With around 60 km of beaches stretching from Brela in the north to Gradac in the south, the Makarska Riviera is one of Croatia’s most beautiful and sought-after areas.
The entire area is between the Adriatic Sea and the imposing Biokovo mountain, making the place even more fantastic and with attractions for all tastes: beaches, mountain hikes, wine tasting, etc.
The Riviera is a trendy tourist destination because it is easy to get around and its infrastructure, but mainly for its natural beauty, beautiful beaches surrounded by pine trees, crystal clear waters and quiet bays.
When we went to Makarska, it was early September, and the weather was perfectly warm and without so many tourists, as the European summer holiday had already ended.
We spent nine days in a small town called Tučepi, which we chose because of its location, as we could explore the beaches and villages of northern and southern Makarska without spending so much time driving.
However, looking back, I should have divided our stay into two different parts of the Riviera or stayed longer on the island of Korčula, where we spent five incredible days before heading to Makarska (read more here).
But anyway, I learned from it, and even so, we enjoyed ourselves a lot and got to know incredible places.
Each day we went to one or two different beaches/towns, and even then, we didn’t get time to see everything.
Honestly, I’m not particularly eager to run around, and I prefer to enjoy the beach, lie on the sand (in the case of Croatia, on the rocks), get some sunlight, drink something and relax.
But as I mentioned, with so many beaches, I didn’t have time to visit them all, and I decided to make a list and write first about the ones we went to and below, another list with the ones I didn’t have the opportunity to go to. Even if you’ve been to one I didn’t go to, leave a comment below to help our readers.
With almost 3km of a crystal clear, shallow, pebble beach and a promenade with shops and loads of restaurants that goes all the way to Podgora, Tučepi is an excellent option to spend your holiday.
As I already said, we stayed nine days in this beautiful and peaceful town, and we chose the Hotel Tamaris for our stay because it was in a good location and the price was fair.
On the hillside, the villages of Podpeć, Čovići, Srida Sela, Šimići and Podstuo are well-known for their olive groves, vineyards and the fantastic view of the sea and the surrounding area.
Besides the main beach, Tućepi has other small ones like:
– Kraljev gaj: I was not too fond of this one because the water was dirty.
– Slatina Beach
If you are looking for adventure, in Tučepi, you can also find the 1000m Zipline.
Brela is the first town you approach in the Makarska Riviera when coming from Split. It is a modern tourist resort with 4km of promenade, and you can find a lot of small beaches, such as:
– Punta Rata: voted by Forbes as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is where the Brela Stone, a small pine-topped islet that is in many postcards of Croatia, is located.
I didn’t go, but here are other are well-known beaches in Brela:
– Podrace: a tiny 150m beach surrounded by pine trees.
– Vrulja Beach: It is best to come to the beach by boat from Brela.
– There is also Stomarica and Jardula Beach.
It is a favoured tourist resort, where you can find restaurants, bars and a beautiful beach (crowded at high season).
– Bratuš: a cute small fishing village where we stopped to have a drink and relax.
I didn’t visit, but they are well-known:
– Promajna: a tiny village with a beautiful, quiet, less crowded beach than the neighbours.
– Bast, Topići, Krvavica, Ramova, Nikolina, Ikovac and Podluka Beach.
It is the main town on the Riviera, and I’ve written more about it here.
It was one of my favourites on the Riviera. There is a promenade full of cafes and restaurants. The main beach is beautiful, but the most famous is Plišivac Beach, with around 1km long of pristine water and surrounded by pine trees.
It is a small harbour village with a beautiful beach. It is quiet and calm compared to other towns and has good restaurants and accommodations.
But the best part is between Igrane and Drašnice, it’s called Plaža Djevičanska, and there is a beautiful and calm beach where you can relax.
This little village has a pebbled beach with crystal-clear turquoise water. A good place if you are looking for a quiet holiday.
This tourist town is divided into three sections: Viskovića Vala, Kapeć and Ravanje. The beaches are beautiful and we loved staying here, although
Živogošće – Velika or Mala Duba
It is a gorgeous bay located between Živogošće Mala Duba (after the Wisper of the Sea) and Živogošće Blato. It can be reached on foot along the shoreline from Mala Duba or from the main road. Just be careful because there is only a tiny parking sign (P) and nothing else. So get to that road and go down for about 100m.
Beaches that I didn’t have time to visit but are worth mentioning:
Nugal Beach: I confess I wanted to go but was too lazy to walk 30 minutes on a hot day and didn’t want to spend money on a boat. It is famous because an over 10m high waterfall runs to the beach.
Super Public Bath (Cvitacka): It is a secluded beach with beautiful scenery. There are two more extensive beaches and a few smaller ones.
Solarić: It is a secluded beach most visited by the locals.
Dračevac: One of the most recognised by the naturalists (FKK). It can get crowded.
Garma: Just after Dračevac (south direction). It is suitable for diving.
Živogošće – Ninfa Panorama: very crowded during the high season.
Drvenik: ideal for family holidays, it has two bays, Gornja and Donja Vala, and a promenade is connected to Zaostrog. It is where we took the ferry to go to Hvar.
Zaostrog: this little village is beautiful, and you can have a nice and quiet holiday. If you are interested in sightseeing, there is the Franciscan monastery of St.Mary to visit.
Lučica I and II: these two secluded beaches can be crowded during high season and are popular with locals.
Gradac: an important tourist destination with many facilities, such as watersports, day trip boats, bars, restaurants, etc.
As you can see, there are many beaches and things to do on the Makarska Riviera.
Although I must be honest, I still prefer the Croatian islands as they are calmer, cleaner and less touristy, maintaining a typical local charm and not touristy, if you know what I mean.
1. Rent a car! The beaches/villages are further away from each other, and dozens of paradisiacal beaches are difficult to access. A car makes it much easier, and you can create your schedules without depending on public transport, which, according to the locals, is unreliable.
2. Remember that since January 2023, Croatia has adopted the EURO € but the Croatian National Bank will exchange kuna banknotes without a time limit and kuna coins until 31 December 2025.