Makarska Croatia Travel Guide
Makarska Croatia is one of the most beautiful towns in Central Dalmatia, situated below the slopes of Biokovo mountain with the view of islands of Brac and Hvar.
It’s situated only 65 km from Split and 155 km to Dubrovnik. It’s the center of a well known Makarska Riviera that consists of few settlements – Baska, Baska Voda, Makarska, Tucepi, Podgora, Igrane, Zivogosce, Drvenik and Gradac, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.
Most visitors to Central Dalmatia from Split, hurry up to the islands, not knowing they are skipping Croatia’s most beautiful beaches area that stretches between Split and Dubrovnik.
From Brela In the north to small fishermen village of Gradac in the south, spreads the 38 miles long most beautiful Riviera.
Makarska is the biggest town along Riviera that with its palm-lined promenade, looks very much like the Split Riva waterfront.
Makarska Riviera is best known by it’s beautiful pebble and sand beaches and the clean sea. Because of wide choice of accommodation units and good entertainment opportunities it’s an excellent family holiday destination.
Makarska Croatia Town
This small town is bounded by two peninsulas, Osejava and St. Peter protected by mighty slopes of Mount Biokovo (1762 meters) which protects it from the cold continental climate.
Town boasts of rich Mediterranean vegetation, mild winters and long, warm summers with plenty of sunshine.
Although much smaller than Split Croatia, it has something in common with Dalmatian capital. Its long palm line sea promenade with fashionable cafes, bars and boutiques and small yachts harbor, looks alike Split’s ‘Riva’ promenade.
How To Get To Makarska Croatia?
If you are traveling by car the fastest way is to take highway A1. No matter which direction you are coming from, either from Zagreb or from Rijeka, take Sestanovac exit to Brela (10 Km) and proceed to Makarska town (18 Km via D8 road).
If you are coming from Rijeka, another alternative is taking the Adriatic highway D8 ( European route E65 called (Jadranska Magistrala), a coastal road. It’s more longer but more scenic as you are driving along Adriatic coast all the way from Rijeka via Zadar, Sibenik, Split to Makarska.
The nearest international airports to Makarska are Split Airport and Dubrovnik Airport. Split airport is more convenient to reach Makarska by taxi or shared transfers . For flights from Europe to Split check getting to Split by plane page!
Bus is the cheapest and safest connection to Makarska Croatia. There are regular coaches from Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik to Makarska, as well as from Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ulcinj (Montenegro) and Belgrade (Serbia).
From Split harbor there are regular bus connections to Makarska every forty five minutes. Check all daily departures at Split bus station timetable . Local Makarska bus company Promet Makarska keeps over 25 bus lines in both directions.
In fact, so far there’s no boat connections that connects Makarska Croatia with big harbor hubs like Split or Dubrovnik. The only car ferry line that exists is a ferry line 638 sailing from Sumartin (Brac island ) to Makarska and vice-versa.
There are five daily departures from/t Makarska – Sumartin in high season from June 29 to September 02 2018. It takes an hour between Sumartin to Makarska.
Beside this above line there is an indirect ferry connection that links small Drvenik settlement (It makes a part of Makarska Riviera – see the above map) to Sucuraj at the eastern end of Hvar island. This Jadrolinija line 632 is very convenient for travelers from Dubrovnik to Hvar island.
2018 brings a big news for visitors traveling between Split and Dubrovnik. Some new fast ship (catamaran) lines will be introduced.
The already traditional line from Split, connecting Brac, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik islands, will be enriched by Krilo maritime company with a now route from Split – Bol (Brac island) – Makarska Croatia Town – Korcula town – Mljet island (Sobra) – Dubrovnik.
This line will be operational from 30 June 2018 to 30 September 2018 starting daily at 07:30 AM from Split arriving in Dubrovnik at 12:15 PM.
Makarska Croatia Weather
Biokovo mountain has strong influence on the climate along the coast of the Makarska Riviera. This mountain is a kind of stone border between two climates – Mediterranean and continental.
The entire Biokovo mountain range is 36 kilometers long which protects the whole area of Makarska Riviera from the harsh continental climate but also helps to maintain a pleasant climate.
For this reason, the mixture of the mountain and the sea air, makes this Riviera one of the healthiest area along the coast, bringing in the summer so much desired refreshing air.
Makarska Riviera has about 2,700 sunny hours per year with average monthly temperatures of 25 C° in July and August and 23 C° sea temperature while in January average air temperature is 8.3 C°.
Makarska Croatia Things To Do And See
Visiting Makarska town and its Riviera you’ll be surprised of the variety of things to do and see. Kilometers of long white pebble beaches in the thick pine tree forest near crystal clear and refreshing sea are not the only benefit that Makarska Croatia offers for your vacations.
Regardless of the age and interests, every visitor who comes to Makarska will find something for their own interest and entertainment.The young will discover Makarska Croatia, an interesting clubbing place to have fun until the early hours.
Makarska is considered the center of the nightlife of central Dalmatia. During the summer, all the clubs are home to numerous DJ foreign stars, singers and bands as well as national.
Here’s a list of some of the most famous beach bars and nightclubs of Makarska Croatia:
- Deep Nightclub – in an amazing ambient of the natural cave.
- Buba Beach bar – pop, rock, electronic music, hip-hop, DJ parties, numerous events.
- Petar Pan Club – DJ’s and domestic live concerts. Open during the summer months.
- Marineta Disco Club – located on the waterfront, disco music, blues, folk.
- West Discotheque – in Hotel Dalmacija.
- Classic Cocktail Bar – situated on the waterfront, nice cocktails, commercial and local music.
- Fokus Cafe bar – Croatian pop-rock music.
- Art cafe – various cultural events, concerts.
For those less young Makarska culture summer that takes place each year, from mid June to early September offers many events, musical and theater performances. The most known are Fisherman’s Nights, Summer Carnival and the Evening of Kalalarga (Makarska special night).
If you are interested in Makarska’s rich historical background that covers the customs and culture of the seaside areas and the mountain villages from prehistoric to the modern period, visit some local museums.
Makarska Town Museum located at waterfront in Baroque Tonoli Palace is worth visiting.
The museum institution in the town of Makarska was founded in 1962 but only in 1995 the museum is housed in this eighteenth-century building.
There you can see collections of archeology, ethnology, cultural, historical, photos, postcards, posters and cards. Specially interesting is numismatic collection with 700 examples of the coins.
Open: from 09:00 – 13:00, 18:00 – 21:00. Closed on Sundays
Address: Obala kralja Tomislava 17/1, Makarska
Rarely tourists visiting coastal towns don’t want to know what inhabits in the depths of the Adriatic sea.
You can find all secrets visiting Museum of fish and crabs in Makarska, the Malacological Museum (What’s this? ), located under the roof of an ancient Franciscan monastery.
This unique museum was founded by scientist and monk Friar Jure Radic (1920-1990) and his associates in Franciscan Monastery.
He created a collection that is the best of its kind in the country. Malacology is the branch of zoology that studies molluscs – a large branch of the animal kingdom that includes everything from slugs and snails to octopus and squid plus a host of creatures with shells.
If I tell you that this museum keep a collection of 3000 shells and a collection of invertebrate fossils, I hope it will certainly cause your attention.
- Admission: 10 – 15 Kuna.
- Open: daily from 09:00 – 12:00, 17:00 – 19:00, Sun 10:00 – 12:00.
- Address: Franjevacki put 1, Makarska Croatia
There’s also the Museum of Fish, Mollusks and Crustaceans in street Fra Filipa Grabovca bb with a collection of 200 species. It’s open daily 8.30am-1pm and 5.30-10.30pm.
If you like walking Makarska is one of the perfect place no matter which direction you take. You can walk in direction of northwest along the coast all the way to Brela (nine miles). On the way you can stop at Buba beach bar for a drink.
On opposite direction from Makarska, southeast of the harbor, a 2 miles footpath leads through pinewoods all the way to Nugal, famous clothing-optional beach. The town harbor promenade is full of chic cafés and restaurants line up in front of the boats, serving local specialties.
Makarska Croatia Town Beaches
Most of Makarska Croatia beaches are concentrated inside a deep sheltered bay, bounded by two peninsulas, Osejava and St. Peter, and dominated by the mighty rocky Biokovo mountain range.
Like the most of Makarska Riviera beaches, they are long pebble beaches, mostly sheltered with pine trees. Almost all are reworded by blue flag sign for their beach cleanliness and crystal clear sea.
One of the most popular beaches is Buba beach, situated 20 minutes walk from the center of the town. This beach is known as a party beach, similar to Bacvice beach in Split or like famous Zrce beach on Pag island (Northern Dalmatia).
Buba is one of the most crowded beaches in high season (July – August) but if you are looking for more peaceful beaches I suggest two that are not far from Buba beach, in northwest direction.
There is a bit of a walk to get there (reachable also by car or by bike) but it’s worth it. Not many people, cleaner water, less noise and there are also nice bars nearby.
These less crowded beaches are Cvitacka and Ramova not far from Buba beach. From Makarska you have to follow Put Cvitacka street. On above map you can easily find the way to both beaches.
Best Makarska Croatia Hotels
When you are looking for accommodation in Makarska, maybe one will be disappointed if you have luxury hotels in mind. Actually you wont find a five stars hotel.
The best hotels are located along Makarska Riva Promenade. The most hotels in this area are 3 or 4 stars hotels.
One of the properties with its own beach is Hotel Dalmacija (3 stars) with excellent location score, located in very center. It’s particularly preferred by couples.
Other hotels located very close to the center in high demand are Hotel Meteor and Hotel Park Makarska, both 4 stars hotels, located in Kralja Petra Kresimira street.
If you are traveling on low budget Makarska Croatia and Makarska Riviera is definitely the best place to find low cost accommodation deals. Everyone is renting something there, from apartments, rooms, houses or villas.
There are so many private accommodation offers along Makarska Riviera, that you can find accommodation even you are visiting this area in the highest season, without booking in advance.