Hidden Makarska - hidden fortress, botanical garden and "not for everyone" stories!

“Oculis, mente, corde per visibilia ad invisibilia”

As regular visitors, we dare to say that Kotišina is one of the most beautiful parts of the Makarska Riviera. Located at the foot of the Biokovo Mountain, Kotišina is not popular for its beaches, but its history, lookouts, and natural diversity.


It is clear that the most beautiful photos of Makarska are the ones with beaches. This time we won't show you the beaches, but spectacular scenes a few kilometers above the town of Makarska, to show you all the beauties of this hamlet. If you love to enjoy nature, fresh air, and amazing views, these photos are for you.


Saint Anthony of Padua, Kotisina, Makarska
Saint Anthony of Padua, Kotisina, Makarska
The Grand Castle, built in stone, Makarska, Kotisina
The Grand Castle, built in stone, Makarska, Kotisina

The Kotišina fortress was designed as a defending fortress, used to defend the villagers against the Turks, build in the 17th century. This castle was used to protect the people in a case of emergency, not only the locals of Kotišina but also the inhabitants of Biokovo and Makarska.


Lookout at Saint Marin Church, Kotisina, Makarska
Lookout at Saint Marin Church, Kotisina, Makarska
Saint Marin Church, Kotisina, Makarska
Saint Marin Church, Kotisina, Makarska

Destroyed in the earthquake of 1962, the church of St. Martin is extremely important for local architecture and history because it is the only building with at least partially preserved medieval parts, and is the only preserved architectural monument dating from the pre-Ottoman period. The church of Sv. Martin was first mentioned in 1627 at a time when the Makarska area was still ruled by the Turks. The older parts of the church bear the stylistic features of the Romanesque, although the construction dates back to the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century. The church has now been renovated. As part of the project, the foundations of the church were restored, as well as the multifunctional place for the organization of cultural and artistic events.

Lookout from The Grand Castle, Kotisina, Makarska
Lookout from The Grand Castle, Kotisina, Makarska

More details of Kotišina's history and information, see here!

The reconstruction is now nearly done and the fort will soon be opened to public in all its glory. There will be a presentation center, a multimedia exhibition of local traditions and ethnology, and a presentation of local natural riches - plants and wildlife.

The Grand Castle, Kotisina, Makarska
The Grand Castle, Kotisina, Makarska

Walking trail Podpec - Kotisina -> see here!

Reconstruction of the Grand Castle, Saint Martin, and Saint Anthony churches was initiated by the City Of Makarska, supported by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund, and today this place shines in all its glory.

The Kotiština Botanical Garden is located on the coastal slopes of Biokovo Mountain above the village of Kotiština at an altitude of 350-500 meters.

It is an integral part of Biokovo Nature Park. The Garden was founded by Jure Radic, PhD, (1920 -1990), a Franciscan and a scientist, with the purpose of scientific research and observation, protection, conservation, and popularization of the flora of Biokovo. It is not a botanical garden in a classical sense, where every plant is introduced according to specific rules but is conceived as a "fenced part of nature" where natural forms of vegetation with self-fertilized flora are to be retained.

Wild flowers, Botanical Garden Kotisina, Makarska
Wild flowers, Botanical Garden Kotisina, Makarska

In the Garden, there are about 300 wild plants, from the typical Mediterranean to mountainous, and in some areas, exotic, agricultural, and medicinal plants were planted. Through the garden run several hiking trails that are located along with the educational panels, and certain plant species are clearly marked with the name of the family and species.

These beautiful photos are made by our photographer Boris Luetic, follow his work on Instagram!

Find out more about this hidden hamlet; more photos and useful information can be found on Instagram Kotisina.Biokovo

During the renovation of the church of St. Martin in Kotisina, archaeological work uncovered two very interesting graves. Correct dating of the graves is not yet known, but it is presumed to be somewhere between the 15th and the 19th century. Graves were intentionally filled and covered with mounts of stone, and then sealed with quicklime. This, of course, all points to the belief that it's the only way to stop vampires from rising again from their grave and attack nearby villagers. To make this story even creepier, in both graves archaeologists discovered nails. Nails, according to some stories, were used to piercing the bodies of vampires so they never wake up.

In addition to its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, this place also hides some mystical stories. Read about Makarska vampires.


Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, Village Kotišina, Makarska
Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, Village Kotišina, Makarska

Anyhow, there's plenty to see in Kotisina with the newly renovated church of St Martin, the church of St Anthony, Botanical Garden and magnificent Castle of Kotisina, a fort originating from Cretan Wars (War of Candia) times, built into the mountain of Biokovo with caves used since the Bronze Age.


Don't forget to download the Makarska Riviera mobile app, available for IOS and Android. It's a total lifesaver, and it will help you find even more exciting spots in the area!