Rab Island has a wealth of history, having been ruled by Roman, Byzantine and Venetian empires over the years. Learn more about the island’s most famous son, Saint Marinus, a stonecutter born in Rab, who escaped religious persecution to found the new state of San Marino in 301 AD. The enclave, completely surrounded by Italian soil, remains Europe's third smallest country.
The walled Rab Town is the largest settlement on the island, and its pretty red-roofed buildings are watched over by a small collection of ornate bell towers, which peek above the town like meerkats. The Old Town is gloriously detailed – don’t forget to look up, so you can spot engravings on window-frames, and glowing flower displays hanging from balconies. Climb the 26 metres of the Tower of St Christopher for the ultimate view of the town, and mountains plummeting into the glittering Adriatic. There’s always something happening down on the pretty streets below, whether musical performances are drifting down the narrow walkways, or the armour of knights is clanking as summer’s jousting tournament arrives.
Rab Island has some special beaches to enjoy, and 30 separate sandy options. Lie back and feel the sun's warmth, or enjoy the powder soft sand between your toes, as you stroll Lopar Beach. Shallow sand gives the water a patterned, carpet-like appearance, while the backbone of mountain scenery, and views of crumpled Croatian mainland, are truly breathtaking. Pudarica is another stunning option offering a selection of quieter, secluded coves, and rich aquamarine waters to enjoy. Paradise Beach, meanwhile, is a wonderful place to paddle, with an extensive shelf of shallow water to wade out onto, and spot fish dancing around your feet.
Walk along the seafront from Rab Town, to find the 13th century Franciscan Monastery of St Euphemia - which is decorated with glorious paintings and pretty cloisters. The Monastery of St Anthony Abbot, on the other hand, sits in the Old Town, and houses stunning oil paintings, depicting the town’s history.