Just 25km down the coastal highway from Split is the beautiful historic seaside town of Omiš.
I was fortunate enough to spend nearly a week in an AirBnb nearby, and I was pleased to discover that there were actually quite a few things to do in Omiš, as well as nearby, to occupy your time.
It’s a very popular place to visit during the summer, with tourists from all over Europe coming to explore the lovely Croatian coast, and for the rest of the year Omiš is just a quaint, quiet seaside village without much going on.
Historically, it was known to be a pirate town for hundreds of years, with the shallow harbor and high cliffs offering plenty of protection for the pirate ships from anybody seeking justice.
The pirates brought a lot of prosperity and wealth to the town and surrounding area, so much so that walls were built to further defend the town from any invaders in the later half of the 12th century.
Unfortunately, in 1444 the pirates were defeated by the Turkish army, and the city continued to switch hands for the following years until ending up in Croatian control during modern history.
As for its geographical importance, the town is also where the Cetina River empties in the Adriatic, with the river also providing a safe place for smaller, faster ships to escape to.
These days just 15,000 or so people live in Omiš, but during the summer that number more than doubles with all of the tourists and visitors from nearby larger towns.
Although it’s mostly a popular destination for people looking to escape busy city life and spend some time on the beach, I still want to talk about what to do in Omiš if you’re planning on visiting and making the most of your trip.
The Best Things to do in Omiš, Croatia
Explore the Old Town
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in the city is to spend a few hours exploring the small Old Town.
Just like with the rest of the coastal towns and villages in Croatia, the Omiš Old Town is full of narrow streets, tucked away passages, and beautiful historic stone buildings dating back hundreds of years.
Throughout the city centre are quite a few different restaurants, cafes, and small shops that you can explore before spending some time walking along the waterfront promenade and admiring the views of the Adriatic.
There are a surprising number of cafes in the Old Town area, so make sure to find one with a great view and spending hour or so enjoying a beer or refreshing coffee drink.
There are also some great options if you’re looking for some seafood and check out TripAdvisor if you’re in need of some recommendations or inspiration.
Hike Up to the Mirabela Fortress
There are two fortresses in Omiš, and Mirabela Fortress is the more popular and better kept one closest to the city centre.
It’s possible to hike up to the fortress, which overlooks the town, and from the top you can take in some incredible panoramic views of Omiš and the surrounding area.
The fortress used to be a hideout for the pirates that frequented the area, although unfortunately most of what you can explore today is just ruins.
Hiking up to the fortress can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 90 minutes depending on your skill level and fitness, and it’s a good idea to start early in the day before it gets too hot and too crowded with other tourists.
Make sure to wear a suitable pair of hiking boots, or at the very least some close toed shoes, because the terrain is quite rocky with lots of sharp pebbles and small rocks covering the trail.
Rent a Canoe
When you’re in Omiš it’s possible to rent a canoe and this is a good idea if you’re looking for a little bit of adventure.
The canoe rentals are quite reasonably priced and you can take it up the Cetina River for a quiet, peaceful paddle down the river to explore some of the beautiful surrounding scenery.
The views from the river are simply incredible with the canyon walls looming high up above and this makes for quite a picturesque and stunning adventure, especially for photography lovers.
Try to time your rental so that you can be out on the water over lunch, this way you can bring along some snacks and enjoy a nice picnic somewhere quiet and secluded.
Rent a Sea Kayak
Other than renting a canoe, you can also rent a sea kayak for the day and head out on to the Adriatic for an awesome kayaking adventure.
The Adriatic is quite calm year round, apart from some windy days here and there, so kayaking makes for quite a fun time to explore the water and check out some of the nearby beaches.
There are quite a few options for renting a kayak in Omiš so just walk around until you find a company that you’re comfortable with and that offers competitive pricing.
Alternatively, you can also go on a kayak excursion if you would rather have somebody lead you around rather than exploring on your own.
Rent a Boat
If a kayak and canoe don’t offer enough power for you, then it’s also possible to rent a boat.
Right in town you can rent your own boat to take up the Cetina River, and you can also rent one that comes with a guide if you want a guided tour or if you want to head out on to the Adriatic and get some swimming done.
Regardless of which rental option you go with, you’re bound to come across some beautiful scenery, so definitely make sure to bring your camera with you.
Renting a boat is going to be the most expensive rental option, but if you split it between some friends it can actually be quite affordable.
There are a surprising amount of adventure activities that you can do in Omiš, and one of the best things is the famous zip line.
The Omiš zip line allows you to see the Cetina River and surrounding area from a different vantage point all while filling you up with loads of adrenaline and allowing you to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.
On the zipline course, there are a different zip lines that you can cruise down at more than 65 kilometres per hour.
At more than 150 meters in the air, the zip lines make up for a really thrilling activity and they help to break up the monotony of spending all your time at the beach.
Don’t forget to wear your GoPro so you can capture the exciting moments all on film and share it with your friends back home.
Apart from hiking up to the fortress, there is actually a network of trails surrounding Omiš that you can explore.
These trails will bring you high up into the surrounding mountains of Biokovo, Mosor, and Dinara, and will provide you with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding coastline.
All of the trails are accessible from town and it’s definitely possible to start in the morning, reach the top of a mountain, and make it back before dinner.
Like I mentioned up above, the train can be quite rough so make sure to come prepared with a good pair of shoes, a water bottle, and give yourself enough time so that you don’t get stuck hiking at night.
Relax on the Beach
There are quite a few beaches surrounding Omiš, many of which are within easy walking distance of the city centre.
It’s hard to pick a single best beach, so just make your way to the coast and either walk left or right until you find a place that you think is great for swimming.
The water is crystal clear, a nice temperature during the warmer summer months, and even during the height of tourist season you can still find a beach that isn’t too busy.
One of the best adventure activities in Omiš is to go on a rafting excursion down the many rapids on the Cetina River.
There are a few different companies offering a rafting excursion, although the starting and ending points for these river rafting trips tends to be the same, so just book one where you’re comfortable with the employees.
The starting point is in Pensici, and you flow down the Cetina River until you end up in Radmanove Milnice.
This is a 9km-long route and rafting down the river across quite a few thrilling rapids is a great thing to experience if you’re looking for something to do that doesn’t involve the beach.
Spend an Afternoon Horseback Riding
In the nearby town of SInj, it’s possible to spend some time horseback riding through some beautiful scenery.
Sinj is a UNESCO site, with a relevant history attached to horses, so horseback riding seems to be ingrained in the roots of the people from this picturesque town.
Each riding excursion will take at least an hour, giving you plenty of time on the horse, and you get to explore the lovely surrounding area with a vantage point high above the ground.
This is also quite a reasonably priced excursion, and you can even turn it into a day trip from Omiš if you were so inclined.
Rent a Bicycle
Along the coast and heading into the surrounding countryside is an enormous network of cycling trails waiting to be explored.
There are a few places in the city center where you can rent a bicycle and spend a few hours exploring some the surrounding villages and other areas of natural beauty without having to fend off all the tourists.
Bicycle rentals in Omiš are very affordable, and it shouldn’t cost you more than a handful of euros to rent the bike for the day.
One village you might want to head to is Poljica, and here you can try their local famous flat bread that has been a Croatian delicacy for hundreds of years.
You could also opt to rent a mountain bike and make your way up into the mountains for a more adventurous day of exploring.
If you just want to relax on a quiet beach without so many people around, then take the bikes and explore up and down the coast until you find a quiet, secluded little cove where you can soak up the sun in peace.
Right at the harbor, near the entrance to town from the large parking lot side, are a few companies offering diving excursions.
Diving is a great way to spend a few hours out of the direct sunlight but still getting the chance to explore the beautiful underwater scenery that Croatia has to offer.
Many of the excursions will take you out on a boat to some beautiful areas, and you can even head to some of the nearby islands, like Hvar or Brac, if you want an even more unique diving adventure experience.
The diving trips can be quite pricey, so keep that in mind if you’re hoping to spend the day out on the water.
Where to Stay in Omiš?
I visited during my birthday, so I actually stayed at a beautiful AirBnb apartment right outside of town.
It was right on the water, with a beautiful view of the Adriatic from the balcony, and a private walkway that lead down to a secluded beach.
I recommend signing up for AirBnb here, if you haven’t already, and you can get a discount on your first trip.
Staying in an AirBnb during your visit to Croatia is a really practical choice because they tend to be quite reasonably priced and are usually in great locations compared to the somewhat-expensive local accommodation options.
Explore the Rest of Croatia!
There are quite a few things to do in Zadar if you want to explore a medium-sized Croatian coastal city with great nightlife.
Want to check out another small town? The lovely historic town of Trogir also offers quite a few interesting things to do for tourists and visitors.
You can also check out the Croatian capital of Zagreb to get another look at life in the country.