Makarska has always been the center of the surrounding region known as Makarska Riviera, both in an administrative, political and economic sense, as well as a center of culture, education, and since the mid twentieth century, tourism. Today, it is a city of more than 15 thousand inhabitants that encompasses picturesque villages at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain, including Veliko Brdo, Puharići, Kotišina and Makar (which is where the name of Makarska comes from).
It is located on the coast of the Adriatic Dalmatia, about 60 km southeast of Split and 140 km northwest of Dubrovnik. Makarska is the center of the Makarska Riviera, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. The Makarska Riviera stretches for 60km between the towns of Brela and Gradac. The Riviera is one of the most beautiful parts of the Adriatic coast with countless sandy and pebble beaches, pine trees, sparkling water and peaceful bays.
Makarska is one of the most famous tourist destinations on the Croatian coast, attractive for its nature and good climate, rich in tourist attractions and full of hospitable hosts. The city is noted for its palm-fringed promenade, where fashionable cafés, bars and boutiques overlook the pretty harbour where many pleasure craft are moored.
Makarska is located below the mountain of Biokovo (1762 m), which protects it from the harsh continental climate and is responsible for its rich Mediterranean vegetation, mild winters, long, warm summers cooled by a refreshing breeze called maestral. Makarska has more than 2750 hours of sun each year and the air temperature above 20°C from July to September. During these same months, the crystal-clear sea also averages a temperature of above 20°C.
Makarska is a port town and beach resort with a spectacular natural setting, backed by the glorious Biokovo mountain range. While the outskirts are a little shabby, there’s a lovely long waterfront promenade and a pretty limestone centre that turns peachy orange at sunset. Active types base themselves here to take advantage of the nearby hiking, climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, windsurfing and swimming opportunities, and the good transport connections.
One of the main sights in the town is the Franciscan monastery, which was built in 1614. The basement of the monastery houses a Malacological museum which apparently has the largest collection of snails, shells and mussels in the world. Fossils from the region are also on display. Another important sight is the Parish Church of St. Mark, on the main square (Kačićev trg), which was built in 1776.
Beaches in Makarska
Main draw here is the beaches, backed by fragrant pinewoods overlooking the glistening turquoise sea. Makarska’s town beach is a long curving stretch of pebble, behind which runs a shady palm-lined promenade with several big hotels interspersed by cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours. There are peddle-boats, banana rides and jet skis for hire, so it’s great for families but not particularly restful.
Donja Luka Beach is again one of the beaches of Makarska that will touch your heart. The water is crystal clear and calm, and it just pulls you into its embrace. Maybe you will even forget, how to get out of the water. But we doubt it, because there are a lot of things you can do on land, too. There are many bars and restaurants, sport courts, slides and playgrounds for children. The pine trees have an amazingly calming scent and make sure the pebble grounds are nicely cool under their shade.
You can stay with your family or friends in the hotels, apartments or private rooms nearby. The choices are almost limitless. As it is normal for the beaches of higher rank, there is always a lifeguard on duty on this pearl of the Adriatic. If you prefer not to hurt your back on the hard grounds, you can always rent sun loungers.
The high season is pretty raucous, with many buzzing nightlife spots, but also a lot of fun for those with children. If you’re interested in hanging around beach bars and clubs, playing volleyball and generally lounging about, you’ll like Makarska. Outside the high season, things are pretty quiet.