The Adriatic Enclave of Makarska, Croatia

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Makarska is the counterpoint of what is known as the Makarska Riviera, an incredible 40 miles of beaches and waterfront that stretch from the town of Brela in the north to Gradac in the south. Situated around a well-protected bay under the backdrop of the towering Mt. Biokovo, Markarska’s roots go back at least to the 2nd millennium BCE. It’s a relatively quiet place where the local populace makes their living from fishing, wine and olive oil production and of course, tourism. While tourism here has taken off, this city of about 13,000 still maintains its old world charm.

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The Old Town of Makarska still contains narrow stone-paved streets with a traditional market and city landmark, the Church of St. Mark.


Things to See and Do in Makarska


Hiking Mt. Biokovo

Mt. Biokovo is that big slab of rock that you see behind the beach and town. There are two ways to get to the top: car (or bus) or by foot. If you have the energy and the time, it’s worth walking up the well-marked trails that meander around the mountain. You can even hire a guide to take you up the best mountain passes that lead to the top. The journey will take you past old ruins, quaint little houses that seem to be centuries old and even face-to-face with the wild horses that hang out on the mountainside. Once you reach the top you’ll be dazzled by an aerial view at over 5700 feet of Makarska and the beaches below.

St. Mark’s Church

Located at the center of the city, Makarska’s St. Mark’s Church seems to be a typical medium-sized Baroque-style church. However inside the structure are some nice works of art and a few intricate icons.
It’s a relaxing and somewhat scenic spot surrounded by old traditional streets and houses with Mt. Biokovo in the background.

Svetiste Vepric

A bit outside the town of Makarska is a little Marian shrine known as Svetiste Vepric and reminiscent of the grotto in the French town of Lourdes. Whether you are religious or not, it’s a pretty peaceful place and surrounded by small caves that you can explore. In fact it can be hard to find so ask a guide or local for it’s exact location.

Malakoloski Muzej (Shell Museum)

This museum is for sea and shell lovers. The collection of calcium carbonate objects is probably the most numerous and best that you’ll see anywhere. It’s small but worth it if you happen to be in the area.

Adrenalin Park

This is a good place to relax or to take kids who like to climb up trees.

Deep Makarska

Normally I don’t focus on nightlife and dance clubs, or at least I don’t feature them as attractions to towns, but Deep Makarska is an exception. This is not just a club, it’s a club located in a cave! The place used to be a ramshackle base for soldiers during World War II but now hosts some of the region’s hottest DJs and dance parties. It’s a cool place simply because it’s a club in a cave, something that’s not very common in city nightlife.


Sites for Further Reading:

Makarska (official)

Markarska (semi-official)

Makarska Info

Makarska, Croatia: Secret Seaside

Makarska Riviera Beaches

Visit Croatia: Makarska

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