The namesake city
The town of Makarska is at the centre of the Makarska Riviera and served throughout Croatia’s history as a refuge for sailors, fishermen and the occasional pirate. Because of the protection of the mountain range, the seclusion of the harbour and the warmth of the Mediterranean weather, Makarska grew to become at one with the waves.
Its terracotta rooftops and pristine white walls give a spirit of sunshine to every passing day, and the outlook of the city’s people is one of relaxed, cheerful bustle. It’s where the region’s best shopping, eating and cultural tours can be had, and is the ideal place to hang your hat between adventures on the wider Riviera.
Miles of beautiful beaches
Rugged cliffsides and sloped outcrops dipping into the water give way to cosy coves and stretches of sandy shore throughout the Riveria. Brela is particularly well known for its inviting water and strips of sand, while Igrane combines natural beauty with local amenities to make a true slice of serenity by the sea.
If the spirit of adventure burns within you, rest assured there’s plenty to take on in the briny blue as well. Diving is always a popular pastime here, while boat trips and watersports are readily available. Beachfront bars garland the coast, and you’re never far from a cool drink or a bite to eat, so you can spend your days taking it easy along a stretch of shoreline that’s growing in popularity every year.
Fine dining at every turn
Whether you opt for the hustle and bustle of Makarska itself or the quieter surroundings of somewhere like Brela or Tucepi, your dining options are going to be vast and varied.
In Makarska, the simple, modern charm of restaurants like Ankora and Jez speak to the social side of dining, while traditionalists will enjoy the rustic surroundings of places like Konoba Kalalarga and Bistro Matteo.
As you might expect, there’s a lot to be said for the local flavours of the region – think hearty stews, grilled meats and the sublime seafood that comes part and parcel with any coastal community. But you’ll also have the choice of Italian, Asian and European dishes, depending on where you look. You can expect Croatian wines and other tipples on tap to be top notch too.
Meet the mighty mountain
The coastline is sublime, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t take the opportunity to explore Biokovo Mountain. It’s the second tallest in Croatia and by far the highest in the Dalmatian region, and is the most well known landmark in Biokovo Natural Park.
You can reach this easily enough from anywhere on the Makarska Rivieria, although it’s pretty close to the city of Makarska itself. It’s a great location for soaking up sun among pine trees and plantlife, with a fair few animals who make their home here and plenty of amenities close at hand.
Venture further up the mountain and more options for excursions open to you. There are very clearly marked trails you can follow up the mountainside, which aren’t too steep and give tremendous views when mastered. On a particularly bright day, a stroll to the heights of Stevi Jure will give you views of the Croatian coast, the islands of the Adriatic, the fringes of Bosnia and even the edge of Italy over the sea.