Makarska is the main beach resort town along the Makarska Riviera in Croatia, south of Split. Behind the city the impressive Biokovo mountain range rises up to 1,700 m (5,575 ft) within a few kilometres from the sea.
Makarska is on the picturesque Croatian coast. It is recommended to visit from April until October. For younger people July and August. If you want take a rest with no crowd on the beach then September is a good time. Makarska is a good place to stay rather than visiting on a day trip.
- The nearest airport is Split SPU IATA, 60 km north. In summer this has frequent package flights from north Europe and most visitors to the Makarska Riviera arrive this way.
- To the south is Dubrovnik DBV IATA with even more seasonal flights. It's 160 km south and you have to cross Neum in Bosnia for all of 10 mins to reach the rest of Croatia including Makarska. If you hire a car, they'll charge extra for taking the car out of Croatia, and apply that charge to every day of the hire even if you only have the short Neum transit there and back.
- Regular regional bus service connects Makarska to Split, Dubrovnik, and other cities in the region.
- June-August there's an overnight direct bus to Banja Luka and Gradiska in the north of Bosnia.
In Makarska there is no single large taxi company, but many small operators provide a service with one or two cars. The taxi usually comes within 10 to 15 min from the call.
You can take a scenic walk around the peninsula, the marina, and the main square. The peninsula area in particular is scenic, relaxing, and some parts are not too crowded. Be warned that nude sunbathers like to relax on the southern side of the peninsula.
- Rafting and kayaking. About a half-hour drive from Makarska, you can go rafting or kayaking along the Cetina River. The river is generally calm, although there are a few fast places, and one section is particularly dangerous. There is a tour agency that offers guided trips down the river. If you decide to go, look for the cave that was used by Marshal Tito's Partisans to hide from the Nazis during World War II.
- Trekking. The mountains directly behind the city have decent hiking trails. The area is scenic and not too crowded, and you can get a good view of Makarska if you hike high enough. Be sure to stay on the trails and be aware that there is a species of poisonous snake that lives in the area.
- Nature Park Biokovo. The mountain that rises right out of the sea, behind Makarska, with its peaks and lookout points that afford unforgettable panoramic views onto the Makarska Riviera and the area around Biokovo. Biokovo is unique not only for its position, but also for its geomorphology and its biological diversity, which are the main reasons for Mt Biokovo having been proclaimed a nature park in 1981. You can walk on foot into the mountains behind Makarska, however if you want to reach the best mountainous areas you will need to drive to the official park itself. There are excellent hiking opportunities in the park, although sometimes the fog makes it difficult to have a good view of the surroundings.
- Kotišina Botanical Garden, a part of the Nature park Biokovo that covers an area of 16.5 ha over the village of Kotišina. According to the intentions of its founder, Fra Jure Radić, the Biokovo vegetation, preserved in its original state, enables visitors to get to know the unique wild plant life of the area.
At the southern end of the beach (near the peninsula), there is an outdoor market area. There you can buy souvenirs, beach gear, and food. In this area are other simple but fun attractions such as trampolines to jump on.
There are also several well-stocked supermarkets in town, including a branch of the German discounter Lidl.
There are many restaurants along the beach and in the main square area, but often mediocre and tourist-trappy. Recommended are:
- Ivo, Ul. Ante Starčevića 41, Makarska. Daily 08:00-23:00. Good unpretentious fare.
- Jež, Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 90, Makarska. Daily 12:00-00:00. Mediterranean restaurant, good for seafood and meat dishes.
- Kalelarga, Kalalarga 40, Makarska. Daily 14:00-01:00. Good fresh seafood, slow service so make a night of it. "You never know what you'll be eating" said one reviewer, who enjoyed the donkey in red wine.
- Restoran Herc, Šetalište Dr. Franje Tuđmana, Makarska. Daily 08:00-01:00. Good food and service.
- Riva (Vinc-Mornar), Obala kralja Tomislava 6a, Makarska (on harbour quay). Daily 11:00-01:00. Good sea-food restaurant. Busy people, they also run Café Bar Nautica, Pizzeria Centrum, a couple of villas, and a motor launch.
- Susvid, Trg fra Andrije Kačića Miošića 8, Makarska. 24 hours. Seafood and steakhouse. They also own Peskera restaurant.
- 1 Jeny, Čovići, Tucepi (in hills above Tucepi, follow S12), ☏ . Daily 18:00-00:00. Good restaurant especially the 5-7 course tasting menus - but expensive, and they only take cash.
- 2 Konoba Veza, Srida Sela 1, Gornje Tucepi (in hills, follow S12), ☏ . Tu-Su 12:00-23:00, M 18:00-23:00. Good traditional restaurant up the hill above Tucepi.
There are bars and cafes along the main strip of the beach. Most of the best dance clubs are concentrated around the marina.
During the high tourist season (July to September), the Grotta and the Deep are two popular dance bars that have been built into a natural cave along the sea.
- Grotta. Closed during the off-season. Bar and dance club in a sea-side grotto.
- Deep. Closed during the off-season. Bar and dance club in a sea-side grotto.
- Hostel Makarska Subtub, Prvosvibanjska 15 (one block back from harbour), ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. First backpackers' hostel in Makarska. It is in a safe, quiet neighborhood. Peaceful, clean hostel with friendly atmosphere. It is run by a traveller who can give you all the info you need about Croatia. With dorms and en suite private rooms. Dorm €30 ppn.
- Villa Buljubasic, Put Pozara 11b, 21300 Makarska, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Ten suites, all equipped with air conditioning, TV/satellite, WiFi, bathroom, fridge, balcony and grill area, 350 m from beach, with parking. €40-80.
- Villa Alma, Put Požara 11, ☏ .
- Vila Ventus, Molizanskih Hrvata 18A, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 rooms with use of kitchen, 2 apartments with own kitchen, 2 double rooms, all with A/C, 5 min walk from the beach. €25-90.
- Villa Kapulica, Šetalište Franje Tuđmana 13a (next to the beach on the promenade), ☏ . Five apartments and one room with balconies and terrace overlooking the beach, which is 5 m away €40-85.
- Villa Jarak, Kralja Krešimira 108 (Between Hotel Dalmacija and Hotel Biokovka), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Apartments and rooms with balconies close to the beach; all rooms with AC, bathroom, satellite TV, free WiFi, and kitchen. €40-50.
- 1 Hotel Dalmacija Sunny, Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 41, ☏ . Large 4-star on beach, some facilities need updating but generally to a good standard. Often used by package tours. B&B double €150.
- 2 Hotel Park, Ul. Kralja Petra Krešimira IV, ☏ . Large central 4-star often used by package tour companies. B&B double €300.
On the beach in Makarska, there are white beach chairs stacked along the beach. Although there is no sign to indicate that there is a charge to use these beach chairs, occasionally a money collector will come to demand that you pay for using the chair. However, the money collectors are vague about what you owe and how long you're paying for. They may also swindle you because they don't give receipts, so if another money collector comes along, you can't prove that you paid. If you refuse to pay the collector, he may threaten to call the police, but they don't seem to actually do so. Just tell in English that you thought the chairs belong to the hotel and that you thought they are included in hotel price.
The city area code is 021 (Croatia area codes)
There are several internet cafes in town. They're very close to the main town square and are within a 45-second walk of each other. All of them charge 24 kuna/hr. Matrix seems to be more willing to sometimes spontaneously charge you less than what you owe.
- Internet Club Setup 20 m from main square.
- Internet Club Flex Directly on Kalelarga Street
- Matrix On a small street off of Kalelarga. Look for a sign saying internet.
The bus station is on Starčevića street near the intersection with Zvonimira street. It can connect you to many nearby cities.
- Dubrovnik (160 km)
- Split (60 km)
- Brac Island (1 hr by boat)
- Hvar (1 hr by boat)
- Biokovo mountains (1.30 hr)
- Krka National Park (2 hr)
- Nereva river (1 hr)
- Cetina river For canyoning and rafting (30 km)
- Makarska Riviera 66 km of beaches:
- Mala Duba