Nestled in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, Omiš is a picturesque town and port known for its rich history and stunning landscapes. Located approximately 25 kilometers southeast of Split, Omiš is where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea.
The town’s area spans 266 square kilometers, and it has a population of 14,936. Historically, Omiš was renowned for the Corsairs of Almissa, whose unique ships were designed for attack and fast retrieval.
Today, the town’s economy thrives on farming, fishing, textile and food-processing industries, and tourism. The blend of historical monuments, natural beauty, and cultural festivals makes Omiš a captivating destination for travelers.
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Attractions & Things to do in Omiš
1. Mirabella Fortress (Peovica)
Mirabella Fortress, also known as Peovica, is a 13th-century fortress that stands tall in Omiš. It offers a breathtaking view of the town and the surrounding area. The fortress played a crucial role in protecting the town from invaders in the past.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for the climb, and don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning views.
2. Starigrad Fortress (Fortica)
Starigrad Fortress, or Fortica, is a 15th-century fortress that overlooks the town of Omiš. It’s a symbol of the town’s rich history and offers an incredible panoramic view of the Cetina River, the sea, and nearby islands.
Travel Tip: The hike to the fortress can be challenging, so it’s best to start early in the morning to avoid the heat.
3. Church of St. Peter
The pre-Romanesque Church of St. Peter dates back to the tenth century A.D. This single-naved edifice, with a cupola and apse, was used as a Glagolithic seminary for novice priests in the 18th century.
Travel Tip: Check the opening hours before visiting, as they may vary.
4. Franciscan Monastery on Skalice
The Franciscan Monastery on Skalice is an 18th-century religious site that represents the spiritual heritage of Omiš. It’s a peaceful place to explore and reflect.
Travel Tip: Dress modestly when visiting this religious site, and respect the silence and serenity of the place.
5. Cetina Canyon
The Cetina Canyon is a natural wonder near Omiš, where the Cetina River has carved a dramatic gorge. It’s a popular spot for outdoor activities like rafting, canyoning, and hiking.
Travel Tip: If you’re planning to go rafting or canyoning, book with a reputable tour operator and follow all safety guidelines.
6. Dalmatian A Cappella Singing Festival
Omiš is best known for the traditional festival of the Dalmatian a cappella singing groups. This festival is the highlight of Omiš’s summer and a unique cultural experience.
Travel Tip: Plan your visit during the festival dates to enjoy this unique musical tradition, and book your accommodation in advance, as the town can be busy during this time.
Unique Activities in Omiš
1. 3-Hour Cetina Canyon Zipline Experience
Experience the thrill of ziplining through the Cetina Canyon, taking in breathtaking views as you soar above the landscape. This 3-hour adventure offers a unique perspective of the canyon’s natural beauty, providing adrenaline-pumping excitement along the way.
Day Trips from Omiš
Explore the ancient Roman ruins and the scenic palm-lined promenade in Split, a vibrant city just a short drive from Omiš. Dive into its history at Diocletian’s Palace, and savor the delightful mix of traditional and modern vibes.
Travel Tip: Opt for an early morning visit to avoid the peak tourist crowds, especially at Diocletian’s Palace.
Immerse yourself in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir, a charming medieval town with a rich history, and wander through its narrow cobblestone streets, admiring the blend of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture.
Travel Tip: Visit the Kamerlengo Castle for panoramic views of the town and its surrounding islands.
3. Krka National Park
Discover the mesmerizing beauty of Krka National Park, home to cascading waterfalls and serene nature trails. Enjoy a refreshing swim near Skradinski Buk, the park’s most famous waterfall, and capture breathtaking views all around.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable footwear suitable for walking on uneven terrains, and remember to bring your swimsuit for a dip in the waterfalls.
Where to stay in Omiš
Omiš, located in Croatia, is a picturesque town known for its stunning natural surroundings, pristine beaches, steep cliffs, and the nearby Biokovo Mountain. With a rich history and a plethora of attractions, Omiš offers a variety of hotels catering to different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re seeking luxury, budget-friendly options, or something in between, Omiš has a hotel to fit your needs.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Hotel Plaža Duće (★★★★)
- Description: Boasting a beachfront location in Omiš, this hotel features an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, a spa and wellness centre, as well as a restaurant and a pool bar.
- Price: € 127.33 per night
- Rating: 9.5 (Exceptional)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Damianii Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa (★★★★★)
- Description: Located just a few metres away from the Adriatic Sea, this hotel offers a private area on a beach with canopies and sunbeds, an outdoor pool, and a sun terrace.
- Price: € 255 per night
- Rating: 8.4 (Very good)
3. Budget Hotel
Hotel Villa Dvor (★★★)
- Description: Rebuilt on the place of the old Villa Dvor, this hotel is situated above Omiš, offering views of the Mountains of Mosor and the Omiš Dinara.
- Price: € 115 per night
- Rating: 9.2 (Superb)
4. Hotel for Family
Hotel Plaža (★★★★)
- Description: Located in the center of Omiš, next to the main town beach, this hotel is ideal for families looking for activities and convenience.
- Price: € 136.43 per night
- Rating: 9.2 (Superb)
5. Hotel for Couples
Hotel Saint Hildegard (★★★★)
- Description: Situated in Omiš, this hotel is a few steps from Beach Čelina and provides accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and a terrace.
- Price: € 210 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Hotel Nestos (★★★★)
- Description: Facing the beachfront, this hotel offers 4-star accommodation in Omiš and features a terrace, restaurant, and bar.
- Price: € 161.50 per night
- Rating: 9.3 (Superb)
Did you know? Facts about Omiš
- Omiš is a town and port in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, situated where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea, approximately 25 kilometers southeast of Split.
- The name of the city, Omiš, has various historical derivations, including from the Greek word meaning “hill” or “place on the hill,” and from Proto-Indo-European words meaning “rock” or “cliff.”
- Omiš was historically known for the Corsairs of Almissa, who used specialized ships called Sagittas for attack and fast retrieval into the Cetina River, protecting the town from invaders.
- The town is home to several historical monuments, including the Church of St Euphemia from the early 6th century, Mirabella Fortress from the 13th century, and the Renaissance church of the Holy Spirit from the 15th century.
- Omiš’s economy today is based on farming, fishing, textile and food-processing industries, and tourism.
- The town is famous for the traditional festival of Dalmatian a cappella singing groups, a highlight of Omiš’s summer and a celebration of the town’s beauty.
- Omiš has eight churches, including the church of Saint Michael, church of Holy Ghost, and the Franciscan Monastery with the church of Our Lady of Carmel.
- The pre-Romanesque Church of St. Peter from the tenth century A.D., located in the Priko neighborhood, was used in the 18th century as a Glagolithic seminary for novice priests.
- Omiš is twinned with several cities, including Bol in Croatia, Havířov in the Czech Republic, and Ryazan in the Russian Federation.
- The town’s natural beauty is highlighted by features like the Cetina Canyon, and it is part of the Split-Dalmatia County, a popular coastal destination in Croatia.
FAQ about Omiš
What is Omiš known for in Croatia?
Omiš is a renowned town and port in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, located where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea. It’s situated approximately 25 kilometers south-east of Split, Croatia’s second-largest city.
How did the town of Omiš get its name?
The name “Omiš” is believed to have evolved from the Slavic word “Holm” or “Hum”, translating from the Illyrian-Greek word “Onaion” or “Oneon”, which means “hill” or “place on the hill”. Another theory suggests it might be derived from the Greek word “onos”, meaning donkey, possibly due to the shape of the rocky promontory near the city.
What historical significance does Omiš hold?
Historically, Omiš was known for the Corsairs of Almissa, whose ships, called Sagittas, were designed for rapid attacks and retreats into the Cetina River, thereby safeguarding the town from invaders.
Which historical monuments can tourists visit in Omiš?
Some of the notable historical sites include the Church of St Euphemia, Mirabella Fortress, Starigrad Fortress, the Renaissance church of the Holy Spirit, and the pre-Romanesque Church of St. Peter.
What is the primary economy of Omiš today?
Presently, Omiš’s economy thrives on farming, fishing, textile and food-processing industries, and, importantly, tourism.
What cultural events can tourists expect in Omiš?
Omiš is famous for its traditional festival of Dalmatian a cappella singing groups. Additionally, the Omiš Summer Festival showcases various concerts and recitals in the town’s plazas and churches.
How many churches are there in Omiš for visitors to explore?
Omiš boasts eight churches, including the church of Saint Michael, church of Holy Ghost, church of Saint Rock, and the Franciscan Monastery with the church of Our Lady of Carmel, among others.
Are there any twin towns or sister cities associated with Omiš?
Yes, Omiš has twinning arrangements with several cities including Bol (Croatia), Havířov (Czech Republic), Nepomuk (Czech Republic), and Zagorje ob Savi (Slovenia), to name a few.