After passing through Omiš on our way to Makarska yesterday we decided to pop back and explore along the Cetina River, from Omiš to Dubci Pass. The town of Omiš, is overlooked by high mountains and gives access to the hinterland along the Cetina Gorge. Omiš is split by the Cetina river with lovely restaurants lining the banks. The town celebrates in the fame that originally it was a “pirate town”. The Corsairs of Almissa (the Italian name for Omiš) would attack in their speedy craft before retreating up the Cetina River where they were safe from invaders. During the summer months the town celebrates with Pirate festivals.
At the moment it’s a sleepy winter destination but there’s still lots of rock climbing activities within walking distance of the centre of town.
Riding out along the Cetina River the road passes through two tunnels through the mountain before winding along the river. At this time of year the water is just magnificent with lovely reflections of the mountains, large patches of rushes all golden brown and steam rising off the water.
It was a bit chilly this morning riding in the shadow of the mountains, especially as it had snowed last night. A light frosting of snow covered the countryside giving it a lovely christmassy feel. Michele wasn’t so sure about heading up through the mountains with snow about, but the roads looked ok so I calmed her fears.
It was a nice slow ride up through the mountains. The switchbacks had all been gritted so there was grit flying everywhere as it was picked up by the tyres. We laughed as a Croatian driver came around the corner on the wrong side of the road, cigarette in one hand, his phone pressed firmly to his ear, trying to change gear. It was so funny to watch him juggling everything.
Riding through the hinterland there were great views across the rugged countryside to small communities desperately clinging to the rocky terrain. We passed through a few small villages and it’s fabulous seeing the front yards of houses filled with vegetable gardens and grapevines. It’s one of things we love about Croatia, how many people still make their own wine, olive oil, salamis and still grow their own fruit and vegetables. Croatians know about good food.
As it was nearly lunchtime and there wasn’t any konoba’s open we decided to go back over the mountain to the coast. After passing through Slime (an unfortunate name in English) we headed for Dubci Pass and glorious sunshine again. Dubci Pass was a great place to stop and warm up and take in the views of the Croatian coast. Heading on towards Markarska the sign to Brela enticed us to check it out. We were soon to discover that up on the highway the sign to Brela should read “closed for the season”. It’s not very nice looking for a toilet when a town is closed.
Eventually we rolled into Markarska, with its beautiful harbour showcased by glorious sunshine. It certainly is a great place to return to.
After lunch we explored the hill villages around the town. Wow are some of those roads steep.
The ride back along the coast was really enjoyable with perfect sunshine and the bike running perfectly. Tomorrow we plan to check out a bit more of Split again.