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How to Hike to Starigrad Fortress & Omiš Castle in Croatia

How to Hike to Starigrad Fortress & Omiš Castle in Croatia

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Here’s how to hike to the Starigrad Fortress above Omiś, a 303 meter high lookout over the Brač channel and the Cetina hinterland.

Looking for the best viewpoint hike with breathtaking views over the town of Omiš? I’ve got you covered.

In this guide, I’ll outline everything you need to know about the Starigrad Fortress hike, also known as Omiš Castle, or its modern name Omiš Fortica. I’ll fill you in on the three different routes to the fort, and include some of the photos that I captured on my trip.

Starigrad fortress in omis, croatia

Key Points

The Starigrad translates literally to "Old Town", but is more commonly referred to as Omiš Fortica by locals and the Omiš Castle by tourists.

This is a beautiful fortress perched 303 meters above sea level and served as a primary lookout point over the entire Brač channel and the Cetina hinterland. It was built in the early 15th century and protected the settlement for hundreds of years. Here's what you need to know to get here.

  • Location: The fortress is located at the top of the limestone ridge in the Omiš Dinara range, directly above Omiš village.
  • Hiking Routes: Three options include Via Ferrata (guided climbing), Hard Route (steep, rocky, 45 minutes), Easy Route (gentle incline, 1.5 km, 30-45 minutes).
  • Entrance Fee & Hours: 2 euros per person to get inside the fort at the top; open from 7 am to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday​
  • Viewpoints: Best views from the northern tower, overlooking the Cetina River, Adriatic Sea, Omiš Town, and nearby islands.
  • Trailhead: There are a few options (details below) but the easy route is the most common, beginning at Put Borka, just 10 minutes' walk from the Cetina Bridge (Most Omiš).

Did you know? Many historians say that it was because of this fortress that Omiš remained unconquered by the Ottomans for its long history. For more information about the Starigrad Fortress in Omiš, visit the Omisinfo website.

Omis castle, croatia

Where is Starigrad Fortress?

Starigrad Fortress sits on the top of a 303-meter limestone ridge of the Omiš Dinara range, directly above the village near Jurja Šubića.

Below I've pinned the exact location of the fortress. However, keep in mind that these limestone cliffs are very steep, and therefore you'll need to follow a specific trail detailed below to reach the top.

Map of old fortress in omis

How to Hike to the Omiš Fortica

There are three main routes to reach the beautiful Starigrad Castle in Omiš. These include a via ferrata route, a steep route, and an easy route.

Below I'll go into a bit more detail on each route.

Along with the epic Cetina River Rafting and the famous Omiš Zipline Polygon, a hike up to the Starigrad Fortress is a must-do activity in Croatia's adventure capital!

Girl hiking in omis, croatia

1. Omiš Via Ferrata to the Starigrad Fortress

If you're up for an adventure, then one of the best ways to reach the fort is to go on a guided via Ferrata route.

Via Ferrata translates to the iron path and is a mixture between hiking and climbing by navigating bolted steel steps. You'll be clipped on the entire time, making this a safe but exhilarating experience.

You can book the via ferrata tour from Omiš or from Split online using Viator (Tripadvisor).

View from omis fortica hike

2. The "Hard" Route

The "hard" route as elegantly painted on the rock surfaces is a steep route beginning after the large parking area in Omiš. You'll find this by plugging in "Planovo Omis" into Google Maps.

From the parking lot, you'll need to walk through the tunnel. From here, you'll see a red sign indicating the trailhead.

The path up is rocky and quite steep (which is why they call it the hard route). However, it s shaded by pine forests for most of the way up and has several trail markers (red circles called the Knafelc Waymark) leading to the top of the ridge.

All in all, expect roughly 45 minutes to reach the top. Since I was staying near the other trailhead, I took this path down. However, I think it'd be a better idea to hike up on this trail, and down on the easy path.

Hiking steep trail to omis fortica

3. The "easy" Route

The second option to hike up to the Starigrad Fortress is to take the "easy" route, which begins a short walk from town on "Put Borka" street. This route is mostly exposed by the sun but winds up the back of the ridge on a much more gentle incline

GPS Coordinates: 43°26'35.0"N 16°41'45.0"E

Trail markers when hiking in omis, croatia

While less steep, this route is a little longer (about 1.5 kilometers to the top) but should take between 30 minutes to 45 minutes to complete. Again, this option is also very easy to follow due to the many red trail markers.

Parking tip: For those with a car, you can also park about a quarter of the way up the mountain in front of some local houses. This is marked in German as "Südroute zum Fort Starigrad" on Google Maps.

Hiking to starigrad fortress in omis
View of starigrad fortress in omis, croatia

Arriving at the Fortress

Arriving at the fortress, you'll enter through the rear doors and climb a set of wooden stairs.

From here, you'll spot a crudely painted sign indicating the entrance fee. At first, I thought I was going to get away without paying, but as soon as you enter the fortress, you'll see a man who will collect the fee.

  • Omis Fortica Entrance fee: 2 euros per person
  • Opening Hours: 7 am to 8 pm, Monday to Sunday
Entrance to the starigrad fortress in omis

Also, there's an excellent viewpoint beside a rocky wall which makes for a great sunset spot without actually entering the fort.

View of omis mountains, croatia

Exploring Omiš Fortica

After paying the entrance fee, we were free to explore the Starigrad Fort. It features mostly Gothic characteristics with early-Renaissance annexes. Apparently, this fort has been damaged and repaired several times in its history due to storms.

The existing fortress is said to have been built on top of the original Onastina Fortress. This is evident in the older and larger stone blocks at the lower parts of the structure.

Omis fortress, croatia
The interior stone walls of the omis fortress
View of omis from starigrad fortress

The best viewpoint we found at the Starigrad Fortress is the tall tower on the northern end. We were free to climb this section and enjoy the magical views over the mount of the Cetina River, the Adratic Sea, Omiš Town, and on a clear day, even all the way out past Brač and Hvar.

Aerial view of of omis fortica, croatia

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. I stayed just out of town and found it was easy to walk anywhere.

These are my top-rated accommodation options in Omiš for each budget.

Damianii luxury boutique hotel & spa indoor pool

1. Damianii Boutique Luxury

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 omis croatia bedroom

2. Hotel Plaža Mid-Range

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 hotel in omiš

3. Apartments Nature Budget

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.

I hope you've enjoyed this quick hiking guide. Below are some more quick guides that I'm sure you'll find useful for your Croatian itinerary!

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

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