Croazia: Rab Island.
Imagine the heat and the incessant din of the cicadas during the day that, at night, alternates with that of the crickets. This background noise is present both at the beach and around the apartments surrounded by nature.
Do you have insomnia problems like me? Perfect!Here I present you the island of happy sleeping.
Reach the island.
July 2017: Destination Rab.
For about three years, we have been organizing a week of vacation in a new place in Croatia and I must say that Rab is at the top of my preferences at the moment.
To get to this island you have to take the ferry.
Here are two choices:
1° You can reach another island, called Krk (visited July 2016) by car, pay the bridge with eventual queue and then reach the locality Valbiska. From here you will catch the ferry that will take you to Rab. Check the ferry schedules online according to the season. I suggest the site kristofor-travel for schedules.
2° Alternatively you have to go along the coast to reach Stinica and from there take the ferry that passes every 15 minutes.
Apartment or Hotels?
For Croatia, I prefer to look for apartments for rent.
I found that the prices of hotels in Croatia are generally much higher than in many other places I have visited in Europe.
Although I have always made reservations through sites like Booking.com, it's already the third time that when we reach the locality, I discover that the announcement was exposed through tourist agencies.
This year we plan to book directly through a tourist agency on site.
For Rab, we were fortunate enough to find a two-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms. In the larger bathroom there were even a washing machine and a dishwasher.
All the apartments are always extremely clean and with changes of sheets, but you have to check the announcement previously on the presence of sheets, towels, and various supplies.
Obviously, at your departure, you have to leave the apartment clean.
How to choose the best apartment based on the reviews?
Always remember to read the negative and positive reviews before making a reservation.
Over the years, I have stumbled upon absurd reviews, like people complaining about the lack of the hairdryer.
Consider that in the holiday apartments the presence, for example, of all cutlery is not always obvious, let alone that of the hairdryer!
I always carry with me the portable hairdryer (smaller than the classic and folding) even when I go to hotels because I had bad experiences.
When I stay in a holiday home I bring:
-The pillow because I can not sleep with pillows too soft and low. Especially in Austria, even in hotels, the pillows are super thin.
-Towels and sheets: I suffer from allergies and do not know how those present are washed.
-Knives! At least one to cut the fruit, since they usually either aren't there or they don't cut.
-Of course, all my bathroom belongings.
-Detergent to wash at least the swimsuits by hand.
Another negative review that I often find is: there is no bidet. In some holiday homes of Croatia there is the bidet, in others not!
This is basically a purely Italian thing. At most I happened to find the bidet system built into the WC.
The island of Rab is surrounded by several beaches offering a variety of types.
There are mixed beaches of sand and stone (do not expect the sand of Rimini, to be clear); concrete beaches; of pebbles; beaches also dedicated to dogs and nudist beaches.
On all the beaches there are countless trees to create the penumbra and a bar to catch ice cream.
Barbat is the first village you have to cross to reach Palit.
The beach is pebble and from there you can reach the beach called Pudarica.
Pudarica, as it is not huge, is what I would call my dream beach! They are two strips of sandy land, not very long, under the local Santos. The width is just enough to make a deckchair, take a walk and be in the water!
Beware: Given the restricted place, I recommend you get to the beach early in the morning.
If you decide to rent umbrellas and chairs on site, but you do not know who to turn to for payment: do not worry! At a certain time, you will see the owners arrive for payment.
There is also a bar where they serve meat sandwiches and freshly fried fish, coffee and ice cream. Therefore there is no need for packed lunches as in other beaches of Croatia where there are no restaurants with kitchen.
But compared to Krk or Medulin, I didn't see Mr. Bombolone.
I bet you don't know who Mr. Bombolone is?!
In other localities (such as Krk or Medulin), where there are no restaurants or similar except for a few bars, there are some gentlemen who pass by with baskets
You know "Mr. Cocco Bello" that you can find on Italian beaches? Well, in Croatia there´s a more caloric version. The "Mister Bomboloni" sells doughnuts, pancakes made always with the dough of the Bombolone, Kokonut (that is the cob of boiled corn. topped with salt), popcorn and in some cases pizza.
The best beaches on the island are:
Palit, if like me you reach Rab in the early afternoon and don't want to miss even a day at sea. Pudarica, Lopar Beach, Podsilo Beach, Jelenovica Beach, Sahara Beach, Ciganka Beach and Suha Punta Beach.
Croatia has a great vastness of olive plantations scattered throughout the territory.
Of course, you can find specialized shops or direct sales of local oil in supermarkets.
The price is not the cheapest but this type of oil has a very full-bodied taste, different than ours. Be prepared to eat fish in large quantities. No, I'm sorry, fast food is not there.
A very typical thing of Rab is the lamb baked under terracotta. Several restaurants have this specialty. Generally, you have to book at least two days before tasting it. In fact, the lamb, seasoned with spices and potatoes, must remain to cook under the terracotta for at least one day.
If you would like to taste this specialty, I recommend the restaurant Konoba Rab right in the center of Rab Town.
It is a very quaint little restaurant, like the center of Rab Town which is a medieval citadel.
During the summer months there are many parties, also in Maschera, to celebrate patrons, the Feast of Lavender (also typical), fish or wine.
For lovers of Italian espresso coffee: they serve excellent espresso all over the island.
1° Konoba Marenda (Supetarska Draga 320a | Gonar, 51280, Croazia).
Great food with a view over the sea. Seafood specialties and low prices.
2° Konoba Rab: If you want to try this restaurant you have to book even two days before. If you want to try the lamb cooked under the terracotta you have to book it first.
The place is small but really quaint.
The place is small but really quaint.
My favorite restaurant of this holiday thanks to a rich menu.
4° Gostilna Erna. (Račice 4, Podgrad 6244, Slovenia)
This restaurant is located in Slovenia. Favorite destination to return to Italy.
The Citadel of Rab Town, although not comfortable to go with high heels, has a charm that is extended thanks to the reenactment in historical costumes.
There are plenty of shops that close late in the evening allowing you to buy handmade souvenirs after dinner.
The historical walls with their four bell towers, accompanied by the constant hum of cicadas and crickets (which reconciled my sleep), will remain a beautiful memory of an island that has a lot to tell, and not only about the sea.