Makarska Riviera, Croatia Beach Vacations

By Tee1

Set between the Adriatic Sea and Biokovo mountain, is one of the best beach vacation spots du jour, Brela.  If you are looking for a beach with a relaxed nightlife on your holiday, then Croatia’s Dalmatia’s coast will satisfy your needs. The tasteful surroundings, activity options as well as the nightlife set this destination apart.

The tiny tourist town Brela had a full time population of 1771 in the 2001 census. The municipality is two villages Brela and Gornja Brela which are in Split-Dalmatia County. Brela is about 10 miles away on the coast from Makarska. In recognition for its tourism activities and achievements in 1968, Brela, was awarded the moniker, “Champion of the Adriatic” and known as the pearl of Makarska riviera.  The other pearl in the area is the city of Dubrovnik, which is known as both the pearl of the Mediterranean and also the pearl of the Adriatic.

#1 Beach in Europe

The Brela Stone (“Kamen Brela”) is the symbol of Brela. It’s a small rock island off the main beach, Punta Rata. This beach was ranked as one of the top ten in the world according to Forbes magazine in 2004. The actual ranking was #6 in the world and #1 in Europe.

Where is Makarska?  43°22′N 16°55′E

Spanning about 40 miles long and a mile or two wide, the Makarska Riviera is an immensely popular destination for tourists. With sunny perfect weather, pebbly beaches and majestic views of the Biokovo mountain, the Makarska Riviera is a very pleasing part of the Croatian coastline. It is highly recommended to enjoy these beaches for as long as your schedule allows.

Some of Croatia’s best beach spots are found on the mainland coast between Split and Dubrovnik. Most tourists go immediately to the Dalmatian islands, but that is a very poor choice. The Makarska Riviera is 38 miles long and stretches from Brela to Gradac.

Croatia Beach Vacation along the Makarska Riviera

In the shadows of the mile high (5,770 ft) Mount Biokovo, the town of Makarska has been built around a wonderful sheltered bay in deep water. In addition to providing scenery, the dramatic heights of the mountain also serve as a buffer from the harsh inland weather. While on your beach vacation to this region, if you are feeling ambitious, there is some great hiking and mountain biking available as well.

This region was referred to as Pagania by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII in the 10th century. The Pagani had not accepted Christianity as late as the 9th century and lived as pirates by preying on galleys that had the misfortune to pass through the waters. Pagania was a narrow strip of land along the coast that held out far later than other Slavs in converting.

Today, the residents are more apt to earn a living from tourism, wine, fishing or olive oil. The villages are all small except for Makarska and its displays of wealth from Venetian merchants of the 18th century. Outside of the few pallazi and the Baroque St. Mark’s , the area still feels wild.

The architecture is indeed interesting, but what really matters are the beaches. The Adriatic is turquoise and there are pinewoods with a pleasant fragrance. The town beach of Makarska is long and curved with a promenade that is tree lined and offers a shady respite. Its a great spot to relax in one of the many cafés or restaurants.

The walk to Brela is nine miles. Along the way, you pass a couple nudist beaches and maybe even a DJ show and more. Its an entertaining walk and can be broken up in a number places with fun beach activities or cold beer. Either way, its a fun spot.

Credit for the photos goes to my friend Rosi, from Malta. She is a pirate at heart and is one of the leaders of the Pirates of the Cove social group. The group is on the mental side, but the barbecues are fantastic and people top-notch.