Getting to Know Kostanje

Kostanje is a small village nestled in the lush and green Cetina canyon. It is situated in the territory of what used to be the Republic of Poljica. Poljica is best known for the eponymous statute from the 15th century. This document contains a description of the Poljica common law and its system of government, and is one of the most important Croatian historical legal statutes. It is interesting that one of the items of the Poljica Statute states that “everyone has the right to live”, contrary to many mediaeval European laws. The village got its name from chesnuts (kesteni in Croatian) that grow abundantly in the area.

Even though Poljička Republika is long gone, the connection is still there. Food, customs and local legends have Kostanje in their heart.

Ancient connection

The heart of the Poljička Republika

Kostanje is the birthplace of Mila Gojsalić, the best know inhabitant of Poljica. She was supposedly a distant descendant of Croatian king Gojslav. She lived in time when the Ottoman empire was invading Croatia. It is said that in 1530, Ottoman leader Ahmed-pasha gathered an army of 10 000 men with a goal to conquer Poljica. He made a camp in a place called Podgrađe. Mila Gojsalić volunteered to sacrifice herself and lose her virginity to the Ahmed-pasha in order to be able to infiltrate the Turkish camp and blow up the munitions stockpile, killing Ahmed-pasha and numerous officers and soldiers. That act completely surprised and confused remaining Turkish soldiers who were then overrun by people of Poljica.

We suggest you visit a statue of Mila made by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. It is installed above the town of Omiš, along a picturesque serpentine road with stunning views of the Cetina Canyon. Jakov Gotovac composed the opera in her honour. August Šenoa also wrote a famous poem about her, which is a part of required reading for every Croatian primary school pupil. 

Kostanje is host to The days of Mila Gojsalić every summer. Her house is still in the village and is completely renewed. 


One thing they do at The days of Mila Gojsalić is choosing the best Soparnik – a traditional Poljica dish. It is a very simple dish made from common ingredients from the region: chard with onions and parsley between two layers of unleavened dough. Served with olive oil and garlic, it is also an original vegan dish. Among the numerous local variations there are also sweet ones, for example with nuts, dried fruits or caramel. In 2016, the European Commission listed soparnik as a non-material national heritage of Croatia certified with the specific geographical origin. We can order soparnik for you from local artisans, please let us know if you are interested!

Natural wonder

Beautiful Cetina

Cetina river and its magnificent canyon are carved into the picturesque mountain range of Dinara just south of Kostanje. On its way to the sea, Cetina has created numerous long sandy beaches that are typical for this part of the coast. This area offers a collection of adventure activites like canyoning, kayaking, rafting, canoe safari, rock climbing and ziplining. In Omiš, there are agencies that will tailor an adventure on Cetina just for you. Please let us know if you need any help finding resources for exploring the Cetina canyon.

Places to visit

Omiš, Brela nad Split

We would also recommend taking a short trip to Omiš, Split and Brela. Omiš is a picturesque town settled by the estuary of river Cetina. Omiš is best known for the traditional festival of the Dalmatian a cappella singing groups called Klape. This festival is the highlight of Omiš’s summer, the expression of the town’s beauty. Omiš’s Summer Festival – during which various concerts and recitals are performed – takes place at the plazas and in churches. We also recommend beaches in Omiš – Velika plaža for sand lovers and Brzet for pebble enthusiasts.

Brela have some of the most beautiful beaches in Dalmatia. The symbol of Brela is Kamen Brela (Brela Stone), a small rock island just off the main beach in Brela, the Punta Rata beach. In 2004, American magazine Forbes put the Punta Rata beach in Brela on the list of 10 world’s most beautiful beaches, where it is ranked 6th in the world and 1st in Europe. We recommend getting there early because it can be quite crowded in July and August. 

Split is the biggest Croatian coastline city and we recommend you read our page dedicated to exploring Split here

Eol Villa Kostanje

Featuring a big garden with an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, Villa Eol is perfect if jou want to get as far as possible from the urban jungle. It also features a spa area featuring a jacuzzi and a sauna for total relaxation potential. Surrounded by a lush garden with an outdoor cooking area, the villa has 4 bedrooms with large ensuite bathrooms. A fully equipped kitchen is ideal for making big summer lunches for the whole group.

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Eol Villa Kostanje

A 4 bedroom villa surrounded by nature. Picturesque village in Cetina canyon, close to Omiš, Brela and Split. Exclusive amenities- swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen make for a superb vacation.

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