What to Do on a 5-Day Trip to Makarska
Here, mountaintops reach for the sky, only to vividly unroll into the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. Where the two kiss, an endless fringe of pebbly beaches bathes in waves. As if casually dropped from the clouds, the islands of Hvar and Brač sit within a swimmer’s stroke from the mainland. The coast is dotted with fishermen’s villages, some sleepy, some abuzz. One of the latter is the heart of the region, the town of Makarska, and it lends its name to the entire area: Makarska Riviera.
Towering the Riviera is the spectacular massif of Biokovo, part of the Dinaric Alps that holds the country’s second tallest peak, Sveti Jure at 1742 metres. Biokovo is a protected nature park, one of 12 in Croatia. Whether you are a mountain climber, panorama hunter, or even a paraglider, Biokovo is the answer to your heart’s desire. Conquering this mountain – which could be as simple as driving up a narrow road – is a journey through olive groves with drywalls; with altitude these shift into a karst wilderness, home to ibex, eagles and over 200 different butterflies.
Hiking up Biokovo is an ode to the natural beauty of Dalmatia, replete with spectacular views and magnificent viewpoints. The newest, Biokovo Skywalk, is an attraction in its own right: a massive, horseshoe-shaped viewing platform made entirely of glass and steel that juts out from the rocks and makes you feel as if you were floating above the mountain slopes. It’s not for the fainthearted, but jaw-dropping nonetheless.
Nestled at the foot of the mountain, Makarska Riviera stretches some sixty kilometres between the seaside villages of Brela and Gradac. Biokovo protects this narrow stretch of the coast from harsh continental climate; with around 2750 hours of sun per year, sunbathing goes well into October.
The beaches of Makarska Riviera have been sung about in many must-see beach lists. Forbes once proclaimed Punta Rata beach in Brela as the prettiest in Europe and the sixth prettiest in the world. Striking, pristine and lined with cafes, pizzerias and spots where you can rent sunbeds, umbrellas, boats and watersports equipment, fantastic beaches are the main draw for visitors to the Riviera.
Cosied up to a pebbly beach an easy stroll from the town centre of Makarska is Valamar Meteor Hotel, a perfect base for taking in the best of the town’s highlights. The hotel’s outdoors might make it hard to leave though, given the gorgeous infinity pool immersed in the scent of pines, the shallow pool with water attractions that keep the kids infinitely happy and the terraces for lounging and enjoying the very essence of Mediterranean living.
Plenty of foodie goodies are available as well. At Mediterraneo buffet restaurant they come coupled with fun show cooking; at La Pentola Trattoria Italiana, with homemade pasta, bruschettas, risottos, fish and meat specialities and marvellous sea views. Surrounded by sport courts and featuring innumerable possibilities to explore the region, Valamar Meteor makes your vacations as breezy as a summer evening promenade in Makarska.
Makarska’s beach resort identity came to life in the 1960s when construction of hotel facilities picked up. Until then, Makarska was a languid seaside town, with a history that can be traced back to 6000 BC. With its natural harbour flanked by the peninsula of Sveti Petar and the cape of Osejava, Makarska centres on the town’s seafront, the lungo mare. Today it’s dotted with ice cream parlours, souvenir shops, café bars and disco clubs.
Younger crowds fancy Makarska for its leisurely daytime and happening nightlife; families come here for the friendly ambiance and easy multi-generational vacations; and adventurers for the ideal vantage point to explore Dalmatia’s adrenaline-powered experiences, from rafting on Cetina River and rock climbing in Omiš to deep-sea diving near the islands.
Ready, steady, go at Valamar Meteor Hotel
- Fitness room with sea views
- Basketball and tennis courts
- Kids’ Maro club
- Jogging and walking trails
- Deep-water diving
- Bicycles for rent
- Paddleboats rental
- Bungee jumping
- Nordic walking
- Sun & Spa wellness centre