Omis, Croatia a seaside town 25km south of Split, is nestled at the base of the Dinara Mountain where the Cetina River flows into the sea. With an inviting coastline, picturesque walled city and striking mountains, we understand why it has been nicknamed the Omis Riviera. However, we weren’t there for sunbathing or café sipping. We had one activity planned: hiking to Starigrad Fortress in Omis.
Fellow travel blogger, Frank of The Travels of BBQ Boy and Spanky, made the climb when he was in Split earlier this year. The photos and description from his post (which you can read here) enticed us to attempt hiking to Starigrad Fortress in Omis ourselves.
On the day of our visit, strong winds were causing havoc along the coast. We could see it dancing on the sea and even caught sight of a few water spouts. Between our off-season visit and the temperamental weather, the town was battened down. We walked through the main artery of the old town, leaves whipping in the air around us. We popped into St. Michael’s Church, one of the many churches, before locating the trailhead to start hiking to Starigrad Fortress in Omis.
The steep climb against the side of the sheer rock mountain was vigorous, but was well-rewarded with sweeping views over the town and sea. It was also amazingly protected from the wind, which made for much better hiking conditions than we had anticipated. For 30 minutes, we followed the trail up steps and over rocks, always at an incline, until we came to a sign post that pointed us in the direction of the fortress. Flat, but windy, we hiked the last stretch.
The 15th century fortress was strategically built on a peak overlooking the town, river and sea, but is overshadowed by taller mountains, as well. When we arrived at the fort, the wind was fierce, knocking me over as I climbed the stairs inside. We battled the wind in the interior of the fort, looking like the idiot weathermen who report live from the middle of a hurricane. Unable to steady myself with my camera, I could only snap a few shots from the top. Still, we felt victorious.
We triumphantly hiked back down to sea level, again protected from the wind, but with the view in front of us this time. Knowing that the town was fairly quiet and there were only a few cafes open, we headed straight for the bus stop, where a bus traveling to Split was just pulling up.
Our Top Tips for Your Visit to the region of Split, Croatia
Where To Stay
During our visits to Split, we have stayed in two awesome Airbnb Apartments – one inside Diocletian’s Palace and one on Marmontova, the popular pedestrian street, both of which were fabulous. (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!) However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip:
Or These Hostels:
Before You Go: Our top tips for your trip
- Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia, Skechers and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
- We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
- It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook prior to arriving.
- We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
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