One of the most beautiful parts of Central Dalmatia is the Makarska Riviera, an enchanting stretch of coastline over 50 km long that stretches at the foot of dramatic mountain ranges.
The pearl of the riviera is Makarska, a port town that sits on a wide bay bordered by Cape Osejava and the Sveti Patar peninsula. Behind it rises the imposing Biokovo Mountain, which descends to the sea in ridges and cliffs that form a striking backdrop to the magnificent pebble beaches of the Riviera.
It is certainly the natural beauty that attracts tourists here, rather than the museums or historical monuments. Makarska is a favourite destination for those who enjoy active holidays, due to the numerous footpaths that climb inland or wind their way along the coast and the numerous opportunities for outdoor sports.
Even the less athletic will appreciate this popular tourist destination, thanks to its beautiful beaches and wide range of hotels, restaurants and bars.
Makarska is a true paradise for those who like to spend their holidays walking in the midst of nature. Mount Biokovo offers numerous hiking opportunities, of varying length and difficulty, that will take you through pine forests, pastures, gardens and villages.
If you don’t feel up to setting out on a trail on your own, you can participate in trekking trips organised by local tourist operators, with a choice of long hikes or mountain bus rides followed by an easy walk to the top.
Makarska’s magnificent natural landscape is also an ideal setting for other sporting activities such as climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, windsurfing and diving, but the activity that keeps tourists most occupied are relaxing swims in the transparent waters of the Riviera.
During a walk through the town centre, take a look at the Shell Museum housed in the 15th-century Franciscan monastery and the Church of San Marco, built in the 18th century.
With a little more time on your hands, you can visit nearby Brela: it is only 14 km away and can also be reached on foot with a walk in the shade of the pine trees. For an unforgettable day trip, you can take a ferry to the island of Brac, which can be reached in only thirty minutes.
With over 50 km of coastline, the Makarska Riviera is a succession of beaches, coves and inlets. The ideal thing to do is to arrive by car or rent one and explore the coast, stopping at a different beach every day.
Here are the most famous beaches on the Makarska Riviera.
The town beach in Makarska is a beautiful pebble beach in the shade of pine trees. Equipped with all facilities, it is suitable for both families with children and young people looking for fun. In the summer it is rather crowded, but as it is very large, you will still be able to find a comfortable space all to yourself.
Behind the beach is a pleasant promenade with palm trees, perfect for catching a cool breeze after hours in the sun.
Just 4 km from Makarska’s public beach is Plaža Nugal, a lovely beach enclosed between two rocks. Much quieter than Makarska, it is also frequented by naturist tourists.
Punta Rata, in Brela, is one of the most beautiful Croatian beaches and one of the most photographed. The image of the cliff emerging from the water, with trees growing on its rocks bathed by the sea, is quite famous.
Punta Rata is an enchanting place where you can spend an unforgettable day by the sea.
A long white sandy beach frames the coast of Baška Voda, a pretty tourist resort about 12 km from Makarska.
Makarska can be reached by car along the coastal road from Split; alternatively, you can take a bus from Split, Rijeka, Zadar and Zagreb. There is no railway station.
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