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Makarska lends its name to the Riviera that stretches for 30 kilometres in either direction, one north towards Split, the other south to Dubrovnik. Easily the largest settlement, Makarska is both the geographical and administrative centre, a busy town of several churches, a Baroque palace and a Napoleonic monument. Ancient Cretans may have lived here, the Romans certainly did, and for 400 years it was governed by Ottomans, Venetians, France and Vienna in ever-switching succession. No longer a trading post, its half-moon bay now fringed with palm trees and pretty terrace cafés, Makarska is the ideal base from which to explore the Biokovo Nature Park that rises behind it.
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