Omiš is a charming Central Dalmatian town located just 25 kilometers southeast of Split. It is famous for its rich history, amazing landscapes and as one of the best places in Croatia for adventure holidays. The area was permanently inhabited more than 2000 years ago when the locals living on the other side of the mountain started to move and build their houses near the sea. In medieval times Omiš was famous for its pirates, who ruled the seas from Split to Dubrovnik, taking a fee from all the ships sailing the channel of Brač in front of Omiš. Many foreign attackers tried to conquer Omiš, like the Turks and Venetians. Venetians attacked the famous Corsairs of Almissa (from lat. Omiš) several times without success, until the late 13th century, when the Pope organized another crusade against Omiš pirates and finally won. Uner the Venetian rule, Omiš gained its present appearance, except the town walls, which were pulled down after the fall of the Venetian Republic.
What to visit
Other than sunbathing and enjoying in crystal clear sea, there are many interesting things to do and see in Omiš. You will be enchanted by this charming little town, its narrow alleys, squares and beautiful old houses. In Omiš there are several places that witness the rich and turbulent history of the town and its famous Corsairs of Almissa, who protected Omiš and the mouth of Cetina river from foreign invaders.
Mirabella Fortress, also called Peovica, is a beautiful medieval fortress built in the 13th century above the town of Omiš and used by Omiš pirates as a perfect hideout. In its foundations, the 13th-century Byzantine coin was found, making it much easier to determine when it was built. Mirabella fortress played an important role just as Starigrad fortress, in many battles and frequent attacks on the town, especially by the Turks and the Venetians. Legend tells that during the Ottoman attacks in the 16th century, the pirates of Omiš retreated to the fortress and with shouts and shots confused the attackers so much that the Turks overestimated the number of defenders and ran away. You will easily find the way to the fortress from the center of the town (Šubić street, near the church of the Holy Spirit), simply by following the signs and after a few minutes of climbing up the stairs, you will be amazed by the spectacular view of the town of Omiš.
Starigrad Fortress (Fortica) was built in the 15th century and just as the Mirabella Fortress, it was a perfect hideout and the ideal place to overlook the channel of Brač and protect the town from the foreign invaders. There is a well-marked path that leads from the eastern part to the fortress and it will take you approximately an hour to climb up. The amazing view over the town, the islands, and Cetina river if absolutely worth the effort of climbing up and it is a site that you should not miss if visiting Omiš, as you will be rewarded with the unforgettable view and unique landscape.
Omiš has many beautiful churches, precisely eight, which are well worth visiting. We recommend you to visit the remains of the single-nave Christian church of St Euphemia, built in the 6th century, the church of the Holy Spirit a beautiful Renaissance church from the 15th century, built in the place of a Gotic church and the lovely parish church of St Michael, that combines the characteristics of Gothic, Renaissance and early Baroque style. On the right bank of the Cetina river, you can find the church of St Peter, built in the 10th century. This single-naved church is an important example of Croatian Pre-Romanesque sacral architecture.
During the summer there are many events and concerts organized as a part of Omiš Summer Festival and the most important event is the traditional music festival of the Dalmatian a cappella singing groups, called Klape. The festival is usually held on the weekends from the end of June until the end of July. In 2012, UNESCO inscribed the klapa singing on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In Omiš you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. There is a large use of extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Some of the traditional dishes we recommend you to try are: Dalmatian smoked ham, Olives and the famous goat cheese from nearby islands as an appetizer, Black risotto, Dalmatian pasticada (stewed beef in wine with prunes and vegetables), Octopus under the lid or many other fresh specialties. Locals mostly eat in small, intimate traditionally Dalmatian restaurants called Konoba, that prepare fresh local food and usually have lower prices than upscale restaurants.
Sport & Recreation
Omiš is a perfect place for all those in search of action-packed activity holidays. Cetina canyon with its unspoiled nature and breathtaking sceneries will make all the adrenaline junkies feel at home, setting the perfect scene for rafting, canyoning, zip line, hiking, and kayaking. For its unspoiled nature and impressive canyon, parts of Cetina river were chosen as some of the filming locations of the famous Winnetou movie series (1962-1968).
On Cetina white water rafting trip, canyoning or kayaking you will experience moments of pure excitement, moments of total serenity and a deep connection with wild nature. Zipline adventure across the canyon, 150 meters above the Cetina river is really an amazing experience for all the adrenaline lovers. Three hours of pure joy and excitement along more than 2 km long route. Other than having loads of fun on Cetina river and in the canyon, crystal clear sea and Omiš beaches offer many other exciting activities like beach volley, stand up paddling, windsurfing, exploring the amazing underwater life by snorkeling or scuba diving. In other words, Omiš is the ideal place for your next adventure holidays.