The beautiful Makarska Riviera follows a narrow stretch of coastline along Croatia’s Adriatic Sea coast.
It’s only a few kilometres wide at most points but spans around 60 kilometres (37.5 miles), covering quiet coves and quaint villages, while the city of Makarska sits at its heart.
The Riviera can only be a few kilometres wide because it is wedged between the sea and the Biokovo Mountains.
This mountain range is the second-highest in the country and great for hiking, giving a striking and scenic backdrop to the Riviera.
The Riviera is best known as a summer sun destination with plenty of beaches to relax and a promenade to walk on.
The fact that the scenery rivals many of the best places in the Mediterranean is a bonus, as is the fact that this stretch of coastline is quieter than many other well-known tourist destinations in the Adriatic and Med regions.
Towns and Villages to Explore
The villages range from tiny settlements, like Bratus, where there are only around 50 permanent inhabitants, and traditional life is still vital for them.
There are seventeen towns and villages along the Makarska Riviera, including Makarska City.
These tiny fishing villages are brimming with tourists during the summer, but the traditional fishing village atmosphere makes them popular places to visit.
is one of the larger towns, and it is gorgeous with its whitewashed buildings, terracotta roofs, and mountain backdrop.
The marina is a lovely place to moor your yacht for a night or two if you arrive by boat.
If you’re staying on dry land, there are many good places.
another small town is known locally as the Pearl of the Makarska Riviera.
It came to the world’s attention when Forbes magazine ranked its beach among the world’s top ten in 2003.
The pine-clad hillsides provide a lush green contrast to the grey cliffs and blue sea, while the Brela Stone (a small rock island topped with trees) just off the beach is the town’s symbol.
Hotels and Apartments
Among the most popular places to stay in Makarska are its many apartments.
Apartments offer a great alternative to hotels if you want more living space and are not looking for full service.
The 4-star Luxury City Centre Apartments Sulenta is just one option, featuring modern and bright apartments in the heart of the old town.
For those who prefer to enjoy the facilities and good service, there are several 4-star hotels.
Valamar Meteor Hotel is probably the closest you’ll get to a resort-style hotel on the Makarska Riviera.
It’s a big place with indoor and outdoor pools, a restaurant, a sauna, a health club, and just off the beach.
Getting to the Riviera
The main reason the Makarska Riviera is not as busy as some other destinations is the lack of accessibility.
No international airport directly serves the area, but Split is the closest.
You can take a transfer service from Split to towns on Makarska Riviera. It’s only around an 85-minute drive to Makarska.
When to Visit
Weather-wise and attraction-wise, the best time to visit is during the summer.
Sunny and relatively hot weather can be enjoyed at its best in July and August, when you can expect an average high of around 30C.
These months are not always completely dry, so come prepared for some light rain, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the area.
Even on rainy days, the temperatures stay warm, though.
Outside of the summer season, the villages of the Riviera will be completely different – they’re not geared up to receive tourists off-season, so while you could visit outside of the summer, you shouldn’t expect all hotels, restaurants and shops to be open.
Explore the coast by boat.
The best way to explore the Riviera is by boat or yacht. If you bring your boat or rent a private yacht, you can see this beautiful section of coastline at your own pace.
If you have time, you can sail around Croatia’s islands, including Brac and Stari Grad.
If you don’t come by your boat, you can take a trip on one of many boat tours along this beautiful coast.