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Journey to the Makarska Riviera: Obelix on a fortunate vacation


Fine grit beach on the Croatian island Brac
Picture by T. Micke

Croatia's Riviera coast and the islands Brac and Hvar invite to stock up some sunshine and work out in autumn. Whoever wants to, can go and knock some stones to the top of one's bent...


Stones, as far as you can see! In the course of the centuries the insulars of Brac and Hvar have brought them together with their own bare hands into countless huddles. What wasn't usable for willow border walls, vineyards and house facades, was simply piled somewhere, so that the island's inland remote of the asphalted street looks like a gigantic labyrinth for sheep and goats.

Stonemason school in the small village Pucica on the island Brac
Picture by T. Micke

As much as the stones were a curse and still are for the farmers, who until today try to cultivate grapes, olives and figs in-between them, they are also a blessing since more than 2000 years. Because with the white, marble like limestone of the island Brac not only the Roman emperor Diocletian built his pompous palace in Split, center Dalmatia's province metropolis, which belongs to the world cultural heritage today. Also parts of the Wiener Hofburg and reputedly even of the White House in Washington come from the traditional quarries along the Makarska-Riviera, where annually more than 20.000 cubic meters of the demanded building material are being mined.

Brac &nndash; a true paradise for stone freaks. Imagine: Obelix could have let Dalmatian stonemasons quarry menhirs of snow white limestone with fine shell embeddings, would he and Asterix ever have landed on their adventures in the Roman Empire. And also even today a stonemason school in the small village Pucica has committed itself to the traditional Roman stone workmanship method. Around 40 young guys let themselves be guided every year to learn the laborious art of rapping an even tabletop simply with hammer and bit, until they are able to create real artworks like man tall stone lions.

Idyllic small town Hvar with gothic palaces
Picture by T. Micke

Besides in summer and now in autumn Brac and the neighbor island Hvar are owned by tourists. Fantastically clear is the Adriatic water here thanks to the shingle beach, for which one needs thongs. Therefore one doesn't have to fight against sand in every pore.

Yacht owners from the whole world appreciate the island world in front of the idyllic medieval small town Hvar, spreading a mist of Venice with its gothic palaces and the old city wall of the 13th century. Everywhere around there are small beaches, inviting to take a bath. But admittedly they are best to reach with a boat. The rich fish- and clam offer is served to local vine.

Comfy bathing resorts on the Makarska-Riviera in front of the Biokov mountains
Picture by T. Micke

For those planning to spend the more introspective, yet equally sunny post season at the picturesque 60 kilometers long Croatian Makarska-Riviera with the Biokov mountains in the background or chartering a flight directly from Austria to the preliminary island Brac, should properly investigate concerning the selection of accommodation. Many of the 4 stars hotels in spite of renovation and central European prices still arise a feeling of catacomb charm of Eastern Bloc architects. Individual hotels and plenty of private housings are western standard though and sometimes very comfy arranged.

The Riviera coast around Makarska and the contemplative bathing resort Baska Voda also offer much for active tourists. Despite the Mistral, which provides excellent surf- and sailing conditions every afternoon on time, the Biokov mountains, with the 1762 meters high Sveti Jure offer an impressive even snow covered skyline in spring-time. The place is excellently appropriate for hiking and mountain biking. Local tourist experts have therefore especially taken advantage of the same route signage as in Tirol.

Fresh grilled fish at the Makarska Riviera
Picture by T. Micke

To be mentioned as an insider's tip is a small, tavern-like restaurant with a marvelous view in the seven inhabitants hamlet Topici on the slopes of the Biokov, where one can try the local specialty "Peka": Lamb, pork and chicken are cooked in a traditional way with potatoes and spices under a heavy, covered with coals iron lid for several hours. A feast, admittedly only, if one likes lamb...


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© A report by Tobias Micke (19-09-04) – Contact