The River Cetina rises just east of Knin and flows down to meet the sea at Omiš, carving its way through the karst of the Zagora to produce some spectacular rock formations on the way. The most eye-catching portions are those just outside Omiš, and another set 23km upstream near Zadvarje.

Out of Omiš, the first few kilometres of the Cetina gorge are truly dramatic, with the mountains pressing in on a narrow winding valley. Six kilometres up, the valley floor widens, making room for some swampy stretches of half-sunken deciduous forest; there’s a string of popular restaurants along this stretch of the gorge. Most boat excursions and tourist trains from Omiš terminate at the Radmanove Mlinice restaurant, where there’s also a children’s playpark and a beach.

Soon after the Radmanove Mlinice the road turns inland, twisting its way up onto a plateau surrounded by dry hills streaked with scrub. The village of ZADVARJE, at the top of a steep sequence of hairpins, offers views of the most impressive stretch of the gorge. Follow a sign marked Vodopad (waterfall) in the centre of the village to a car park on the edge of a cliff, from where there’s a view northeast towards a canyon suspended halfway up a rock face, with the river plunging down via two waterfalls to a gorge deep below. The cliffs lining the canyon sprout several more minor waterfalls whenever the local hills fill up with rain.

From Zadvarje, you can either head south to rejoin the main coastal road (Magistrala), or carry on northwards through Šestanovac to a major T-junction 7km beyond at Cista Provo, where you’re faced with a choice of routes – eastwards to the lakes of Imotski, or westwards to the village of Trilj, where you can stay.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

10 great winter destinations in Central and Eastern Europe

If you can look past the plummeting temperatures and long dark nights, winter is a hugely rewarding season in which to visit Central and Eastern Europe. Frozen…

13 Nov 2017 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The 10 best beaches in Croatia

The 10 best beaches in Croatia

When it comes to beaches in Croatia, the best advice is to head south: it’s on the Dalmatian coast where the most seductive sandy shores, pebbly coves and sun…

25 Aug 2017 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right