The thriving port and tourist town of Makarska is situated in the middle of the Makarska Riviera, nestling at the foot of the Biokova mountain range. Makarska’s historic centre and the town square are beautiful, the town has every tourist facility you could ask for, and the surrounding area is rich in culture and heritage.
The port’s natural harbour has recently been upgraded by the addition of a white wall that runs from SE of the entrance towards the NW.
As you approach, the town and entrance to the harbour are visible. At night, there is a large light NW of Poluotok Sv Petar, and a well-lit aerial dish on Rt. Osejava also helps to locate the town. However, take care as the breakwater is not illuminated so it can be hard to spot.
Where to Anchor
Tie up along the quay, or go bow/stern. Avoid the area where ferries berth, in the north of the harbour. Usually, the pier is occupied by tripper boats, but they leave in the evening, or it may be possible to find a space at the yacht club.
If not, anchor at 5m, in mud.
An alternative is to anchor in UvalaDonja Luka, N of Poluotok Sv. Petar. It is shallower here, with good holding in sand and shingle. The downside is that it is exposed to swells from NW, W, or SW.
Water and electricity are available on the quay and the pier. There is a fuel berth for petrol and diesel, open from 07:00-21:00 in July and August. At other times of the year, opening hours are reduced in the afternoons and evenings- and it closes at noon on Sundays.
Makarska has a good variety of shops and supermarkets for stocking up on provisions, as well as plenty of options for tourist souvenirs, etc. Makarska is quite an artistic centre, and there are lots of small galleries showing original works by local artists.
You will also find banks, ATMs, a hospital, medical centre, pharmacy, dentist, and veterinary practice.
If you want to explore the local area, there’s a bus service, car hire, taxi service, and ferries to take you to Brat and Hvar.
History and Culture
Makskara’s history predates the Romans. Over the centuries it has been ruled by the Turks, Venetians, Austrians, and the French. It survived the bombing in WW2 and suffered a major earthquake in 1962. With a population of around 13000, over recent years, the town has transformed itself into the thriving tourist centre we see today.
With a 10 minute walk from the old town, to Dona Luka Bay, you will find Makarska beach. Its 1500m of fine pebbles make it, understandably, one of the most popular of the Riviera’s beautiful beaches. Enjoy the cool shade provided by the countless pine trees along the promenade, or chill in any of the countless beach bars, cafes, and restaurants. There are lots of family-friendly sports activities, such as pedalos and banana boats – even a water park! Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for hire.
Halfway between Makarska and Tucepi, is Nugal, a lovely and secluded nudist beach, reachable only by boat, or on foot through a pine forest.
Places of Interest
You have to experience this quirky museum dedicated to shells and snails. Situated on the east side of the harbour. The German owner will be pleased to show you around. It is forbidden to use your phone inside the museum, so be prepared to go offline for the duration of your visit. Do not miss the beautiful mosaics in the chapel next door.
Makarska Astronomical Observatory
Between 9 and 11 pm each night, this wonderful small observatory in the centre of town offers a fantastic glimpse into the wonders of the universe. Kids will love it, and there is plenty for adults to marvel at, too. Numbers are limited, so go early to be sure of your place. There is a playground right next door.
In the summer season, there is a chance to experience open-air theatre performances as well as concerts and recitals.
Where to Eat
Rated #1 in Makarska on TripAdvisor, this restaurant seems to earn rave reviews for everything – the warm welcome from the owner, the perfectly prepared seafood, the cocktails, the wine, the atmosphere – you name it! Customers come back year after year, which says it all. Try their mussels, or tuna, Croatian-style.
Located north of the harbour, this inexpensive restaurant offers great value and tasty food, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices. Try their grilled squid or fried octopus, or the Croatian kebab, with cevapcic (Local sausages). Kids will love the delectable pizzas. Friendly service and a great atmosphere make this a perfect choice for an informal lunch or dinner.
Bounty Steakhouse and Restaurant
We have chosen this elegant place because it is almost on the beach and has the most amazing sea views. As well as serving fresh fish and seafood (of course), and amazing steaks, they are also famous for their burgers! Expect friendly and professional service and a relaxed atmosphere.
Places to Stay
Heritage Hotel Porin
An intriguing combination of ultra-modern amenities and a heritage atmosphere, this beautiful, grown-up hotel is perfect if you are looking for an onshore base that combines luxury and convenience. There is no pool here but you can enjoy splashing in nature’s own creation – the sea.
Romana Beach Resort
Right on the beach and within walking distance of the town, the Romana has everything you will need for a family-friendly stay. There are two pools so you can relax in peace while the kids enjoy splashing around.
Things to Do
Nature Park Biokovo
For an unforgettable day trip, rent a car and head up the narrow mountain road. Expect to see some wild horses on the way. Reaching the summit at 1750m, you will be rewarded with spectacular views – on clear days you’ll be able to see the coast of Italy! As the number of visitors is limited, this is a trip best taken out of the peak season.
Into the Club
If you are ready for a clubbing experience that is truly extraordinary, head to the Deep Makarska disco. It is inside an actual seaside cave, and the blue-lit grotto creates a magical and unforgettable atmosphere.