The island of Rab

The island with the most sandy beaches in the Adriatic, fantastic nature and a rich historical heritage

Island of Rab

Experience all the beauty of the Happy Island of Rab!

The island of Rab, located in Kvarner Bay in the northern Adriatic, is a true paradise for nature lovers and guests who want to enjoy its authentic atmosphere. The island's timeless beauty was recognised way back in history by the Romans, who called it Felix Arba or 'The Happy Island of Rab'.

Today, visitors are still attracted by Rab's fantastic nature and the numerous sandy beaches on the Lopar peninsula, impressive secluded coves on the Kalifront peninsula, preserved holm oak forests, fertile valleys, and the rocky peak of Kamenjak, which protects the island in the wintertime from the bura wind.

The enchanting town of Rab is recognisable by its four bell towers and medieval walls. This is the main centre of the island, and its streets and squares entice visitors to explore its rich culture and history. In the summer, the old town hosts the Rabska Fjera medieval summer festival, which attracts numerous visitors every year.

With its natural and cultural landmarks, the scent of pines and aromatic plants, and the irresistible taste of freshly caught fish or the famous Rab Cake, the island of Rab is truly the happiest choice for a holiday.

Island of Rab Climate
The island of Rab has a Mediterranean climate, which means long, warm and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. The Kamenjak mountain chain protects Rab's resorts from the cold bora wind, characteristic of Kvarner. Snow on Rab is rare. With an average of 2,417 sunshine hours a year, the town of Rab is one of the sunniest parts of Europe. The average temperature is 23.7 °C in summer, 7 °C in winter, and the average sea temperature from May till October is above 20 °C. Due to its pleasant climate, Rab has been extremely popular amongst tourists for 120 years. Particularly well-visited are the sandy beaches on the Lopar peninsula: there are 22 of them, three of which are nudist.

Position of the island of Rab
The island of Rab (Croatia) is part of the Kvarner group of islands, and stretches in a northwest-southeast direction. It is 22 km long and 11 km wide, separated from the mainland by the Velebit Channel. The island of Rab is specific for its geomorphologic characteristics, which consist of ridges and valleys. The highest part of Rab is the Kamenjak massif, parallel with the Velebit mountain, and is 408 m high. Kamenjak is a natural protector from the cold bora wind. In fact, all of Rab's settlements are located on its side, facing the warm sun and wind.

Island of Rab nature
The Adriatic Sea is one of the cleanest seas in the Mediterranean, and it is precisely due to this clean sea that Rab has attracted numbers of tourists to this island for more than 120 years. The well-kept beaches offer various facilities: you can relax in the bars with some refreshments or walk along some of the paths. If you enjoy an active holiday and want to sample more activities than just swimming, you will find many cycling trails which you help you explore the island of Rab.

The warm sea attracts bathers to many rocks and the pebbly, as well as sandy beaches, for which Rab is especially well-known. The Barbat and Banjol beaches are well-known, but the favourite sandy beaches are those of Kampor and Lopar, and of course, after the renowned, kilometre and a half long Rajska (Paradise) Beach.

The blue sea is not Rab's only natural beauty. Rab itself, in fact, took its name from its forests (the Illyrian name for the island is Arba, which means “forested”, “green”). One quarter of the island is still forested, and the most famous forest is called Kalifront or Dundo. The Kalifront peninsula holds one of the rare preserved Mediterranean holm oak forests. The forest of the largest island oaks in Croatia is crisscrossed with trails for hiking. The hiking trails are easy, so that older people can enjoy them, as well as those who are less physically able. If you take a walk through the Kalifront peninsula, you will not only be delighted with the rich Mediterranean vegetation but also with the clear sea and some of the numerous coves which make up the peninsula.

Along with the forests, numerous parks also adorn Rab. One highlight is the Komrčar Park, which stands at the beginning of the Rab peninsula. On the former pasture at the beginning of the 20th century, many trees were planted: coastal and black pines, cypress, ash, holm oak, fir, evergreen shrubs, agave and Indian figs.

If the remaining natural beauties of Rab attract you, take a walk along the Premužić trail. Built in the 1930s, this educational trail passes through the most interesting parts of Kalifront, and partially through the area of the northernmost part of the island, Lopar and Fruga. On this trail, you will see some of the endemic plant species of the Kvarner region, as well as some of the 162 bird species, many of which live on Rab.

If you're looking for a holiday with a blue and clean sea, natural beauty and want to enjoy taking a walk through the rich Mediterranean vegetation, choose the island of Rab. Its parks and Kalifront forest are waiting for you, just as its sandy beaches are.

TOP REASONS TO VISIT THE ISLAND OF RAB

  • The island with the most sandy beaches in the Adriatic, with one to suit every taste

  • Crystal clear sea

  • Attractive old town of Rab

  • Numerous cycling and walking trails

  • Sports on water and land

  • Varied culinary offer

  • Nightlife

  • Distance from the mainland: only 15 minutes by ferry

Culture and history on the island of Rab

Until 228 BC Illyria/Liburnia. The island of Rab was first mentioned in ancient Greek travelogues and maritime guides in the period of the Illyrian Liburnians, the oldest inhabitants of the island of Rab.
2nd century BC – 5th century AD The Romans conquered Rab. The Emperor Octavian Augustus gave the town the status of municipium, that is, a town with an independent government.
301 AD The foundation of San Marino, the oldest republic in Europe. Legend has it that it was founded by the stonemason Marinus, who was born in Lopar on the island of Rab. While looking for work, Marinus and his friend Leo went to Rimini. Due to the persecution of the Christians, he fled to the nearby hill of Monte Titano. There, he built a chapel and the core of the future town of San Marino.
10th century The arrival of the Slavs on the island of Rab.
1058 During the reign of the most powerful Croatian King, Petar Krešimir IV (1058-1073), Rab again became part of the Kingdom of Croatia. The monks of the Benedictine order contributed to the spreading of culture on Rab. Many valuable items have remained preserved up to the present day in local churches and monasteries.
The period between the 12th and 18th centuries The history of Rab was marked by frequent changes of ruler: the island was under the Venetians, the Croatian-Hungarian King Coloman, King Bela III, King Louis I of Hungary, Ladislaus of Naples, and the Croatian-Hungarian King Sigismund. In the Middle Ages, Rab became an important trading point between east and west. The numerous grand buildings from this period attest to the prosperity the island enjoyed. However, at the time of its greatest well-being, Rab was devastated by plague in 1449 and 1456, when a large part of the local population fled to the mainland and neighbouring islands. After Bosnia fell under Turkish rule, many people fleeing from the Turks came to Rab in 1463. Rab remained under Venetian rule until the arrival of Napoleon on 12 May 1797.
1797 The fall of Venice marked the beginning of Austrian rule, which was briefly interrupted by the period of Napoleon's Illyrian provinces (1809-1813).
1918 After the end of World War One, Rab and parts of Dalmatia came under Italian rule.
Recent history In 1921, Rab became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War Two, Rab was occupied by the Italians, and later the Germans and Ustaše. The anti-fascists of Rab contributed to the final victory and liberation. Rab became part of Yugoslavia, and then, after its break-up in 1991, part of the Republic of Croatia.
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Direction to Rab

By car

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By plane

The nearest airport for those who want to reach the island of Rab by plane is Rijeka Airport at Omišalj on the island of Krk. At the airport, you can ask for a transfer to the island of Rab, which is approximately 60 km away. More information is available at www.rijeka-airport.hr

  • Rijeka Airport (RJK), island of Krk, Croatia 66 km from Rab

  • Pula Airport (PUY), Croatia, 194 km from Rab

  • Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG), Zagreb, Croatia, 223 km from Rab

  • Ronchi dei Legionari Airport (TRS), Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, 201 km from Rab

  • Marco Polo Airport (VCE), Venice, Italy, 313 km from Rab

  • Brnik Airport (LJU), Ljubljana, Slovenia, 228 km from Rab

By train

For those who wish to travel to the island of Rab by train, the nearest railway stations are:

  • Rijeka, 92 km from Rab
    + 385 060 333 444

  • Zagreb, 210 km from Rab
    + 385 060 333 444

More information is available at www.hzpp.hr.
If you are travelling from Italy, the nearest railway station in Italy is Trieste. For more information, visit www.fs-on-line.it.

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