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Omiš

Omis - a port city with a pirate history

The spectacular location at the water mouth of the river Cetina in the Croatian Central Dalmatia turned the city of Omis into a pirates’ nest in medieval times – and makes it into a frequent destination for tourism today. Well into the 15th century the residents were among the most dangerous buccaneers in the Adriatic, although this did not tarnish the relationship to the former Republic of Poljica, a semi-autonomous community at the gates of Omis. Today Poljica is part of Omis.

Besides its history as the infamous pirates’ nest the city of Omis, which has about 6000 residents, enchants due to its Venetian heritage that is present in the entire historic district: Especially the sensational location at the foot of steep, rugged stonewalls punctuated by the idyllic river Cetina and its canyon bestow upon the city a unique flair – also because the Cetina runs right through Omis and readily flows into the Adriatic Sea. The river stream, which is rectified in the city area, seperates the historic city from the modern city. One can still feel the charm of the former pirates’ nest in the alleys and its stone houses and city walls. The city’s fortifications, Fort Fortica and Fort Mirabela, tower above the historic district. Both forts grant a beautiful view of the bay.

The river Cetina grants Omis it distinct charm and provides many opportunities for physical activity. Rafting on the river is a popular recreational activity and a great variation to swimming and tanning at the local sandy beach, which is marked by a blue flag. The beach owes its sand to the Cetina, which – due to the deposition of sediment in Omis and in the neighboring town of Duce– produced 4 km of fine sand beach that flatly descends into the sea. The sand, by the way, is perfect for building sandcastles, so that the beach is well-suited for families with younger and older children. In some places of the beach one might find small pebble

Omis - a port city with a pirate history

The spectacular location at the water mouth of the river Cetina in the Croatian Central Dalmatia turned the city of Omis into a pirates’ nest in medieval times – and makes it into a frequent destination for tourism today. Well into the 15th century the residents were among the most dangerous buccaneers in the Adriatic, although this did not tarnish the relationship to the former Republic of Poljica, a semi-autonomous community at the gates of Omis. Today Poljica is part of Omis.

Besides its history as the infamous pirates’ nest the city of Omis, which has about 6000 residents, enchants due to its Venetian heritage that is present in the entire historic district: Especially the sensational location at the foot of steep, rugged stonewalls punctuated by the idyllic river Cetina and its canyon bestow upon the city a unique flair – also because the Cetina runs right through Omis and readily flows into the Adriatic Sea. The river stream, which is rectified in the city area, seperates the historic city from the modern city. One can still feel the charm of the former pirates’ nest in the alleys and its stone houses and city walls. The city’s fortifications, Fort Fortica and Fort Mirabela, tower above the historic district. Both forts grant a beautiful view of the bay.

The river Cetina grants Omis it distinct charm and provides many opportunities for physical activity. Rafting on the river is a popular recreational activity and a great variation to swimming and tanning at the local sandy beach, which is marked by a blue flag. The beach owes its sand to the Cetina, which – due to the deposition of sediment in Omis and in the neighboring town of Duce– produced 4 km of fine sand beach that flatly descends into the sea. The sand, by the way, is perfect for building sandcastles, so that the beach is well-suited for families with younger and older children. In some places of the beach one might find small pebble stones, which however does not hamper the fun.

About 7 km up the stream, at the Cetina’s cozy riverbank, is the traditional restaurant “Radmanove Mlinice” with its huge, shaded summer patio. The restaurant is well-known for its hearty regional cuisine and a great place to try, for instance, the local favorite by the name of “Peka,” a specialty made from tender meat, tasty potatoes, and local vegetables. The meal for 4-8 persons is served on a skillet-like plate and is gently cooked under an iron cast cover amidst the glowing coals of an open hearth. The place also offers delicious fish and meat specialties of the region. At the riverbank of this spacious restaurant one may rent a canoe for a cruise on the Cetina. Not far from here is the restaurant “Krmenko” (flint stone), an insider tip, because it is built into a natural stone cave. The interior is kept in the style of the popular television show “The Flintstones”. One finds items made of wood, such as the wooden car with stone tires and much more. In addition, the food is excellent, so that an interesting and broad gastronomic experience in and around Omis is a given.


The river Cetina is a magnet for visitors

Besides rafting on the river Cetina Omis offers more possibilities for a diversified vacation. Popular in Croatia and known around the world, the festival of Dalmatian Klapa takes place every year in July in Omis. The Klapa festival is a one week-long open air event in the historic district of Omis. Mostly male choirs of 5-10 artists assemble to perform their own compositions as well as age-old pieces. They do not have musical instruments to accompany them. Only their vocals are at work here. Do not miss out on this. During his visit in Omis, the famous bestseller author Paolo Coelho said the following about this music: While I was listening to the music of the Dalmatian Klapa I realized that the Coratian people have a soul, which needs to be shown to the world…” (Sluajuci dalmatinske klape shvatio sam da hrvatski narod ima dusu koju treba znati pokazati svijetu..."Paulo Coelho) In addidtion to this, Omis also features pirate nights as well as music and dance nights during the summertime. Summers are always enjoyable and entertaining.

The greater area is perfect for hiking mountainous hinterland or for a boat trip to Bol. The trip to Bol is possible with a private or rented boat. Even the ferry in Split takes passengers to Bol. Split belongs to the most exciting cities at the Adriatic Sea and has to offer peculiar structures, a great cultural program, and an active night life. In the South of Croatia lies Dubrovnik, also called “Pearl of the Adriatic Sea”. Visitors enjoy the flair of the historic district and the cultural treasures, when they saunter through Dubrovnik in the sun.

Beside the peaceful calm compared to the coast, another reason to venture out into the nearby hinterland is the extraordinary beauty that you will encounter. The two lakes of Imotski, the Red Lake and the Blue Lake, are quite interesting and unique and have been the point of destination for various geological expeditions from countries like the United States, Austria, and France – to name a few. The lakes evolved through the collapse of the lower level lime rock cave ceiling. The magnitude of the collapse is enormous, so that both lakes rather appear like volcanoes, since one has to look down from the edges of the lakes to spot the water. The surrounding cliffs are steeply sloping. Over the summer the Blue Lake drains completely every so often. When this happens, football tournaments are organized. Imotski’s lakes are quite impressive and well worth seeing.

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Central Dalmatia, Riviera Omiš, Omiš

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