The Best-Kept Secret of the Makarska Riviera

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The Makarska Riviera offers plenty of interesting activities for everyone who finds themselves in this beautiful region, from swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches to exploring the Makarska’s cultural offer and enjoying outdoor activities in the mountainous environment of the Biokovo Nature Park. But for all those who want a completely different experience, we suggest a visit to the village of Kotišina with its botanical garden, Veliki Kaštel interpretation centre and 17th century church of St Anthony. You will not be disappointed!
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Where Is Kotišina and Tips for Getting There

Slopes of the Biokovo mountain and view of the Adriatic Sea

Slopes of the Biokovo mountain and view of the Adriatic Sea

The village of Kotišina is located on the slopes of the Biokovo mountain above Makarska. You can get there by car or taxi, on foot or by bike. Each of these options offers a unique way to experience the beautiful landscapes of Makarska.

  • If you are getting there by car the quickest way is to head north from Makarska on the D8 Road (Adriatic Highway), turn right onto Put Makra, follow the road signs to Kotišina. This drive takes about 10-15 minutes.
  • Taking a taxi is a good option if you don’t have a car and the ride will also take around 10-15 minutes. The fare is generally affordable due to the short distance.
  • If you enjoy biking, you can rent a bike in Makarska and take a scenic ride to Kotišina. The route is similar to the car route, and you can use newly renovated cycling paths. It is about 30-45 minutes depending on your pace and fitness level.
  • For those who enjoy hiking, walking from Makarska to Kotišina is a beautiful option. You can follow local trails and paths that are well-marked. The hike will take about 1-1.5 hours depending on your pace and the specific trail you choose.

Make sure to check a map or GPS for precise directions and ask locals for the best routes and any potential shortcuts. It always helps!

Pack Clothes and Shoes Suitable for the Destination

Regardless of whether you are visiting this destination on your own or as part of organised excursions, our advice is to pack footwear and clothing suitable for the conditions at the destination. Especially if you choose hiking or biking, during late spring and summer, make sure you also carry enough water. We remind you to protect your head from the strong sun.

What to Visit in Kotišina?

St Anthony church on the Biokovo mountain

St Anthony church on the Biokovo mountain

Thanks to the project titled “Revitalisation of cultural and historical heritage of the hamlet of Kotišina”, financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds, Kotišina has certainly become one of the favourite destinations for many visitors of the Makarska Riviera, attracting an increasing number of tourists every day.

Veliki Kaštel Interpretation Centre

Veliki Kaštel was built in the 17th century, and today, the fortress houses a newly renovated interpretation centre with three exhibition themes: archaeological, ethnological, and natural heritage. The interactive combination of the presentation of cultural and natural heritage is especially interesting for all visitors: those who come across it by chance, as well as those for whom Veliki Kaštel was the reason for taking the trip. We were so delighted by the scents of Biokovo that we wanted to take them all with us. We also enjoyed a “panoramic flight” over the mountain of Biokovo and the turquoise-blue sea surrounding Makarska.

Kotišina Botanical Garden – Ideal for All Ages

Kotišina Botanical Garden

Kotišina Botanical Garden

The botanical garden, located on the slopes of the mountain of Biokovo, was founded in 1984 by Fra Jure Radić and is part of the Biokovo Nature Park. It was designed to be “Biokovo in miniature” and contains about 250 plants – endemic or strictly protected species, and across its 3.5 ha, you can find diverse habitats such as precipitous rocks and rock gardens. Several paths with information boards lead through the garden, so this experience will be especially interesting for the little ones, who will learn something more about each species.

Interpretive Walks in Kotišina with Milkmaid Mare

Mare from Kotišina will take you through her village, Veliki Kaštel and the botanical garden, telling you instructive and scary stories. Discovering the rich heritage of this region will become even more interesting through the storytelling tour with milkmaid Mare.

Excursion We Recommend

We recommend an e-bike tour of the historic villages of Makarska, during which you will visit Makar, Gornji Tučepi with the small church of St Catherine, as well as Kotišina with its botanical garden and the Veliki Kaštel interpretation centre. The excursion lasts 3.5 hours.

Breathtaking Panoramic Views

View from Veliki Kaštel Interpretation Centre

View from Veliki Kaštel Interpretation Centre

Have we already mentioned that one of the most beautiful views stretches from Kotišina, and especially from Veliki Kaštel? You can take beautiful photos for your Instagram profile, relax and enjoy. By the way, don’t forget to visit the unique “Proslap” open-air stage in front of the church of St Anthony, offering an unforgettable experience blending nature and art.

We admit that sometimes, we don’t feel like leaving our favourite lounger on a beautiful Makarska beach or by the hotel pool in Makarska, but it is worth embarking on a mini-adventure and awakening the explorer within us. 

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Bloggers, journalists, tourist guides, artists, entertainers and all kinds of hospitality experts and enthusiasts have gathered under the ValamArtists handle to lovingly bring you the best out of the Croatian holiday experience. Enjoy the ride!
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