Private canyon cruise and Omiš sightseeing tour with me
When I first came to Omis, I was sincerely impressed by the natural beauty where the town nestled. At first, I completely fell for its physical appearance and then further introduction followed. I discovered completely different beauty, hidden in the passages of its invisible past. Gone centuries weaved stories, legends and the fine threads of tradition and culture that Omis and its surroundings live today. What an exciting acquaintance it was!
Omis is a small town and one might not expect big stories. But, don’t be fooled. You can see the fortifications above the town at the first glance. So, everyone with a little imagination could ask what kind of stories they hide. Quite enough to start with and take off the veil of secrets. As a tourist guide and a person sincerely in love with this town, I am most pleased with visitors who are curious and interested. Thanks to them, I have someone to share everything I have discovered and learned so far and what I love to share and pass on.
Omis is only 25 km away from Split and 35 km from Makarska and in half an hour to forty minutes drive can be reached, depending on the time of year and traffic jams. Apart from the road, it can also be reached by boat, so I recommend everyone who is on holiday on the nearby islands to ‘jump’ over for a visit.
It is located by the sea, the entrance to the magnificent canyon and the mouth of the river Cetina. The Cetina river leaves the canyon here and several hundred meters high hills, passes through the centre of the town and after more than a hundred kilometres of somewhat turbulent flow gently flows into the Adriatic Sea.
Have you ever seen anything like that?
After many years, the view of Omis is still fascinating to me.
Thanks to its geographical position, Omis also has a rather interesting history. Today, its geographical position mostly serves economic, tourist purposes, while in the past life was reduced mainly to bare survival. This position in the past provided protection first and then the opportunity for defence. During the 12th and 13th centuries, it will be shown that this position was also ideal for controlling the sea route that took place in front of Omis. Ingenious and enterprising, the people of Omis, under the leadership of Kačić dukes, were engaged in trade, charging the safe sailing through their territory and piracy too. At the time, piracy and brutal robbery were a part of life. The legend of Robin Hood is set in the same time period. Just as he defended and protected the rights of the poor and fought together with the common people against the tyranny of the rich and powerful, so did the people of Omis claiming the right to rule their land and sea outwitting powerful foreign forces who claimed the right to their land.
You can find out on sightseeing more about how just the ‘handful’ of Omiš people managed to resist the enemy for two centuries and control the seaway from Split to Dubrovnik, as well as where they kept their ships and where their fortress was placed.
Apart from the story of the Omis pirates and their princes, the narrow streets and squares hide other interesting stories. As we walk past the stone houses, churches, and old town cemetery, I will help them tell stories they have kept for centuries. You will discover where the city walls and the canal that once protected the city were, as well as where the Roman sarcophagi and the sunken warship are.
Also, you can’t leave Omis without learning all about traditional Dalmatian singing, cultural heritage included in the UNESCO list of intangible heritage. Klapa singing is characteristic for the whole Dalmatia, and the most important event related to it has been held for more than half a century in Omis. I will tell you with how much love and enthusiasm the Festival of Dalmatian Klapas was organized, in which the whole was involved.
Poking your nose into the old part of Omis and not visiting the canyon too, and vice versa, is half the job done ?
The past of Omis is closely connected to the canyon which has its own little secrets and stories to tell. The geomorphological phenomenon was created by the karst river Cetina. Part of the estuary and 8 kilometres upstream has the status of a protected significant landscape since 1963. It is navigable for motorboats approximately 6 kilometres, to the place where the Radman family’s mills were more than 170 years ago. Today it is a picnic area with a restaurant and entertainment facilities where you can enjoy the natural shade of beautiful trees, the relaxing sounds of nature, water and the singing of birds.
The boat ride through the canyon takes about forty minutes. From time to time I will interrupt you in enjoying the scenery and share some more interesting things. You may want to know why Ilinac is not the highest waterfall in Croatia and why you can catch sea fish in the river, or why the salt trade used to be more valuable than the gold trade. Of course, only if you don’t already know it.
The trip is completely adaptable to your wishes and we can include lunch or maybe a wine tasting in one of the restaurants in Omis. Omis gastronomy is closely connected with its surrounding, ie river and seafood specialities. And you can also enjoy local and indigenous Dalmatian varieties of wine.
In my opinion, the canyon is most beautiful in late spring when everything takes on a bright green colour or when autumn begins to flaunt with shades of gold to red. In addition, at that time the temperatures are not so high so it is ideal for walking and if you would like to visit the pirate fort and climbing its steep stairs.
I hope to see you one day ?
P.S. The credit of all the beautiful photos in this post goes to Osijek photographer Samir Kurtagić. More of his works you can see here.