Makarska, Croatia: The Complete Travel Guide!
The vacation destination Makarska in Central Dalmatia is certainly one of the most beautiful highlights in Croatia. Characterized by the imposing Biokovo Mountains and a gorgeous coastal landscape, the entire Riviera is one of the top travel destinations in the country! Especially the paradisiacal beaches and the many hidden bays, which enchant with unique scenery, make the Makarska Riviera world famous. Highlights are the many romantic resorts, which line up along this impressive coast and that attract visitors from all over the world with amazing vacation flair and beautiful attractions.
In this travel guide we give you all the important information about Makarska in Croatia. In addition, we show you the best things to do in the Makarska Riviera, the best excursions, beautiful pictures and where to find recommended accommodations!
General information about Makarska
Makarska Riviera, located just south of Omis Riviera, is about 45 kilometers long and stretches from Brela down to Gradac. Along this region runs the Adriatic coastal road, the so-called Jadranska Magistrala, which connects around 15 resorts in Makarska. From the road you can always enjoy a spectacular view of the beautiful Riviera; you will see the deep blue sea and the high rocks of the mountains. Also some of the popular Croatian islands like Brac Island and Hvar Island can be seen from the panoramic road.
The imposing mountain range of Biokovo National Park in the background offers a magnificent contrast to the coast with its fabulously beautiful turquoise blue beaches, all of which makes Makarska a true picture book destination. During a visit to Makarska, one truly enjoys some of the best beaches in Croatia. One highlight beach is the breathtakingly beautiful Punta Rata beach, which has become the landmark of the whole Makarska Riviera mostly because of its imposing stone of Brela.
Also the wide tourist offer of fantastic restaurants and lovely bars as well as good accommodations in every price range are perfect. Thus, everyone is sure to find their personal travel destination!
Best things to do at Makarska Riviera
During a vacation to Makarska you can look forward to a whole range of attractions and excursion destinations worth seeing. These are located along the 45-kilometer-long Riviera and some of them are even among the most beautiful places in Croatia. So that you don’t lose the overview, we have summarized the best things to do in Makarska at a glance:
Makarska Old Town
One of the most beautiful places to visit is the picturesque old town of Makarska. Strolling through the historic town center, past small romantic alleys and squares, you will discover many attractions worth seeing. The main sight is the famous square Kacicev Trg with the church St. Mark and also the picturesque street Kalelarga should not be missed on any tour. Right next to it is the Pijaca, a local market that sells regional delicacies as well as fruits and vegetables.
The picturesque harbor promenade of Makarska, which invites you to take long walks is also beautiful and absolutely worth seeing. Just behind it are numerous cozy restaurants and cafes where you will enjoy the lively hustle and bustle with an amazing view of the harbor and the sea.
Tip: The Hotel Central Beach 9 is a lovely 4-star hotel and is in a prime location close to the beach and the old town. A fantastic choice for a vacation in Makarska!
Brela is certainly one of the most famous places along the Riviera and a visit is one of the best things to do on every Makarska trip. The most important attractions here are the famous Brela stone and the adjacent Punta Rata beach, which has become a landmark for a vacation in Makarska. Beautiful is also the coastal promenade, a romantic footpath which connects the amazing beaches of Brela on a length of about 6 kilometers and leads to the next village of Baska Voda.
Tip: Wonderful for a beach vacation is Casa Mare Brela, which enchants with modern vacation apartments in the first row of the beach.
Biokovo Nature Park
One of the most spectacular attractions in Makarska is Biokovo Nature Park. This imposing mountain range is the optimal spot to go hiking, go on extensive cycling tours or just to enjoy nature. An about 23 kilometers long panoramic road leads high up into the nature park and there you will experience countless brilliant viewpoints in the mountain landscape during the ride. The road finally leads to the 1,762-meter-high peak of Sveti Jure. On the way up, there are countless opportunities for hiking trips and it’s also very likely that you encounter many lovely picnic stops in a beautiful surrounding.
One of the highlights in the park and one of the most famous places to visit in Makarska is the Biokovo Skywalk, which was just opened in 2020. A mountain experience that you will not forget so quickly.
One of the most beautiful places and on top of that a popular vacation destination on the Makarska Riviera is Baska Voda. Here you can expect absolute dream beaches with terrific sea colors and unique vacation flair. A highlight is also the particularly pretty harbor and the charming waterfront promenade with countless cozy cafes and restaurants. The most important landmarks of Baska Voda are the bronze statue of St. Nikola and the church of the same name in the center of the village. However, the small museums, such as the Shell Museum, the Museum of Local History and the Archaeological Collection are also interesting to see.
Tip: Recommended for a vacation in Makarska is the beautiful Grand Hotel Slavia in a fabulous location.
Osejava Forest Park & Nugal Beach
The Osejava Forest Park is located between Tucepi and Makarska town and is a wonderful area for hikes along the coast. Many different paths lead you across magnificent pine forests, past breathtaking viewpoints and you will always enjoy enchanting natural scenery. In between there are hidden bathing spots where you can jump into the sea and relax for a few hours in wonderful tranquility. The must-see of the park and a real insider tip in Makarska is beach Nugal, one of the most beautiful natural bays of the entire Riviera!
Forest Park Sveti Petar
A visit to the forest park Sveti Petar is another highlight on our list of the best things to do in Makarska. This picturesque park is located near the old town of Makarska on a peninsula and can be reached easily on foot. The view of the picturesque bay of Makarska with the imposing Biokovo Mountains in the background is just breathtaking. If you like, you can hike along the coast to the Sveti Petar lighthouse and circle the forest park. On the way, there are cozy bathing places in addition to small cafes that invite you to take a break.
Tip: A real insider tip is the Apartment BURA 1, which is in a prime location directly at the foot of the forest park and offers a magnificent view of Makarska Old Town and the sea.
Place of pilgrimage Vepric
Another interesting attraction in Makarska is Vepric, an enchanting place of pilgrimage surrounded by picturesque nature. This shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and is located in the western part of the region, directly on the coastal road. The place, which was founded in 1908 by Bishop Juraj Carić, exudes a unique peaceful atmosphere and is also popular with non-believers. While walking through the complex, one can visit several places of worship and there are also opportunities to meditate or pray.
The village Podgora is a really beautiful resort in the heart of the Makarska Riviera and is especially popular with seaside vacationers. Here, the picturesque beaches with the azure sea, which conjure up a wonderful vacation backdrop, are particularly inspiring. A beautiful promenade runs along the coast and the pretty harbor with its fantastic restaurants and cafes is also worth a visit! The landmark and most famous attraction of this pretty resort is the monument of Don Mihovil Pavlinovic, a monument with two giant seagull wings, which towers above the town.
Tip: The Medora Auri Family Beach Resort is a popular hotel in Podgora. Great here are especially the location by the sea and the inviting pool!
The coastal town Igrane is a real insider tip in Makarska. With only 400 inhabitants, one of the smallest villages of the Riviera, an exceptionally quiet and serene atmosphere awaits you here. On top of that, the beautiful scenery is wonderful, because the town was built directly on a hill and thus it exudes a unique charm. The most important attraction is the church Gospa od Ruzarija, which impresses with its imposing bell tower and essentially forms the townscape. The small tourist center and the beach are also really pretty and make you want to spend unforgettable vacation days here.
Tip: The TUI BLUE Adriatic Beach delights its guests with delicious food and a beautiful beach section.
The picturesque resort of Tucepi is a popular destination for sun-seekers as well as for active vacationers. With a length of 4 kilometers, the famous Tucepi beach is the longest beach of the entire Makarska Riviera where you want to swim and relax right away. Here, visitors enjoy a magnificent ambience of light pebble beach, turquoise sea and the impressive Biokovo mountain range in the background. The tourist center is located around the pretty harbor, which enchants with its many fishing boats, yachts and excursion ships. Numerous bars, cafes and konobas along the coast provide delicious food and cool drinks and create a great unique atmosphere.
Tip: The Central Beach Apartments offer really lovely apartments in the best location, directly on the beach and with a view of the sea.
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