If you are reading this Omis Croatia guide, and it isn’t the year 2030…
There’s still time to travel to Omis (Omiš) before it becomes super touristy, because, I really have no idea why it isn’t yet.
Omis is the most underrated destination in Croatia. Living in the Balkans has allowed me to travel to a lot of cities and towns, and at this point, there is just no other place in Croatia like Omiš.
Visually, it looks like nowhere else in the country with its sharp, jagged mountains that resemble spikes of a lizard tail. This little town packs so much punch. You have the Omis beach, biking, kayaking, rafting, canyoning, rock-climbing, ziplining–which, *Spoiler Alert*, was absolutely terrifying! But, we’ll get to that in a bit.
How is this place real? The mountains look like they’re ready to swallow the town whole!
Omiš’ spooky history.
Omiš is known as the Pirate City. From the 12-14th century, it was a famed port city and many ships would pass through. Thus, Omiš became a hub for the Jack Sparrows of Croatia.
Despite that picture perfect movie setting, people aren’t coming here in droves. But I’m certain that in 10 years, more people will be searching for Omis travel guides.
Getting to Omiš is quite simple.
Considering that Omiš is only 30 minutes south of Split and 30 minutes north of Makarska, I really do not understand why it is not more popular. Many of the tourists in Omiš were only day-trippers from Split.
There are busses that travel between Omiš and Split every hour. If you are coming from Dubrovnik, there are busses that travel every hour in the direction of Makarska and Split. These busses will stop in Omiš after they stop in Makarska.
Omis beach… yay or nay?
Omiš has a beach, but it’s a typical pebbled beach that is not spectacular. I mean, it doesn’t suck. But you can’t get up to super fun beach antics like diving off picturesque rocks or enjoying a more sandy beach atmosphere that doesn’t eventually disturb the bottom of your feet. The biggest positive of the Omis beach are those intoxicating views of the Biokovo mountain backdrop. By the way, because of those mountains, Omis weather can get quite breezy early, which doesn’t help.
There are definitely much more tranquil beaches on the way to Split or Makarska. If you want to check out some nicer beaches close to Omis, Duce (Duče) and Dugi Rat are your best options. There is an hourly Omis Split bus that leaves from the stop across from the bus station, and those busses will stop at Duce (the bigger beach) and Dugi Rat. And if you want to check out some even quieter beach spots, it’s best to rent a car. That way, you can drive along the coast, see a beach you like as you’re cruising along, pull-over, and set-up your towel there.
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Where to rent a car in Omis?
So you can actually rent a car in Split, and I recommend searching for car rentals on Discover Car Hire. It’s equivalent to Kayak, Skyscanner or Google Flights, but for rental cars. You can also compare prices of companies that have one way rental in Croatia. That way, you can pick-up your car in Split or Dubrovnik and drop it off all the way in Zagreb or Pula or whatever town is available that fits your itinerary.
Omis has two fortresses, because, Omis just doesn’t know how to be basic.
Omis is like the A+ student that knows the answer to every question on the test. Omis is an overachiever. Omis has two fortress, because… of course.
Basically, there’s an easy one to get to and a harder one to get to.
The easy one is Mirabella. It’s only a 10-15 minutes ascent from the old town. The route starts at the steps beneath the clock tower in the old town, which is close to the end nearest to the canyon entrance. Here’s a view of the fortress overlooking the old town entrance.
And here’s a view from the fortress.
The harder one to get to, Starigrad Fortica, can take up to two or three hours to get there and back. A lot of that depends on how fast you are at hiking and how many times you stop to take pictures. If you are like me, then you probably stop for pictures at least 8 billion times.
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Zipline Omis is epic and reaches death defying heights… so, what the hell was I doing there?
I can’t believe I did the zipline. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a scaredy cat.
I saw videos on Youtube of the Omiš zipline for years and always hoped I would do it, but never thought I would. But I felt like I couldn’t go to Omiš and not do it.
Also, my Croatian man-of-my-dreams told me that I had to do it, and said it is the best in Croatia. I basically just wanted him to think I was cool. So that had something to do with it too.
But anyway, I am glad I did it though. You can not visit Omis and not do something adventurous.
In the photo below, the big red-salmon colored house on the right is the location of the Zipline Omiš.
Check out my frightening experience ziplining in Omis on video!
There still aren’t a million hotels and only one hostel.
Omiš is one of the more populous towns along the riviera—although nowhere near the population Split. But being that it is quite close to Split and it should be a burgeoning destination, there aren’t so many hotels to choose from. But here are my suggestions for the best accommodations in the town.
Cool hotels & hostels in Omiš Croatia.
Hotel Villa Dvor // for mid-range hotel seekers.
When I was contacting Omiš hotels to collaborate with for my youtube channel, I was PRAYING that this hotel would work with me—PRAY-ING!
I mean, look at it! It’s perched on a rock with the best views of both the canyon and the sea. It also has a jacuzzi on the roof overlooking the canyon, as well as a sky high restaurant with a terrace. Luckily, they agreed to collaborate with me and I stayed in the most amazing room with a view of the sea. It is also super quiet, cozy, unpretentious, and homely as the staff are so helpful and sweet. Long story short, it is the best Omis hotel in my humble opinion.
Hotel Plaža // for mid-range hotel seekers.
Its name says it all. Plaža means beach in Croatian language and this is the one hotel right on the beach.
Apartments Tomasevic // mid-range apartments.
This family-owned set of Omis apartments contains bright and spacious quarters located in the old town. They also have a restaurant and can arrange rafting tours, island excursions to Hvar or Brač and day trips to Split and Makarksa.
Hostel Omis // for budget travelers.
If you are looking for a hostel, this is the only one in Omiš. So you have no choice but to stay here, and it will probably be one of the coolest hostels you will ever stay in. All the rooms are modern, minimalistic and built into the rock walls. How cool is that?
For cheap accommodations, you can also always try typing “apartmani omis” into Google search, and apartment websites in Croatian language will show up. You can use your browser’s translate option to understand the website, and then try contacting these apartment websites by yourself.
Some other adventure activities you can do in Omis.
Omiš is a little paradise for adventure seekers, whether epicly daunting or mildly daring. Most hotels can book the excursions for you, which is how I ended up going zip-lining. You can also sign up for various excursions at the touristic office, which is right next to the Omiš Zipline office.
As you explore Omiš, you will see a few locations for rock-climbing. Most of them are only 5 minutes away from the old town as Omiš is quite small and rocky everywhere, so it will be very easy to get to any climbing excursion.
Right behind this micro-tunnel is the start of the bike route through the canyon and the primary rock climbing location.
There is a bike rental office once you walk across the bridge from the old town, and start walking in the direction facing the canyon. You will see the bike rack holding a lot of bikes outside the office, so it is hard to miss.
Canyon and river boat tour.
This is impossible to miss, especially as the boat operators will be stopping you as you walk by and suggest that you hop on their boat. I would listen to a few offers and just go with what you think is best for you.
This is where the boats leave from.
Canyoning & Rafting Omis.
Every country in the Balkans has a prime spot for rafting and in Croatia, it is definitely Omiš. The Cetina river stretches to 100 km and the mountains hugging it reach heights of more than 1800 meters. So naturally, that makes it ideal for Omis rafting and canyoning. Not to mention, the turquoise waters of the river are just unbelievable.
Enjoy a seafood dinner and traditional gemišt in the old town.
Even though I live in Serbia and travel in the Balkans all the time, nowhere in the region compares to Dalmatia for dining. It just has the best seafood.
During the day, I enjoyed an amazing fish burger at Cocopazzo. Croatia has the best fish burgers and there are so many restaurants and fast food places that offer fish burgers. At night, various different restaurants offered a variety of škamp (shrimp in Croatian, pronounced like shkomp).
Also popular in Dalmatian is a local mixed-drink called gemišt. It is white wine mixed with gas water. Honestly, it’s not my favorite, but when in Dalmatia, make like a Dalmatian and take it easy with gemišt.
I leave you with one last photo from the marvel that is Omis Croatia.
I remember stopping here just behind the tunnel, after riding my bike back from the canyon. And I remember thinking: man, life is good… the world is just so extraordinary sometimes. Omiš is the type of place that brings out of you that kind of existential awe and gratitude. I am so glad I finally got to experience this amazing little place after years of pining over it, and I can’t wait for you to do the same. 🙂
Are you traveling soon to Omis Croatia? Let me know in the comments what you are most excited about and share this post if you found it helpful. Also, feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything. 🙂