City of Makarska
Makarska (map) is the main city and resort of the Makarska Riviera in Split-Dalmatia, between Split and Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s backed by the rugged Biokovo mountains, a national park, and looks out across a channel to Brač island (map). It’s a popular destination for package tours, with plenty of accommodation, eating places and beach activities.
The “Makarska Riviera” means the 66-km strip of small towns, villages and beaches along coastal Highway 8 from Brela (map) to the northwest, through *Bratuš, Baška Voda and Makarska itself, continuing southeast through Tučepi, Podgora, Igrane and Drvenik to end at Gradac.
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Most facilities in Makarska itself are along the traffic-free beach strip, Šetalište Dr Franje Tuđmana (map).
The Old Town (map) is small but well-preserved, stretching back from the harbour through alleys and piazzas, especially pleasant at dusk. The main church of Sv Marka (map) has a baroque interior.
Malacological Museum (map) is the grand name for this collection of sea-shells. Worth looking in for the venue, an old Franciscan monastery south end of the centre.
Vepric (map) or “Lourdes Makarska” is a woodland grotto with shrine. The mountains rearing up behind Makarska comprise Biokovo Nature Park (map), stretching 36 km along the coast and 9 km inland. It’s a huge landscape of limestone karst crags, cliffs and ravines but the most accessible part is the village of Kotišina (map).
Hiking: the mountains behind town have several hiking trails, scenic and seldom crowded (alltrails.com). Don’t leave the trails as pitfalls abound. The snakes are mostly innocuous but don’t mess with the horned / sand viper (Vipera ammodytes).
BUS > Promet buses run every 30-60 min between Makarska and Split taking 90 min to two hours, fare 56 km.
Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb – Bus Terminal Zagreb. CroatiaBus • Arriva Croatia • Autobusni promet Varaždin • Libertas Dubrovnik
RAIL > The rail network passenger lines are operated by Hrvatske željeznice.
AIRPORTS > The nearest airport is Split (split-airport.hr), 85 km north (and 25 km beyond the city of Split). Croatia has international airports in Zagreb (zagreb-airport.hr), Osijek (osijek-airport.hr), Pula (airport-pula.hr), Rijeka (rijeka-airport.hr), Zadar (zadar-airport.hr) and Dubrovnik (airport-dubrovnik.hr)
WATERWAYS > The Jadrolinija ferry sails between Makarska harbour (map) and Sumartin (map) on Brač island, taking an hour.
Jadrolinija is the main Croatian passenger shipping line that maintains the largest number of regular international and domestic ferry and shipping lines.