As a prominent regional tourist center, Makarska is renowned for its stunning horseshoe-shaped bay nestled between the Biokovo mountains and the Adriatic Sea.
Visitors are drawn to its palm-fringed promenade, where cafes, bars, and boutiques overlook the harbor. Adjacent to the beach, one can find large capacity hotels and camping grounds.
The city also serves as the center of the Makarska Riviera, a popular tourist destination extending for 60 km between the municipalities of Brela and Gradac, offering a blend of natural beauty and rich cultural history.
Table of Contents
Attractions & Things to do in Makarska
1. St. Mark’s Cathedral
St. Mark’s Cathedral, built in the 17th century, is a prominent landmark in Makarska’s Main Square. Its beautiful architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit for tourists.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss the chance to explore the interior of the cathedral, where you can admire intricate artwork and stained glass windows.
2. St. Peter’s Church
Located on the Sv. Petar peninsula, St. Peter’s church dates back to the 13th century and was rebuilt in 1993. This small church offers a serene atmosphere and stunning views of the sea.
Travel Tip: Visit during sunset for a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea, and bring a camera to capture the moment.
3. The Franciscan Monastery
The Franciscan Monastery, built in the 16th century, is home to a library with rare books and a world-renowned collection of shells in the Malacological Museum.
Travel Tip: Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the monastery and explore the unique shell collection.
4. Napoleon Monument
Erected in honor of the French Marshal Marmont in 1808, the Napoleon Monument is a historical marker that commemorates the French rule in the region.
Travel Tip: Combine your visit to the monument with a walk around the nearby areas to explore other historical sites.
5. Makarska Beaches
Makarska is famous for its stunning beaches along the Adriatic Sea, forming part of the beautiful Makarska Riviera. The beaches are known for their clear waters and pebbled shores.
Travel Tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot during the peak season, and don’t forget to bring sun protection.
6. Biokovo Mountain
Biokovo Mountain offers hiking trails and breathtaking views of Makarska and the Adriatic Sea. It’s a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Travel Tip: Wear proper hiking shoes and carry enough water, especially during the summer months. Check the weather forecast before planning your hike.
7. Makarska Harbor
Makarska Harbor is a lively area filled with cafes, bars, and boutiques overlooking the harbor. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and enjoy local cuisine.
Travel Tip: Spend an evening at the harbor to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and try some fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.
8. Villa Tonolli
Home to the Town Museum, Villa Tonolli offers insights into the history and culture of Makarska. The museum showcases artifacts, art, and historical documents.
Travel Tip: Check the opening hours before visiting, and consider taking a guided tour for a more informative experience.
Unique Activities in Makarska
1. E-bike tour around historical villages
Pedal your way through the historical villages surrounding Makarska on an E-bike tour. This tour offers a blend of history, culture, and nature as participants cycle through picturesque villages, learning about their rich heritage and enjoying the serene beauty of the countryside.
2. MyScooter – Rent A Scooter
Experience the freedom of exploring Makarska on a scooter. Renting a scooter offers a flexible and fun way to discover the hidden gems of the city, allowing travelers to move at their own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path locations.
Day Trips from Makarska
Visit the vibrant city of Split, where ancient history meets modern life. Explore the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace, stroll along the Riva promenade, and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of this coastal gem.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss climbing Marjan Hill for panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea.
Discover the enchanting city of Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” Walk the ancient city walls, explore historic streets, and take in the breathtaking views of the Adriatic coastline.
Travel Tip: Beat the crowds by starting your exploration early in the morning to fully appreciate the charm of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Krka National Park
Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty at Krka National Park. Wander along wooden pathways surrounded by lush greenery, swim in the crystal-clear water beneath waterfalls, and admire the picturesque landscapes.
Travel Tip: Bring your swimsuit and water shoes for a refreshing dip near the Skradinski Buk waterfall – a memorable experience you won’t want to miss.
Where to stay in Makarska
Makarska, a picturesque city in Croatia, offers a plethora of hotel options for travelers. Nestled between the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea and the rugged Biokovo mountains, the city boasts a range of accommodations that cater to various preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury, budget-friendly options, or something in between, Makarska has something to offer. Here are six hotels in Makarska, each catering to a specific type of traveler:
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Boutique Hotel Mirjam (★★★★)
- Description: Located in Makarska, just 200 metres from Biloševac Beach, Boutique Hotel Mirjam offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness centre, and a garden.
- Price: €272 per night
- Rating: 9.4 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Hotel Park Makarska (★★★★)
- Description: Situated right next to the beach, Hotel Park Makarska offers an outdoor pool, sun terrace, and an à-la-carte restaurant serving international dishes.
- Price: €198 per night
- Rating: 9.0 (Superb)
3. Budget Hotel
Hotel Biokovo (★★★★)
- Description: Located just a 3-minute walk from the beach in the heart of Makarska, Hotel Biokovo offers en-suite rooms with satellite TV and minibars.
- Price: €154 per night
- Rating: 8.8 (Fabulous)
4. Hotel for Families
Aparthotel Miramare (★★★★)
- Description: Situated in a prime location in Makarska, Aparthotel Miramare offers air-conditioned rooms, a seasonal outdoor pool, free WiFi, and a terrace. The hotel also features a restaurant.
- Price: €198 per night
- Rating: 8.7 (Fabulous)
5. Hotel for Couples
Heritage Hotel Porin Makarska (★★★★)
- Description: Set on the Riva Promenade, this former noble palace is located in the heart of Makarska and is just a 5-minute walk from the beach.
- Price: €202 per night
- Rating: 9.2 (Superb)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Hotel Maritimo (★★★)
- Description: Close to Makarska’s center and located at a pebbly beach, the charming family-run Hotel Maritimo offers magnificent views of the Brač and Hvar Islands.
- Price: €135 per night
- Rating: 9.2 (Superb)
Did you know? Facts about Makarska
- Makarska is a prominent regional tourist center in Croatia, located on a horseshoe-shaped bay between the Biokovo mountains and the Adriatic Sea, known for its palm-fringed promenade and harbor.
- The city is the center of the Makarska Riviera, a popular tourist destination that stretches for 60 km (37 mi) between the municipalities of Brela and Gradac.
- In the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, there was a settlement near Makarska, thought to be a point used by the Cretans on their way up to the Adriatic.
- Makarska has a rich history, having been ruled by various powers including the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans, and Austrians.
- Under Ottoman rule, the town was surrounded by walls with three towers, and in 1568 a fortress was built as a defense against the Venetians.
- The town is located in central Dalmatia, sharply separated from the interior by the mountain Biokovo, and connected with the central Dalmatian islands of Brač and Hvar by the Adriatic Sea.
- Makarska’s main economic activity is tourism, and it offers a large number of accommodations in both hotels and private lodgings.
- The Franciscan monastery in Makarska, built in the 16th century, houses a famous collection of shells from all over the world in its Malacological Museum.
- The town experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, with warm and wet winters and hot and dry summers, making it one of the warmest towns in Croatia.
- A 2019 study found that high school students in Makarska were the tallest in the Dinaric Alps (and the world), with males having an average height of 187.6 cm.
FAQ about Makarska
What is Makarska known for?
Makarska is a prominent regional tourist center located on the Adriatic coastline of Croatia. It’s renowned for its palm-fringed promenade, cafes, bars, boutiques overlooking the harbor, and its position on a horseshoe-shaped bay between the Biokovo mountains and the Adriatic Sea.
Where is Makarska located in relation to major Croatian cities?
Makarska is situated about 60 km southeast of Split and 140 km northwest of Dubrovnik in the Split-Dalmatia County.
What is the Makarska Riviera?
The Makarska Riviera is a popular tourist destination under the Biokovo mountain, stretching for 60 km between the municipalities of Brela and Gradac.
What are the main attractions in Makarska?
Makarska boasts attractions like its palm-fringed promenade, St. Mark’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s church, the Franciscan monastery which houses a famous Malacological Museum, and the Napoleon monument.
How is the climate in Makarska?
Makarska experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with warm and wet winters and hot, dry summers. It’s one of the warmest towns in Croatia.
What is the main economic activity in Makarska?
The primary economic activity in Makarska is tourism, with numerous accommodations available in hotels and private lodgings.
What is the historical significance of Makarska?
Historically, Makarska has seen influences from the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Venetian Republic. It has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times and has been a significant port and settlement throughout various eras.
How can one reach the central Dalmatian islands from Makarska?
Makarska is connected with the central Dalmatian islands of Brač and Hvar by the Adriatic Sea, making it a gateway to some of Croatia’s most beautiful islands.