Uvala Stomarica, more commonly known as Brela, is a small destination around 15km NW of Makarska. This gem of a village has everything: rich culture, spectacular scenery, crystalline waters, 10 km of glistening white pebble beaches, beautiful promenades and thick fragrant pine forests. All nestled at the foot of the magnificent peaks of the Biokovo mountain range, this beauty is hard to miss in Croatia.
The approach is somewhat restricted by the bathing areas on each side. There is space to tie up the yacht on the inner wall of the harbour, which extends halfway across the bay.
There are no facilities at the harbour, but there are plenty of supermarkets, shops, bars and restaurants in the village. Everything you would expect to find in a bustling tourist resort.
Brela Beach is a wonderful place to swim and make memories. It is close to the centre of town and all amenities. White pebbles, warm, crystal-clear waters: you will be thrilled to be here. Understandably, it can get crowded at peak season. The beach is quite narrow, and locals joke that at times you can position yourself with your head in the shade of the pines, the sun on your body and your feet in the water! There is also a beach walk extending for around 4km north when you fancy a stroll.
Punta Rata Beach
Ranked by Forbes magazine (in 2004) as the 6th most beautiful beach in the world, and the most beautiful beach in Europe. With these kinds of accolades, it is no surprise that at times this family-friendly beach is a magnet for sun-worshippers and it can get crowded at peak times. Mats, beds and umbrellas are available for hire, and there is plenty of shade to be had under the pines. There are some great restaurants and relaxing cafes within a short walk.
Places of Interest
Just a short walk around the town or into the foothills will take you to the numerous old churches in the area, as well as historic buildings such as the small, fortified tower in Soline which was built in response to the Ottoman invaders.
You must not miss this evocative rock, close to the Punta Rata beach, as it is the symbol of Brela. A marvellous spot for snorkelling, it is the perfect spot for great photo opportunities.
Where to Eat
Serving freshly caught fish and seafood as well as local specialties, Konoba Feral has an army of fans. It is no surprise that it can get busy, especially in the evenings, but a table on the terrace is well worth the wait. Do not miss their tuna tartare!
Konoba Ivandica Dvori
The locally-sourced food here is delicious and prepared according to Dalmatian traditions. Wherever you dine along the Makarska Riviera, you will find great seafood. But when you are ready for something different, the lamb here, served with local wine, is unforgettable. Overall, friendly service, great atmosphere, and good value.
Places to Stay
There are several large modern 3 star and 4 star resorts around Brela, as well as a plethora of B&Bs, apartments and villas for rent.
Abuela’s Beach House
Lovely, family-owned apartment complex with the added attraction of an infinity pool. Highly rated for its location, views, cleanliness and welcome. Everything you need for a relaxing on-land stay while you enjoy the area.
Bluesun Hotel Berulia
Located between Brela and Baska Voda, this 4 star hotel, with steps down to the beach, also has 2 lovely shady gardens. It has all the facilities you would expect in a resort of this quality –waiter service at the two large pools, gym, exercise studio, yoga classes, sauna – the list goes on. Highly rated by visitors for friendly service and value for money.
Things to Do
There are plenty of water-based sports and activities to keep you busy in Brela – jet-skiing, paragliding, rafting, and scuba diving. Scuba diving adventures are a must-try because the underwater world is simply mesmerizing. But when you are ready to head inland for some serious exercise – why not try these alternatives?
The French Road
Ready for some hiking? Also known as Napoleon’s Road, this was built at the start of the 19th century. It winds up the slopes of Mt Biokovo, to between 357 and 444 meters above sea level. It is quite a challenging climb, but the stunning views of the sea, the coast and the islands make it worthy. Well it is certainly worth the effort.
If you would love to explore the local area, but sitting in a car is not for you, why not hire some bikes? Head off along a spectacular bike trail from Brela, past Punta Rata, all the way to Jakirusa. So far, so easy! Then, the climb towards the old hamlet of Kricak would begin. A welcome downhill stretch will take you to Baskovici, then on to Veliko Brdo.
Skimming the edge of the mountain, the trail runs through Mlinice to Kotisina and then to Makarska. Stunning scenery, the magical scent of the pine forests, the sound of the cicadas chirping in the sun – it is the ultimate combination of exercise and relaxation.