Explore Rab Town’s historic centre
Rab Town is one of the most beautiful yet underrated tourist destinations in Croatia, its picturesque streets steeped in history. The island’s compact capital is a happy jumble of terracotta-roofed buildings with honey-coloured walls, occupying a tiny peninsula and encircled by ancient walls. Four bell-towers extend upwards like masts. The tallest and most beautiful is St Mary’s – climb the steep wooden steps for excellent views of the city.
Get delightfully lost in the maze of crumbling alleyways and crooked side streets. You’ll discover stunning monasteries, Romanesque churches and palatial mansions along the way. Walk along the seafront promenade until you reach the peaceful monastery of St Euphemia, which houses a small museum of sacred manuscripts and art, alongside a baroque church with a stunning fresco on the ceiling.
Rab is renowned for its beaches. It has 22 sandy bays encircling its shores (rare for Croatia, known for its pebbled beaches). Many of them have Blue Flag designation, and one of them, Paradise Beach, has been voted one of the world’s top 100 beaches by CNN. From isolated coves to stretches of sand fringed by upmarket resorts, there’s a beach here to suit everyone.
The clear turquoise waters of the Kalifront peninsula are perfect for snorkelling. Visit Ciganka Beach for its unique sand pyramids and bizarre rock formations along its shores – the warm, shallow sea is a perfect place for children to swim. One of the most popular beaches is Pudarica, in the south of the island. It’s renowned for its soft sugar-white sand and crystal seas, as well as its excellent sunsets and view of Rab Old Town.
Pudarica isn’t short of facilities, either, boasting several bars and restaurants, and the Santos Beach Club, one of the most famous nightlife venues on the island. But it’s easy to escape the summer crowds – leave the main beach to visit the smaller nearby bays, and the secluded, picturesque blue lagoon.
Wining and dining
Whether you want a family-friendly feast or a romantic meal for two, a quiet drink or party the night away, Rab Island can cater to your needs. Rab Town is full of restaurants, some serving traditional cuisine and others Italian classics like pizza and pasta. If you want to sample the former, visit the rustic Konoba Rab, beloved of locals and tourists alike. Make sure you try the speciality, pod peka – lamb or chicken stewed slowly on an open fire. For food with a view, head to Barbat, renowned for its stunning al-fresco terrace and its fish dishes.
If you want to go out in the evening, your best bet is Rab Town, where you’ll find chic cocktail bars and several energetic clubs. Head to the main square, Trg Municipium Arba, where there’s no shortage of options for a drink. The Escape Lounge Bar offers one of the best club nights in town, with DJs pumping out beats.