* * * MAKARSKA RIVIERA * * * the most wanted vacation destination
Makarska (population 15000) lies at the foot of Biokovo, in a natural harbour closed by the Osejava promontory from the south-east, and by St. Petar peninsula on the north-west. Makarska is an economic, cultural and tourist centre of the Makarska Littoral. There is ferry landing pier for the destination Sumartin on Braè island in the port. It consists of the old core of the Mediterranean type and a newer part with hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. It has a beautiful 1500 m long beach in a pine wood and numerous sandy coves. It developed from Makar, a settlement at the foot of Biokovo which was mentioned as Muccurum in the documents of the council in ancient Salona of 4th May, 533. We find the name Makarska only in the beginning of the 16th century in Turkish, Croatian and Latin sources.
The monument of the poet Andrija Kaèiæ Miošiæ (the work of lvan Rendiæ, 1889) raises on a big steep town square named after him, as well as St. Marko church from 17th century, in which valuable sculptural and painting works of art are kept, as well as applied art works. The most beautiful altar in the church is the work of the Venetian sculptor Pietro Onighi. In front of the church is a drinking-fountain from 18th century. On the peninsula of St. Petar there is a church with the same name dating back to the 9th century, demolished by the earthquake of 1962, and renewed in 1992. In the Franciscan monastery of St. Marija from the 16th century there is a very rich library, a malacological museum with one of the richest collections of seashells in the world and the collection of the Baroque church painting. On the coast, the late Baroque church of St. Filip Neri and Town Museum are situated. The monument in the form of a slender pyramid, raised in 1808 in honour of the French marshal Marmont, is situated at the entrance to the town. Close to Makarska, there is Vepric, the sanctuary of Gospa Lurdska. Due to its natural beauty and consecrated atmosphere, it is widely known place of pilgrimage. At the foothill of Biokovo, as protectors of Makarska, the villages Veliko Brdo, Puhariæi, Makar and Kotišina are situated, with a Biokovo botanical garden in the latter. Those places have kept the beauty of original popular architecture, so that they are attractive excursion targets today.
TUČEPI - Croatian touristic destination champion in 2001. (3. in 2000., 2. in 1999.)
Tučepi (population 1770) is located 4 km south-east of Makarska. Until the earthquake of 1962, the majority of its inhabitants were living in hamlets at the foot of Biokovo. Today, its inhabitants are engaged in agriculture and tourism. Tucepi has become one of the most attractive summer resorts in Croatia. It is distinguished by the most beautiful and longest gravel beach of the Makarska Riviera, a pine wood, olive-groves, luxury hotels, beautiful houses and sports grounds. There is a marina in the place, protected from the wind by its breakwater. The settlement dates back to antiquity. Fragments of furniture of the early Christian church from the 5th-6th century and several medieval tombstones were found in the graveyard. The settlement was first mentioned with the current name in 1424. The church of St. Juraj was built in the transitional Romanesque-Gothic style by the end of 13th century. Next to the church, there are a Roman tombstone stele, a medieval tombstone slab and two large standing tombstones. According to a folk legend, the Venetian duke Pietro Candian was buried there. In the 18th century, rich Makarska families built villas in Tucepi. The summer house of abbot Grubišić is today "Kaštelet" hotel.
Brela (population 1500) is situated 15 km north-west of Makarska, on the steep Biokovo foothills. The population there is engaged in winegrowing, olive growing, growing of marasca cherries and figs, and tourism. Brela is the springs of beauty because of its natural features: a thick pine wood descending all the way to the beautiful gravel beaches and the clear sea. It has been known as one of the most attractive tourist places in Croatia for several centuries already. It is the winner of thr European ecological award "Blue flag" for years 1999-2001. There is a small marina to harbour boats and yachts. Brela was raised at the site of Roman settlements (1st-4th century). For the time in history, it was mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus (about 950.) with the name Berulia. The today's settlement was raised in more recent times with the arrival of the population from villages at the foot of Biokovo. In Brela, there is the church of Gospa of Karmela, a significant monument of architecture from the 18th century, and the parish church of St. Stjepan from the 19th century. There is a medieval necropolis in the graveyard - today an archeological park - with eight tombstones decorated with reliefs.
Igrane (population 400) is located 17 km south-east of Makarska. Its inhabitants are engaged in agriculture (oil works with cold-pressing technology), fishing and tourism. The settlement descends towards the sea in form of terraces thus creating a beautiful architectural whole. It is situated on a small peninsula the right side of which is covered by a wide sandy beach. There is a breakwater in the port, fit for mooring of smaller yachts. From the top, on which the belfry of the Baroque parish church of Gospa od Ružarija rises (with an addition to it built in 1925) and the Zalina Tower (17th century), all the way to the sea, houses with gardens are strung in clusters. Igrane abounds in historical monuments. The settlement existed already in the Roman times. "The Chronicle of the Priest Dukljanin", a very important document for Croatian history and culture, has been preserved here. The most important medieval monument of the Makarska Littoral, the church of St. Mihovil (11th-12th century), is situated in olive-groves above the village. There are the remains of the old tower, called Kulina, there too. On the coast, there is an interesting castle, the Baroque summer house of the Šimić-Ivanišević family, built ill 1760.
Baška Voda (population 2200) is situated 9.5 km north-west of Makarska. The population is engaged in agriculture (olives, grapes, cherries, figs), fishing trade and tourism. It is one of the oldest and most visited summer resorts in the Makarska Riviera. Long gravel beaches, thick pine wood and nicely arranged streets are the decoration and the distinction of this place. Baška Voda has a small port, with its southern part suitable for harbouring vessels. It was inhabited already in ancient times. There are traces of a settlement and a late antiquity fortress on the Gradina elevation. Seven antique tombstone monuments steles from the 2nd-5th century were found in the wider territory of Gradina. The name of Baška Voda was mentioned in the 18th century, when the inhabitants of Bast settled in this territory after the Turks were driven away. The name of Baška Voda was also mentioned by A. Fortis, an Italian biologist and travel writer. There is a late Baroque church of St. Lovre in Baška Voda, raised on an antique locality, as well as the parish church of St. Nikola, built by the end of the 19th century. Not tar from Baška Voda, there is the valley Baško Polje, a more recent tourist settlement. Above Baška Voda, on the very slopes of Biokovo, surrounded by its cliffs, Bast is situated, a typical village of the Biokovo foothills with white stone houses, and the hamlet of Topići.
Promajna (population 230) is situated 6 km north-west of Makarska, immediately by the sea, in a beautiful Mediterranean landscape. It is connected with Baška Voda by a promenade along the coast.
Podgora (population 1500) is situated 7 km south-east of Makarska. Its residents are engaged in agriculture (grapes, olives, figs), seafaring, fishing and tourism. It consists of older hamlets on slopes of Biokovo, which are weakly populated today, and the newer part next to the sea. There are many springs of drinking water in the territory of Podgora and the medicinal salt water spring Klokun. It is attractive due to its natural beauties, wonderful gravel beaches and abundant greenery. It became a settlement in the Middle Ages. At the time of Turkish breakthroughs, it became an important Venetian stronghold. The church of St. Tekla was erected on the medieval location Sutikla and it was first mentioned in the 18th century. In the graveyard, there are medieval tombstones and the monument dedicated to the writer and politician Mihovil Pavlinoviæ (Podgora, 1831-1887), the work of Ivan Rendiæ. From the summer house of the Mrkušiæ family, which is entered among the leading examples of the Baroque architecture of the Makarska Littoral, the portal and the chapel have been preserved. The monumental statue Seagull's Wings, raised in 1962, overlooks the port from the elevation above it. The long touristic tradition of this place is also reflected in its numerous luxury hotels and the diverse tourist offer. Today, Podgora has two small ports: one in the former old "porto", and the in Čaklje.
Drašnice (population 330) is situated 12 km south-east of Makarska. A small fishing and tourist settlement. Its residents are engaged in agriculture as well (olives, grapes, figs). Its part next to the sea is covered with a pine wood and olive-groves, and nice gravel beaches follow each other along the seashore. Steep streets and old Dalmatian houses and natural beauties make this place a cosy spot for a vacation. The new church of St. Jure and Bezgrješno Začeće Blažene Djevice Marije, with the built-in Baroque elements of the older church, rises by the sea. Tombstones from the 15th-18th century are set around the new structure. There is a Gothic church St. Stjepan's above the village, in which a Roman inscription from 2nd century was found, as well as the inscription from 1446 which mentions duke Stjepan.
Živogošće (population 460) is situated 20 km south-east of Makarska. Its economic basis rests on agriculture, fishing and tourism. It comprises several hamlets, but most of the residents live next to the sea. It is situated on the slopes of Biokovo and is fringed by beautiful sandy beaches. There are Illyrian mounds in the territory of the village. Živogošće was first mentioned by the middle of the 13th century, while it was mentioned in the Croatian language in 1434. On the cliff called Pokrivenica, there is an inscription from antique times in the form of a song of thanksgiving for an invigorating spring of cold water. It was carved by Licinian, the leader of a Roman Empire representation which was passing through these parts on their way to conclude peace with Goths. On the eastern side of Živogošće, there is a Franciscan monastery from the 18th century, which makes an architectural whole with the church and the belfry. During French occupation, the monastery was demolished. It was restored in the beginning of the 20th century. There is a rich library in the monastery.
Bratuš (population 50) is situated 5 km north-west of Makarska. It is a typical fishing village next to the seashore which preserved the harmony of the traditional popular architecture.
Krvavica (population 110) is located 4 km north-west of Makarska, in a beautiful cove in which a tourist complex with the dominant central building with the circular ground plan was built. The continuity of cultures in the small territory of the place is evidenced by chance findings at the location of Zakuče, where an antique necropolis was found, and at the location of Manastirine, in which one of the most beautiful standing tombstones in the Makarska Littoral was found.