The best beaches on the Makarska Riviera in Croatia are quiet secluded coves, the best city beaches, and lesser-known beaches along the coast of southern Dalmatia.
If you’re heading to Croatia for the first time and looking for azure seas, fine pebbles, and tranquil secluded lagoons with azure waters, take a look at the Makarska Riviera. There are no waves here because the coast is reliably covered by islands that stretch almost continuously along the Makarska Riviera coast up to Dubrovnik.
In my humble opinion, the Makarska Riviera is the best place on the Croatian coast for a beach vacation. In addition to beaches, there is a rich excursion program. Above Makarska is the unique Biokovo Nature Park. Nearby are the most famous Croatian islands – Hvar, Brac, Korcula. Dubrovnik is just a couple of hours’ drive along the most picturesque stretch of the coast. Nearby is Split with its historical center and picturesque promenade.
The Makarska Riviera is logistically convenient. Split has a ferry port and an international airport. A large ferry port is also located in Makarska.
The surroundings of any of the beaches listed below can be considered as a separate place for relaxation. It is important to choose good accommodation, which in Croatia is booked several months before the start of the season. So, do not delay booking, especially if you plan to vacation in July-August.
There are incredibly many beaches on the Makarska Riviera. If you are going for the first time, it’s easy to get lost in this abundance. Below, I have selected the 10 most beautiful beaches on the Makarska Riviera. I hope to help you in planning your vacation in Croatia independently.
I provide the names in Latin as well to help you better navigate on Google Maps.
1. Punta Rata Beach – Brela
Punta Rata has become the most famous beach on the Makarska Riviera, even being called one of the most beautiful in the world. The beach is located in the town of Brela – an excellent place for relaxation with a long promenade along the sea in the shade of Mediterranean pines that grow along the shore. The symbol of the beach is a picturesque rock a few meters from the shore, and the beach itself is an outstanding cape in the sea covered with pine trees. It’s a very beautiful and cozy place, but during the peak season, it’s traditionally crowded. It’s ideal to visit here in September or early October when the weather is still good.
Hotel recommendation in this area:
- Bluesun Hotel Maestrall – within walking distance of the beach, an excellent choice.
- Apartment Danica – a super place to stay with a pleasant host, restaurants nearby, beach, and sea view.
2. Ikovac Beach – Baska Voda
Ikovac Beach is located in the wonderful town of Baska Voda on the Makarska Riviera. Ikovac Beach offers 250 meters of fine pebbles and crystal-clear water. There is plenty of space to relax, and natural shade from Mediterranean pine groves is created above the beach.
There are toilets, an excellent beach bar called “Southern Comfort,” and water activities. In the background, the mighty rocks of the Biokovo Park rise above the beach, providing one of the best natural panoramas for both body and eyes. It’s a double pleasure – pleasant for the body and pleasing to the eyes.
Accommodation recommendation near this beach:
- Apartments Noemia – conveniently located right by the beach, with a pool and modern amenities.
- Apartmani Izabela – with a balcony and sea view, excellent hosts, just a few minutes to the beach.
3. Makarska Beach
The town of Makarska, which gave its name to the resort, is, in fact, a small city with a historic center, a ferry port, and a beautiful promenade. Most beautiful beaches are located away from the town, but the city beach is also worth attention.
This 1.5-kilometer beach, called Gradska plaza (city beach), is located in the beautiful Donja Luka bay, a 10-minute walk from the historical center of Makarska. The beach has fine pebbles, traditional pines, and a gradual entry into the water. It is perfect for families with children. Nearby is all the infrastructure, a promenade, bars, cafes, restaurants, an aqua park, and water activities.
Hotel recommendations near this beach:
- Hotel Park Makarska – excellent location, ideal for families with children, near the promenade and the beach.
- Beach rooms Riviera – Žuta Kuća – apartments right on the beach, closer cannot be. If beach relaxation and infrastructure nearby are essential, it’s an ideal place with high ratings and guest reviews. Highly recommended.
4. Tucepi Beach
This beach is named after the charming town of Tucepi on the Makarska Riviera. It’s a popular place for those who dislike the hustle and bustle of Makarska but also don’t want to be too far from civilization. Tucepi offers 4 km of fine pebbles and perfect turquoise waters with a comfortable entry.
The picturesque backdrop against the perfect sea is simply breathtaking. Right behind the beach, there is a beautiful promenade, shops, restaurants, bars, apartments, and hotels within walking distance from the sea. Tucepi is an ideal place for a peaceful family vacation and for holidays with children.
Accommodation recommendation in this area:
- Beachfront Comfort Apartment NIVES – excellent apartments with a balcony and a sea view for a beautiful Adriatic vacation.
- Central Beach Apartments – apartments right on the beach, a balcony with a sea view, modern, comfortable, and spacious.
5. Nugal Beach
The elusive beach hidden behind the high cliffs of the coast near Makarska. It can only be reached on foot from Makarska along the coastal path. If you just want to admire the views of this beach, you can stop along the main road leading from Makarska towards Dubrovnik, walk to the cliffs, and enjoy the view as if from National Geographic.
Nugal Beach is recognized as one of the best beaches in Makarska. Part of the beach is used by nudists, so be attentive if needed. If there’s no time to spend leisure there, it’s worth stopping along the road and walking about 10 minutes to the edge of the cliff. The beach is unique, and it’s worth seeing.
6. Podrace Beach – Brela
Podrace Beach rightfully enters the crown of the most beautiful beaches of the Makarska Riviera. Located in the town of Brela, just beyond the rock of Brela and Punta Rata Beach. The beach has changing cabins, benches, and practically no sun loungers – I consider this an advantage.
The beach has large pebbles, but the entry into the water is pleasant and allows even children to swim. The water has an emerald hue of incredible beauty. I like this beach even more than the popular Punta Rata. The feature of the beach is the accumulation of rocks, which together form a picturesque rock that is pleasant to climb if you enjoy such activities.
On one side of this rock is a grotto, and on top, the rock is covered with Mediterranean pines. Around the rocks is an excellent place for snorkeling; don’t forget your mask.
Accommodation near this beach:
- Villa Dalmatia – beautiful modern apartments, new furniture, five minutes to the beach.
- Villa Vanja – less than a minute to the sea, terrace with a sea view, perfect apartments, in my opinion.
- Villa Višnja – luxurious spacious modern 4-star apartments, pet-friendly.
7. Nikolina Beach – Baska Voda
The best beach in Baska Voda, a well-known resort town on the Makarska Riviera. Nikolina Beach is named after the patron saint St. Nicholas, with the picturesque Biokovo mountains in the background. A gradual entry into the water, fine pebbles, cafes, bars, rental of boards, and other water activities. The promenade passes above the beach, at the center of the resort. The sea is traditionally crystal clear with turquoise-aquamarine shades.
Accommodation near this beach:
- Grand Hotel Slavia – if you prefer hotels and quality service, there is no better option. Located right on the beach, the rooms and the atmosphere in the hotel are very pleasant.
- Apartments Matijašević Baška Voda – excellent spacious modern apartments, with their parking that locks. Recommended for independent travelers.
8. Vruja Beach
Vruja Beach is a true piece of wild paradise, located not far from the town of Brela, in the north of the Makarska Riviera. The beach can be considered secret, as getting to it is not easy. Leave your car in the free parking along the road and walk on foot through the barrier along the dirt road. It requires average physical fitness. After the barrier near the sign “Beach to the left,” continue along the trail for about 300 meters. Skip the first descent to the beach as it is steep. The second descent is gentler, and that’s the way to the beach. Be especially careful on the last hundred meters.
The reward for such a descent is crystal-clear water, all shades of the turquoise sea, minimal people, and fantastic nature around, including underwater life. Nudists might be around in secluded coves – don’t startle them, and don’t be startled yourself. In Croatia, nudists are part of coastal culture.
9. Dracevac Beach – Podgora
Podgora, along with Brela and Baska Voda, are our favorite towns on the Makarska Riviera. Here, in the bay, is the wonderful Dracevac Beach. The pebble beach stretches for 400 meters, there’s a traditional area for nudists, and a pine grove right behind the beach, guaranteeing shade on the hottest summer day. There’s a small beach bar that operates during the summer season, and you can rent umbrellas and sun loungers.
10. Duba Beach
Duba Beach is located on the southern part of the Makarska Riviera, near the village of Blato. It’s ideal for those who prefer a tranquil and secluded retreat, away from the bustling and popular places like Makarska, Baska Voda, or Brela. The beach features large light pebbles, vibrant turquoise sea, and the wild vibe of nature. There are cliffs nearby, offering opportunities for snorkeling with a mask.
The beach is not far from the coastal road, making it easily accessible, and you can park your car in the paid parking area.