While many tourists opt to travel from Zadar Airport directly to their accommodation in Makarska to lie in the sun for the duration of the holiday, there is actually much more to do here for those with an adventurous spirit.
From rafting down beautiful gorges to rock climbing in the mountains above the town and scuba diving in the Mediterranean, Makarska on Croatiaâ€™s Dalmatian Coast is an outdoor adventure playground for those who like to fill their family holidays with activities.
Here is my guide to the very best adrenalin-pumping activities to enjoy with your family on your next visit to Makarska.
Rafting the River Canyon
One of the most exciting activities for families with children over the age of eight, is the canyon rafting along the gorges and gullies of the Cetina River.
The three-hour ride will take you through beautiful mountainous countryside where the river meanders quietly through the breath-taking scenery. Then suddenly youâ€™ll find yourselves plummeting down white-water rapids in a high-octane roller coaster of exhilaration before you reach the next section of calm, tranquil river.
Although this is a thrilling ride, donâ€™t worry, the guides here are fully trained and the rapids are never above a grade two or three. Safety equipment is provided by the companies which offer the rafting, and include lifejackets and safety helmets.
Rock Climbing in a Nature Park
As you drive from Zadar Airport to Makarska you might catch sight of the stunning scenery of the mountainous Biokovo Nature Park. Take your family into the heart of this dramatic landscape for a rock climbing adventure amongst the peaks and rock faces of this beautiful park.
Whether you are beginners or experienced climbers, the guides here will take you on a climb appropriate to your level so you can enjoy this scenery, with its lush vegetation, close up. Children from eight years of age can enjoy this experience, although it is recommended not to climb during the very hottest parts of the day during the peak summer temperatures.
Climbs begin either from Zadvarje village or from Makarska city itself.
Scuba Diving along the Coast From Makarska
Whether you are beginners or experienced divers, or you want to introduce the kids to scuba diving for the first time, the dive sites around Makarska will make a great first impression.
Underwater springs, fed by the Biokovo mountains, mean that the seascape, just a few kilometres offshore, are a rich seabed of fascinating species.
Beginners will love exploring the reef, golden sponges and Adriatic sealife, which are as shallow as one metre in parts, of the dive site known as Kamena. While more experienced divers should head for the underwater canyons and caves of Vrulja, which is 100-metres deep in some places.
How to Get There
From the UK it is probably easiest to take a flight directly to Zadar Airport from Stansted, although it is possible to fly to Zagreb Airport and then take a connecting flight to Zadar Airport. The journey time, including a change at Zagreb is around six hours.
From the airport at Zadar, the quickest way to get your family and all your luggage to Makarska is to book a Shuttle Direct airport transfer online before you leave home. That way you donâ€™t need to worry about negotiating for a taxi at the airport: you and your kids will be met by one of our drivers who will take you directly to your accommodation for a pre-agreed price.
The driving time from Zadar Airport is around two hours.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for the most affordable ride from Zadar Airport, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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