By Iva Ralica
Beaches with crystal clear sea and surrounded by green pines are just some of the gems that await you along the gorgeous Makarska Riviera.
Located on the Dalmatian coast just an hour from Split, the Makarska Riviera stretch along the coast is full of heavenly beaches, bays and coves. It is arguably one of the most picturesque parts of coastal Croatia.
Here are some tips what to see and do.
1. VISIT BRELA & PODRAČE BEACH
Thanks to the beautiful sand and pebble beaches, clear sea, romantic promenade between the pine trees, no wonder a small town of Brela has become one of the most wanted destinations in Croatia. Near Brela is the rural village Kričak surrounded by grapevines and the terraces where the “Maraska” cherry, olives, oranges and lemons usually grow.
You could also visit Škrabići village where a construction from the Illyrian time is settled. Don’t miss the beautiful Podrače beach that is partially hidden by the large rocks on which the pines broaden guard the coast.
2. PUNTA RATA BEACH
This beach was listed in Forbes and on the portal European Best Destinations among the most beautiful beaches in the world. This famous cape beach, also called Dugi Rat, is home to the emblem of Brela – huge rock emerging from the sea and covered in pine trees which is truly a gorgeous sight.
Take a boat ride and find many other hidden gems and discover why is Brela a dream destination.
Beneath the Biokovo mountain, between the picturesque peninsula St. Peter and cape Osejava, the town of Makarska stands well protected. Mediterranean old town core with its Baroque St. Mark Cathedral and Venetian fountain will show you the rich history of these parts.
The most comprehensive collection of shells and snails in the world found its home here, in Malacological Museum. This unusual museum is settled in the St.Mary Franciscan monastery and was founded over 50 years ago.
The grandiose mountain of Biokovo watches over the Makarska Riviera! With its highest peak, St. Jure (1762m) this is the highest mountain closest to the seashore. Hiking around its gorgeous nature, discovering endemic herbs and animal world, will get you to a height where a beautiful view stretching over the nearby islands and all the way to Italy.
The Nature Park, where botanical garden Koština is hidden, attracts visitors, especially when the plants are in full blossom.
5. ETHNO COLLECTION IN TUČEPI
An interesting private ethnographic collection, settled in one of the houses (Konoba Feniks OPG – Tučepi), will show you the local traditions and historical objects. From knitted bags to local costumes and old furniture, as well as the traditional preparations of olive oil, herbal and fruit brandies will sure make you appreciate the history even more.
6. KRAJ & KRALJEV GAJ BEACHES
Kraj or Kamena beach near Tučepi is one other beautiful beach in this area, covered in sand and surrounded by pine trees that stretch their shadows to hide you from the sun. This beach is a long open area, unlike the gorgeous Kraljev Gaj beach, cove reachable only by foot and hidden among the large rocks. After all, all pearls are.
One of the most beautiful places on the Makarska Riviera, a true gem with its azure sea surrounded by palm trees. Its beauty combined with a wide range of activities, such as sea skiing, surfing, diving and sport boat rides will make your stay here unforgettable.
The town also guards The wings of a seagull, an impressive monument above the port in remembrance of World War II. Visit the beautiful beach Dračevac, settled between Podgora and Tučepi.
8. ZIVOGOŠĆE – VELIKA DUBA BEACH
Živogošće has been inhabited since Illyrian and Roman times and the Illyrian tombs on the top of a hill as well as villa Rustika in Mala Duba are of a great archaeological value. One other example of the past times is the Franciscan monastery from the early 17th century.
Comprised of Porat, Mala Duba and Blato, Živogošće hides beautiful beaches above which olive groves and pine woods grow.
Surrounded by the Biokovo mountain, Drvenik bay is a small town with a unique beauty of green coves with springs. First mentioned in the 13th century, Drvenik is a home to the Middle Ages tombstones and the Gothic church of St. George. Above the bays, an old village with authentic Dalmatian architecture is settled, and nearby you can see the small medieval fortified town with defensive walls from 1000 BC.
Drvenik is also a ferry pier for the islands of Hvar and Korčula and like every town of Makarska Riviera, it offers delicious Dalmatian dishes.
Settled in the valley and surrounded by Biokovo, full with beautiful beaches, Zaostrog is one other beautiful spot on this map. It’s the biggest monument is the Franciscan monastery of St. Mary with a huge library and a gallery of paintings, ethnographic collection and the botanical garden.
One of the most significant names in Croatian history, fra Andrija Kačić Miošić, Dalmatian poet and writer, lived at this monastery.