Each town of the Makarska Riviera can be reached easily by car or bus along the D8 Adriatic road (or the Adriatic tourist road), which connects the northern and southern Adriatic and passes through every town on the coast. Regular and frequent bus and train lines run from all the major cities in Croatia to Split, where the airport is located offering connections to all the major European cities. The second closest airport is located in Čilipi (near Dubrovnik). Local buses drive from the bus station in Makarska to any destination on the Makarska Riviera. If you are travelling by boat, Jadrolinija based in Split maintains lines to all the Croatian islands and Italian ports.
The Makarska Riviera is one of the most beautiful parts of the Adriatic coast with a long and rich tradition in tourism. In the 20th century, the small fishing villages around the Riviera have seen accelerated development and a complete shift towards the culture of hospitality, recording a growing tourist offer year after year. People from that region feel a strong desire to provide excellent tourist services, accommodation, catering services, entertainment, activities and holiday enjoyment, and thus give the best possible impression. Satisfied guests always return to the destination that won their hearts and the Makarska Riviera is one of those places that, undoubtedly, leaves a deep mark.
The Makarska Riviera extends over 60 kilometres in the central Adriatic, in the heart of Central Dalmatia. Located at the foot of the magnificent mountain of Biokovo, it is a fantastic blend of natural contrasts – stone, sea and the Mediterranean vegetation. This is where you will find the most beautiful beaches of the Adriatic, crystal clear sea wreathed in blue flags as signs of ecologically clean water, beaches and marinas. The Makarska Riviera is known for its delicious traditional Dalmatian cuisine, quality indigenous wines, the best fun and entertainment facilities, and a rich culture and history that dates back to ancient times. In short, the Makarska Riviera needs to be seen and experienced, and the memories and surprises you will take from it will last a lifetime.
Towns of the Makarska Riviera
After 1960, the Makarska Riviera began to develop rapidly and became the leading tourist destination on the Adriatic coast and a synonym for a great holiday. This was contributed to by the many famous tourist sites around the Riviera:
Brela is a small tourist town that boasts the most beautiful beach in Europe and even ranked among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, in the opinion of the influential American magazine Forbes. This is, of course, the Punta rata beach. In addition to clean water and the more than 6 km of pebble beaches, Brela is known for rural tourism developed on the slopes of Biokovo with an excellent offer of local specialities.
Baška Voda was first mentioned back in 1688 on the “Coranelli” map under the name Basca, as a small fishing and agricultural town that has since grown into one of the leading tourist resorts of the Makarska Riviera. Baška Voda deserves this status for its beautiful pebble beaches, long promenades along the seafront, pine forests and the rich selection of hotels, apartments and tourist attractions.
The town of Promajna is a perfect oasis for peaceful or romantic holidays, offering its guests excellent accommodation in villas and apartments, a lovely walkway by the sea, clean beaches, rest in the shade of ancient pines and pleasant restaurants.
The largest town of the Makarska Riviera, which gave its name to the entire area. The city is known for its diverse catering and entertainment tourism, as well as cultural events and concerts, particularly Fisherman’s nights, the night of Kalelarga and the summer carnival.
The town of Tučepi has the longest beach on the Makarska Riviera at 5 km, with a nice promenade extending alongside. Tučepi is an attractive tourism destination with cultural and historical monuments and restaurants offering local cuisine.
The most beautiful town of the Makarska Riviera according to many, Podgora has become a small paradise, offering ecologically clean beaches and a beautiful clear blue sea, a rich gastronomic offer, numerous restaurants and taverns, modern hotel and apartment accommodation as well as entertainment and sports facilities. The best recommendation for a perfect family holiday is the Medora Auri Family Beach Resort. The hotel that stands out for its excellent tourist services tailored to each guest.
A small fishing town for all visitors longing for peace, silence, beautiful nature, a blend of sea and quiet coves, hiking on Biokovo and the tranquillity and natural gifts of the Mediterranean.
Another picturesque town on the Makarska Riviera that is ideal for a family or romantic holiday. In addition to natural blessings, Drašnice is known for sacral buildings that date back to the 15th century.
The small town of Igrane was known for its olive groves and for making the famous olive oil. Today, alongside the modernised plant for olive processing, the place is totally devoted to tourism, with many apartments and hotels, restaurants, a nice promenade and a beautiful beach. Above Igrane, on the slopes of Biokovo, is the most important medieval monument of the Makarska Riviera, St Michael’s Church from the 11th century.
A picturesque authentic Dalmatian town composed of three villages: Porat, Mala Duba and Blato. It is dedicated to the tourism industry and known for its hospitality, delicious cuisine and comfortable accommodation in hotels, villas and apartments. Živogošće has been inhabited since Roman times, as evidenced by the remains of Illyrian graves and rustic villas.
Situated in two natural bays, Gornja Vala and Donja Vala, the town of Drvenik captures the beauty of its natural landscape. Drvenik was first mentioned in the 13th century and its name derives from the word “tree”. Today its guests enjoy a real and peaceful holiday far from the urban centres, spoiled by the charm of the cultural and gastronomic offer.
Zaostrog was first mentioned in the 15th century and the first descent of the population from the Biokovo area towards the sea began in the 17th century. Since the 20th century, the place has lived on tourism as its main economic activity. Today Zaostrog features numerous hotels, campsites, apartments and villas, a rich gastronomic offer and a fine promenade alongside the clear sea and beautiful sandy and pebble beaches.
Podaca is a peaceful tourist resort made up of three small towns: Kapeć, Viskovića vala and Ravanje. The town’s appeal lies in its natural beauty, clean water, beautiful beaches, comfortable accommodation and tourist facilities tailored specifically to family vacations.
An attractive, small tourist town where residents are also still engaged in agriculture, fishing and olive cultivation. The town is special for its autochthonous atmosphere of the old Mediterranean in combination with modern accommodation units, beaches and restaurants offering local delicacies, as well as cultural and historical monuments from the 15th century.
A friendly Dalmatian town rich in archaeological findings testifying to the presence of people since ancient times. Today, the inhabitants are mostly engaged in tourism, fishing, agriculture and olive cultivation. Gradac features a beautiful, long pebble beach, a favourite summer spot for many visitors. Above it stretches a beautiful long promenade with numerous restaurants, entertainment facilities, hotels and apartments.
Dalmatian cuisine is appreciated for its nutritional value, its richness of flavour and diversity, mostly featuring fish, shellfish, crabs, olive oil and leafy green vegetables. One of the most famous Dalmatian dishes is pašticada (beef stew), which has been known since ancient times, dishes baked under a lid, grilled lamb, numerous seafood specialities (including grilled octopus, squid, dentex, grouper and sea bass) and of course the traditional home-made cheese, prosciutto and olives.
Favourite desserts are the aromatic rožata and irresistible fritters and cakes made from figs, raisins and almonds. The Makarana cake is known throughout the Makarska Riviera and is prepared according to traditional recipes for holidays, celebrations and special guests. Legend has it that the cake only got its name in 1838 when it was served to king Frederick Augustus of Saxony during his stay in Makarska. Thrilled by the nameless dessert, the guest of honour decided to name it after the host city. Nowadays, the Makarana cake is protected as cultural heritage and its importance is confirmed by the numerous competitions in preparing this dessert.The Mediterranean spices play a huge role in preparing Dalmatian food, giving a final, appealing touch to any meal: oregano, marjoram, rosemary, basil, bay leaves and sage.
Dalmatia is widely known for its high quality and award-winning wines that perfectly match the taste of Mediterranean cuisine and create a truly magical palatal pleasure!