A popular saying would have us believe that God made Rab island just for Himself, whereas the Devil sent people to it. It is then hardly surprising that Rab has been known as the "island of happiness" since the Roman times - Felix Arba in Latin. Saint Martin, the legendary founder of the statelet San Marino, originated from here. The island's beauties have earned it numerous prizes (the Silver Flower of Europe, the Blue Flower), not to mention a holidaymaking tradition spanning more than a century.
Rab island in a labyrinth of history
The island's conquerors have left behind exquisite cultural and historical wealth: a tradition of crossbow use, monasteries, the four bell towers proudly soaring above Rab town. Its stone-paved streets invite the visitor into a labyrinth of Mediterranean past. Chief sights are the City Loggia, a former hub of public life, as well as the Ducal palace, dominated by the tower with its shapely windows. In the Supetarska Draga valley, one can see the remains of a Benedictine monastery and a church of Saint Peter, both among the most important eleventh century buildings on Croatian soil. The latter is home to the oldest bell on the Adriatic. From Lopar peninsula, a trip can be made to Goli otok (the Denuded island), the former Yugoslavia's most infamous prison from the Communist period.
Rab - the island of love
Since the visit of Edward VIII of England in the beginning of the twentieth century, Rab has been known as the cradle of naturism. Favorite spots for clothing-optional holidaymakers are the beaches Sahara, Stolac and Ciganka. On "the island of love", as Rab is popularly called, twenty-two beaches await you on Lopar peninsula. The most famous among them is the mile-long Rajska plaža (Paradise beach).
Rab has held onto its wealth of vegetation to the present day, and is considered to be one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic. Of particular note are the Komrčar park, one of the Adriatic's most beautiful green oases, where homegrown and exotic plants grow in symbiosis, and Kalifront, a large forest complex within which is the protected natural preserve Dundo.
The chivalrous spirit of Rab island
No holiday steeped in history will be complete without attending the Feast of Rab. This event will unlock the doors of ancient skills and products of Rab island. Crossbow tournaments invoke the knightly spirit of the eleventh century, when these weapons were used to defend the town walls.
The island prides itself on the Rab cake, which originates in the twelfth century, since which time it was served to popes, heads of state and aristocracy. Organic olives, grapes and honey are delicacies native to Rab, as well as excellent fish, first-rate shrimp and homegrown mutton.