The island Rab, located in the Kvarner region just off the northern coast of Croatia, covers an area of 93 square kilometers. It is covered with pine forests and has stunning pebble, rocky, and sandy beaches.
Charming Rab Town with four elegant Romanesque church bell towers is the cultural and historical highlight of the island. Walk the small cobbled streets to explore sun-bleached buildings overlooking the sea sparkling in the distance.
The island gets very busy in peak season, especially in July and August, and at weekends. In spring and autumn, Rab Island is a pleasant place to visit, as there remain a few tourists and the climate is mild.
There are several small towns and villages scattered over the island. In Lopar you’ll find the most famous sandy beach with sun beds and water sports, ideal for families with small children, while Frkanj peninsula boast plenty of lonesome coves, where you can really get that back-to-nature experience and naturism is the norm. Among the most interesting attractions on the island is Rab Geo-park with its many marked geological points of interest. Be sure to visit the bare and desert island of Goli Otok , one of the most notorious political prisons in Europe after World War II.
Despite not being renowned for its party lifestyle, there is enough entertainment throughout the summer to keep everyone happy. As the sun goes down, most of the fun is to be found in Barbat at the Santos Beach Club, where you’ll be able to dance until dawn. The absolute highlight of the summer events is the medieval summer festival, Rabska Fjera, usually held end of July.
What to See & Do
You can see most of the major attractions in a single day, although the island offers plenty to keep you occupied for several days. The heart of the island is the small yet charming old town of Rab with its narrow, cobbled streets. The old town is a pedestrian only area making it a pleasure to explore. Beyond looking at beautiful churches and elegant bell towers, Rab offers a wide range of water sports, from scuba diving, water-skiing to kayaking and canoeing. The island also boast some great hiking and biking trails. There are plenty of opportunities to take boat trips to the nearby islands of Cres, Krk, Lošinj and Pag.
Cathedral of the Assumption
Cathedral of the Assumption is a Romanesque-style church with bands of pink and white stone. Its construction began in 1118.
Inside, the highlights include 15th-century choir stalls and weathered pillars. The bell tower is separated from the Cathedral and is considered to be among the most lovely examples of the late Romanesque in Croatia. The bell tower, built on the site of Roman ruins and dating from the 12th century, is 25m-tall and has four floors. Climb up the steep wooden staircase for impressive views over the Rab Town rooftops and sea.
Church of St. Justin
The Church of St. Justin was built in the 16th century and was originally a Benedictine convent for young women. Today, the small Renaissance building houses the Museum of Sacred Art. One of the main highlights in the museum is the 12th-century crucifix of King Koloman. There are also a number of religious paintings, murals, and texts on display.
Monastery of St Euphemia
The Franciscan Monastery of St Euphemia, located on the north side of St. Euphemias' Bay, was founded in the 13th century. It houses a small museum with old manuscripts and religious paintings. In addition to a series of monastery buildings, the monastery consists also of two churches, the monastery; Church of Saint Bernadine, and the older parish; Church of Saint Euphemia.
Make sure you don't miss the highest peak, the 408m-high Kamenjak. There’s an amazing perspective down to the terracotta-tiled rooftops of the Rab Town and the nearby island with the Adriatic filling the horizon.
The island of Rab has a very pleasant Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The Adriatic is warm enough to swim from June through September, and if you don’t mind a bit cooler sea, you’ll manage in May and October too.
Food & Drink
Cuisine of the island of Rab is typical Mediterranean, rich in seafood and vegetables and prepared with olive oil. Specialties to try include 'sočivo'; Rab's famous lentils, 'barbatska stufada'; lamb with honey, black risotto, made with squid ink, octopus salad, shrimps buzzara and fresh fish baked or grilled and lightly seasoned with garlic and rosemary. While tasting traditional meals have a glass of local red wine. If you have a sweet tooth make sure you try traditional sweets 'Rapska torta' and 'fritule'. Rab is also known for its excellent olive oil and honey.
Explore the taste of real good autenthic food and feel the aroma of Mediterranean cuisine.
Getting There & Around
You can reach the island of Rab from either the mainland or from nearby islands of Krk and Pag, either by ferry, hydro-plane or catamaran. A car ferry, operated by Rapska Plovidba, runs between Mišnjak on the island’s southeastern tip and Stinica on the mainland. Buses run daily to Rab Town from Rijeka, Senj, and Zagreb. Like many islands along the Croatian coast, Rab does not have an airport on land and the nearest Krk airport operates only during the summer season, however there is an smaller hydro-plane available.
The Rab Town can easily be explored on foot. There is regular bus service between Lopar and Rab Town. From Rab Town, boat taxis serve the island’s main beaches. Bicycle is another good way of getting around, since there are a lot of beautiful tracks to drive on and views to see.
Beaches on Island Rab
Here's an overview of some of the beaches on the Island;
- Palit - Lungo Mare (concrete, stone) with bathing areas stretching from the end of the bay Eufemia to below the city of Rab. The bathing Skver is with loungers rental, pedal boats, kayaks, sea access for disabled, restaurants, showers and public toilets. From here available also Taxi boat lines to Frkanj peninsula (island of love and Kandalora nudist beach).
- Banjol - seaside promenade and shallow sandy-pebble coves of Padova2 and Padova3 bays, suitable for small children. Another pebble beach next to the restaurant Banjol. Facilitie; Padova 2 caffe bar and showers, camping Padova3 with entertainment, boat rentals, showers, shops, restaurants, bakery etc.
- Barbat - several small beaches Lungo Mare (gravel) surrounded with restaurants and caffe's, as well as little boat peers. Outside the village ( cca 3 km) Pudarica beach with facilities (snack bars, Club Santos, Topolino) with the nudist section.
- Supetarksa Draga - two small sandy beaches in the lower Supetarska Draga, sandy coves Gonar (with restaurants, rent a boat, jet-ski), the rocky beach below the upper Supetarska Draga and "Zlatni zalaz" motel
- Kampor - "Mel" sandy beach with a cafe, shower, restaurants, bar, trampoline and volleyball, sunchairs rent. The beach can be reached by car and has a large parking lot... In the village centre gravel beach in front of diving center and Matrde hammlet. Nice coves on the peninsula Kalifront nearby and popular Tourist village Suha Punta ( rocky beaches, cristal bays, tennis court, jogging pathways, caffe)
- Lopar is famous for its numerous sandy beaches, the Lopar bay towards the ferry line is with cafes on the beach, park for children, while in San Marino part there is a bussy sports-recreation centre next to the camping and the most popular beach of Paradise with many amenities (cafes, restaurants, beach chairs, bathroom, entertainment center, shopping areas, stores), the other near by beach Livacina is less crowded and also less shallow, with coffee bar and beach sunchairs, other beaches are nudist, no services, a few with eco-toilet - Ciganka, Sahara, Stojan, Dubac...
- Town of Rab - the nearest town beach is "Ban villa" just bello St.John's belltower. It is with beach coffee bar with rock-indie music, kayak rent, valleyball playground and sea access for disabled. Net point nearby "Vela kamen" and whole promenade area below the park ( rocky). Taxi boat lines to peninsula Frkanj and Suha Punta sail from the Rab harbour or Skver in Palit.
Sunset over Dolin