Makarska is a small beach resort on the Adriatic coastline in Dalmatia, Croatia. It is 60 kilometers or 37 miles south of Split and the closest airport. The city is famous for its long beach and the impressive Biokovo mountain behind it.
There are great views wherever you turn – the mountain on the one side and the sea on the other. Biokovo brings a lot to Makarska’s charm. It’s a rare view to have such a mountain right next to the sea.
Makarska is a tourist center and the whole city serves as a place to relax and enjoy one’s summer vacation. There are several big hotels, many smaller hotels and accommodation rented by local people. Whatever you budget is, you’ll find the place you’re looking for in Makarska.
My husband and I spent three wonderful September days in Makarska. It was our first trip without our baby daughter, who just turned 11 months.
What to see in Makarska?
Wander around Makarska is pretty much enough if you came just to relax and don’t feel like going outside the city. The old town area of Makarska is charming, but small. There isn’t much to see besides a couple of churches and the main square.
The tourist market area was an intriguing view. Small roads of Chinese goods such as souvenirs, dresses, hats, towels and many more. These shops are located right next to the beach and seem to generate a good profit. They work all day long and up until late in the evening.
The top of the Biokovo mountain is reachable by vehicles. You can go by car or go with an organized bus trip for around HRK 180-200 per person. Biokovo is a nature park and there’s an entrance fee of HRK 30 per person. This makes the organized trip to the top of the mountain expensive, so be sure you’re getting good value for your money when you book this trip.
Be aware that the entrance to Biokovo park is at the other end of the mountain. Even though it looks close, we’re talking about 40 + kilometers (25 miles) or an hour and a half of driving. My husband and I wanted to check out the views from above, but we decided not to when we calculated we’ll need to spend three hours in the car.
Islands and cities nearby
I would highly recommend visiting at least one of the amazing islands nearby. Some of the most popular Croatian islands are really close to Makarska.
Brac, the island where the famous beach Zlatni rat is located, is some 30 minutes away. Islands Hvar, Solta, Vis and Korcula are also close enough to explore if you’re staying enough. There are many one-day trip offers to these destinations in Makarska.
Split, the second largest city in Croatia, is just 60 kilometers or 37 miles away. Many people plan at least one day in Split, so be sure you check it out.
My husband and I visited the small city of Omis on our way back to Sibenik. It was a spontaneous trip and turned out to be a great experience. Omis is 30 kilometers or 18.6 miles north from Makarska.
Similar to the larger Makarska, Omis offers a great beach experience. The main beach is called Punta – a big sandy beach with a great view over the mountain nearby. There’s also the Starigrad Fortica at the mountain – a medieval fortress with amazing views over the city.
High prices in supermarkets
Living in Croatia half the year I am aware of the prices in supermarkets, restaurants, etc. I was surprised to find out that supermarkets in Makarska sell food and drinks on much higher prices than I am used to in Sibenik. Let me note that Sibenik has triple the population of Makarska and is also a famous tourist destination.
For instance, a kilogram of peaches costs HRK 36 in Makarska and just HRK 9 in Sibenik! Also, one-liter bottle of water is around HRK 4 in general, but HRK 8.50 or more in Makarska. Same goes for beer cans. One beer can is usually HRK 6, but HRK 15 or more in Makarska. I am aware that it is normal to have higher prices at vacation resorts, but wanted to give some examples that got my attention.
Food and drinks in Makarska
Being a popular tourist resort, Makarska provides plenty of food options for every budget. There are restaurants and pizzerias all along the coastline. I also saw several fast food restaurants. The prices everywhere seemed fair, as opposed to the supermarkets.
There are many bars and especially cocktail bars in Makarska. If you’re looking for a place to have a nice drink at the evening, you won’t be disappointed. My husband and I liked the bars at the old town area the most.
Most of the waiters and restaurant employees are Croatians from the region of Slavonia who came here for seasonal jobs.
When to go?
Makarska is a nice place to visit all summer long. The highest season lasts from middle of July to middle of August. September 2018, when my husband and I visited, was hot and didn’t feel like off season as there were many tourists everywhere. Actually, the beach was kind of crowded even in September.
Makarska pregnant and with children
Makarska is flat for its bigger part and there isn’t much climbing. If this worries you, book accommodation closer to the beach area and the city center. This city is also pretty small, so everything is within a walking distance. Even if you don’t book a place at the very center, you won’t be that far away from it.
The beach is covered with small rocks, but is suitable for baby strollers.
A great feature of the beach is that there is natural tree shadow all over it. The trees cover most of the beach from morning up until afternoon. This makes it really suitable for babies and children, since you won’t have to worry about them being under the sun. No umbrellas are required.
In my opinion both pregnant women and families with children will feel comfortable taking a vacation in Makarska. I saw plenty of families with babies when visiting.
Are you planning a trip to Makarska? Let me know if you need more info!