Makarska

From the mountain tops to the stunning Croatian beaches

Experience Makarska

Makarska is located in the middle of Central Dalmatia’s most attractive riviera, halfway between Split and Dubrovnik. Its pebble beaches are among the most beautiful in Croatia and are popular with both Croatian and foreign tourists in the summer, while Mount Biokovo in the hinterland is a magnet for adventure seekers and a place to enjoy romantic views above the clouds.

a body of water with boats and buildings along it

MAKARSKA AT FIRST GLANCE

A place where a magnificent mountain meets the sea!

The small Mediterranean town of Makarska is located in Central Dalmatia, in the heart of the sunny Makarska Riviera, known for having the most beautiful pebbly beaches in Croatia. The town, whose first inhabitants arrived here some 8,000 years ago, emerged from a natural harbour protected by the Sveti Petar and Osejava peninsulas at the foot of majestic Mount Biokovo, whose highest peak is Sveti Jure (1,762 m) and Skywalk, a spectacular viewpoint with a glass platform.

During the summer, Makarska is a vibrant coastal town with a variety of cafés, restaurants, clubs, and sports and entertainment facilities for the entire family along its 2-kilometre-long promenade, which is situated next to attractive beaches. The town's main cultural and historical sights are the Franciscan Monastery, the Co-Cathedral of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Vepric Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the Museum of Malacology with its 3,000 specimens of shells.

If you are a fan of activity holidays, Makarska offers numerous challenges both on the sea and on the steep slopes of Mount Biokovo. Here, you can experience various excursions and a fantastic nightlife, and also reward your palate with a delicious Dalmatian pašticada beef stew and Makarana cake.

a group of people walking on a bridge

THE BEST REASONS TO VISIT MAKARSKA

  • the most beautiful pebbly beaches in Croatia, which are 2 km long

  • crystal clear sea and well-preserved nature

  • attractive Mount Biokovo with its nature park and the impressive Skywalk viewpoint

  • the starting point for the most attractive excursions in Dalmatia

  • a bustling nightlife and great entertainment

  • a wide choice of outdoor sports

  • cultural and historical sights

  • the Museum of Malacology with the finest seashell collection in Croatia

  • a wide-ranging culinary offer

CULTURE AND HISTORY OF MAKARSKA

Prehistoric Age (40,000 - 1st century BC) A Neanderthal blade discovered at the site of Ćurilo provides evidence that the wider Makarska area was inhabited as early as the Palaeolithic, while the Bubnjavača cave above the sanctuary of Vepric was occupied continuously from 6000 BC. The inhabitants of the cave were Mediterranean people engaged in hunting, fishing, and livestock breeding.
Ancient times (1st – 6th century) From the 1st century on, Makarska developed on its current site and gained the status of a municipality: a settlement with local self-government by the Romanised Illyrian population. In 533, the town was granted the status of a diocese. In a written source it is mentioned as Muccurum, which according to some interpretations means market place (makar) or spring (maqor).
Middle Ages (7th – 15th century) During the Old Croatian period, Makarska was part of Southern Croatia. After their navy was heavily defeated in 887, the Venetians had for a long time to pay a fee to the Croatian monarchs and Neretva princes for unhindered navigation on the Adriatic, and Venice sought to get Makarska under its rule. Another important milestone was the arrival of the Franciscans, who used the monastery and the church of St Mary at the eastern entrance to the town until 1468.
Ottoman period (15th century – 1684) The Ottomans arrived at the end of the 15th century at which point Makarska became a place for port trade and inland traffic.
Venetian period (1684 – 1797) Impoverished and desolate after the Ottoman period, the town centre now acquired the distinctive urban and baroque architectural image that it has preserved until present times. This was the heyday of visual, literary and musical arts. The town’s summer houses and palaces are among the most beautiful and numerous examples of 18th century baroque residential architecture in Dalmatia.
19. st. Venetian Makarska expanded beyond its former scope during French (1806-1813) and Austrian rule (1813-1918). Napoleon encouraged culture and built roads, while Austria-Hungary initiated the development of tourism.
20. st. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Vepric was founded in 1909, the Malacological Museum in 1963, the ‘Mountain and Sea’ Institute in 1979, and the Botanical Garden in Kotišina in 1984, all thanks to the Makarska Franciscans.
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Direction to Makarska

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By plane

For guests travelling by plane, the closest airport is Split Airport. This is located in Kaštel Štafilić, 76 km northwest of Makarska. At the airport, you can request a transfer to Makarska. Visit Split Airport for more information.

  • Split Airport (SPU), Croatia, 76 km from Makarska

  • Dubrovnik Airport, Čilipi (DBV), Croatia, 173 km from Makarska

By train

If you are travelling by train, the nearest railway stations are the following:

  • Split, 62 km northwest of Makarska
    + 385 060 333 444

  • Ploče, 55 km southeast of Makarska
    + 385 060 333 444

For more information and ticket reservations, visit the Croatian Railways website.

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