Makarska Riviera stretches from Brela to Gradac, and it is 60km of pure beach. No matter where you decide to book your holiday, the beach will not be far. Small pebbles, easy entrance and thick pine forests make it perfect for families. It also makes it crowded. I will share a secret about the best beaches to avoid crowds on Makarska Riviera – and probably get in trouble.
If you are looking for more privacy and quiet, you still have great choices. And some of them are not even that inaccessible.
All of these beaches share minimal human intervention and hardly any infrastructure.
Garma and Dračevac (Tučepi, Podgora)
Both easily accessible by foot from Tučepi and our apartments, these beaches are two slightly different siblings. Dračevac is bigger, shared by nudists and non-nudists with an imaginary, but respected line. A simple restaurant hidden in the deep shade melts with surrounding nature. Have a coffee, lunch, beer for a reasonable price, add a sunset and crickets, and let the vacation sink in.
For more seclusion, one needs to go a hundred meters further, to the Garma bay.
A series of small coves hidden from anyone’s gaze is perfect for couples or singles wanting to skinny dip in peace.
For those who decide to come by car, there is an affordable parking just above the beaches. If you are driving from Tučepi, it will be on the right side of the road. Keep an eye on it, because it is easy to miss.
This breathtaking beach is also shared by nudist and non-nudist, even though nudism is in the name. The most famous beach is also the least accessible – and that is not a coincidence.
The cliffy surrounding ensures that the people need to make an effort to find it. Osejava forest is often filled with lost souls packing their floaties, desperately following Google maps in search of a shortcut.
It is best to take a hike from Makarska. Lately, I have been seeing cars parked on the road next to the forest, but this will not make the trip any shorter in my opinion. You still need to go all the way back to Makarska, or venture in some dangerous free climbing. Or falling.
But they manage to find it. As a result, it is not as empty as one would hope, or as I would hope. You can find shade in the small pine forest, but don’t expect to see any facilities. Be sure to bring your own water and food.
Kraljev gaj (Tučepi)
I may regret sharing this secret with you. This tiny beach with fine, microscopic pebbles, is one of my favourite places in the world. Perfect for a couple or a family. If you decide to check it out, I would suggest going very early to catch a spot. It is adorned with interesting rock formations and pine trees on all sides.
It is also mixed, but all the surrounding rocky beaches are nudist so be mentally prepared if you miss a place on Kraljev Gaj. Only accessible by foot from Tučepi, it is a 10-minute hike from hotel Jadran, next to which you can also find free parking.
Kings Cove would be the translation. Royal as it may be, this paradise was reserved for peasant kids like my Grandma from the mountain villages, taking breaks from diggings potatoes or guarding goats. Learn more about the history of the area in our blog.
Velika Duba (Živogošće)
The pebbles on all of these beaches remind me of childhood. They remained precisely the same. The untouched surrounding nature guarantees all the biological processes to occur and hence they don’t need to be “nourished” with construction material like the town beaches.
Velika Duba is an excellent example of that. You can spend hours collecting pebbles of different shapes and sizes and find an occasional shell.
The beach is not nudist, and there is a great beach bar with a toilet. The parking costs 20kn per hour, but the friendly people may be giving you a discount if you stay longer. It is also accessible by a scenic hike from villages Blato and Mala Duba.
Dječje selo (Promajna)
Some 15 kilometres north of Makarska, a once beautiful abandoned children’s health resort today gives home to animals and different plant forms. It occupies a vast space hidden in the pine forest, perfect for free parking.
Underneath there is a kilometre of small coves separated by rock formations, and shared by nudists and non-nudists alike. The towns of Promajna and Baško polje are very close, and you can also find some refreshment at the beach bar Viagra. If nothing to be able to have a story about a bar called Viagra.
The unnamed beach (Brela)
This is by far the most secluded beach I visited. It is situated on the very beginning of Makarska Riviera, next to the famous Vrulja bay. Several rock formations make little beaches which offer privacy with no shade. It is again partially nudist, although I do not understand why would somebody want to wear any clothes here.
If you are in Brela, you can reach it by foot, but even then you should use the car. It is the same way as for Jakiruša beach. Once you come to the end of the concrete road, you follow the dirt road until the end. Then you need to carefully climb down a cliff, preferably with good shoes, since you can easily slip, and hurt yourself.
It is worth the effort.
The beach also has a SWING sign on it, if you are really in need of privacy (wink, wink), you know where to go. The worst thing, expect the fact that you can die, on the way, there is that there is no shade, nor facilities. So be sure to bring a parasol, sunscreen and water.