There are few places in Europe that rival the physical beauty and cultural richness of the town of Rab, located on an island of the same name in northern Croatia. The town has about 9,500 inhabitants who work in textile production, farming, and aid in the tourism industry. Situated on the beautiful Adriatic Sea, Rab has a lot to offer the average European tourist who is looking to get away on holiday.
The town’s beauty has been recognized throughout its history and has been an integral part of major historical changes in Europe. In 10 B.C., the Roman Emperor Augustus gave Rab a high distinction by naming it Municipium, or town, and making it a hub for Roman activity on the Adriatic. At various times, the island has been part of the Kingdom of Croatia, Venice, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During World War II, German forces established a concentration camp on the island of Rab to hold detainees. This rich historical tapestry is but one reason tourists flock to Rab on their vacations.
Rab has a beautifully preserved medieval environment, complete with protective walls. This type of environment is conducive to great interest by tourists who want to see a bit of the past without the artificial environment of the museum. Each building is many generations’ old, surrounding tourists with an antique feeling that is rarely seen in vacation hot spots. As well, the people of Rab and tourists alike still remember the noble Croatian families of the past, with many of their ancestors still ruling this small town. A popular gathering spot and place to enjoy a quick meal is the fountain of St. Christophorous, which has sculptures of popular folk characters Kalifron and Draga. The fountain waters cool off road weary travelers and the heart wrenching tale of Kalifron and Draga will hit to the heart of tourists from around the world.
Rab has more than culture and history to offer tourists, with a wide range of activities to meet the needs of outdoors enthusiasts. Hikers, mountain climbers, and campers can take in the beautiful environment of Komicar Park, with its sprawling promenade and relaxing resort. There are plenty of other Croatian national parks, like Paklenica and Kornati, which offer great camping grounds and a fresh air for urban warriors that need to get away from it all. The native pine trees and beautiful fragrant flowers make a great view for people who love to watch nature, while the deep blue Adriatic Sea draws swimmers like moths to the flame.
There are plenty of opportunities for athletes and casual exercisers alike with all of these parks and smaller playing fields throughout the town and island of Rab. For those who love the water, you can go diving into the beautiful Adriatic or water skiing off a rented motor boat. Families and those who want to take it slow can rent a pedal boat or a row boat and take a leisurely tour of the Adriatic Coast. For the more adventurous water lover, the Adriatic coast offers a great opportunity for surfing. To gain a different perspective on Rab, tourists can go parachuting and land safely on the beautiful island of Rab. The more conventional tourist, however, may want to avoid high flying or high speed sports and there are plenty of options for such a person.