1-2 hours at Radman’s Mills, longer if you’re taking the boat tour from Omiš
Radmanove Mlinice, also known as Radman’s Mills, is a popular excursion site located in the Cetina River canyon, just 6 km from Omiš. This picturesque destination offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as rafting, free climbing, canoeing, mini golf, and swimming.
If you’re feeling hungry after your adventures, indulge in local river specialities at the on-site open-air restaurant. Savor dishes like frogs, eels, trout, homemade Soparnik, and bread baked under a peka (baking lid). The portions are generous, and the traditional Croatian food is sure to please.
Visitors can enjoy boat trips through the Cetina canyon, starting in Omiš, which take about two hours and end at the picnic resort. With four boats offered and a capacity of 80 passengers, there’s room for everyone to take in the breathtaking scenery. At the site, you can walk, swim, or explore the 17th-century mill wheels.
Though the water in the river is colder than the sea, it’s perfect for a refreshing dip. Keep in mind that Radmanove Mlinice can get crowded, but there’s plenty of surrounding area to explore. The facilities are clean and well-maintained, making for a memorable experience.
Canoe & Kayaking along Cetina River
- Time to explore: 3-4 hours
If you’re looking for a fantastic morning adventure in Omiš, kayaking and snorkeling on the Cetina River are the way to go. This well-organized adventure offers stunning landscapes, a relaxed trip, and even the chance to see wildlife like terrapins. The knowledgeable guides provide fascinating information about the area’s wildlife and history as you paddle and explore.
One of the highlights of this experience is snorkeling around an old shipwreck. With friendly and welcoming staff, you’ll feel at ease as you navigate the beautiful Cetina River. Parking is available in Omiš at Parking Priko, making it convenient to join the excursion.
The beginner-friendly kayaking and the amazing scenery make this adventure highly recommended. The tour is offered at a good price and the funny guides ensure everyone has a blast. Even though the water may be cold, the professional equipment provided makes it manageable. Small groups are accommodated, and the tours are professionally organized.
After your experience, you can find photos posted online, serving as a great memory of your safe and fun adventure. The English-speaking guides make sure everyone understands the instructions and feels comfortable during the trip. The tour is even suitable for those who may not be in peak physical shape.
Pre-booking service and open communication make arranging your adventure a breeze. The staff at the office and activity starting points provide a warm welcome, ensuring you have an enjoyable time. Professional instructors give clear instructions and prioritize the safety of participants. Ivan, a young and amazing rafting guide, is particularly memorable.
Overall, this kayaking and snorkeling experience comes highly recommended for visitors to Omiš, as it’s an unforgettable way to explore the area’s natural beauty.
Rafting On The Cetina River
- Time to explore: 3-4 hours
Rafting on the Cetina River is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Omiš. The amazing landscape and fun ride make for an unforgettable adventure. The friendly and atmosphere-creating team, led by Ivan and Carlos, ensures a well-organized and enjoyable rafting trip. With friendly, relaxed, and open-minded guides, you’ll be in good hands throughout your adventure.
While some muscle power is needed for paddling on the slow-flowing river, it’s not overly demanding, making it suitable for beginners and small children. Knowledgeable guides like George and Michael (English versions of their names, of course) make the experience even more memorable, providing interesting information and ensuring safety. With stops for swimming and rock-jumping, there’s plenty of excitement along the way.
The company offers great service and quick communication, making it easy to arrange your rafting experience. They provide transfers from Omiš and a map to help you find the location with ease. The scenic experience is not extreme sports, but it’s highly recommended for seeing another side of Croatia.
You’ll have a fantastic time with the staff and appreciate their excellent communication. The pleasant rafting trip includes some rapids and peaceful scenery, making it perfect for a day in nature. You’ll feel 100% safe with the staff, and there’s even an option to purchase photos afterward to remember your adventure.
The beautiful environment, with its clean and drinkable water, is ideal for rafting beginners. Although the river is slow and not constant action, the experience is still highly recommended for a pleasant day with Croatia Rafting.
Festival Of Dalmatian Folk Songs
- Time to explore: 2-3 hours
The Festival of Dalmatian Folk Songs, also known as the Festival of Dalmatian Klapas, is a renowned cultural event held annually in Omiš, Croatia. Established in 1967, it has grown into an important institution celebrating the musical heritage of the Dalmatian region. The festival takes place in St. Michael’s square, a beautiful location that complements the authentic performances.
At the core of the festival are Dalmatian “klapa” songs, performed by 5-8 member ensembles. The term “klapa” means company or group in the local dialect. Klapa singing is characterized by vocal harmony, and the songs are rarely accompanied by instruments. The singing style is derived from medieval church songs and was traditionally performed by fishermen and peasants, expressing the heart and soul of the Dalmatian people.
The festival is a unique and special event that brings together the best klapa ensembles from across the region. With its rich heritage and picturesque setting, Omiš is the perfect location for celebrating this authentic singing tradition. The Festival of Dalmatian Folk Songs is considered one of the best Croatian festivals and showcases the harmonious combination of Omiš and klapa singing, creating an unforgettable experience for attendees.
The Omiš Zipline
- Time to explore: 2 hours
- Ticket Price: around €53 per person
The Omiš Zipline offers a thrilling adventure above the River Cetina canyon in Omis, Croatia. It’s recommended to prebook your experience to guarantee a spot. The adventure includes a harness, training, and return transit from Omis. You’ll soar over forests and the river canyon at heights of up to 492 feet (150 meters).
The adrenaline-filled zipline polygon consists of eight steel wires with a total length of 2100 meters. The longest wire is 700 meters long and 150 meters above the ground. The 3-hour experience accommodates groups of 10 guests with two guides and involves a short walk, training, and going down all the wires.
The Omiš Zipline is highly recommended, with phenomenal views, lovely guides, and a feeling of safety throughout. The tours can run even for small groups, and guides are praised for their professionalism and fun. The zipline is suitable for participants aged 7 years and older, with a maximum weight of 140 kg.
It is advisable to wear sports shoes and walking clothes, carry a backpack, and bring 1 liter of drinking water. Private tours can be organized at an additional cost. Transfers can also be arranged at an additional cost, with prices varying depending on the location and number of people.
Overall, the Omiš Zipline is an exciting and unforgettable experience that offers magnificent views of the Cetina River and canyon, making it a must-do activity for visitors to Omis or Split.
Horseback Riding Podstrana
- Time to explore: 2-3 hours
Horseback riding in Podstrana offers a memorable experience in a beautiful landscape. The 2-hour route is perfect for small groups of around 3-5 participants along with a guide. Riders can enjoy the unforgettable views while engaging in conversations with the guide and owner, learning more about the area and receiving helpful tips for their vacation.
The experience is highly recommended for visitors, as it provides an excellent opportunity to explore the surroundings while horseback riding in a quarry. During the trip, participants can spend over an hour riding and learning the basics of horseback riding. Make sure to bring long pants and sneakers for comfort.
The friendly atmosphere, top-notch service, and professional trainers make this horseback riding experience in Podstrana a must-try activity for both beginners and experienced riders alike.
- Time to explore: 3-4 hours or more in some instances
Scuba diving is an exciting holiday activity that allows you to explore the enchanting underwater world. In guided diving sessions, even those with no prior experience or license can participate and enjoy the thrill of diving to depths of up to 10 meters. Equipment is provided, and instructors will accompany you to various islands and coastal locations, such as Brač, Hvar, Šolta, and others. Divers can choose from different types of dives, including wreck, reef, cave, and night diving.
Discover diving packages generally consist of one hour of theory and one hour of diving with a professional instructor, who will guide you to depths of up to 5 meters. Boat transport to the diving location is also included.
Diving schools offer several courses that cater to different skill levels and interests. Some of these courses include Open Water Diver (OWD), various specialty courses like deep, night, cave, and wreck diving, Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD), and Search & Rescue Diver (S&R). These schools feature training sessions that span 7-10 days, providing literature, equipment, and boat transport.
Upon completion, divers will receive an internationally valid certificate. Note that accommodation is not included in the course price. The schools adhere to Scuba Schools International (SSI) standards, ensuring a safe and enjoyable diving experience. The OWD course, in particular, allows participants to dive up to a depth of 18 meters.
Diving safaris present a unique opportunity to explore the undiscovered beauty of the Adriatic Sea, which boasts 1185 islands, crystal clear waters, and a diverse range of marine life. While on a diving safari, you can discover caverns, reefs, and shipwrecks and savor ecologically clean local specialties.
The “SAL” boat is designed for diving safaris and features a 12-meter boat with two crew members, including an instructor and tender. The boat is equipped with diving gear and professional certified instructors, and it sails to various diving locations such as Split, Šolta, Hvar, and Brač.
Diving excursions are shorter in duration, lasting for half a day. These excursions include equipment and a professional certified instructor, boat transport to the diving spot, and a CD of underwater photos to remember your experience.
Unraveling Omiš: Beyond the Surface
Having soaked in the vibrant activities of Omiš, you might be curious about the intricacies of reaching this coastal gem. Navigate your way with our travel insights.