Makarska Riviera Beaches: hidden gems part 1

Woo-hoo, I’m totally excited with this post on Makarska Riviera Beaches. And I think you should be excited too. They are the nicest beaches in Croatia. I spent quite some time in this Croatian coastal area.

Makarska Riviera Beaches | Croatian Beaches Guide
Makarska Riviera Beaches | Croatian Beaches Guide

We used to go camping to Zivogosce Dole (the nicest pebble lies there, as a true connoisseurs of the area claim!).

Vera’s got family living in Makarska. And we always plan to make that slow trip down the coast, and stop at every possible bay, cove, headland, and a shoreline. However, this sure takes lots of time. And we still haven’t managed to do it. That’s why we teamed up with a fellow blogger Vice who lives in Makarska, and knows every corner of this beautiful region in Croatia. He’s passionate photographer, and his facebook page is a true inspiration. He’s got so many gorgeous photos of Makarska Riviera Beaches.

Here is Vice’s first five hidden gems of Makarska Riviera beaches. Beware that Europe, and Croatia particularly, has somewhat liberal approach to bathing. These beaches are more or less wild beaches, and they are naturists friendly beaches. However, it’s less common to see naturists in high season.  Another thing to keep in mind is that these beaches are difficult to reach (that makes them hidden gems!).

Makarska Riviera Beaches: Drasnice Beaches
Drasnice Beaches

Along Makarska Riviera, rocky coast alternates with beautiful pebble beaches. Biokovo mountain rises high  from the sea, creating a rather dramatic backdrop. Mountain has lots of streams and creeks. Along with lapping waves and the currents, they helped to shape the Makarska Riviera Beaches.

Five gorgeous, but less known Makarska Riviera Beaches

#1: Brela Vruja area is the westernmost part of Makarska Riviera. This area stretches over two kilometers, and hides dozens larger and smaller beaches, one nicer than the other. Beaches of Brela Vruja area have very little or no natural shade, and we highly advise you to carry a sun-umbrella with you. Since the closest village (Brela Jakirusa) is quite far, if you plan to spend a day at the beach, you should also bring with you some water and food.

Makarska Riviera Beaches: Nugal Beach
Nugal Beach

#2: Drasnice East-side area stretches over few kilometers from village Drasnice all the way to the neighboring village Igrane. It consists of many wonderful small bays. Many beaches offer thick pine wood and natural shade. Some beaches in this area can only be reached by the boat.

#3: Nugal Makarska beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on the Makarska Riviera, and probably in the entire Croatia. It’s located two kilometers east of Makarska. You can only reach this beach on foot (small seaside promenade) or by boat. One stream steep fall over the rocky Biokovo Mountain just above Nugal beach, creating an over 10 m high waterfall in winter months.


#4 Promajna is a small village west of Makarska. This village had a popular rehabilitation center for children with asthma. Today this structure is abandoned. Next to these abandoned buildings you’ll find dozens of small beaches. The beaches are easily reachable and there is a free parking nearby. Very naturist friendly throughout the season.

Makarska Riviera Beaches: Promajna Beach
Promajna Beaches

#5: Zivogosce Velika duba is a gorgeous bay located between villages of Zivogosce Mala Duba & Zivogosce Blato. The beach has beautiful round pebbles and thick pine wood. You can easily spend the entire day at this beach. During the high season, the beach is busy with locals and tourists.

Makarska Riviera Beaches: Velika Duba Beach
Zivogosce Velika Duba Beach

We hope you enjoyed our first post on hidden gems of Makarska Riviera Beaches. If you plan on spending your vacation in this area, please check awesome Makarska Beaches application for IOS & Android (soon to be released). This is a complete guide on Makarska Riviera Beaches with over 300 photos, detailed descriptions, and information on location and how to reach each of them. The application has filters to help you find the perfect beach according to your preferences. The best part is that the entire guide will be available offline.

Photo credit: Tempet Makarska

What’s the nicest beach you’ve swum at? Let us know in the comments below!

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50 thoughts on “Makarska Riviera Beaches: hidden gems part 1”

  1. Hi Frank !! Thanks for info about Makarska,great page !
    One more info.From Makarska it’s easy to find a daily excursion for Hvar and Vis ??
    Thanks again !!

  2. Hi Carolina,
    on foot the best is to stick to beaches within the town. Check ones below Marjan Hill, like Kasjuni.

  3. Hello!
    Im would like to know which beaches would you recommend por a person traveling alone just one day trip from split and by foot.

    Thank you

  4. Thanks Podgora Sea! I’ll check Plisivac on my next visit to Podgora. There are so many wonderful beaches around Makarska.

  5. I just saw that you’ve found out Nugal… then next I can reccommend beach Plisivac in Podgora, where the gravel is so incredibly soft that it actually massages your feet as you stand on it :)

  6. Great post Frank. I have been to Croatia a number of times- 5 to be exact and am still yet to see everything. There is so much to see in this country and so many beaches to discover. Beaches like this are everywhere. I went to a couple in the Kornati archipelago that were beautiful. One was call the warm islet (Topla Uvala in Croatian) not that far from the island of Murter. The water here is always warm as the locals advised – you don’t want to get out its so good. Stiniva cove is another favourite. Anyone going to the island of VIS should check it out it is amazing. I also really like Kosirina near the town of Betina on the Island of Murter. A beautiful bay with plenty of nice spots.

  7. American popular magazine Forbes ranked in 2003 the “Punta Rata” beach the 6th most beautiful beach in the world and 1st in Europe. Punta Rata beach is situated in Brela on the Makarska Riviera and was awarded a blue flag !

  8. Hi Magdalena, it wil be difficult to find such a place on Makarska Riviera. Have you considered staying rather somewhere else. Orebic, on the Peljesac peninsula reminds me of a place you are looking for. Of all the villages you’ve mentioned here, Promjana is perhaps the less crowded.

  9. Hi Frank,
    I´m going to stay at Makarska Riviera and I´m still searching for a perfect location. I want to visit an idyllic place, not party peopele and loud surrounding. So Makarska is not the right place. Can you recommend a village with idyllic silent beaches with trees where it is not that busy in July but where are nice restaurants and loveley people? Maybe Zaostrog, Promanjna, Podgora, Drvenik ….

    Thanks, Magdalena

  10. Hi Hi. Thanks for your great tips! I cannot wait to explore! I am heading to Croatia next week and I was just wondering if you happened to know how easy it is to get from Dubrovnik to Seranda, so I can get the ferry to Corfu? Just trying to find the quickest and cheapest way from Croatia to Corfu!! Thanks!

  11. Hi Jane, thanks for reading! Yes, you can get a local bus from Split to Brela. They are frequent. And it’s easy to do it.

  12. Great to here that you’ve enjoyed Croatian rocky swimming areas :). Yes somebody would say that we have a liberal understanding of the word “beach” :). But like you sad. no icky sand in your bathing suit, and as long as the sea is clean and clear, it’s just a pure pleasure.

  13. Hahaha, Jess you made me laugh. Didn’t want to use that US term, ’cause Google is a weird machine, and I didn’t want to attract funny search terms :)

  14. Thanks, Travis! You guys visited quite a bit of Croatia. I would say much more than the average visitor normally does. But, of course, there is always more to see :)

  15. True, Nugal has a little walking trail – we call them here in Croatia “goat’s trail” :), or you can reach it from the sea.

  16. Thanks for your comment, Lori! Let us know if you decide to visit. Would be fun to meet up somewhere in Croatia :-)

  17. Love the turquoise seas and dramatic scenery. As for the naturists, fortunately for them morality police do not exist in Croatia.

  18. Great tips – it is always wonderful to find out such hidden gems, places lesser known, but worthy to be visited! I”ll take these in consideration for when I’ll be in Croatia (soon, I hope).

  19. I really like how blue the water and skies are. So pretty! I can see why Nugal Beach is a hidden gem. It looks hard to get to.

  20. Great post! Croatia definitely has some of the nicest coastline and beach areas in all of Europe. We didn’t get to explore this part of the country very much, but it looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Ha, I couldn’t figure out why you would warn about running into nature-lovers on the beach – until I googled it. (I think the term ‘nudist’ is more common in the US.) The beaches are lovely, though, even if you might end up getting more of a view then you planned for.

  22. Oh, that water!!! Gorgeous gorgeous! I really enjoyed my beach time in Greece and there were definitely naturalist around. A bit shocking at first for the North American in me, but soon enough, I stopped noticing.

  23. More great Croatia beaches to try! We swam at Lokrum island off Dubrovnik and Mali Losinj (so beautiful). The water is so crystal-clear! And we didn’t mind that there was actually no sand, but rocky stairs for getting in the water; (no icky sand in your bathing suit :-). We’d luv to return to Croatia…

  24. Oh, they look wonderful! I don’t understand why people crowd into overpopulated, overrated beaches when you can find some hidden gems with a bit of planning (and some good luck).

  25. Ohhhh my gosh, these beaches are both stunning and sickening (since I can’t be there!) Love it! :)

  26. The Dessert Engineer, you are so right about hidden beaches being such a rarity. But once we find them, we really appreciate the calm and the romance :)

  27. Thanks, Nancie! The nature is amazing! And that waterfall is just a tiny example of it :). I love it too.

  28. Before we got a highway, this was the main road going south to Dubrovnik. At least many people used to see this part of the Croatian coast from the road. Now I think majority of visitors even misses to have a glimpse of it. At least you passed by :)

  29. Thanks, Stacey! I love coastline and there are really so many places to discover along the coast. It would be great to have few months and to travel slowly.

  30. Thanks, Emma! It’s true that the color is stunning. The whole area has really dramatic scenery, and lots of amazing beaches.

  31. Lol, Phoebe. That’s why we wanted to point that out. Some people can get offended, but if they know it in advance, at least it doesn’t come as a surprise :). So glad that you appreciated Makarska Riviera Beaches.

  32. I love deserted beaches. And it’s so rare to find one that once you do, it quickly wins you over.

  33. Thanks, Alessandra! We should cover another 10 or so beaches in the following days (weeks :-)). Let us know your plans you have them lined up. We would be curious to see your Croatian itinerary.

  34. Those beaches are so beautiful! I would be lucky to travel there someday. Really nice photographs!

    My favorite beach so far has been in Barbados, where we enjoyed the beautiful white sand and turquoise waters. The particular beach I was at (can’t remember the name of it) was close to deserted even during prime tourist season, so we had the whole beach to ourselves! It was lovely!

  35. Hi Frank… wow, i definitely love this post… so much inspirational for 2014 summer!! I’m collecting all kind of information to arrange our camping holidays!

  36. What seriously stunning beaches – I’ll have to add that to the ever growing list of places to get to while the sun is shining on us here this Summer!

  37. We spent some time on the Makarska Riviera last summer and I can easily say they were some of the loveliest beaches I’ve been to in Europe. The water was so clear and beautifully warm too. We were there in the height of summer and saw quite a lot of (usually old) men naked amongst the regularly attired families. It was quite surreal!

  38. Few things are as beautiful as the Croatian hills dipping into the Adriatic. Thanks for the lowdown on the Makarska Riviera – I remember driving through it and now wish I’d had more time to stop and explore these beautiful beaches.

  39. Wow These beaches are truly amazing! I have always known that Croatia was beautiful but have never heard of all these places! These places are for sure on our bucket lust now! We need to take a few months and spend just exploring the whole coast! Thank you for sharing ~ absolutely Gorgeous!

  40. These pictures are gorgeous – it’s just how I imagine a warm beach should look like – and there’s so much beautiful greenery around, too.

  41. Beautiful beaches! Such wonderful water color. I love the waterfall at the beach. I like them being smaller and hopefully less crowded. I could spend a day or a week at any of them. Thanks for sharing!

  42. The color of the water is so amazing, and Nugal Makarska beach looks absolutely stunning. I love hidden beaches, although sometimes it feels like there are not many of those left. About two years ago we went to Turks and Caicos, during hurricane season, and the beaches there felt really deserted. We found hidden beaches in the island of Providenciales, where the water was really calm and shallow.

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