Makarska, Croatia: The Complete Travel Guide!
Makarska in Croatia is certainly one of the most beautiful highlights in Dalmatia region and the entire Riviera is definitely one of the most beautiful vacation regions on the Adriatic. Characterized by the imposing Biokovo mountain and a gorgeous coastal landscape, this area is one of the top travel destinations in the country! It is especially the paradisiacal beaches and the many hidden bays that make the Makarska Riviera perfect for a beach vacation. A highlight is also the many romantic resorts that line this impressive coastline, attracting visitors from all over the world with their enchanting vacation flair and stunning attractions. Travelers also appreciate the wide range of activities and excursions that are guaranteed to keep them entertained.
In this travel guide, we will give you all the important information and tips about Makarska in Croatia. In addition, we will show you the best things to do in the Makarska Riviera, the best excursions, exclusive insider tips, great pictures and where to find great accommodations!
General Information about Makarska
The wonderful resort town of Makarska is located in the center of Central Dalmatia, south of the coastal metropolis of Split and the Omis Riviera. The entire Makarska Riviera is about 45 kilometers long and stretches from Brela down to Gradac in the south. Along this distance runs the Adriatic coastal road, the so-called Jadranska Magistrala, which connects the 15 fantastic resorts of Makarska. From the road you can always enjoy spectacular views of the amazing Riviera with the deep blue sea and the high cliffs of the mountains. Some of the popular holiday islands such as Brac Island and Hvar Island can also be seen from the panoramic road.
The Makarska region is unique in Croatia because the imposing mountains of Biokovo National Park form a magnificent contrast to the splendid coastline. In addition, during your vacation, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. The most famous is Punta Rata, which together with the imposing Brela Stone has become a landmark of the Makarska Riviera. The tourist offer is also perfect in Makarska. There are numerous good restaurants, traditional taverns and great bars, as well as fantastic accommodations in every price range. So, everyone is sure to find his or her own personal holiday happiness!
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. Walking through the historic center, past romantic alleys, typical Dalmatian stone houses and squares, you will discover many attractions worth seeing. The main sight is the famous Kacicev Trg with the Church of St. Mark, and the picturesque Kalelarga Street should not be missed on any tour of the city center. Next to it is the Pijaca, a local market selling local delicacies as well as fruits and vegetables.
Makarska’s picturesque seafront promenade is the heart of the coastal city and a great place for a stroll. Right behind the promenade are numerous cozy restaurants and cafés. Here you can enjoy the lively hustle and bustle with a 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!
The wonderful coastal town of Brela is certainly one of the most popular places for a beach holiday along the Riviera, and a visit is one of the best things to do on any trip to Makarska. The most important attractions here are the famous Brela stone and the adjacent Punta Rata beach, which has become the main landmark for a vacation in Makarska. Absolutely stunning is also the coastal promenade, a romantic footpath that connects the fantastic 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
The Biokovo Nature Park is one of the most spectacular sights in Makarska. This imposing mountain range is the perfect place for hiking, for long bike rides or just to enjoy the surrounding nature. A 23-kilometer-long panoramic road leads high up into the park, offering countless views of the mountainous landscape. The road eventually leads to the 1,762-meter peak of Sveti Jure. On the way up, you will find countless opportunities for hiking and great places to rest in beautiful nature. One of the highlights of the park and one of Makarska’s most famous attractions is the Biokovo Skywalk, which opened in 2020. This is a mountain experience that you will not forget in a hurry.
Tip: Tours to the Biokovo Nature Park are also offered, including pick up from the resort. On a guided tour, you can enjoy several spectacular viewpoints as well as the Skywalk.
Forest Park Sveti Petar
A visit to the forest park Sveti Petar is a real 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 stunning 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 cafés that invite you to take a break.
Tip: A real insider tip is the Apartment BURA 1, which is in a prime location directly beneath the forest park and offers a magnificent view of Makarska Old Town and the sea.
Baska Voda is a real jewel of the coast and one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Makarska Riviera. Here you will find dream beaches with fascinating sea colors and a unique vacation atmosphere. A highlight is also the particularly charming harbor and the enchanting promenade with countless cozy cafés 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. Also worth a visit are the small museums in the center of the village, such as the Shell Museum, the Museum of Local History and the Archaeological Collection.
Tip: Recommended for a vacation in Makarska is the beautiful Grand Hotel Slavia. Guests love the perfect location directly by the sea!
Osejava Forest Park & Nugal Beach
The Forest park Osejava is one of the insider tips in Makarska. It is located between the towns of Tucepi and Makarska city and is a wonderful area for hiking along the coast. Many different paths lead you through beautiful pine forests, past breathtaking viewpoints, and you will always enjoy an enchanting natural scenery. In between, you will always find hidden swimming spots where you can jump into the sea and relax for a few hours in wonderful tranquility. However, the highlight of Osejava Park and a real insider tip in Makarska is the Nugal beach, probably one of the most stunning natural bays of the entire Riviera!
The village Podgora is a charming resort in the heart of the Makarska Riviera. This beautiful coastal town is especially appreciated by beach lovers. Here you will find truly picturesque beaches, the sea shining in the most spectacular water colors, and a vacation landscape at its finest. A beautiful promenade runs along the coast, and the pretty harbor with its fantastic restaurants and cafés 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 for a perfect visit to Makarska. With only 400 inhabitants, one of the smallest villages of the Riviera, an exceptionally quiet and serene atmosphere awaits you here. Moreover, 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 gorgeous and make you want to spend unforgettable vacation days here.
Tip: The TUI BLUE Adriatic Beach is a fantastic choice for a holiday in Makarska. It 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 on 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 fantastic bars, cafés 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.
Place of pilgrimage Vepric
An 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.
Best Day Trips from Makarska
Thanks to the great location, you can enjoy a wide range of day tours from Makarska. Whether it’s culture, nature or sports, the surrounding area offers plenty of opportunities for amazing things to do. Here are the best tours from Makarska summarized at a glance:
One of the most popular day trip destinations from Makarska is definitely the old town of Split. It is only 60 kilometers away and thrills as a UNESCO world heritage city.
A trip from Makarska to the coastal town of Omis is highly recommended. Here you will be amazed by the spectacular Cetina gorge, the old town and there is a zipline!
A real insider tip is a trip to the hinterland of Makarska, where you can admire the Red Lake and the Blue Lake of Imotski in the midst of beautiful nature.
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