Makarska has always been the center of the surrounding region known as Makarska Riviera, both in an administrative, political and economic sense, as well as a center of culture, education, and since the mid twentieth century, tourism.
Today, it is a city of more than 15 thousand inhabitants that encompasses picturesque villages at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain, including Veliko Brdo, Puharići, Kotišina and Makar (which is where the name of Makarska comes from).
Makarska is one of the most famous tourist destinations on the Croatian coast, attractive for its nature and good climate, rich in tourist attractions and full of hospitable hosts.
To this day, Makarska is known for its sandy beach, which is almost 2 kilometers long. The walkways are lined with pine trees and surrounded by luxury hotels, tourist facilities, and gastronomical havens, and there is plenty of fun for both adults and children. Makarska is located below the mountain of Biokovo (1762 m), which protects it from the harsh continental climate and is responsible for its rich Mediterranean vegetation, mild winters, long, warm summers cooled by a refreshing breeze called maestral. Makarska has more than 2750 hours of sun each year and the air temperature above 20°C from July to September. During these same months, the crystal-clear sea also averages a temperature of above 20°C.
The city of Makarska grew around a natural harbor protected by a picturesque peninsula of Sveti Petar (St. Peter) and the cape Osejava. It is the only harbor of this kind between the mouth of the Cetina and Neretva rivers. In the past it provided protection and safe harbor during stormy weather to sailors, pirates and merchants, and nowadays it does the same for yachts, sailing boats and tourist ships. This contributed to its development into a trading port, especially during the Ottoman and Venetian occupation. Today, there is a ferry line which runs a few times a day from Makarska to Sumartin on the island Brač. During the summer months the harbor fills up with yachts and tourist ships, while young people crowd the main Kačić square enjoying entertain¬ment and cultural performances.
As the night goes on, Makarska becomes livelier and livelier, and its cafes, restaurants and discotheques fill up.
The best way to become familiar with the history of this city is by visiting the Franciscan monastery which recently celebrated its 500th anniversary. The monastery boasts a picture gallery, library, one-of-a-kind Malaco-logical museum (dedicated to the study and preservation of mollusks) and the Institute of Mountains and Sea. The church of St. Marko is located on the Kacic square. On its north side are: the Gojak gallery, located in the old school building, public library, the school of music, and the headquarters of the Makarska Riviera radio. The city museum can be found on the waterfront, as well as the church of St. Filip. The renovated church of St. Petar is located in the St. Petar park, a spot with a beautiful view of the city, magnificent Mount Biokovo and the open sea.
Makarska’s geographical position is 44° 17′ 38″ latitude and 17° 1′ 20″ longitude, which places it approximately in the center of north-western half of the Makarska coast.
In addition to the shrine of Vepric, other attractive, wooded areas are parks on the peninsulas of Sveti Petar and Osejava. They are pleasant to visit, for those seeking recreation or just enjoying nature and beautiful view of the city, sea and the islands, and of course, Biokovo. Veliko Brdo, Puharići, Makar and Kotišina are villages at the foot of Biokovo, above Makarska. Most of their residents have moved to Makarska. A few remain in the villages, repairing their ancient homes or building new ones. These lively villages, with preserved village architecture and beautiful overlooks are favorite spots for picnics and field trips.
When approaching the city by the Jadranska highway, from the direction of Split, one comes to an overlook called Kuk. It is located 2 km ahead of the city and rewards with a view of the wooded area Vepric, Cvitačka (Biloševac), long, pebble-stone beaches, and the peninsulas of Sveti Petar and Osejava which protect the city harbor. (makarska-info.hr)