Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)

Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)

Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)

I love the nature in Croatia. But I don’t think any place in Croatia has a natural setting as spectacular as Makarska’s. Lots of photos in this post showing you why you HAVE to visit Makarska.

I hadn’t expected to explore Makarska. The idea on this day was to cycle from Split to Makarska and back. My friend Vedran decided he wanted to come along. 65 km (and 5 hours later) we found ourselves in Markarska. Then some funny things happened and we ended up spending the night there (I’ll write about that as well as the bike ride in the next post). What it meant was a fantastic afternoon exploring Makarska.

I knew Makarska would be impressive (it lies at the foot of Mt. Biokovo, Croatia’s 2nd highest peak) but I never thought it would be this impressive. Some photos:

St. Mark’s Church, Makarska, Croatia

Above: St. Mark’s Church, the main church in town.

Riva in Makarska, Croatia

Above: The Riva in Makarska. Great place for a walk around the harbour.

Views over the bay in Makarska, Croatia

Above: lighthouse on the St. Peter peninsula.

beaches in Makarska, Croatia

views of mt. Biokovo, Makarska, Croatia

beaches and mountains, Makarska, Croatia

Above: different views of the main beach in town.

water in Makarska, croatia

Above: Looking down at the water from St. Peter’s church on the peninsula.

cats in Makarska, Croatia

Above: I’ve never seen anything like this. Two kittens sleeping in a tree. Unfortunately we woke them up…but initially they were just hanging between the branches sleeping.

paths in Makarska, CroatiaAbove: At the end of the Peninsula of St. Peter you’ll find a barrier covered with love locks and a statue of St. Peter (below)

posing by the statue of St. Peter, Makarska

Above: Vedran and St. Peter.

church in Makarska, Croatia

Above: back in town, views on a small church off the Riva, Mt. Biokovo behind.

mountain views, Makarska

Above: The whole Dalmatian coast is mountainous, but nowhere are the mountains as imposing as they are over the town of Makarska. Somehow reminded me of Camp’s Bay in Cape Town.

After having explored the town and the St. Peter peninsula, we walked along the other side of the harbour for totally different views. You’ll find walking paths, rocky crags where nudists were sunbathing (late October but still warm enough), and some viewpoints and old ruins if you continue walking a little further. More photos:

harbor views, Makarska

beautiful Makarska, Croatia

sea and mountains in Makarska, Croatia

Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)


Makarska is the perfect town for beach and nature. Sure, there are a few things to see in town but you can see the highlights in less than an hour [unless it’s a rainy day and you’re in the mood for museums: Makarska has a town museum as well as a Malacology (ie. shell) museum]. But the real highlight is nature and the fantastic views of the sea and mountains. Besides all the paths and trails around town, Makarska is the entry point to Biokovo Nature Park. Among other things, you can hike (or drive) up the mountain. Some of the most fantastic views I’ve seen in Croatia were from Vošac peak. More on driving Mt. Biokovo and all its attractions.

Below: Views from Vošac peak on Mt. Biokovo (in the first photo you can see Makarska down below)

views of Makarska from Mt. Biokovo

views of the Adriatic from Mt. Biokovo


Practical Information

Accommodation. A few Recommendations: Hotel Park Makarska (big modern hotel on the beach with a pool. All with fantastic views), Hotel Osejava (modern hotel, pool, great views), Apartment Petra & Apartment Rustic (fully equipped apartment, right in the old town, steps from everything).

– Makarska is about 75 minutes by bus from Split. There’s a bus almost every hour. You can see schedules here.

Organized Tours from Makarska.


Makarska’s Tourist Office has good info and great maps.. You can visit their office along the main road on the waterfront or just visit their site and download what you need.

– ‘Nature Park Biokovo’ has an information office in Makarska, also along the waterfront. Lots of info as well here on their website. There’s lots of things of interest on Biokovo, it’s a stunning mountain. See our post on Mt. Biokovo here.


Related: Bbqboy’s Guide to Croatia


Any thoughts on Makarska? Appreciate your feedback and comments.

 Like This Article? Pin it!

Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)
Why you HAVE to visit Makarska (Croatia)

Ps. If you find our blog helpful, please consider using our links to book your flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals. Have a look at our Travel Resources page.



  1. A timely reminder that we should go see the picturesque stuff next time we are in the Balkans as well as the concrete and uglypretty!!

  2. I like the mountain next to the town, made me think of Cape Town as well. Bet it doesn’t half dump the rain down on the town before it hits the summit and trap the warmth too. I guess the cats were strays, Seen a lot of stray cats when I’ve been to places, especially Jerusalem and Porto (they’re almost a plague and flee ridden to boot).

    1. Right? Looks lot like Camps Bay looking up at the 12 Apostles. Yes, lots of stray cats in the Balkans but they’re in pretty good shape, climate is perfect for them. Stray dogs are a sad sight for me (not something you see in Croatia) but cats I think handle it better.

  3. Jealous I did not make the bike ride on this visit. I’ll be sure to put it on my agenda when I return. Cool pic of Vedran. Nice form Vedran.

    1. Hey Dennis – I hope you guys Do return, was nice meeting the two of you. Have a safe trip to Zagreb tomorrow and enjoy Morocco!

  4. Frank, I can see why you loved your day in Markaska. We spent a day there a few years ago, and what a surprise! I had never read much about it on the webs before, so we weren’t expecting such views and such a lively town. We loved it!

    1. Great, nice to hear Corrine. It’s pretty stunning seeing all those mountains right behind town isn’t it?

  5. Exactly. The combination of sand beaches and pines is ordinary for Montenegro. But there is one difference – sand beaches are very long (several kilometers) in Montenegro.

  6. Makarska is a unique place for Croatia. It has a rare combination of sand beaches and pines. Unfortunately, I didn’t visit this city yet.
    A good job, Frank.

    1. I know you’re a big fan of Montenegro Victor. In many ways Makarska very similar to some of the very rugged geography down there.

  7. Wow! I just added Makarska to my list of places to visit when I get to Croatia. It looks like an undiscovered gem of a town in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous setting between crystal-clear seas and rugged mountains. Loved your photos – the kittens, the love locks festooning the barrier and the clouds draped over the mountains. This little town is worth a re-visit for sure!

    1. Thanks Anita. Actually Lissette and I went there this weekend by car. And we saw the same kittens plus 2 others: 4 of them running up the path towards us. Just the funniest thing. Very pretty place.

  8. Yes, that juxtaposition of the sea and Biokovo Mt. is really stunning in Makarska. And October may be just the perfect time to visit. I love the sight of almost empty beaches 🙂 In the summer, it’s so busy, you can barely walk between the towels and deckchairs. It was a long dream for me to explore Biokovo. I found the local information terrible – no one knowns anything, no one can give you a clear cut answer, the Botanical Garden on Biokovo was closed when we got there (even though the website said it would be open). We ended up walking for a few hours along the lower, forested part of Biokovo – which was really awesome, so I’m not complaining. But I would never hike up there without an experienced guide! This is the Croatian mountain with the highest number of rescue missions because so many tourists get lost. If you’re hiking up there – always wear proper boots and bring lots of lots of water (there are no natural springs there). Plenty of snakes around too 🙂

    1. Very right in all respects Andrea. Honestly I don’t understand why people come to Croatia in July and August, I just don’t…
      Biokovo is fantastic and once you get there it’s well planned. Lots to see and do, including some education walks, churches, and lots of great views. The drive up can be a bit tricky though as it’s basically a one lane to the top of the mountain. If there are cars coming down the other way there’s lots of jostling.
      “Too many tourists get lost” – the problem is that too many tourists come totally unprepared. I’ve heard of some coming up the mountains in flip flops, bathing shorts and no water. And they don’t plan, don’t know the time to get up and down and get stuck on the mountain after dark. Never underestimate the stupidity of people 😉 . Croatia has to learn from other countries and start charging them for the cost of the rescue. Otherwise people SHOULDN’T get lost – trails are well indicated. I don’t think you necessarily need an experienced guide as long as you follow the trails and do your research. But people shouldn’t do it alone because you never know what can happen.

      1. I totally agree that the responsibility is 50:50. Tourists come unprepared – we also saw a few in shorts and flip-flops. But the info is not there in your face either. Croatia is my country and I have to say I got lost on a few mountains here. I’m a huge supporter of the Croatian mountain rescue team (HGSS) – people who volunteer to save lost people stuck somewhere. They need help from tourist boards to provide information in a more systematic way 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed Biokovo!

        1. You’re right, official (governmental, non-profit) info is very hard to get. I agree with you about the HGSS, they do a great job. I’ll be in Zagreb at the end of November for a day Andrea. Will you be around?

      2. Hi Frank, interesting and very useful blog, thank you.
        Just wanted to reply to the comment questioning why people visit Croatia in July and August….. we’re planning a trip this August (2019) because this is the only time we can make it as we are restricted to our daughter’s school holidays. It a case of visiting then or not at all…… I am doing lots of research to make sure we avoid the crowds as much as posssible. That’s how I found your blog! Hopefully we’re not making a ghastly mistake.

        1. Hi Julie,
          Not making a ghastly mistake at all 🙂 And your daughter I am sure will love Croatia.
          If you need any tips or recommendations please feel free to write me personally [email protected]. I’ll help you best I can.
          And I do hope you visit Makarska as well as Omis. Some incredible geography.

    1. What’s wrong with the kittens? It was a small tree – they could easily get down from there is they wanted. They looked pretty comfortable sleeping up there.
      Yes, I mentioned to Vedran than you liked his moves. That photo is dedicated to you Kemkem ;

        1. Really! Lissette and I drove to Markarska yesterday and the wouldn’t you know it – 4 little kittens came running up to us at the same spot I was with Vedran. Same kittens. We sat down and I had one jump up on my shoulder.
          You see a lot of cats in the Balkans 🙂

  9. Stunning views from both the shore and the top. And the water is so clear.. lovely
    The kittens are more than hilarious! I think they couldn’t come down, and waiting for some rescuing they fell asleep. Did they manage to come down by themselves?

    1. Thanks Christie. I think the kittens were fine, the trees was only about 6 ft high. But we felt bad enough having woken them up, we didn’t want to stick around too much. They might just have gone back to sleep after we left 🙂

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.