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19 things to do in Omiš Croatia: It’s not just for pirates & beach-bums
Once a famous pirate town in the middle ages, Omiš town’s economic prosperity was born from piracy. Omiš had excellent seamen who navigated the Adriatic sea, keeping the town wealthy. This wealth saw the erection of fortified walls, in the late 12th century to protect it from invaders. The pirates of Omiš were fierce and were known to have fast ships, protecting the city for over 400 years. The pirates alliance was defeated in 1444 by the Turkish invasion, bringing an end to the pirates rule forever.
Now, what things can you do in Omiš?
1. Canoe Safari
Paddle along the Cetina River taking in the wonderful natural scenery. Canoe down one of Croatia’s prettiest rivers with one or two of your best buddies and then enjoy a picnic lunch by the river.
The calcareous canyon on the Cetina River is the ideal place for canyoning. The cliff face reaches up to 180 metres, with underground tunnels, waterfalls and lakes all calling your name.
3. Extreme Canyoning
One of the popular things to do in Omiš is only for the serious of serious adventurers. Descend down Gubavica Waterfall on the Cetina River. You’ll need professional alpine gear and if you book it as part of a tour you’ll be paired with experienced instructors.
4. Zip line
8 wires. 65 kms an hour, set over 150 meters off the ground. That’s what you call heart-racing fun! Experience Zip Lining Croatia as we did. You’ll love it.
Experience the sea and mountains all in Omiš. Nature-lovers will want to lace up their boots for a trekking adventure. Not far from Omiš are the mountains Mosor, Dinara and Biokovo. All offering you up a trekking experience like nowhere else in Croatia.
6. Free Climbing
On the left bank of the Cetina River in Planovo, there awaits a 200 metre-high cliff set, ready for you to climb. Both experienced climbers & beginners meet at Planovo all-year around.
Of all the things to do in Omiš, enjoying the foam of the rapids on the Cetina River, has to be one of the best ways a family can spend an active day together. Starting at Penšići and finishing at Radmanove Mlinice, rafting the 9 km route on the Cetina is a day to remember.
Adrenaline pumping paintball makes for a great day when the weather is ho-hum in Omiš. Just be sure you’ve done your last sun-tanning. After all those welts don’t look so pretty in a bikini.
Soar high above the pirate town of Omiš over-looking the Cetina River. Beginning from Imber, paragliding trips are not as well known as the beaches of Croatia, but once you’re in the know – you won’t be able to stop at just one glide.
10. Horseback Riding
A short trip to Sinj will see you horseback riding. The town of Sinj has a long history of horses and horseback riding, including a UNESCO inscribed event that dates back to 1715. Regular riding options are available as are riding schools for those just starting out.
Cycling trails stretch across the whole country, with Omiš being no exception. Away from the village, set in the hinterland are paths of various degrees of difficulty. Cycle through the village of Poljica and try the famous Poljica soparnik – a flat bread, filled with chard made by the people of Poljica for centuries.
Want a tougher more gritty biking experience? Then head into the mountains for some extreme mountain-biking.
12. Hunting and Photo Safari
The Mosor Mountain of over 12,000 hectares provides an expansive hunting ground. You can legally hunt wild boar, chamois, barbary sheep and deer. Also the rock partridge, rock dove and rabbits can also be found. With an expert guide at your side, you’ll also be taken to places of extraordinary beauty to photograph.
If one day of hunting is not enough, you can also pre-arrange an overnight stay in open-air hut.
It’s Croatia after all. So there are places to dive everywhere, head out on a day-trip to the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta for the very best diving experiences.
Leave Omiš early in the morning for the open sea, where you’ll have the chance to reel in over a dozen species of fish. Prepare them for lunch, enjoy a spot of swimming before making your way back to Omiš in the afternoon.
The Cetina River is the place for river fishing. Your likely catch of the day will be trout, chub, or carp. Not far from Radmanove Mlinice you can fish for eel and mullet.
15. Sea Kayaking
Spend the day paddling in the Adriatic clear blue sea. Magic.
16. Hike to the fortress
There are panoramic views of Omiš from Mirabela, once a reliable hideout for the Omiš pirates who used to retreat into the safety of the Cetina gorge. Legend says that in 1537, during an attack by the Turks, the defenders of Omiš confused the attackers with their shouting and shots so much that the Turks overestimated the number of defenders and fled.
17. Get lost
Simply wander the narrow cobbled streets of Omiš and take in her historic sites & churches. Look out for the sign, claiming best pizza is Dalmatia – try it and let me know what you think.
18. Get musical
During the summer, Omiš plays host to a famous Dalmatian Klapa Singing Festival. Held annually the festival is one of the biggest in Croatia and is inscribed into the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
19. Rent a small boat
The Cetina River is calm, which makes renting a boat fun and safe. Small boats can be hired with or without a skipper. Either way you’ll make your way up the river, through canyons, so have your camera handy.
BONUS number 20 – Volleyball on the beach
Okay, so I know I said that Omiš was more than a place for beach-bums… and as you can see by this impressive list, it is. I was not going to include the beach, however a day (or more) at the beach is very much warranted. The beaches of Omiš are not just for (safe) tanning, head to the sandy beach stretching half a kilometre not far from the town center. It makes a great day for families with little-ones and offers beach volleyball.
And if you want more beaches, Omiš has a few. Plus you could take day-trip to the Makarsaka Riviera and enjoy the blue flag beaches along that stretch of coast.
Accommodation in Omiš?
We recommend you stay at the Hotel Villa Dvor, where we spent several nights as their guest while we toured the sites of Omiš. Nestled between two canyons along the Cetina River, Hotel Villa Dvor, is set high above a sheer marble stone cliff. Your stay is surrounded by the warm hospitality of the entire Curlin family & they also have a rooftop jacuzzi..seriously.
If you are planning a family holiday – we suggest combining family fun and adventure with Active Holidays Croatia. Families who travel, often find one big thing difficult – finding a balance between what Mum and Dad want and what will keep the kids happy and entertained. So, if that is you, stop right here. We’ve found Croatia’s oldest active holiday provider Active Holidays Croatia who are the leaders in family activity holidays. They’ve been in business since 1987 and in the last almost 30 years they have been catering mostly (but not exclusively) to families with teenage children.
Map of Omiš
If you’d like to know even more things to do Omiš, head to the Tourist Board website or facebook pages.
So are you tempted? How many of these things to to in Omiš do you want to try?