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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 interested in sunbathing, café sipping or any other sea-level Omis, Croatia things to do. We had one activity planned: hiking to Starigrad Fortress in Omis.
Omis Old Town
On the day we chose to go trekking in Croatia, strong winds were causing havoc along the coast. We could see the wind dancing on the sea and even caught sight of a few water spouts swirling above the sea. Between our off-season visit and the temperamental weather, the town was battened down, leaving very few things to do in Omis. Regardless, before we began our hike to the Omis Stari Grad fort, 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 many churches, before locating the Omis castle trailhead (following the signs through the Old Town).
Climbing to Starigrad Fortica (Fortress)
The Starigrad Fortress is one of the many Croatia landmarks along the Adriatic Sea – and the fortress mountain hike is one of the top things to do in Omis. The steep climb against the side of the sheer rock mountain is vigorous, but well-rewarded with sweeping views over the town and sea. The trail was also amazingly protected from the north 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 Omis fortress. From the sign post, it’s a much easier 15 minute hike (although straight into the wind on our visit!) to Fortress Starigrad.
Arriving at Starigrad Fortress in Omis
The 15th century Starigrad Fortress Omis 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 staircase inside. We battled the wind in the interior courtyard of the Starigrad Omis fort, no doubt 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.
Hike Down To Omis From Fortica
We triumphantly started our Omis hiking trek back down to sea level, again protected from the wind. We gawked at the amazing view of the Adriatic sea in front of us, and just as we arrived back in Omis Old Town, the winds had ceased and a beautiful sunset greeted us. The next Bus 60 from Omis to Split soon arrived and we were on our way back in time to eat dinner in Split!
TOP TIP: There is an alternate way back to Omis, down a set of stairs (marked with a red arrow) and past a barking dog. The trail leads through gardens and vineyards, before re-joining the road back down to Omis Old Town.
Our Top Tips for Visiting Omis, Croatia
More Omis Activities
In addition to hiking in Omis, other popular outdoor Omis activities include ziplining, rock climbing and rafting Omis. Omis River Rafting trips can be booked in advance on Viator.
How to get to Omis from Split
There is a Split-Omis bus that makes it easy to travel between the two coastal cities. Check the Bus 60 Split-Omis timetable on the Promet Split Bus Website.
Where To Stay in Split, Croatia
During our visits to Split, we stay in Airbnb Apartments. (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:
Other Amazing Hikes In Croatia
Top Tip: If you are looking for a tourist agency to help organize your accommodations, tours and transfers, we recommend Adiona Travel. The locally-owned Split Tourist Agency can help plan your complete trip to Split!
Before You Go to Split
- 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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