Ten great things to do in Imotski

Discover the best things to do in Imotski with our insider’s tips on dining, drinking and sightseeing

Written by
Marc Rowlands
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Easily accessible from the Makarska Riviera, Imotski stretches across a hillside facing the Biokovo mountain range. Frequently overlooked by tourists, much to the gratitude of those lucky enough to have discovered it, there are no queues or excessive noise - or many people, in fact. The fresh quality of food is the same as that found half an hour away on the coast, only, this being continental Croatia, it's less than half the price. And if you're lucky enough to find accommodation outside of the city, you can expect a tranquil stay amidst spectacular scenery.

Ten great things to do in Imotski

Splash around a freshwater lake
© Tourist Board of Imotski

1. Splash around a freshwater lake

Imotski has two notable lakes and this one, which is located just at the edge of the actual town centre, is the one in which you can swim. Its waters are accessible by descending the winding path. If you think it's a bit of a trek getting down, just wait until you have to come back up! It is, however, totally worth the effort. In summer months you'll not be alone here, as young people and families spend much of the afternoon sunbathing, swimming in the warm, salt-free waters. There's a calm and a beauty to swimming here that is incomparable to fighting with the waves or for towel space at the sea. As unforgettable a swimming experience you will find in Croatia, easily the equal of any blue caves or similar that you might explore.

Be dazzled at an open-air concert
© HPO Gradska Glazba Imotski

2. Be dazzled at an open-air concert

Imotski town centre is a charming place to explore on-foot discovering its narrow streets, magnificent peeling doorways and traditional public spaces. Here, particularly in the summer months, you can find free open-air music ensemble performances. These range from youth orchestras and acapella troupes to, if you're lucky, the fantastic HPO Gradska Glazba Imotski brass band, who might be found taking part in celebrations for the Feast of Our Lady of Anđela (pictured).

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Discover the hidden courtyard of Caffe Bar Nu
© NU bar

3. Discover the hidden courtyard of Caffe Bar Nu

The choice of where to have coffee on Šetalište Stjepana Radića, Imotski's main drag, is much of a muchness if you're sitting out front (you can play count the passing Mercedes and BMWs from any of them). But where Caffe Bar NU comes into its own is the courtyard out back. Of course, it's hardly hidden to locals; they all know that, beyond the bar and its overtly loud rock music, lies a wooden decked oasis of calm, sheltered from the sun by a velarium. You can sit there with your local friend and drink coffee relatively uninterrupted, compared to sitting out front where every few seconds your conversation will be halted by them greeting a friend they've not seen for at least 48 hours 'Ooooooh, di si?' (I'm surprised to see you, where are you?)

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In summer there's nowhere better to eat your evening meal than on a terrace surrounded by locals at Bistro Pizzeria Lučica. Located a short drive out of town, it's where in the know Imotski residents order their pizza. Run by family Perković, you'd struggle to find a more welcoming restaurant or nicer pizza in Dalmatia. The meat dishes are as good as the pizza, and the bill is agreeable - especially compared with seaside prices just half an hour away. Lučica's annual Tikvijada (pictured) is way more fun than a Pumpkin festival has rights to be.

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Watch the sun set on the red lake
© Tourist Board of Imotski

5. Watch the sun set on the red lake

The second of Imotski's notable lakes is described as being red, although this refers to the colours provided by the surrounding, sheer walls of rock rather than the water itself. This lake is inaccessible, although that hasn't stopped adventurous locals and visitors from finding new ways to utilise the space, such as descents to the bottom or slacklining across its expanse. Though off-limits to the most of us, this lake absolutely needs to be seen to appreciate the contrast between Imotski's two stunning natural features; watching the receding sun change the colour of the lake's walls is beautiful. And while you're there, indulge in the time honoured tradition of trying to toss a stone into the water. It's harder than it looks!

Bop at a boutique music festival
© Magic Time Vinyl Festival

6. Bop at a boutique music festival

After just three occurrences, Magic Time Vinyl Festival has become one of the largest and best homegrown music festivals in the Dalmatian hinterland. It is a truly remarkable affair, not least as it stems from the idea of a group of local vinyl record enthusiasts who wished, once a year, to air their old discs on a grand scale. Eagerly anticipated, it draws thousands of attendees from the town and surrounding areas, the demographics of which is one of the widest you'll ever see at such an event. Grandmothers dance alongside their children and their children, young people line the bar all night and sit around the edge of the field in the Perinuša nature reserve. The beats of the amplified music, a truly mixed bag of '50s and '60s pop and rock n' roll, '70s rock and disco, '80s hits, world music and domestic songs, carries across much of the town for the whole three days.

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Let your wild side out at Imotski City Day
© Nu bar

7. Let your wild side out at Imotski City Day

Held immediately as July turns to August, Imotski City Day is the wildest and most vibrant public party in town. Imoćani (people of Imotski) traditionally return from where they live and work to enjoy the celebrations. The festivities spill out onto to streets with market stalls, fast food stands and rambunctious live music. Family-friendly in the day, the drinking continues through the night. You might wonder how all those attending from Imotski's widespread neighbourhoods will eventually get home. Somehow they do. Although this might not be the night to most successfully play spot the taxi, because of the returning Imoćani, this certainly is the single greatest day of the year on which to play count the Mercedes and BMWs. At least until you stop being able to count.

Explore the medieval fortress
© Tourist Board of Imotski

8. Explore the medieval fortress

Populated since the Neolithic age, Imotski county has carried much the same name since before the Romans arrived. In medieval times, the town was considered an important fortress and the tower of Topana still dominates the Imotski's skyline, visible from the centre and overlooking the blue lake. Walk around the fortress for stunning views from its vantage points. The patron saint of Imotski, Our Lady of Anđela, has her church in the surroundings. In summer, events ranging from theatre to music performance, happen within the fortress walls.

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Dabble in extreme sports
© Imotski Tourist Board

9. Dabble in extreme sports

Ziplines are nearby in Tučepi near the foot of the Biokovo mountain and more are within driving distance at the Cetina river. Imotski is also the perfect base to start a hike across the Biokovo mountain range and its nature reserve. Imotski is also known for kayaking, usually in the Vrljika river, which has its source near Imotski. The water remains cold, even in summer, so try and stay afloat. In winter you might spot the odd brave kayaker taking advantage of the blue lake's risen waters.

Enjoy blissfully quiet mornings
© Tourist Board of Imotski

10. Enjoy blissfully quiet mornings

If you're lucky enough to stay outside of Imotski's centre in the many guesthouses (with swimming pools) that have opened in recent years, or in Donji Vinjani or in the village of Rebić on the town's outskirts, you'll experience a morning so peaceful that, for many visitors, it will be incomparable. No tourists, no cars, no sounds at all, save for the chirping of crickets and the occasional bird. Then there's the views. Olive trees and vineyards run down the valley and ancient floodplain. On the other side, the Biokovo mountain range rises dramatically, dominating the horizon. Stretching for kilometres, this vast expanse of rock alternates its colours depending on the time of day. It's a breathtakingly beautiful scene to admire from your quiet balcony.

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