Known by the Romans for its happy outlook, see the lighter side of life on the beautiful Adriatic island of Rab. Happy to keep its upbeat secrets to itself, the island's charms were shared with the world when Edward VIII arrived to holiday and skinny-dip here, on an escape with his married lover. A highlight of the Kvarner Gulf, Rab is decorated with a spectacular contrast of cliffs, sandbars, dunes and pine forests, and the island is a protected geopark offering thrilling scenery for every taste. Characterful villages throw lavish fishing festivals and medieval celebrations, illuminating the island with summer feasts and cultural flavour.
Dozens of beaches fringe this long thin island, whether you want shallow sand shelves or wild, bouldered coves. Watch beach sports, settle into beach bars or seek out isolated areas where the only soundtrack is the waves. Inland, specialities like grapes and olives grow for wine and oil production, while bakeries produce fragrant batches of the snail shell-shaped Rabska cake. A sweet taste of Rab, it features almonds and rose petal liqueur among the tangy citrus flavours, and you can visit the dedicated museum to learn of its history.
The island has a litany of historic churches and Rab Town itself is known for the four bell towers that rise above its sparkling waters. Brave the stairs of the Cathedral of St Mary the Great’s tower for an astounding view over the sea, Rab Town, and the island. Goli Otok and Sv Grgur are a short ride away by boat, and the two islands form a harrowing former prison, known as the Croatian Alcatraz.