Central Dalmatia has two centers: Split (administrative, cultural, party) and Makarska (resort, beach, carefree).
People stay in Split for a day or two for sightseeing, but stay in Makarska for a long time – it’s the best place for a family vacation.
Moreover, around the big resort of Makarska there are small villages with beautiful beaches, pine groves and comfortable hotels. All together they form the Makarska Riviera, and the name says it all.
About choosing the time to go, the best beaches, hotels and other subtleties of holidays with children in Makarska read in the Kidpassage review.
Makarska on the map of Croatia
The town of Makarska is one of the popular resorts of Middle Dalmatia, the center of the Makarska Riviera. The city is located on the Adriatic Sea coast, at the foot of the mountain massif of Biokovo, on the territory of Split-Dalmatian region (the administrative center – Split).
The distance from Makarska to Zagreb is 460 km, to Split – 65 km, to Dubrovnik – 152 km, to the island of Brac – 15 km.
The place where Makarska is located is very cozy. The town was originally built between Cape St. Peter and Cape Oseava – the bay fenced off from the sea was good both for defensive purposes (for Makarska many countries fought), and for resort (the first hotel for beach lovers was built in 1914).
Since then Makarska grew, and added to the old town a new part with beaches, hotels, restaurants and stores.
Holidays with children
What about tourists who have every day changing moods? Today they want to nap on the beach under the rustle of waves, and tomorrow – to break into the mountains or walk around all the nearby museums.
They would probably choose a resort that has everything at once – the sea, the mountains and museums. Makarska in this sense is ideal.
Vacation in Makarska can be different every day. I want beaches – here they are, framed by pines, neat, equipped with everything you need. I want sights – the old town consists only of them. If you want solitude, the mountain massif of Biokovo and the islands of Brac and Hvar are at hand.
And there is even a place for extreme sports: a trip on the mountain river Cetinje or diving will add to the experience.
It should be noted that the town of Makarska itself during high season is buzzing like a beehive. If you dream to relax with your child in peace and quiet, it is advisable to choose one of the resort villages in the neighborhood.
For a vacation with an infant is more suitable Tučepi or Promajna.
The resort has only one disadvantage: in Makarska little entertainment for children. Full excursion program with visits to islands, waterfalls and caves will be appreciated by teenagers, but the choice of activities for preschoolers and primary school children is small. Partly save the situation family hotels, where they care about the leisure of young guests.
And yet, to make sure that holidays in Makarska with children don’t seem boring, we’ve picked up a few options to occupy young tourists.
When to go
Makarska is a typical seaside resort, so tourists come here mostly in summer. The season in Makarska is relatively short, you need to fit in those three and a half months when the weather is favorable to a beach holiday.
Airlines also adjust their flights for the weather: from mid-May to early September, you can charter to Split, which is a short drive to Makarska.
If you plan to stay in Central Dalmatia before or after that time, you have to change flights.
You can sunbathe in the resort as early as May but the real opening of the season in Makarska takes place in mid-June when the sea is well warmed up. Usually by this time the town and its surroundings are flooded with lovers of beach holidays.
The real tourist boom is in July and August. This time is not the best answer to the question of when to go to Makarska. If you have to spend your vacation in the second half of summer, find an accommodation well in advance: during the season you won’t find anything available at the resort.
It should be added that you can spend the summer in Makarska not only on the beach. From June to September every weekend in the resort there is something interesting happening: concerts, festivals and exhibitions.
The Makarsko kulturno ljeeto program changes every year, the only thing that does not change is the summer carnival on July 31.
Weather and climate
The climate of Makarska is Mediterranean, so it is warm in summer and not so cold in winter. But the weather at the resort has its own characteristics and tourists should be aware of them.
- Because of the close location of the mountains in Makarska very cold at night. In July and August with the sunset the temperature drops to +15-16 ° C, in June and September to +12-13 ° C, and in May to +8-9 ° C.
- The mountains retain the rain clouds over Makarska, so it rains all year round. The driest month is August, in June and July there are brief showers, and in the spring, fall and especially winter there are as many rainy days as sunny ones.
In May the resort is already quite warm, but the weather is unpredictable: the summer heat up to +28 ° C may be followed by a cool down to +16-20 ° C. May vacation in Makarska is better to devote to excursions, as the beach vacation may be unlucky, and the sea is still cold.
In June, the warmth becomes more stable. The average temperature is +25 ° C, the rains are less frequent than in May. To get a lot of sunbathing and swimming, plan your vacation with a child in the second half of June: by this time the sea has time to warm up.
In July and August the heat at the resort reaches its maximum, but the intense heat at the same time does not happen. The temperature usually stays within +29-30 ° C, although sometimes the air heats up to +35 ° C.
Despite the heat, the best vacation in Makarska with children is in the second half of summer, when the temperature of the air and sea is almost equal.
September at the resort can be very hot and cold. Plan a vacation with a baby in Makarska at this time, because the rains can interfere with walks.
But for trips to the most beautiful cities in the Adriatic, it’s a good time. In the luggage put swimwear and warm clothes: in September it can be as +30 ° C, and +15 ° C.
From October, the temperature in Makarska gradually decreases, and the rains are more frequent. In winter the resort is only +5-6 ° C, but in March the warmth returns to the coast.
Sea water temperature
No matter how warm the winter on the Adriatic, the sea still manages to cool down. By the end of spring the water temperature in Makarska barely rises to +19-20 ° C.
In June, the sea temperature depends on the weather. If the weather is hot, the sea warms up to 23 ° C in mid-June.
In July, the sea in Makarska is always warm. The minimum water temperature is +24 ° C and the maximum is +28 ° C.
The situation does not change in August. And even in September, despite the vagaries of the weather, the sea cools down quite slowly. By the middle of the month the water temperature drops to +23 ° C, and by early October to +22 ° C.
The concept of food in the hotel has the least effect on the choice of where to stay in Makarska with children. Breakfast is usually included in the room rate, some hotels offer half or full board, there is even an “all inclusive” system.
But most vacationers prefer to eat in restaurants of Croatian cuisine, or konobabs. The local cuisine is full of light dishes suitable for children’s meals.
If you are going to cook your own food, you can go to supermarkets or markets – they are available in all resorts. Farmer’s market in Makarska is located in the old town. Fish and seafood is better to buy in “Rybarnitsa”.
Public transport in Makarska is something superfluous. From the city center to the outskirts can be reached in half an hour at a leisurely pace. Moreover, tourists walk to Makarska from Promajna and Tučepi, admiring the sea scenery and working up an appetite.
Instead of buses it is common to use bicycles to get around Makarska. Rental shops are located in the old town and you can ride throughout the Makarska Riviera.
But the intercity transport in Makarska is very popular. Modern buses leave from the bus station to Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb and other Croatian cities.
A bus ticket to Split costs 50 kuna, to Dubrovnik 100 kuna. There is no discount for children. Timetables are available at the bus station and on the website of the carrier Promet Makarska.
The easiest way to get from the airport is by cab. The trip will cost 90-100 Euros. You can also call a cab in town.
For active travel it is advisable to rent a car. This is a good way to go to Biokovo (there are roads in the mountains), to colorful towns, to the Krka waterfalls or to Plitvice Lakes.
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What to do
Makarska cannot be called a children’s resort in the usual sense. There are no water parks, amusement parks or entertainment complexes in the town or nearby.
True, there are playgrounds and trampolines for kids on the beaches and in the hotels. But if you travel with children who do not mind walking around the old town and go on a sea excursion, a family vacation in Makarska will be successful.
So how to spend time with the kids to make the trip memorable? The plan could be this.
- Take a walk through the narrow streets of Makarska, check out the yachts in the harbor, look for ancient Roman tombstones, and catch a glimpse of a very old house covered with greenery.
- Wander the trails of Cape St. Peter and Cape Oseiwa. The paths there are steep for walks with a baby carriage, but among the greenery is nice to walk with an older child. At St. Peter’s Cape there is a small amusement park for children.
- Look at the city from the sea: the houses seem like toys against the background of the mountain massif of Biokovo.
- Take a ferry to the island of Brac. In the village of Sumartin, where the ferry arrives, it is quiet even in high season. But travelers don’t stay there long, eager to see the Brač quarries, Dragon’s cave and the village of Škrip, where time seems to have stopped several centuries ago.
- Visit other cities in Central Dalmatia. In Split you can take your children to the zoo (the smallest in Europe) and oceanarium. In Trogir all tourists are attracted by the fortress Kamerlengo. In Omis, a former pirate harbor, there are two fortresses, and also there is a dinosaur park.
- Look at the stars through a telescope on Glavica Hill. The observatory is surrounded by “Astropark” constructed as a model of solar system and equipped with a children’s game labyrinth.
- Take a tour of the Biokovo National Park. In the mountains there are routes of varying difficulty, some are designed for tourists with children. On the slopes of Biokovo is an unusual botanical garden, where the trees are not planted in neat groups, but grow in their usual conditions – that is, right on the rocks.
- Descend into the cave Vranyachu. This tour will be especially interesting for a child imaginative. In the underground sculptures you can see the figures of animals, birds, plants, fairy creatures. The temperature in the cave in summer does not exceed +15 ° C, so you must take warm clothes on tour.
- To get to the Krka waterfalls. This is the main attraction of Northern Dalmatia, but in Makarska organize excursions to the river Krka with a stop in the town of Sibenik.
If you think you could do with a bit of extreme relaxation for your child in Makarska, you could try rafting on the Cetinje River or cycling along the Makarska Riviera.
Sea and Beach
When they talk about beach holidays in Makarska, they mean the resort itself and the surrounding villages – that is, the entire Makarska Riviera. From Baška Voda to Tučepi there are pebble beaches.
Even if only a couple of them have received a “blue flag” for compliance with a dozen of requirements, all other beaches in the region can be estimated on their own: a well-kept coast with sun beds, gentle bottom, clear sea – everything looks great.
Makarska beaches are located in Donja Luka and Ratac, west of the old town. The narrow shore is covered with pebbles, you can hide from the sun in the shadow of pine trees and there are water slides in the sea.
Brela is famous for its long beaches of fine pebbles. Here is the beach Punta Rata, named one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world by Forbes magazine.
The beaches of Baska Voda village alternate between fine pebbles and sand. The sea at the resort is very shallow, the water is already warm in June, so the village is very popular among families with children. Beach Plaza Nikolina awarded the “blue flag”.
The beaches of Promajna can be called wide in comparison with the narrow strip of coast at other resorts. In the shade of the trees there are several playgrounds for children.
The beaches of Tučepi village are very beautiful. Somewhere on the shore piles of huge stones, but they rather add color to this area than interfere with your rest. The shore of the village is covered with pebbles and the bottom goes down slowly, so even inexperienced swimmers will feel confident.
To rest at sea is not boring, you can learn scuba diving. The most transparent sea is in Brela, and therefore there are several diving centers with courses for beginners. The centers have programs for children 8-10 years old.
What to see
The main attraction of Dalmatia is nature, so there aren’t many museums to visit in Makarska with a child.
One of them is the City Museum, which tells about Ancient Rome, the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, that is, everything that influenced life in Makarska.
After visiting the museum, you will begin to see the signs left by history right on the streets. Fortunately, the relatively recent tragic events (military conflict in 1990) have not affected the appearance of the resort.
Unexpected treasures are found in the Franciscan monastery: paintings of Renaissance artists are on display there. In the monastery there is another interesting place for children –
The Malacological Museum. The name comes from the Greek word “malakion”, which means “mollusk”. The museum has more than 3,000 exhibits, from stones with imprints of ancient invertebrates to beautiful shells.
Just 200 meters from the monastery is the Fish, Crustaceans and Mollusks Museum. If you want to show your child how tiny the fish are and how big the lobsters are, what sharks are in the Adriatic Sea and how the urchin fish is built, visit this small exhibition.
Note that the museums in Makarska do not work the same way as in big cities: they may close for a siesta or work until lunchtime. We recommend looking at the tourist website of the city before the tour and check the schedule.
And since the list of what to see with children in Makarska was so short, it can be complemented by the attractions of neighboring cities.
In Split, you must visit the Palace of Diocletian, for the construction of which Brač white stone was used, the Museum of the Croatian archaeological sites and the Ethnographic Museum.
In Dubrovnik it is worth to stay for a couple of days to see the city walls and Lovrenac fortress, visit the museum in the princely palace and relax on the island of Lokrum, where peacocks live.
The children’s program in Dubrovnik is even wider, and includes a visit to the aquarium and the Maritime Museum, a cable car ride up Mount Srdj and a visit to the honey valley farm.
Also during a vacation in Makarska with children you can go to Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Two parts of Mostar, absolutely no resemblance to each other, connect the old bridge, built in 1566 and entered in the World Heritage List.
According to many tourists vacationing in Croatian resorts, Makarska Riviera is the most beautiful resort area of Dalmatia. This region has conquered many with its special climate, unlike others.
The majestic massif of Biokovo protects from the strong winds. A pine and palm forests, located near the sea, creating a unique effect of the maximum saturation of all the benefits of nature.
Makarska in Croatia is the capital of the Riviera. The city, which has become the most popular tourist, cultural, economic and sports center of the entire central Dalmatia. It stretches along the sea and the mountain range and is surrounded by capes Osejava and St. Petra.
The history of the city is very rich and multifaceted.
According to the archeological excavations, the settlement on the place of today Makarska, called Mukurum, developed since the Roman times in VI century. That is when the first diocese was founded there. Then the Slavs came and forced the Romans to leave the place. They even managed to collect tribute from ships sailing in the nearby waters.
However, under the constant onslaught from century to century, the Neratvans (Slavic tribes) fell. And then this tidbit has shared between the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks.
The latter, in the XVI century. conquered the city and controlled it for over 100 years, simultaneously strengthening and creating additional forts. But the Venetians did not give up and in 1646 recaptured and then officially annexed the city. Under the patronage of Venice, Makarska became a strategic and particularly important transport hub.
Then the city was under the control of Austria and France. In 1914 the first tourist hotel was opened, and the real boom in tourism began at the end of the 70s of the last century.
Today it is a thriving tourist center with a population of 17 thousand people, which at the same time preserved the color of tranquility and pristine nature.
Map of Makarska
Makarska on the map is located in the central part of the Adriatic coast in the county of Split-Dalmatia.
The distance to the capital Split is 65 km.
The nearest famous resorts are Tučepi in the south, Baska Voda and Brela in the north.
People say about these places “the soul relaxes here! After all, the beautiful architecture of the city, amazing historic buildings, mountain ranges, warm Adriatic Sea, as well as the friendly local population, which is always generously receives guests – all this contributes to the popularity of the city among travelers!
That is why the magnificent southern Croatian city of Makarska attracts so many tourists. How many amazing photos can be taken in this wonderful city!
Leaving a photo of Makarska Croatia is a wonderful way to capture those beautiful moments that you spent in the south of this country.
The weather in the Riviera of Makarska
The capital city of Makarska Riviera is undoubtedly a great example of the perfect place for a summer vacation! The summer is moderately hot but not dry and the sea water is the warmest here as Makarska is one of the cities on the southernmost latitudes in Croatia.
The average temperature in July and August is approximately 26-28 ° C.
Therefore, the weather in Makarska is always happy tourists.
Attractions in Makarska
Makarska figuratively can be divided into 2 parts, namely bays. On the western part there are: the resort area, hotels, Marineta promenade, stores, etc. On the eastern side is the port.
The historic center of Makarska is a classic of a medieval European town with narrow stony streets, restaurants and cafes.
On Kasic Miocic Square stands the St. Mark’s Cathedral in the classicist style, built in the 18th century.
The most beautiful attraction of the center is the Franciscan monastery from 1614. Inside there is a maritime museum with numerous collections of shells and various mollusks.
Well, and of course, the favorite walking place of all holidaymakers, which can not be forgotten. The Marineta embankment is a kilometer and a half long, where you can walk under the shade of pine trees, watching the amazing view of the bay, playing with all the palettes of sea colors.
Beaches in Makarska
Makarska is known for its long small pebble beaches, one of the cleanest in Dalmatia.
The main one is “Donja Luka”. It is adjacent to most of the 4-star hotels.
The beach consists of fine pebbles, on which the shade of fluffy pine trees falls. Equipped with everything you need, there is a great variety of water entertainment. Parallel to the beach runs Marineta.
Hotels in Makarska
Makarska has a track record of more than 10 hotels 4 and 3 stars, and the number of apartments and private villas is even difficult to count.
One of the very interesting and attractive hotels in Makarska is the 3 star Hotel Dalmacija. It is located in the center, the distance to the beach – 70 meters. Modern style, designer furniture and collectible works of art are waiting for you in each room.
“Hotel Meteor” 4-star hotel, located in a picturesque area, will provide you with maximum service and facilities. The design of the hotel is made in white and blue unobtrusive colors. There are several saunas, an excellent swimming pool and one of the best restaurants in town with an impressive wine list. Distance to the beach – 30 m.
“The Hotel Osejava is a 4-star hotel, located on the promontory of the same name. This hotel is very loved by young couples, there is a beautiful view of the promenade. Rooms are equipped in a minimalist style with huge royal beds. The beach is 50 meters away.
The most attractive villa for tourists is “Nena”, which even resembles a 4-star hotel.
It is made in elegant white colors, with rooms in minimalist style, half of which have balconies.
Prices in the resort
Location of the city (between the most popular cities in Croatia – Split and Dubrovnik).
Its importance (the capital of the Makarska Riviera), warm sea, developed infrastructure, mountains, as well as the magnificent appearance of architecture Makarska make this city one of the most notable and expensive resorts in Croatia.
Truly, every season this fabulous town welcomes thousands of tourists, but prices in Makarska – above average.
Of course, to relax here (to rent a house, to eat, to spend money on all sorts of entertainment) will be cheaper than to buy the same services, for example, in Split, but much more expensive than in any of the Istrian cities.
Excursions and guides
The most unforgettable excursion in Makarska is a boat trip to the islands of Brac and Hvar, which you could see while sunbathing on the beach. Fishing, swimming in the open sea and other attractions are organized along the way.
Mountain lovers usually go to the top of the mountain Biokovo to the mountaineering camp. The altitude here is 1460 meters. Do not forget to walk through the national park when you come down from the top. The beauty of the local flora is sure to amaze you!
A 5-minute drive from the city lurks a very entertaining and picturesque village Kotishina. There tourists can visit the botanical garden of the XIX century and the ruins of a medieval castle, built during the Venetian period. The population of the village is a little over 100 people and they are always ready to welcome their guests.
How to reach Makarska?
To get to Makarska it is best to land at Split Airport (located only 60 km from Makarska). Then choose one of the most suitable means of transport for your trip to the place – cab, bus, car rental, and head south.
Transportation Makarska is one of the important issues that must be decided upon arrival in the city.
How will you get around throughout your vacation?
One of the most common ways for vacationers to get around is to rent a car in Makarska.
Of course, it will cost more expensive than traveling by city transport. However, car rental is much more comfortable and relaxing. There is no need to adjust to the schedule of the public minibus and wait for the arrival time, for example, the bus.
The choice is yours. However, our advice – do not skimp on amenities. Rest should be, above all, comfortable!
Reviews about Makarska (video)
The best impressions from those who have already visited this wonderful city can be found on the Internet. Which are simply overflowing with positive reviews about rest here!
Reviews about Makarska will let you know the best hotels, restaurants, beaches and other great vacation spots in this town. Find the best place to have fun on the coast of the warm Adriatic Sea – visit Makarska!