The island of Rab

Where mediaeval bell towers watch over the sea, sand and forests


Rab has been known as ‘the happy island’ since ancient times. The reasons for this are many: its hospitable inhabitants, wonderful landscapes, the romantic old town of Rab, and food that awakens all the senses. Explore the island’s most famous sandy beaches. Grab a bike and ride through its dense forests. Step into the Middle Ages on the streets of the old town and enoy being happy on the island of Rab.

a group of boats in a harbor


A stunning contrast of landscape and rich cultural heritage

The island of Rab is located in Kvarner Bay which is situated in the northern part of the Adriatic and about 15 minutes by boat from the mainland. You can reach Rab by car (and ferry). The coast of the island is 22 km long, and its highest peak, Kamenjak, is 408 m high. There are 7,168 inhabitants on the island.

Long ago the Romans, recognising its pristine beauty, called the island ‘Felix Arba’ – Happy Rab. From the heavenly sandy beaches on the Lopar peninsula, through dense oak forests on the southwest-facing coast, to springs, fertile fields, and the rocky mountain peak of Kamenjak, every corner of the island invites exploration, and the contrasting landscape enchants every visitor.

The charming old town of Rab – with its four bell towers – is the centre of the island. Its sights, streets and squares are reminders of the cultures that have ruled here since early Christianity. In the summer period, the old town is the venue for the famous Rabska Fjera medieval festival, an event that merits a place on anyone’s wish list!

Fresh fish from the grill, lamb prepared under the peka baking lid, and the famous Rab Cake are some of the must-try delicacies for guests who want to experience an authentic gourmet experience from the island of Rab.

a man and woman posing for a picture next to a body of water


  • island with the greatest number of sandy beaches – and one of the greenest – in the Adriatic

  • distance from the mainland only 15 minutes by boat

  • crystal-clear sea

  • attractive old town of Rab

  • more than 100 km of cycling and walking paths

  • rich gastronomic offer


until 228 BC The first mention of the island of Rab is in ancient Greek travel books and seafaring guides, during the time of the Illyrian Liburnians, the oldest inhabitants of Rab.
2nd - 5th centuries BC The Romans conquer Rab. Emperor Octavian August gives the town municipium status.
301 According to legend, Marinus, a stonemason from the island of Rab looking for work, finds shelter on Monte Titano while fleeing the persecution of Christians. He builds a chapel and founds the core of the present-day state of San Marino.
2nd and 3rd centuries Development of Rab. An amphora with the inscription ‘Felix Arba’ (Happy Rab) dates from this period. The epithet ‘Felix’ emphasises fame, prosperity or gratitude for special merits.
6th and 7th centuries Arrival of Slavic tribes. Settlements gradually receive Slavic names: Arba becomes Rab.
8th and 9th centuries Rab is under the Byzantine Empire. It receives a town council, tribunes, and military officers; it also has its own bishop.
925 The coming to power of Tomislav, the first king of Croatia. Rab becomes part of the Kingdom of Croatia.
1058 After two Venetian occupations of the island, the period from 1058 to 1073 is the time of the most powerful Croatian king, Petar Krešimir IV, and Rab again becomes an integral part of the Kingdom of Croatia. Benedictine monks contribute to the spread of culture on Rab.
From the 12th to the 18th century The history of the island is distinguished by a succession of rulers: the Venetians, Croatian-Hungarian king Coloman, Venetian doge Ordelafo Valiero, Croatian-Hungarian kings Bela IV, Charles Robert and Louis the Great, and then the Republic of Venice again from 1409 to 1797.
1797 With the fall of Venice, Rab falls under Austrian rule, briefly interrupted during the time of the Napoleonic Illyrian Provinces (1809-1813).
1918 After World War One, Rab and parts of Dalmatia fall under Italian rule.
Recent history Rab is incorporated into Croatia in 1921 as part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). During World War Two, Rab is occupied by the Italians, and later by the Germans and the Ustaše. The anti-fascist people of Rab make their contribution to the final victory and freedom. Rab is returned to Croatia as part of Yugoslavia, and with the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, to the independent 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

  • 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
If you are travelling from Italy, the nearest railway station in Italy is Trieste. For more information, visit

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