Just off the coast of Croatia lies the island of Rab, a beautiful gem in the Adriatic Sea still hidden from British tourism. The island is only a compliment to the already stellar reputation of Croatia as a Mediterranean wonder and is the perfect destination for a Croatia holiday. |
Measuring just 22km long, Rab is nonetheless filled with charming things to see and do, amongst which is one of Europe’s oldest festivals: the Rabska fjera. During this time the island of Rab transforms into a medieval wonderland, complete with quirky artisan stores and beach-side food stalls selling culinary delights.
From Rijeka you can catch a ten minute ferry to Rab Island and indulge in the red-roofed architecture of medieval Rab Town, where the festival is held. Don’t be put off by the initial terrain of barren rocks - a few minutes’ drive reveals Rab’s lush greenery. If you’re looking for a bit more peace but don’t want to stray too far from town, head down to Suha Punta where you’ll find small pebble beaches bordering on clear blue sea.
Alternatively, use one of Rab’s water taxis to explore some of the island’s 22 sandy beaches and hidden bays. Even without the festival, Rab’s stunning nature makes it a fantastic destination for people looking to add a little beauty to their Croatia holiday.
If your Croatia holiday is in need of a rustic twist, then Rabska fjera and its rich past are for you. Citizens of Rab began the festival in 1364 as a celebration of King Louis the Great, who liberated the island from Venetian rule. The festival today maintains this tradition, as the island’s inhabitants don 15th century costume and tell visitors about the festival’s history. Rabska fjera isn’t a festival confined to a single town square either, with most of the island’s 10,000 inhabitants taking part to give it a lively party vibe.
What to Do at Rabska Fjera
One thing to do is soak in the atmosphere, and Rabska fjera has tons of it with its authentic craft shops peddling medieval services like basket weaving, painting and coinage. There’s a pop-up fishing village on the beach too, built specifically for the festival to showcase medieval tool craft and traditional fishing techniques.
In keeping with the medieval theme, some of the more dedicated festivalgoers organise a costumed knightly tournament featuring a crossbow competition. As well as this, age old games line Rab Town’s winding streets to provide you with pleasant distractions. Simply wondering around the festival reveals a plethora of different activities, so go out and explore - don’t feel confined by the main events.
No Croatia holiday is complete without sampling some unique foods and Rabska fjera has you covered with local cheeses, freshly baked fritule and homemade honey all available. If you’re there for the whole festival, stay around for the final night’s fireworks display to give your Croatia holiday a real send off!
Rabska fjera runs from July 25 – 27.
John Dixon is Managing Director of Prestige Holidays and visits Croatia at least twice a year. He has been providing luxury Croatia holidays as well as luxury holidays to many other destinations worldwide for over 30 years.
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