For most visitors who venture into Dalmatia pointing straight to the islands, the main focus for tourist, it is the Rivijera Makarska which is on the mainland coast between Split and Dubrovnik. This is the place where you can find some of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the country.
The Riviera grows to a length of 38 miles, and Makarska is built around a sheltered bay, backed by the rocky peaks of the mountain Biokovo. This makes wild the appearance of the landscape and the picturesque hinterland.
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On the sea facing slopes crossed by well-marked paths, and so in addition to swim in the deep turquoise of the Adriatic Sea, you can make interesting excursions on foot or by mountain bike. The feeling of unspoiled goes well with the life of the locals which is based on fishing, olive cultivation and production of oil and wine.
The villages, with the exception of Makarska, they are small and still retain a peaceful look and they are sparsely populated. Makaska shows a more touristical side. Definitely largest of the villages in the neighborhood, has a beautiful central square which overlook the baroque church of San Marco and several elegant mansions built by wealthy local merchants, reflecting the prosperity of the 18th century.
Photo CC BY by ahenobarbus
During the summer Makarska’s main square comes alive with its many outdoor restaurants and bars, while behind the church, in the shade, the daily outdoor market selling fresh fruit and vegetables in season. Along the harbor, dominated by a series of bars and pizzerias,there are picturesque wooden boats that offer day trips to the island of Hvar and Jelsa and on the beach Zlatni Rat in Bol on the island of Brac.
And then there are the stunning beaches, made even more beautiful by fragrant pine forests overlooking the sea of a shimmering turquoise. The beach town of Makarska is a long stretch of gravel curve, with behind a shady avenue of palm trees with several large hotels interspersed with cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlors. You can rent boats and jet skis, so it is an ideal place for families.
From here you can walk or bike along the northwest coast, Brela (nine miles). Along the way we pass by Buba whose beach is in a bay really nice, characterized by thatched umbrellas and wooden sunbeds. A quiet place in the morning and lively in the afternoon when the DJ entertains with music. It is perfect for cocktail parties and concerts, as the night pass by dancing.
Photo CC-BY by AntonD90
The beach continues with a quiet stretch, made up of rocks and small coves with gravel and a thick pine forest. Here there are no facilities here, so it is a perfect place for those who love nature. Continuing north-west , you reach the small town of Baska Voda, where is the beach Nikolina characterized by white pebbles. A very well equipped beach indeed, boasting the Blue Flag, is located a couple of kilometers further, on the edge of Punta Brela , ideal for families with its shallow water.
Opposite Makarska, south – east of the por, runs a 1.5-mile trail that goes through pine forests, with agaves and cacti clinging to the rocky slopes towards the sea, and get to Nugal, featuring a pleasantly cold sea due to fresh water springs and groundwater. After you can get to Tucepi Nugal a nice small town with a long pebble beach.
Away from the coast, on the slopes of Mount Biokovo, just outside Kotisina (two miles), there is a small botanical garden Kotisina. We are on the edge of the Natural Park Biokovo. The karst landscape becomes more barren as we climb, with poor pasture and an almost lunar landscape, characterized by limestone cliffs. The highest peak, Sveti Jure, offers a fantastic view westward across the sea to Italy.
Among the places to eat we can advice Konoba Kalalarga, a traditional informal restaurant at reasonable prices; Tavern Stari (the Old Mill), which is housed in a baroque building from the 18th century with a beautiful terrace pergola on the back; Jeny Gourmet restaurant with breathtaking view: Here food is truly delicious, especially if you opt for the five-course tasting menu.