The town of Makarska sits at the center of this gorgeous strip, overlooking the magnificent Hvar and Brač islands.
Known as the homeland of summer, Makarska riviera has been a tourist hot spot since the late 19th century. One look at its pristine turquoise sea, gorgeous beaches, wonderfully lush countryside, and the high peaks of Biokovo mountain in the north tell the story of a destination second to none, whether you are visiting during the summer months or at any other time of the year.
Enjoy your time here exploring the Riviera and the archipelago of Central Dalmatia, tasting the local delicacies, and bathing in the sun, cooled by the fresh, pine-scented breeze.
History and Culture
Makarska grew from an ancient Cretan settlement founded sometime in the 2nd century BC as a strategic point on the "Amber road" through the Adriatic. It fell under Roman rule during the height of its power. Located on the very edge of the Roman empire, the town called Muccurum (or Macrum) would become home to veteran soldiers, who were settled here as a reward after the long years of their military service.
The city become a part of the Croatian Kingdom in the 12th century, but Croat dominion did not last long. Venetians conquered it along with large parts of the coastline in the 13th century, Bosnia annexed it a century later, only to be taken by lords of present-day Herzegovina. Many followed, including the Turks, Austrians, French, Austria-Hungary, and Yugoslavia. Today, Makarska is a part of Croatia once again.
Makarska riviera has always been known for its fertile land and superb produce. This picturesque slice of the Mediterranean features ancient olive groves and vineyards, pastures, pine forests, and a bountiful sea, and has generously provided the local population with everything they needed. Visit Makarska and taste the fruits of its long tradition - superb olive oil, delicious prosciutto, rich wine, fresh fish, and much more.
Sport and Recreation
Whether your preference is land-based or water sports and activities, Makarska riviera is filled with opportunities. Grab a windsurfing board or go sailing across the gorgeous Adriatic sea. Scuba dive and explore the underwater world of the riviera. Rent a canoe and go on an exciting rafting adventure on the Cetina river.
Staying on hard ground, you will be truly spoiled for choice. A wide selection of cycling routes awaits, including the beautiful trail through Osejava park. Maybe you would prefer a safari ride with buggies on Biokovo mountain. If you feel like exploring the natural wonders of this region on foot, follow one of many hiking trails. Visit the sports courts for a game of soccer, basketball, or tennis with family or friends. Wish for a more adrenaline-filled activity? Go free climbing, paragliding, or hop on your mountain bike and conquer one of the downhill courses. Get your rush in the most enticing and beautiful natural surroundings.
The possibilities do not end there. Why not join up for some deeply relaxing and healthy outdoor yoga sessions? Or take your entire family on an excursion to the nearby islands of Hvar and Brač. Finally, if you feel up to the challenge, join the guided day trip up the Biokovo mountain to the Skywalk promontory. The reward for braving the trail is a glorious panoramic view of the entire Riviera.
Makarska Riviera is blessed with many sunny days and beautiful, natural pebbly beaches. The sea here is among the cleanest in Europe, inviting you to take a refreshing dip or engage in some fun water activities. Apart from the super-popular Makarska City beach, we wish to recommend a few other supreme spots:
The longest beach on the Riviera is a true Mediterranean paradise. A two-mile-long strip of smooth pebbles, shaded by verdant pines, leads into the clear blue sea warmed to very pleasant temperatures by the Dalmatian sun. Rent a deck chair, relax and spend a whole day enjoying the Adriatic answer to the tropical beaches of the Caribbean.
Nikolina beach is not only recognized internationally for its beauty but also boasts the coveted blue flag – awarded for the purity of its water. This pebbly beach with a magnificent view of the neighboring islands is a popular choice for Baška Voda residents and visitors, offering all the facilities you could wish for during a fun-filled summer day.
Punta Rata Beach (Brela)
A visit to Brela is just not complete without spending some time at the gorgeous Punta Rata beach. This pebbly beauty wreathed in fragrant pine forest holds a place on Forbes' Top 10 beaches of the world list. While enjoying the sun and the crystal clear sea, snap a picture beside the symbol of the town - the famous Brela stone.
Fresh, local, and traditional would be the best words to describe the superb offer of Makarska riviera gastronomy. Steeped in history and blessed with the gifts of nature, the cuisine of this part of Dalmatia is a tasty result of cultural heritage and traditional techniques perfected through the ages.
Take your time, select a perfect spot between many, many taverns and restaurants and treat yourself and your loved ones to a lovely lunch or a dinner tasting of summer, sea, and sun. Here are some suggestions to get you started on a journey of gastronomic discovery:
The best way to taste true Dalmatia is its prized dried ham that Croatians call pršut. More akin to Jamon Iberico than the classic prosciutto, the ham is cured, smoked, naturally dried in the harsh Dalmatian bura wind, and served sliced paper thin so it almost melts in the mouth. Pršut is a succulent, salty, slightly fatty treat, so moreish you will want to order a platter before every meal. Remember to pair it with some sharp sheep's cheese and a glass of rich Dalmatian red wine and enjoy.
This traditional stew is unlike any other in the world. Slow braised beef with dried figs and plums, strong Dalmatian wine, and local herbs creates a perfect blend of sweet and savory taste. Indigenous Dalmatian dish is a fork-tender delicacy that invokes feelings of happiness and gratitude in anyone that tastes it.
Even though every Makaska family baked this cake, even as no wedding, celebration, or feast would go without it, for the longest time it had no name. According to the legend, the cake was finally named by the Saxon king Friedrich August, when he tasted it during a visit to the Riviera in the early 19th century. A delicious treat featuring almonds, lemon, orange, nutmeg, vanilla, and Maraschino liqueur awakens the taste buds with each bite.
Do not miss
Greet the ingenious military tactician and his most trusted Marchal
The obelisk in the shape of a pyramid known as the Napoleon monument was erected in the early 19th century, while Makarska was under French rule, governed by Marchal Marmont. It is the work of famous Brač sculptors Antun and Ivan Štambuk. As you enter town from the west, seize this opportunity to see an important part of Makarska's history.
Discover the past
Visit the city museum for a glimpse into the life of this city through the ages. Four collections are on display: cultural, contemporary, archaeological, and ethnographic, as well as the expansive library and city archives.
Dine with a view
Located 400 meters above sea level, right behind Makarska, Panorama grill is the place to enjoy a delicious dinner while taking in the beauty of the stunning Riviera sunset.
Party 'caveman style'
Party until the dawn in the Deep club, an unmissable spot of the Makarska club scene. This natural cave turned into a haven of electronic music has hosted many renowned DJs from all around the world.