Makarska is the centre of Makarska Riviera, which is one of the most attractive regions in Croatia. The town is situated in a harbor naturally protected from the south-east by cape Osejava and by St. Peters peninsula on the north-west side. Above the town rises the mountain of Biokovo, which gives the unique fusion of sea and mountain.
Why Makarska Should be a Must Visit Place during Your Croatia Cruise Vacation
The trademark of Makarska is its long gravel beaches that reach all along the Riviera.
Makarska offers more than solely enjoyment in the sea and sun. It has a rich historical and cultural heritage, numerous churches, museums a Franciscan monastery with a shell museum and typical Mediterranean architecture with lots of small streets and squares in the historical part of town.
The town has many restaurants, wine cellars, bars, discos and exciting night life. Makarska also offers very good sport and recreational facilities at the Sports Center, Tennis Center and a variety of water sports are offered on the beaches.
Biokovo is a Croatia National park with an exceptionally diverse flora and fauna. Villages Veliko Brdo, Puharici, Makar and Kotisina on the foot of Biokovo, with their rural architecture and traditional lifestyle make attractive excursions. These villages can be easily reached from the city center by car, but also on foot (it’s approximately a one hour walk).
Surrounded from the interior of the mainland by the Biokovo mountain range, it lies on the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea. The area of the Makarska Riviera covers about 60 kilometers of the coast, from Brela in the north to Gradac in the south. This area attracts tourists for decades with its beauty and interesting cities – Makarska, Baska Voda, Bratus, Brela, Brist, Drasnice, Drvenik, Gradac, Igrane, Podaca, Podgora, Promajna, Tucepi and Zivogosce.
They are all located off the coast covered with white pebbles, with a crystal-clear sea and the delightful smell of a pine forest. Makarska, Baska Voda, Brela and Tucepi are the most popular of the towns located on the Makarska Riviera, known for their long, kilometer beaches, lots of attractions for the whole family, entertainment and water sports.
Tourists are offered a huge selection of food and local wine, and the night life here lasts until the morning hours. Sources of fresh cold drinking water, beautiful mountain herbs and colorful butterflies are a small percentage of what can be found in the Biokovo mountains.
All this is located near Makarska, which is regularly visited by tourists from around the world. Makarska Riviera is a good starting point for anyone wanting to travel on the Croatian coast. It is easy to get to Split from here to see Diocletian’s Palace or to go on a trip to catch the statue of Grgur Ninski by his big toe, which apparently brings luck, it is worth visiting the famous Marian shrine Medjugorje or go to Dubrovnik, which never disappointed most demanding with their architecture and atmosphere centuries ago.
The beauty of nature, the possibilities of active rest and relaxation – every inch of the Makarska Riviera offers something magical, which is why many people spend their holidays in Croatia . The rich cultural heritage achieved over the centuries is evident at every step. In the summer there are numerous cultural attractions, entertainment and festivals.
Large and small ports and high quality marinas will satisfy even the most demanding sailors.
An additional advantage of the Makarska Riviera is the typically Mediterranean climate, with average summer temperatures of 25 ° C and 9 ° C during the winter. The riviera is protected from the influence of the harsh continental climate by the Biokovo mountain range. This area enjoys long and hot summers with refreshing sea breezes.
The History of Makarska
The first mention of a settlement in this region comes from the first half of the 4th century on Peutigeriana tablets. It was a village located on the road connecting the cities of Salona and Narona.
In the documents of the Salona City Council on May 4, 533, Mucurum is mentioned as the city where the bishopric was founded. In the 7th-century Ravenat documents, the city is mentioned as Aronia id est Mucru. During the Middle Ages, the Mokro poviat was part of the Duchy of Neretva and was known for its maritime power.
The Venetian Doge Petar Kandijan suffered a major defeat in the major naval battle of Mokro on September 18, 887. In the following centuries, governments in these parts of the Adriatic passed between different princes of Bribir, Bosnian rulers, Croatian kings and Venice.
Under the current name Makarska was mentioned for the first time in 1502. During the Turkish occupation, Makarska became part of their province of Primorje and was strengthened by three fortifications.
Makarska became part of the Republic of Venice in 1684. During the hundred-year reign of the Venetian lion, the foundations of the future city were built. In the following years, during the French and Austrian rule, the city recorded cultural and economic development.
From prehistoric Illyrian artifacts, Roman villas, the medieval naval power of Mokro under the rule of the Principality of Neretva, Turkish fortifications and the city of Venetian Baroque.
Through this popular Austrian holiday resort to this day, Makarska and its history are an integral part of the natural environment. The history of the city is visible and admired through such buildings as the famous Franciscan monastery, the cathedral church of St. Marko, churches of St. Filipa and Jakov, the Vepric sanctuary, Kačić square, various museums and galleries, among cobblestone streets, squares, but also beaches, olive groves and mountain peaks.
Cultural Heritage of Makarska
In addition to wonderful beaches and conditions for relaxing on the beach or the possibility of spending active holidays, Makarska offers numerous interesting monuments, museums and galleries. Below is a small set of what to see in Makarska.
Franciscan monastery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Franciscans, coming to Makarska from Bosnia, built their monastery here in 1502. Although their efforts were often destroyed by frequent invasions, earthquakes and political opposition, the monastery operated for centuries, and today is a beautiful building and a unique monument of Croatia.
The monastery served as a seminary, and in 1971 became part of the seminary in Zagreb. The monks studied natural sciences and the humanities, a library was established, which today contains more than 5000 volumes, as well as magazines, manuscripts and incunabula. It also houses the Malacological Museum.
Malacological Museumis the second extremely interesting object. This is, in other words, a shell museum. It is one of the most prominent objects of this type in all of Croatia. It was founded in 1963 by the Franciscan and biologist, Jure Radica.
This unique and amazing object presents numerous species of snails and crustaceans from the Adriatic Sea and the rest of the world. The museum began with the private Jure Radica collection, which was later expanded with the help of numerous donors, scientists and collectors. The collection contains about 3000 shells.
There is also a collection of flora found in the Biokovo mountains and the Adriatic region. The collection of shells contains several spectacular specimens from the Adriatic, as well as beautiful shells from around the world. The museum is located in a beautiful building of the old Franciscan monastery, which is one of the most beautiful buildings of this type in Croatia.
St. Peninsula Piotra is a pitch located in the south of the city. You can find the ruins of the old church and caves here. There is a long promenade here, connected to the most interesting regions of the city.
Vepric Sanctuary – dedicated to the Virgin of Lourdes, founded by Bishop Juraj Caric in 1908. This place is to remind you of the miracles that happened in Lourdes. It is picturesquely situated on a hill.
St. Co-Cathedral Mark is located at the top of Kacic Square. The construction of this baroque church began in 1700. At the entrance to the temple, on the right, there is an altar in which the bones of St. Klementa, patron of the city of Makarska, as well as the diocese of Makarska.
Makarska is situated in a magnificent setting under Biokovo Mountain. The stone houses of Makarska viewed against the backdrop of the rugged mountain illustrate the effort of the people of the Adriatic to adapt to their environment.
Makarska Riviera is an ideal holiday destination for families with children. It is also one of the most popular destinations when it comes to leisure on the Adriatic. Makarska Riviera is 60 kilometers long and is dotted with numerous beaches, which are famous for being covered mainly with white, smooth pebbles and sandy areas, and the descent to the sea is calm and gentle.
Just behind them extends a belt of pine forests and olive groves, growing at the foot of the magnificent Biokovo mountain range. Some of the beaches stretch for many kilometers, such as the beach connecting Brela with Baska Voda.
The city of Makarska, with a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere is the heart of the Makarska Riviera. It has a long coast that surprises with its beauty and naturalness. Long, sandy and rocky beaches, pine forests and clean water are a small fraction of what the city offers.
To the north of Makarska are the resorts of Krvavica, Bratus, Promajna, Baska Voda and Brela. Each of them is worth a visit, but it’s worth remembering that Baska Voda and Brela are famous for their excellent restaurants, and their shores delight with white beaches and idyllic coves. Here are the most beautiful beaches of Croatia .
South of Makarska are located seaside resorts such as Tucepi with a beautiful, long, white beach, Podgora with a charming and quiet marina, as well as Drasnice, Igrane, Zivogosce and Drvenik. Ferry cruises to the island of Hvar take place from each. Zaostrog is the southernmost town of the Makarska Riviera, surrounded by pine forests and olive groves, and Gradac – the largest city, just after Makarska, of the Riviera.
Most of the riviera resorts have seaside promenades, along which palm trees grow, and waiting for tourists, bars, cafes, restaurants and shops.
From Brela to Gradac (about 40km) there are hundreds of beaches, among which everyone will find one just for themselves. Many of them are very popular and sometimes they are quite crowded in the summer season. But you can easily find less known, small and intimate beaches hidden between the rocks along the entire coast.
The largest beach is the town beach in Tučepi – 2 kilometers long. The other is located in the city of Makarska and is 1.5 kilometers long.
Makarska Riviera, in addition to great monuments, fantastic conditions for water sports and various activities is a perfect place for lovers of fun.
In the summer, nights with Dalmatian folk music are often organized on the Makarska Riviera. All such festivities and concerts take place as part of the “Cultural summer of Makarska” event.
In Makarska, as well as nearby towns, so-called Friday fishing evenings where fish roasting, drinking wine and playing traditional games take place. A traditional summer carnival is organized at the beginning of August. Countless beaches with cocktail bars attract young people due to the program offered, which lasts until the early hours of the morning. Makarska’s most popular bars located on the beach are “Buba”, “Art caffe”, “Deep” (a nightclub located in a seaside cave), “Marineta”, “West” and the disco “, Petar Pan”, “Escape”.
In addition to the various ‘ointments’ of bars, pubs and night clubs, tourists have at their disposal wonderful restaurants and local taverns. The dishes served in them are completely shaped by Dalmatian cuisine, rich in all kinds of fresh fish prepared in various ways: stewed, roasted, baked …
All meals are seasoned with homemade olive oil with a touch of various natural herbs and seasonal vegetables, and that prices Croatiaare very affordable, it’s worth dining at local restaurants and trying local delicacies. Dalmatian prosciutto with cheese and olives has a long tradition as a cold snack that impresses almost everyone and which you just have to try.
In addition to numerous dishes made from various fresh sea fish, Dalmatian stew of veal with tomatoes – “pašticada” – a specialty of veal meat filled with bacon and garlic, prepared in red wine, has a great taste. Roasted meats and potatoes with vegetable salads also delight with their taste.
The most famous desserts on the Makarska Riviera, which it is famous for, are Makaranian Ravioli and Makarana cake. Makarana cake is made of almonds and Maraschino-Dalmatian cherry liqueur. Makaranian ravioli, on the other hand, is a small round cake with nut filling. The taste of wonderful Dalmatian dishes can be enjoyed, among others, in restaurants such as “Veliki Mornar”, “Porat”, “Bonaca” and taverns “Maslina”, “Mornar” and “Adria”.