Looking for one of the best adventure activities in Split or Omiš on the Croatian Coast of Dalmatia? Don’t miss this epic Cetina rafting adventure, combining white water rafting with a bit of caving, canyoning, and cliff jumping!
Adventure lovers visiting Split or the small town of Omiš have a plethora of epic day tours and adventure activities to choose from.
However, if you’re looking to experience a little bit of everything, then one of the best bang-for-buck trips is the epic Cetina River rafting trip! This tour features a 1 km long route with grade 3 rapids as well as the opportunity to explore some hidden caves, swim under pristine small waterfalls and cliff jump down the famous Cetina canyon.
So, if you want to escape the party town a rafting adventure sounds like it might be right up your alley, then look no further!
In this quick guide, I’ll give you an outline of everything you need to know about the Cetina rafting experience, including how to book, what to expect, and more!
Table of contents
- Tips for Booking a Rafting Adventure from Split or Omiš
- About the Cetina Rafting Trip in Croatia
- Things to Know About Rafting on the Cetina River
- What to Bring – Cetina Rafting Packing List
- Cetina River Rafting: What to Expect
- Read More Croatia Adventure Travel Guides
Tips for Booking a Rafting Adventure from Split or Omiš
Along with the famous ziplining polygon, the rafting experience is one of the most popular adventure activities in Omiš and Split. As a result, there are now over 20 operators running white water rafting experiences on this river!
However, there is one rafting trip that stands out above the rest.
I highly recommend booking a rafting trip with Pirate Rafting (the company I went with). This is one of the longest-running companies on the river (20 years of experience), is family-run, and also combines the rafting trip with a bit of canyoning and caving– so you get to experience the best of the Cetina Canyon!
Coincidentally, their rafting trip is also the most cost effective and has the best reviews overall.
About the Cetina Rafting Trip in Croatia
The Cetina rafting trip follows a Grade 3 route down a beautiful river called the Cetina. This is a long river beginning beneath the western slopes of the Dinaric Alps and flowing into the Adriatic Sea near Omiš.
The river rafting trips follow a short section of this river near its mouth just a few kilometers inland from the Dalmatian Coast. This is well-known as one of the most beautiful in the country. Here, you'll discover amazing landscapes of deep canyons, dense, green jungle-like forests, and crystal clear waters.
The rafting trip is always led by experienced and qualified river rafting guides. And, the third grade rapids mean that you'll have a great time, while needing no prior experience with rafting!
Things to Know About Rafting on the Cetina River
Before you depart on your epic white water rafting experience, here are some quick things to know.
- You'll be paddling under the guidance of a qualified guide in professional rafting boats
- Water levels vary greatly depending on the season. The main rafting season is in summer, but the grade three rapids turn into grade 5 during Winter's heavy rainfall!
- personal flotation devices (life jackets) are included and are compulsory
- You don't require any previous rafting experience
- Cetina has some seriously deep canyons! You'll be surrounded by tall limestone cliffs for the majority of the paddle
- Rafting boats usually make up around 6 - 8 people, plus a guide at the back
Did you know? The Cetina River is one of the most famous rivers in Croatia. It's the most water-rich river and also the longest on the Dalmatian coast. It's most famous for its spectacular karst river spring, known as the Eye of the Earth due to its resemblance to a dragon's eye from above.
What to Bring - Cetina Rafting Packing List
Wondering what to bring with you on the Cetina rafting trip? Here are some tips.
- Bathing suit - getting wet is the name of the game!
- T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt- protects you from the sun and is worn under the life jacket
- Wet shoes or sandals - going barefoot or wearing sports shoes is also fine
- Long neoprene suit - or wetsuit if you have your own in case of cold weather. Companies usually supply these if necessary
- Dry bag or waterproof container - everything gets wet onboard the rafting boats!
- GoPro or action camera - I recommend bringing a chest mount or a helmet mount (all photos & videos shot on GoPro Hero 10 and Insta360 One X2)
- Dry clothes - to get changed into after rafting (you can leave this in the van or car)
- Warm sweater or rain jacket - in case of colder weather at the end of the tour
Tip: It's possible to store your valuables and personal items safely in the van if you don't want to risk losing them on the river.
Cetina River Rafting: What to Expect
Still not convinced that this is one of the must-do activities in Split? Here's a quick rundown of what to expect when on the famous river rafting adventure on the Cetina River.
The River Starting Point
Depending on the option you've chosen on the booking page (above), you'll either get picked up from your accommodation in Split or make your way to the meeting point by yourself.
The start point for the rafting tour is just a few kilometers inland from the Cetina River mouth at a large parking lot near the village of Penšići. The parking lot is near the Radmanove Mlinice restaurant/cafe.
From here, the guides will drive you upstream into the Cetina Canyon, where you'll arrive at the launching pad for the Cetina rafting adventure!
Your guides will prep you with all of the necessary equipment, including a helmet, life jacket, and paddle. You'll also get a short safety briefing to set your expectations.
The first section of the rafting route passes calm waters, giving you a good opportunity to practice your paddling for the upcoming rapids.
The Cetina Rapids
This rafting watercourse on the Cetina river features several sections of mostly calm, waters with varying depths, intertwined with short-lived rapids.
The largest rapid is a 1.5-meter drop known as bomba. This is roughly halfway on a deep part of the river. For me, this was the highlight of the experience!
Mini Canyoning Adventure
After a long paddle passing a few fun rapids and some beautiful, quiet parts of the river, you'll come to a point that beginners can no longer complete.
Luckily, there's a way around this section, which includes a mini-caving adventure!
This is another clear highlight of the trip. It begins by jumping into deep, cold waters at the start of a beautiful limestone cave. From here, guided by your instructors, you'll work your way through the caves, and exiting through to the other side.
Travel Tip: Not all rafting companies on the Cetina River include this caving/canyoning option, opting to walk around the rocks instead. This is another reason why I chose to book my tour with Rafting Pirate.
Stopping at Beautiful Waterfalls
Another highlight was a stop at some beautiful small waterfalls flowing from the limestone rocks directly into the clear green water of the river.
Our rafting guide stopped us at this section for an opportunity to swim under the waterfall. He called it a natural massage.
Cliff Jumping on the Cetina River
Approaching the end of the River Cetina rafting excursion, our tour leaders stopped for a final time to jump off a roughly 5-meter ledge into a deep part of the river.
While the jump isn't massive, it was a fun one, and a good launching pad for practicing some flips!
After roughly three hours of paddling and navigating the fun rapids, we finished the trip near the mouth of a rocky gorge. From here, we all shared some snacks and laughs about our new memories, before departing back to our accommodation in Omiš or Split.
Where to Stay in Omiš
While the majority of travelers tend to stay in the larger city of Split, the adventure town Omiš makes for a great alternative for those more interested in adventure than partying.
These are the top-rated accommodation options in Omiš for each budget.
- Damianii Luxury Boutique Hotel- A short drive from Omis center this 5-star boutique hotel has everything you'll need. A continental breakfast is available each morning and it has its own spa facility on-site. It is located across from the beach.
- Hotel Plaža- This hotel is nestled in the center of Omis. It is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and bars and is close to the Cetina River. It offers an exceptional breakfast and views over the ocean.
- Apartments Nature- Located perfectly in the town of Omis at a budget price. Only a 7-minute walk to the beach. This apartment boasts large bedrooms with a private bathroom, kitchen, and mountain views.
Read More Croatia Adventure Travel Guides
I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide to the famous Cetina rafting experience near Omiš, Croatia!
For nature lovers and adventure seekers, I've linked some other useful guides that will serve as some useful travel inspiration for your adventures on the Dalmatian Coast and Croatia.