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Omis, Croatia is a seaside town nestled at the base of the Dinara Mountain where the Cetina River flows into the Adriatic Sea. With an inviting coastline, quaint old town, deep canyon and striking mountains, there are an array of outdoor adventures and exciting things to do in Omis, Croatia.
Located just 25 km (15 miles) south of Split, Omis is easy to reach on a day trip – but with ample Omis, Croatia things to do, the picture-perfect town lures many visitors to stay longer.
Why Visit Omis, Croatia
Travelers planning a Croatia vacation may be wondering: Is traveling to Omis worth it?
Our first trip to Omis was a day trip from Split during a wintertime visit. That trip was motivated by the prospect of hiking to Starigrad Fortress in Omis.
The 15th century fortress was strategically built on a peak overlooking the town, river and sea. Two trails climb up the mountainside, making the Starigrad Fortress Omis accessible on a vigorous hike.
While hiking to the Starigrad Fortress is, without a doubt, one of the top Omis, Croatia things to do, it is just one of many.
In fact, the Omis Riviera is a well-known destination for some of the most thrilling activities in Croatia. High adrenaline adventures – like ziplining, rafting and canyoning – attracts many visitors to Omis.
The long stretch of shoreline, however, is equally enticing to travelers who desire a relaxing Croatian Vacation by the seaside.
Omis, Croatia Facts and Tips
As you start planning your Omis trip, there are a few things to know about the small town.
First, let’s start with how to pronounce Omis. You may notice that the Croatian spelling of the word includes a small ‘v’ over the S – like this: Omiš. This indicates that the S is pronounced ‘sh’ – so Omis is said Oh-Mish.
Off Season in Omis
The off season in Omis – anytime outside of summer – can be eerily quiet. Many restaurants and shops close for the winter season (and some don’t re-open until June).
Furthermore, during the winter and spring, strong winds can cause havoc along the coast. While not prohibitive, they can make the difficult climb to Starigrad Fortress even more strenuous and most outdoor activities less than optimal.
Organizing Your Trip to Omis
6 Things To Do in Omis, Croatia
To help fellow travelers determine if they should include Omis in their Croatia Itinerary, we are highlighting the absolute best things to do in Omis, Croatia.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Omis blog post so that you can easily access it as you plan your trip to Croatia!
#1 Explore the Omis, Croatia Old Town
Discovering the historic old town is one of the top things to do in Omis. Visitors can cover every street in the ancient city center in about 20 minutes, although we recommend slowing your pace and soaking it all in.
Shops, cafes and restaurants line the main pedestrian thoroughfare, which curves through the heart of the town while offering views of the looming mountains in the distance.
Within the Omis Old Town are numerous churches. St. Michael’s Church is one of the eight must-see Omis churches – be sure to check out the decorative portico on the west side of the church.
#2 Visit Mirabella Fortress (Peovica)
The Omis Mirabella Fortress is a 13th century fort that sits above the Old Town is easily accessible via the upper old town lanes. Built on a craggy rock, the fortress was a hiding place for the Omis pirates that controlled the Cetina Gorge.
The Romanesque Fortress Mirabella is open to visitors for a small fee. Inside, guests can explore the fort and take in the incredible vistas over the old town and beach.
#3 Climb To Omis Starigrad Fortress (Fortica)
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 challenging, but well-rewarded with sweeping views over Omis town, Cetina River and the Dalmatian Coast.
Hiking Starigrad Fortress: Need To Know
Before you set off on your hike to Omis Stari Grad Fort, there are a few things to know about getting there. Also – wear good shoes, bring plenty of water and put on sunscreen!
Omis Castle Trailhead
There are two Omis Fort hiking trails – a North Trail and South Trail. The southern route is an easier climb (but don’t mistake it for being easy). Find the stairs to the South Route Trailhead on the south end of the Old Town near the Tommy grocery store. Use this link to Google Maps to locate the start of the trail just above Omis Old Town – then follow the red-and-white painted trail markers.
Hike to Starigrad Fortress In Omis: What To Expect
The hike up to the fortress is a steep incline – and requires scrambling over rocks at some points.
During the first 30 minutes of the hike, trekkers follow the trail up steep steps and over uneven rocks, always at an incline. The trail emerges briefly on a road (Put Baucica) before continuing up to a crossroads signpost that points hikers in the direction of the Omis Fortress (in addition to other places). From the signpost, it’s another strenuous 10-minute uphill climb, then a simple and relatively flat 5-minute walk to Fortress Starigrad.
Entering Starigrad Omis Fort
Visitors are free to roam the inside of the castle – and we highly recommend making it all the way to the top of the tallest turret. From the vantage point, victorious hikers are rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the region – from the mountains to the sea. During the high season, there may be a small fee to enter the fort, but in our visits we have never seen it being collected.
Hike Down To Omis From Starigrad Fortress
The Omis hiking trek back down to sea level can be completed by retracing your steps (easier) – or by looping around on the North Trail (difficult). We recommend going down the South Trail as it offers incredible sea views along the way.
TOP TIP: There are actually two routes on the South Trail between Omis Old Town and the Official Trailhead. We prefer hiking the eastern trail, which winds through gardens and groves (and past a barking dog). It connects to the same road, Put Borka, as the western trail, just a bit further up the way.
#4 Cetina Canyon Activities: Top Omis Activities
Hiking in Omis isn’t the only way to experience the great outdoors. In fact, it is just one of many. Other thrilling outdoor Omis activities are ziplining, rock climbing and rafting.
Ziplining through the Cetina Canyon is high-flying fun! There are 8 zipline cables in total – and participants soar over the Cetina River at a height of 492 feet. It’s best to reserve your space in advance, as the tour is very limited. It is also possible to a Zip Line Omis tour from Split on Viator.
Canyoning in Omis
Hike, slide, swim, rappel, jump and dive on an extreme adventure of Canyoning in the Cetina Canyon. Join professional guides as you navigate the canyon cliffs – some of which are nearly 600 feet tall.
You can book this adventure on a tour directly from Split.
Rafting Omis, Croatia
An epic way to experience the Cetina Canyon in on Omis River Rafting trips. Splash through the scenic canyon, cool off under a waterfall and jump from the rocks into the pristine river water on this half-day adventure.
Book your tour from Split on Viator.
Quad Riding in the Cetina Canyon
While most Cetina Canyon adventures are on water, an epic quad trip offers a completely different viewpoint. Join a guide on a trail through old stone villages and historic sights along the picturesque gorge. Get the details here!
#5 Velika Plaza Sandy Beach (Punta)
Sandy beaches in Croatia are few and far between – and Omis has one of the best. Velika Plaza – which translates to Big Beach – is the long spit of sandy shoreline that stretches into the Adriatic Sea, just steps from the old town.
The Omis, Croatia beach is busiest in August when the population of Omis swells with summertime visitors seeking a seaside escape.
Top Omis beach activities are playing beach volleyball or picigin (a local handball game). Jet skiing, wind surfing and boating are other top things to do in Omis in the summer.
In addition to Velika Plaza, there are coves and beaches all along the shoreline (although most are pebbly).
#6 Eat at an Omis Restaurant
Visitors will find that there are numerous Omis restaurants serving up Croatian classics and seafood fare. We are highlighting a few of the top restaurants in Omis, Croatia.
Nestled along the main pedestrian lane in the center of the old town, Restoran Milo is a well-known establishment. The house specialty is seafood platters that are piled high with calamari, clams and scampi.
Restoran Radmanove Mlinice
Restoran Radmanove Mlinice is not in Omis…but it’s phenomenal location on the Cetina River makes it a popular spot for Omis visitors. The casual riverside restaurant serves traditional fare – and we highly recommend ordering the Peka (it’s one of our favorite Croatian dishes!)
Located just outside of the Omis Old Town across the River Cetina, Restaurant Knez is an upscale establishment sitting atop the Hotel Villa Dvor. The views are spectacular and the food is delicious (the gnocchi with prosciutto is a favorite!).
Beach Bars and Restaurants
During the summertime, some of the best places to eat in Omis are at the beach restaurants and bars that line the shore – simply for the fantastic views! There are also several cozy café-bars in the Old Town area for drinks, and two of our favorite are Turjun and Bagulin.
Omis, Croatia Travel Tips
Now that you know what to do in Omis, Croatia, we have a few tips for your trip!
How To Get To Omis from Split
Many tourists travel from Split to Omis – and there is a Split-Omis bus that makes it an easy Split day trip between the two coastal cities.
The Omis – Split bus takes approximately an hour, depending on traffic and season. Check the Bus 60 Split-Omis timetable on the Promet Split Bus Website.
Where To Stay in Omis
Travelers who opt to stay longer will find that there are many places to stay in Omis, Croatia. Guests can choose to stay in a holiday apartment, but for a quick trip to Omis, we recommend staying in a hotel.
Hotel Plaza is one of the most popular hotels in Omis. The modern hotel sits between Old Town Omis and Velika Plaza Beach an offers balcony rooms, an exceptional (included!) breakfast and an on-site spa. Check rates and availability!
Hotel Plaza Duce Omis, Croatia
A posh hotel with a beachfront location, Hotel Plaza Duce features multiple pools, a pool bar, a wellness spa and on-site restaurant. The stylish property is ideal for beach vacations, but it is a 2-mile jaunt to the Omis old town. Check rates for your stay!
What To Pack for Your Trip to Omis
The Right Shoes
Travelers visiting Omis need to pack the right shoes for their trip! Tourists planning on partaking in the adventurous side of the city – from hiking to canyoning to ziplining – need sturdy, but comfortable footwear. On the other hand, visitors planning on spending time at the beach may want to consider bringing water shoes – as the pebbly beaches can be rough on feet!
The scenery in Omis is outstanding – so pack a real camera to capture the true beauty! We use a Canon Rebel (which is fantastic for beginners!) and an everyday 18-135mm lens. Use our tips for Finding the Best Travel Camera.
Croatia Travel Insurance
Speaking of protection, make sure you protect your trip with travel insurance. Not only can it cover trip cancellations, but it can also cover injury or illness abroad. We get our trip insurance with World Nomads.
More Amazing Hikes in Croatia
- Hiking Vidova Gora on Brac Island
- Marjan Hill Hike In Split
- Mount Srd In Dubrovnik (and why you don’t need to pay for the cable car!)
- Hiking to Biokovo Mountain from Makarska, Croatia
- Hiking Hvar to the Napoleon Fortress and Beyond
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, Croatia!
We want to know: Have you been to Omis, Croatia? Did you go hiking to Starigrad Fortress or ziplining in the canyon? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
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