Thickly forested hills, fine sandy beaches and hidden bays – that sounds like it is priceless and far away? I thought wrong! The island of Rab can offer you all this and much more! It convinces with crystal clear water, historic old towns and gently sloping, paradisiacal beaches. Reason enough to imagine this heavenly spot on earth.
The island of Rab is a real insider tip in Croatia: Absolute natural beauty, friendly and fun-loving islanders, little mass tourism and a wonderful maritime-southern holiday mood will cast a spell on you immediately. The variety of landscapes is particularly impressive, because while a barren rocky landscape predominates on the east side of the island, you will find enchanting mini bays and great beaches on the west coast. Incidentally, Rab has most of the sandy beaches of the Kvarner Bay and the water quality is really excellent everywhere – crystal clear and turquoise blue! A highlight is the capital Rab – here you will find medieval alleys, rustic restaurants and a great maritime flair at the port. I was there myself and took a closer look around this island jewel in the Kvarner Bay for you!
The island of Rab belongs to the Kvarner Bay region and is located on the southern Adriatic coast of Croatia, about 160 kilometers from the Croatian capital Zagreb. The best way to get to the Kvarner Bay is by car via Graz, Maribor and Zagreb – from Vienna you need about six and a half hours for the 570 kilometers. Since Rab is an island, you can only reach it by ferry from Stinica, Valbisca or Rijeka – I recommend the inexpensive 20-minute variant via Stinica for € 13. But of course you can also take a plane, travel by train or bus to Rijeka and then continue to Rab with a rental car (you should, however, plan another 2.5 hours for the drive along the beautiful coastal road). Make sure you take your passports with you, as you will need them at the border controls in Slovenia and Croatia!
Interesting facts about Rab
- The island is 22 km long with an area of 91 km² and about 9,500 inhabitants
- Along with Krk, Pag and Cres, Rab belongs to the Kvarner Islands in the Kvarner Bay
- Localities: Lopar, Mundanija, Supetarska draga, Kampor, Banjol, Palit and Barbat
- The winters are mild and the summers warm, but not too hot – with 2499 hours of sunshine a year, the island is one of the sunniest regions in Europe. The water temperature is also very pleasant with up to 24 ° C.
The beautiful old town of the island
The town of Rab is located on the west coast of the island and is the main attraction for tourists. And rightly so, because Rab has a beautiful medieval old town that tells the story of the place and can be considered the most beautiful town on the island. The houses of the old town crowd into a small space on a small elongated peninsula that encloses the port of the city with the mainland. The city’s three shopping streets are particularly popular with visitors in summer – but a stroll through the historic streets is also a must for every visitor to the beautiful island. As soon as you approach the old town, the first thing you will see are the four towering church towers that almost frame the old town – they are the symbol of the city. When you arrive in the historic town, you should definitely look at the Prince’s Palace in addition to the churches, which you are also allowed to enter, and the construction of which began as early as the 13th century.
Lonely bays, untouched nature
Outside of the old town there is still a lot to discover. For example, the Komrcar city park , which is directly connected to the old town and stretches along the coast to the small port of the Palit district. Here you can relax wonderfully. In the park you will also find the Galjarda fortress from the 15th century.
The city of Rab is also known for its picturesque bays and beaches, such as the unique city beach , which is located directly under the historic city walls and from where you can see the most important sights directly from your bath towel.
Even with your own boat
Everywhere on the island there is the possibility not only to rent a boat, but also to moor your own boat for little money in the marinas.
If you want to do a little more besides sightseeing and sunbathing during a longer stay in Rab, I recommend a trip by ferry to the mainland, where you can see a lot again. If you have some time, you can visit the Plitvice Lakes further inland, for example . The famous national park offers you an impressive natural spectacle. But you can also go on nice excursions on Rab. For example, if you book a taxi boat in Rab’s harbor or rent a small private boat, you will even get to lonely and very romantic bays on the Frkanj peninsula opposite, where you can swim and snorkel undisturbed in the crystal clear water.
Let the evening end
If you really want to relax after a hard day on the beach (sunbathing makes you sweat), you can look forward to a delicious Croatian cocktail in the bar of your choice or turn night into day in the local disco – there is plenty of room for evening activities here! Classic Croatian or Italian dishes will also delight you in the numerous restaurants. In summer, great events such as concerts by well-known musicians take place here in the open air, which probably completes the holiday feeling.
Suha Punta – it couldn’t be more beautiful
The place Suha Punta, near the town of Kampor and five kilometers from the town of Rab, is located on the peninsula in the west of Rab, which is overgrown with pines and holm oaks. This peninsula is arguably one of the most beautiful regions of Rab – for good reason! Here you can enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean nature while hiking or cycling through the forest area Duno or Kalifront and finally cool off from the warm temperatures in a lonely bay discovered on the way . Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Everyone can hike here …
… because the hiking and biking trails on the entire island have a low level of difficulty. So don’t be shy and go out into nature!
Suha Punta is a small settlement where you can mainly enjoy a relaxing holiday. Here you will find beautiful holiday apartments in some apartment complexes but also two hotels. For a perfect holiday, you will also find tennis courts, mini golf courses, cafes and, of course, wonderful, quiet bathing bays. Surrounded by lush green nature, you can relax perfectly here. Be sure to visit the popular nearby coves of Cifnata and Gozinka, and also take a stroll along the coast of the peninsula in search of a hidden cove.
The city of Lopar – vacation in paradise
Sandy beaches galore
The second largest city after Rab is Lopar, just 13 kilometers away, on the peninsula of the same name. The city in the north of the island does not have such a charming old town, but it is no less popular with tourists. This is mainly due to the fact that you can find really beautiful sandy beaches in the region. A well-known example of this is the Rajska Plaža beach, also known as the Paradise Beach . The name already gives it away: At 1.5 kilometers, this bright, fine sandy beach is not only the largest on the island. It is also so shallow that one could think that one is in the South Seas. Here you can not only relax in the sun, but also go swimming in the sea. The beach is not free. Very popular with families with small children , there are also many great offers for children. But the big ones get their money’s worth as well as the little ones, because on the beach there is not only a beach bar but also a disco that opens its gates in the evening hours.
There is a lot of activity in Lopar. Especially in the summer months there are lots of people walking between small shops and restaurants. But a small step is enough to escape the hustle and bustle and you will find yourself in the peace and solitude of nature that surrounds the village. Those looking for peace and quiet will find numerous deserted beaches in the immediate vicinity . In Croatia, by the way, it is quite common to take your own or a borrowed boat to such lonely bays or even to the offshore islands.
Nature and culture in the north of the island
But there are not only beautiful beaches to discover here. In the area you will find an interesting nature that is well suited for hiking . On the many hiking trails you will cross different landscapes. From fields and gardens to wooded, green hills and barren mountain landscapes, you can see everything that the island has to offer. On the way you will also come across ancient ruins from the time of the ancient Greeks at Cape Zidine.
Supetarska Draga: Fancy an island adventure?
The old fishing village of Supetarska Draga is very special in one respect: the place is located on a beautiful, picturesque peninsula in the north of Rab, in front of which there are four offshore and uninhabited islands . On these islands (called Maman, Sridnjak, Sailovac and Boljkovac) you will find the most beautiful secluded sandy beaches and pure tranquility – simply wonderful! The highlight of the matter is that, like everywhere else in Croatia, you can simply rent a small boat or a taxi boat to set sail as you wish. Here you can experience real adventures!
Off to Rab!
So? How about a stay on Rab this summer? If I have convinced you with my report, take a look at my offers. There are wonderful holiday apartments and hotels on Rab, everyone is sure to find something there. But maybe there will be another destination in Croatia … Let yourself be inspired by the other articles in my travel magazine !
On and under water
The pictures of the beautiful beaches and bays on the island of Rab have not been out of my head for a long time. The turquoise water makes me dream of snorkeling and splashing around in quiet bays. But not only that: water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing or kayaking … all kinds of water sports are possible here.
Rab is surrounded by eerie underwater caves and mysterious shipwrecks
And if you want to venture deeper, you can book diving courses at various diving schools or rent the appropriate clothing. Rab is surrounded by eerie underwater caves, mysterious shipwrecks on the sea floor and a colorful nature under the sea surface. You can go on such diving trips, for example, to the former prison island Goli Otok or to the island of Grgur, which was a women’s prison after the Second World War and where you can not only visit the remains of the cells but also dive down steep rock faces up to 50 meters deep. You will likely encounter relatively large fish here, so don’t be scared!