The Magic Of The Makarska Riviera, Croatia

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Here is all the Makarska Riviera travel advice that you need. We’ve got a list of things to do in the Makarska Riviera, as well as top Makarska Riviera beaches and places to eat.

Croatia Travel Blog_Guide To The Makarska Riviera Croatia

The Makarska Riviera is a beautiful, scenic strip of coast along the Adriatic Sea. The strip is 60 kilometers, or 37.28 miles, long, but it is home to several towns. Each town along the Makarska Riviera is full of life and culture, all while looking up to Biokovo Mountain.

With each town just a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other, traveling the strip of Makarska Riviera is a great way to spend your day. There is plenty to do along the coast. From beaches and parks to watersports and shopping, Makarska Riviera has something for everyone.

Baška Voda

Makarska Riviera Croatia - Baska Voda beach and waterfront aerial view, Makarska riviera

Kayak Or Take A Boat Ride

Filled with beaches of all kinds, the calm Adriatic Sea in Baska Voda is ideal for kayaking and boating. 

St. Nikola Church

Makarska Riviera Croatia - The Parish Church of St. Nikola-Baska Voda,Croatia

St. Nikola Church is a beautiful old church converted into a concert venue. Visitors can enjoy a show while taking in the historic architecture of St. Nikola Church. Shows at St. Nikola Church range from concerts to choir performances. It is located close to the center of this small village, so visitors can find their way there without a problem and don’t need any extra transportation.

Konoba Bratus

Konoba Bratus serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Guests love the variety of pasta and seafood dishes offered here. This quaint restaurant has a quiet, romantic atmosphere that guests fall in love with whenever they eat there. The view from the restaurant keeps visitors coming back again and again. Konoba Bratus also offers the best of local wines. The staff at Konoba Bratus is always friendly and greets guests with a smile every time they visit.

Restaurant & Wine Bar Matrioska

Located just a short walk away from the shores of the beach, Restaurant & Wine Bar Matrioska offers fine dining with a view. The food at Restaurant & Wine Bar Matrioska is traditional Mediterranean with modern pizza and a wine bar. The variety on the menu gives every guest who walks through the door something to enjoy. The staff is very professional and very friendly. Visitors keep coming back because of the overall experience and environment of Restaurant & Wine Bar Matrioska.


Nature Park Biokovo

Trogir to Dubrovnik Road Trip - Biokovo Nature Park
Sv. Jure

Any nature lover will fall in love with the trails at Nature Park Biokovo. Nature Park Biokovo is centered around Biokovo Mountain. This park offers a variety of nature-based activities. While it is a long walk from most coastal hotels and resorts in Makarska, it can be reached on foot.

The trails wind up the mountain and offer hikers beautiful views of the mountain, the coast, and the animals that reside along the trail. Take your time on the trail; it can take up to an hour to reach the highest peak.

Svetiste Vepric

Svetiste Vepric is a beautiful sanctuary built in 1908 by Bishop dr. Juraj Carić is also buried on the premises. He turned this beautiful piece of land into an outdoor church with a pulpit, confessionals, and beautiful religious sculptures. He dedicated Svetiste Vepric to Our Lady of Lourdes. Svetiste Vepric is built around impressive natural caves, hills, and valleys.

The natural beauty of this area is a beautiful sight to behold. Pilgrimages are still popular in this spot today.

Arta Larga by Gastro Diva

Arta Larga by Gastro Diva is a beautiful family restaurant. The food served there is a variety of local cuisines prepared by excellent staff. Not only does Arta Larga by Gastro Diva offer great food, but it also offers a great dining experience.

The restaurant is filled with local artwork, including paintings, pottery, and sculptures. Arta Larga by Gastro Diva is a quiet establishment open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with seating indoors and outdoors.

Don Antonio

Don Antonio serves some of the best fish in the area. Their local cuisine, especially the fish, is operated seasonally. You can find plenty of Mediterranean and Italian food at Don Antonio. The dishes are served with beautiful plating.

Don Antonio is open for dinner and has fantastic takeout options. Guests find the pricing reasonable and the staff friendly. Many guests have deemed Don Antonio as the best restaurant in the area.


Makarska Riviera Croatia - Tucepi Aerial view of town of Tucepi on Makarska riviera

Tucepi Beach

Tucepi Beach is a beautiful pebble beach in Tucepi. The water is crystal clear, and it looks like something straight off of a postcard. Tucepi beach is a favorite of many visitors to Tucepi. From lounging on the beach all day to playing in the water, there are plenty of activities to do on Tucepi Beach.

Guests find that the weather is perfect on Tucepi Beach, even at the end of the season in September. One recommended tip is to make sure you bring shoes and a blanket when visiting Tucepi Beach because of how hot the pebbles can get.

Slatina Beach

Slatina Beach is another beautiful beach on the shores of Tucepi. With the same crystal clear water found throughout Croatia, it is impossible for anyone not to feel relaxed on Slatina Beach. There are plenty of amenities along Slatina Beach for sports lovers, including a tennis court located next to the beach. There are even trees located along the shore for those hot summer days that provide plenty of shade.

Restaurant Jeny

Restaurant Jeny Tucepi

This Michelin Star restaurant is open late. From 6 p.m. until midnight, you can make your way over to Restaurant Jeny to enjoy their delectable cuisine. They serve everything from local foods and Mediterranean cuisine to the best local wines.

Many guests have fallen in love with their five-course meals and great drinks. The staff at Restaurant Jeny is also amiable, and many guests find that they make their dining experience that much better.

Konoba Ranc

Konoba Ranc serves delicious food in a delightful atmosphere. They serve local cuisine and Mediterranean-style dishes with less emphasis placed on fish than other restaurants in the area. Konoba Ranc is laid back and relaxed while still maintaining a rustic and romantic appearance.

Guests describe the foods as “divine” and “out of this world.” Most do not eat at Konoba Ranc just once. They keep coming back for more, even several nights in a row.

Brands We Use And Trust



Birgmaier Sub

Best Snorkels for Travel Review_COVER

If you are looking for a seaworthy adventure while you stay in Podgora, Birgmaier Sub is your place to go. Birgmaier Sub takes guests scuba diving, and everyone who goes to them are thrilled with their experience.

Scuba diving is a great way to see scenery you would not get to see otherwise. The sea can be a beautiful place underneath the shore, and Birgmaier Sub makes sure you see it safely. Birgmaier Sub has dealt with them all and provided a diving experience unique to each individual, from skilled divers to beginners.

Roko Restaurant

Roko Restaurant serves up the best local dishes. With Mediterranean cuisine in mind, Roko Restaurant has created a fabulous menu with a lot of variety. All fish are locally caught, and the wine served is also made locally.

Guests love the pleasant environment that the staff creates. The staff is very friendly, and the restaurant is laid back and relaxed. Roko Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers seating outside for a rustic experience.

Vruja Restaurant

Vruja Restaurant is a quaint seaside eatery. Whether you sit inside or outside by the harbor, there will always be a beautiful view of the sea. Visitors love their fresh, local seafood selection and often claim it is the best in the area.

The wine they serve at Vruja Restaurant is also from local wineries. The friendly staff enhances the dining experience by catering to your needs. Vruja Restaurant is truly a one-of-a-kind location.


Aerial view of Gradac town

Gronja Vala Beach

Gronja Vala Beach is a large, beautiful beach. Stretching 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) long, it is one of the biggest beaches in the area. It is surrounded by trees and provides plenty of shade for those who do not like direct sunlight.

It is a beach full of boats and jet skiers. People love water sports, as well as land sports, on this beach. There are even restaurants, cafes, and kiosks where food and drinks are served, so you do not have to leave the beach all day.

Nicolo Polo

Nicolo Polo serves traditional Dalmatian-Mediterranean cuisine and a variety of international foods to meet everyone’s tastes. Nicolo Polo also sets the mood for a romantic evening. Everyone can find something they love here.

Nicolo Polo is an excellent restaurant with a long history and a great response. This restaurant suits anyone’s needs with reservations, late hours, outdoor seating, and friendly wait staff. Many guests choose Nicolo Polo for a date night with dimly lit lights and a cozy atmosphere.

Best Makarska Riviera Beaches

The Makarska Riviera beaches in Croatia are among the top tourist destinations in Croatia and even Europe. Running over 60 km (38 miles) of both pebbly and sandy beaches, all with crystal blue waters, these famous beaches make the perfect Mediterranean vacation. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple on a romantic getaway, or an entire family – the Makarska Riviera has a beach just for you.

Makarska is located on the mainland coast of Croatia, between Split and Dubrovnik; there is a long list of its beaches that cater to every need. Here are our suggestions for the best Makarska Riviera beaches to visit:

Makarska Riviera Beaches

The beaches towns of Makarska begin in Brela and run all the way down to Gradac. In between you have, Baska Voda,Bratus,Brist, Drasnice, Drvenik, Igrane, Podaca, Podgora, Promajna, Tucepi, Zaostrog & Zivogosce. A few beaches for you to consider in the Makarska area are;

Punta Rata Beach, Also Known As Dugi Rat In Brela

Punta Rata Beach - Makarska Riviera Croatia

Punta Rata7km-long pebble beach, Dugi Rat, is backed by pine trees and offers a comfortable atmosphere for its visitors. Voted the 6th most beautiful beach in the world according to Forbes magazine. What else needs to be said?

Situated very close to the town of Brela, there are plenty of accommodations options and several significant historical sites. After days of lounging and swimming at Dugi Rat Beach, take a look at things to do in Brela.

Nugal Beach In Tucepi

Nugal Beach In Tucepi - Makarska Croatia

If you want to sunbathe in a secret spot, this hidden gem is perfect for you—the most ideal beach for a solo traveler or a couple. So no kids at this beach, as you have to hike for at least 40 minutes to get to this private beach that’s hidden by steep cliffs.

Nugal is one of Makarska Riviera’s most famous nudist beaches, as this spot offers the most privacy. A picturesque slice of heaven, there are no establishments or any amenities here – so you better be ready with your towel, umbrella, and food and drinks when you begin your hike through the pine trees.

Živogošće Beach In Živogošć

With its olive trees &pine forests spread across the beach at Živogošće, you’ve got an abundance of space to take cover from the hot Mediterranean sun. There are food and drink amenities close by, so you can save on packing lunch that day.

Gornja Vala Beach In Gradac

The Makarska Riviera’s longest and possibly the most famous beach is Gornja Vala Beach. This beach is the perfect place for an entire family. Surrounded by pine and olive trees, there’s enough shade to keep children and elderly couples comfortable, as well as a huge number of water sports and activities for teenagers and older kids. Young children will have a great time on this beach, with its children’s playground, water slide, and trampoline.

Local tip: There is a nudist beach not very far away. Keep your eyes low.

There are plenty of food stands, restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops around the beach – so you need to bring a thing to enjoy a day under the sun.

Drvenik West

One of the most secluded beaches in the Makarska Riviera is Drvenik West. This Makarska Riviera beach is far from any villages and, so please be aware this then means there are no available amenities nearby. Making it a true hidden gem perfect for lovers who want a secluded beach. Parking is available on the main road, but you’ll need to hike to get to this beach, so bring your best beach shoes.

The sandy beach of Drvenik West is unspoiled and wild. For a truly romantic getaway, bring a tent or sleeping bags and spend the night under the stars and subtle waves crashing on the rocks and sandy beach.

Lucica 1 and 2

I am recommended by a local on my recent trip to Brela, the beachesLucica 1 and 2 and positioned between Zaostrog & Drvenik. They are very hard to notice from the road, but they offer a lot of shade thanks to the surrounding pine trees. As with many beaches in Makarska, they do get busy, but they are still great for families if you get there early.

Found in Jezera, you can get to these beaches by walking through a small road to the left of the main Stivan beach. There are coves and private spots to enjoy on your own. The perfect place to mingle with locals, these beaches have basic amenities such as showers and eating areas. There are places to drink your favorite beverages while you revel in the warm breeze and watch the crystal blue waters glisten in the Adriatic sea.

For middle-aged couples who want some little activity on the beach, walking from the main beach to get to Lucica 1 and 2 is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

More Beaches In Makarska

Peaceful village of Drasnice in Croatia

Vela Plaza – Baska Beach. Known as the big beach among locals, it can easily hold a few thousand sun lovers. The beach is accessible by foot or boat, and here you will find many restaurants and bars that line the beach should you need a cocktail or something to eat.

Baska Voda boasts a vast expanse of beautiful pebbles and sand, set against the backdrop of a marina and acres of beautiful pine trees. This region is a popular tourist destination. It is recommended that you arrive early to find a shady spot.

Promajna is connected to Baska Voda by a promenade that lines the coast. It is primarily a resort town, and the beaches here are gorgeous. Sandy and pebbly are set against the backdrop of the picture-perfect Mediterranean. This might be one of the less crowded beaches due to the smaller town population. However, as with every other shady beach, come early to stake your claim.

Bratus Beach is set amongst a fishing village and is one of the most beautiful pebble beaches to be found in the Makarska region. Many shops and restaurants are close by should you need to curb your hunger during the day. Rent a lounge chair for the day and enjoy watching the sunset after a long day.

Krvavica beach is a quieter beach located along the center of Croatia’s coast. Lined with green pines and filled with hidden bays and coves, Krvavica is beautiful and somewhat more peaceful than the other beaches. It is a smaller town, boasting one grocery store, yet the coastal walkaway joins this quiet town to other tourist resorts along the coast.

Sutikla Beach in Podgora is a gorgeous pebble beach. There are quite a few restaurants and other shops along the promenade if you need a bit of respite from the sun. It is pretty narrow, though, and you will get quite a bit of noise interference from passing traffic.

Plesivac Beach in Podgora is a wide pebble beach just a skip away from Sutikla. It is less crowded than Sutikla because of its capacity to hold more people. A perfect way to relax during your vacation.

There are plenty of other beaches on the Makarska Riviera, and there’s definitely a spot that’s perfect for just about anyone.

Tips For Enjoying Croatia’s Beaches

  • Pine trees partly shade many beaches, but the shaded spots go fast. If you want to spend time in the sade, claim your spot earlier in the day
  • Rent a sun lounge with umbrellas; it’s much more comfortable that way
  • Pack your water shoes. Unless you want to do that funny hot pebble dance that is

The good thing is that on the Makarska Riviera, you don’t have to choose just one as so many are accessible.

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