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Although the centerpieces of these towns are the beach and the sea, with a lot of watersports and spectacular scenery, several historic churches and a monastery are sprinkled here and there, too.

Omiš, where the River Cetina meets the sea, is a popular starting point for rafting expeditions, and there are numerous agencies that organize these.

The slopes of Mount Biokovo are crisscrossed by marked trails, making this a popular venue for hiking and mountain biking. Makarska is the best starting point for exploring this rugged mountainous scenery. Biokovo Active Holidays (www.biokovo.net; tel. 021/679-655) at Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 7b in Makarska arranges hiking and biking trips on Mount Biokovo.

Dalmatia Rafting (www.dalmatiarafting.com; tel. 021/321-698) in Omiš organizes half-day rafting and canoeing down the Cetina Gorge from April through September. More-Sub (www.more-sub-makarska.hr; tel. 021/611-727) at Kralja Petra Krešimira IV 43 in Makarska offers scuba diving excursions to several sites, as well as diving instruction at various levels.

Go Climb a Mountain

The majestic peaks of the Biokovo Mountain Range rise about 3km (2 miles) northeast of Makarska and beckon those who want to supplement beach time with aerobic activity. The range is home to the Biokovo Nature Park (www.biokovo.com), honeycombed with caves and landscapes, and sporting some challenging hiking and climbing trails. More experienced mountaineers can tackle Sveti Jure, Vošac, or any of 10 other peaks. The rewards are breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment. You can also drive the 7km (4 1/2 miles) to Sveti Jure’s summit in the summer, but that can be scarier than climbing thanks to lots of hairpin turns. As with any climbing adventure, you should pack emergency gear, check the weather, carry an accurate map and water, and wear good climbing boots.

There is also a small botanical garden at Kotošina (open 24/7, with no entrance fee). Kotošina is really more of a rock garden,as the plants are indigenous to the rocky slopes of Biokovo, and nothing is very green or lush. The best time to visit the garden is in spring.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.