“Sociable, colourful Makarska offers excellent holiday amenities, superb pine-backed beaches and a magical old town all united along a sparkling blue-and-emerald coastline.”
If you’re looking at a map of Croatia, you’ll find Makarska on the edge of the Dalmatia region, on the Adriatic coast. It’s sandwiched between a couple of the country’s busier resorts – it’s an hour’s drive in one direction to Split, and two hours in the opposite way to Dubrovnik.
Makarska is bolted on to a horseshoe-shaped bay made up of sand and pebble. It’s the city’s main beach, backed by sweet-smelling pinewoods that shelve down from the Biokovo Mountain behind. A palm-fringed promenade follows the coastline, which is home to a string of restaurants, bars and souvenir-touting shops.
You don’t have to wander far to come across Makarska’s Medieval churches, Baroque palace, and 16th-century monastery – the monastery now houses a world-renowned collection of sea shells. There’s also a Roman Catholic sanctuary grotto, in the style of Lourdes.
A gentle giant
Croatia’s second-highest mountain, Biokovo, towers over Makarska. In ancient times, it served as a natural defence against invaders. Nowadays, it’s conquered by hikers – climb its Sveti Jure peak and you’ll get 360-degree views of the entire coastline. On a clear day, you can see all the way over to Italy.
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