Most visitors to Central Dalmatia from Split, hurry up to the islands, not knowing they are skipping Makarska Riviera, Croatia’s most beautiful beaches area that stretches between Split and Dubrovnik.
This 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.
Where is Makarska Riviera?
Riviera consists of 9 small settlements, starting from Baska, Baska Voda, Makarska, Tucepi, Podgora, Igrane, Zivogosce, Drvenik and Gradac.
The Riviera stretches for 44 km from Brela in the north to small fishermen village of Gradac in the south. It's only several kilometers wide. Find out more about the string of settlements inside this Riviera.
Almost the entire Riviera is nestled below mighty slopes of Mount Biokovo (1762 meters) which protects it from the cold continental climate.
Makarska Riviera 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.
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.
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 town is the biggest settlement on Makarska Riviera. This small town is bounded by two peninsulas, Osejava and St. Peter protected by mighty slopes of Mount Biokovo.
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.
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.
Makarska Riviera Beaches
Makarska Riviera beaches are the stretches of beaches that have become one of the most popular and attractive spots for holidaymakers in Europe.
Most visitors to Dalmatia go straight for the islands, neglecting Makarska Riviera on the mainland coast between Split and Dubrovnik, missing the main attractions of this Riviera, its beaches.
One of the best asset of this area is undeniably its natural environment, protected by the mountain range Biokovo, pine forests along the coast, giving a pleasant shade during the hot summer days that presents the best quality for every beach lover.
There are at least thirty well-known beaches spreading between Brela village, north of Makarska town (the capital) all the way to Gradac village, on the south.
Brela Soline Beach
The Soline beach is a wonderful pebble beach for families with children. The sea here is gently sloping, very clean and glowing in the most beautiful sea colors.
Pine trees provide cool shade on hot summer days and the mighty Biokovo Mountains in the background provide a breathtaking panorama.
The beautiful Bluesun Hotel Soline is only a few steps away from the dream beach and the waterfront. One of the best hotels for a vacation in Brela!
Brela - Punta Rata Beach
The Punta Rata Beach, is not only the most famous beach in Brela but it is also the most popular photo motif of the entire Makarska Riviera.
This small island which sticks out from the turquoise blue sea. is the symbol of Brela. In 2004, Forbes Magazine voted this beach jewel one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
If you want to stay near to this beach, apartments Punta Rata Room have a wonderful view of the sea and the Punta Rata beach!
Makarska Town Beach
The approximately 1,500-meter-long city beach of Makarska town is one of the most popular beaches. It's about a 10 minute walk from the old town.
There are a variety of bars, restaurants and cafes along the beach. Numerous water sports, such as pedal boating, riding the banana boat are also offered here and there is also a water park.
The wonderful luxury hotel Park Makarska is just right at the beach and the promenade.
Dugal Beach - Tucepi
Another highlight among the ultimate best beaches on the Makarska Riviera is the Nugal Beach. This natural bay is located in the Osejava Nature Park, between the city of Makarska and Tucepi village.
Nugal beach is one of the best nude beaches in Makarska, although non-nudists can also use the beach in different sections. This is a beach that you should definitely have seen during your vacation on the Makarska Riviera.
Duba Beach - Zivogosce
The beach Duba is located in the south of Makarska, near Zivogosce village. It is one of most quiet and lonely beaches on the Makarska Riviera.
Due to its secluded location, this beautiful beach offers wonderful lonely places. Perfect if you want to bathe far away from the other tourists.
The gravel is particularly bright and the sea turquoise blue, which creates a picturesque atmosphere. Near this beach there are some great snorkeling spots to try.
Biokovo Nature Park
One of the most spectacular attractions on Makarska Riviera is Biokovo Nature Park. This imposing mountain range is the optimal spot to go hiking, go on extensive cycling tours or just to enjoy nature.
An about 23 kilometers long panoramic road leads high up into the nature park and there you will experience countless brilliant viewpoints in the mountain landscape during the ride.
The road finally leads to the 1,762-meter-high peak of Sveti Jure. One of the highlights in the park and one of the most famous places to visit in Makarska is the Biokovo Skywalk, which was just opened in 2020.
How To Get To Makarska Riviera
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.
If you are travelling by car from Split, I suggest to take a costal road D8, called Adriatic highway. It’s more longer but more scenic as you are driving along Adriatic coast all the way from Split to any of Makarska Riviera setlements.
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 Riviera 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.
The popular fast catamaran service which travels from Split to Dubrovnik and makes stops along the way at Bol on the island of Brac, Makarska town, Korcula Old Town on the island of Korčula and Sobra on the island of Mljet, is set to sail again from July 2021.
Operators Kapetan Luka – Krilo confirmed that the daily service is set to commence again for the season on July 6.
The only car ferry line that exists is a ferry line 638 sailing from Sumartin (Brac island ) to Makarska and vice-versa.
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.