Makarska is an attractive tourist town located in central Dalmatia: tourists love it for its great beaches, clear sea and favorable geographic location. In recent years it has become one of the most popular destinations in Croatia. So, what’s that special about Makarska?
First of all, Makarska is actually located in the foot of the mountain of Biokovo; known for its endemic plants and wildlife, Biokovo holds the status of a nature park and is a popular hiking and climbing destination. Tourists often go to the mountain to hike and enjoy the unspoiled nature. The view from up there is also spectacular as the entire panorama of Makarska, its neighboring towns and islands is at your palm.
Although the hike is not too demanding, tourists sometimes underestimate the mountain and go hiking without proper clothes or equipment – an unadvisable feat which sometimes results in rescue operations being organized for such reckless hikers.
Beaches are numerous and beautiful: the town has more than a dozen beaches which are kids-friendly, clean and mostly pebble. Most of them are public, but some are owned by hotels and can be used by their guests only.
(Central pebble beach in Makarska)
Although the area has been settled since the Roman times, the town’s layout was mostly shaped in the 17th century when it was fortified so it could be defended against possible attackers (mainly Ottomans). Some traces of past times can still be noticed: the old streets are narrow and the houses built of stone and tall, to save as much space as possible. Such architecture is still present in the old town core, now a place of tourist entertainment, music concerts and folklore manifestations. The most important cultural landmark is the church of St. Mark, built in the 18th century.
(Church of St. Mark at the town's main square)
(Makarska promenade and harbor)
Since Makarska is some 90 kilometers south of Split, the largest city in coastal Croatia, visitors from abroad can reach it by taking a flight to Split. The city has an international airport with many flights from and to major European cities, and after landing you can reach Makarska by taking a bus or a taxi from the Split airport. There are busses departing from the main bus station as well, but it’s simpler to go directly from the airport. If you’re coming from Zagreb (the capital of Croatia), the simplest way to reach it is by bus: there are several busses heading to Makarska every day, although the trip takes roughly seven hours.
Since it’s a tourist town, there are plenty of hotels, mostly with three and four stars. Be sure to book earlier since they can be full, especially in July and August. But even if the hotels are full, you can always find accommodation in Makarska to rent. Many locals rent rooms and apartments, greatly varying in prices, size, and additional features – it’s usually cheaper than a hotel but doesn’t include meals. Apartments can be booked online as well, but you can book it when you reach the town as well – look for signs stating rooms (“sobe” in Croatian) or apartments (“apartmani" – they are virtually everywhere. Actually, chances are that somebody is going to offer you an apartment the very moment you set foot at Makarska bus station: be sure to see the place first before taking it, but they’re usually more than decent.
After all, everything in the town is devoted to tourists and their happiness: the locals are warm and kind and there are plenty of options for fun and relaxation, which is why Makarska is a perfect place for your Croatian holiday.