Rab has rich history with many historical figures. Settled by Illyrians in 350BC, Rab became ancient Roman municipality in the 1st century BC and developed into center of the eastern coast of Adriatic, called Felix Arba ( Arb is Illyric for dark, lush). Its glory days began between the second half of the XI. century all the way to XIII century, when it was governed by the Croatian rulers, as well as members of Venetian republic in a form of a free Adriatic comune. It was later sold to Venice in the 15th century and remained in their rule all the way to the 1798. when Napoleon came to these parts. Among the fun facts is the story of the local stone mason, St. Marino, who moved to the Apenine peninsula to start the Republic of San Marino in the 4th century. He is the saint patron of Lopar and very important to locals.
With 30 sandy beaches Rab is a really Happy island with a lot of tiny, picturesque coves, recognised by tourists from all over the world almost 125 years ago, to this day, due to the crystal clear, warm and shallow sea, great for the entire family. Everyone can find their own private beach on Rab based on their preference.
A typical day on Rab starts with a healty breakfast before going to the beach and enjoying sun and sea, followed by a light lunch and a nice nap in the shade of the pines. Of course, some people prefer to bike, hike, even kayak around the island before the sun sets. Before dinner you can go explore numerous shops, souvenir shops and amusement parks, then grab a cocktail, go dancing and even enter a beauty contest before hitting the clubs.
Active vacation is not only a way to relax by making your body produce happy endorphines, it is equal parts learning about your surroundings and keeping healthy. Lucky for you, Rab is ideal for this kind of vacation with all the natural beauty, organised tours (be in front of Tourist Bureau, on a Thursday at 8.00 AM) and plenty of hiking and biking trails. Along the route you just may discover enchanting landscapes, old tone houses and rare natural beauty. Don't waste time, hop on a bike or rent a kayak.
There is a lot of traditions on Rab, but “Rabska fjera” brings in more than 10.000 tourists evey year. During those days (25-27. 07.) streets of Rab become a stage for a medieval festival, where artisans show their craft and produce, crossbowmen their skills and sharpshooting and everybody else just enjoys themselves. Another great date comes around the last Sunday in April, when all citizens of Rab and Lopar celebrate Križi, an ancient pilgrimage custom started after a devastating plague outbreak in the 15. century, when it was thought that only God can save them from death. Pilgrims walk across the island all the way to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Rab, where they celebrate. On the last day of the carnival, the Mardi Gras, people of Lopar celebrate a 150 years old ritual doning traditional masks (consisting of klobuk and vizera) and singing old folk songs, moving from one home to the other where they are greeted with food and drinks. Other Lopar traditions and customs can often be seen during the performances of their folk culture and lore society “San Marino”, or at various ancient arts and crafts fairs held all over the island. If you get a chance try dancing the tanac or pojka, accompanied by mih, some kind of a local take on bagpipes.