Found on the Western side of Croatia, Rab is a stunning fusion of diverse landscapes and gorgeous sandy beaches with gleaming water as far as the eye sees, hence everyone started calling it a geopark back in 2008. A tourist hotspot filled with culture and history, Rab is filled with adventure making it an attractive place to visit.
However, transport is always a major concern when traveling to any remote location. It is often costly, taking up a large chunk of your trip budget while also a cause of anxiety when planning the vacation.
Don’t fret, because we’ve condensed all the important nitty gritty into this article so that you don’t have to worry about getting to the island or the commute within!
How To Get To Rab Island?
Travel By The Plane
There are several direct airplane rides from various countries to airports nearby the island, and you can even take connecting flights depending on where you’re coming from, though that will add to the travel time. There are some major airports located in different nearby Islands and towns, where you’ll have to get off as you can’t land within Rab itself.
The nearest one is called the Rijeka airport, found around 50 km away from Rab. People from countries like London, Hannover, Moscow, Barcelona, Stockholm, and many more can directly arrive here. The second airport found at about a three-hour drive, a little over 140 km, is airport Zadar situated in Northern Dalmatia. European countries often have direct flights to Zadar, however, this is a little further away in comparison.
There are other airports nearby as well, the Split airport being the furthest at around 250 km, along with Pula at less than 75 km and Zag being a little less further away than Split. However, this is the initial part of the travel as you’ll need to switch transportation to reach the Island of Rab.
Travel By Car
If a car is the vehicle of your choice, there are two possibilities that arise. The first one is that you need to make your way to the island from where the plane landed, in which case it is recommended to rent a car at the airport where several car rentals are readily available. Though this might be a little expensive, it will certainly be less costly than a taxi ride for the entirety of your stay.
The second possibility is that you’re from the German and Austrian sides, traveling directly via your car. You can cruise through Slovenia, enter the mainland of Croatia, and make your way to Rijeka or Zagreb, from where you can reach the island freely.
If you’re traveling from Rijeka, you’ll need to go to Valbiska from where you’ll take the ferry through the island of Krk, and if you’re traveling from the direction of Zagreb, you’ll need to either reach Split or Zadar, from where you can take a ferry at Stinica. The ferry can transport your car to the town so you don’t need to worry about what to do with the car.
Take The Ferry/Boat
Since Rab is surrounded by crystal-clear water on all sides, ferries and boats are efficient ways to travel to the mainland. The two main ferry lines run from Stinica to Misnjak (Rab), and from Valbikska to Lopar (Rab). Ferries can carry a large number of cars and passengers so you don’t need to spend extra time waiting in long lines at the respective ports.
As far as the timing of the ferries is concerned, for the main line to Misnjak, there are multiple sessions at about 30-minute intervals so even if you miss one, it’s only an extra half hour. However, there are less frequent sessions when it comes to Valbiska so make sure to check the current timetable. This journey takes more time than the other line, about 40-60 minutes of extra travel.
Apart from the main ferries, a catamaran takes only passengers in case you’re coming via a taxi, so this is also a good option. Sailing a couple of times every day during the peak season and less frequently during other times, it costs more to travel via a catamaran than the ferries. To use the vehicle, arrive at Pag from where you’ll sail to the main port of Rab.
Use The Bus
Public transport is the ideal, budget-friendly way to travel to your destination so you can even use the extensive bus lines available nearby. The main lines are connected to Rijeka and Zagreb that run more frequently during the summer season as more tourists visit during this time of the year.
There is also a bus service from Pula airport, however from Zadar, you’ll first need to go to the town of Senj to use the buses. The airport at Rijeka provides its own shuttle bus service taking passengers directly to the Island.
It is better to go to a major town and use their bus service as in several of the smaller bus stations, the vehicle might be jam-packed with passengers, in which case they won’t accept you or even if they do, it’ll be an arduous journey which no one would enjoy.
How To Go From One Place To Another Within The Island?
Within the Island, there are multiple ways to move around depending on your personal preference.
Ferry, Boats & Catamaran
Water taxis are not only a fun and exciting way to travel, but they are also a means to get to nearby locations and islands to further explore every nook and corner and find Instagram-worthy locations. Rab Charter has been operating for more than ten years and is a company that allows you to rent a motor boat for your water excursions.
The catamaran is a unique way to experience Rab with its glass bottom that allows you to look at the marine life in the deep sea below. There are also tons of ferries available for day trips and guided tours that can be utilized.
Widespread connection of bus lines can be found all over the place which makes this a great option to use around town. The bus stations within Rab are located at several places which include Lopar across the Diana Market, Palit, Kampor, Barbat on road D105, and Dumici. The buses are in good condition and well-maintained so you don’t need to worry about poor quality.
The buses have pre-set times at which they run that are readily available on the online website of Bus Croatia, but they generally are pretty frequent starting from 4 am and ending at around 11 pm. Tickets for the bus can be bought online and reserved in case you don’t find a seat during the busy seasons.
Rent a Car
Traveling using a car is best when you rent a car as it allows you to have the freedom to explore on your time. You’ll be able to rent a car at the airport you landed, which is ideal for the commute to the Island and also on the Island. Remember to drive on the right side of the road to follow the traffic restrictions of Croatia.
Make use of online rental websites like Expedia, where you can even rent a car for as long as a month and they’ll also allow you to have more flexibility in terms of cancellation. You should also be sure to check the age restrictions and license policies when visiting these companies as they differ from place to place.
Due to the high volume of tourists, Taxis are super expensive to use and they often overcharge foreigners. However, in case you do need one, the Island does have plenty of them readily available for you to use.
Rab isn’t a huge stretch of land so you’ll be able to rent a bike and explore every location. There are several options available like Talon Three, Tempt Three, XTC JR, etc, at various price points ranging from 100 to 400 HRK which is about 13 Euros to a little over 50.
The amount of money depends on the amount of time you rent the bike for, so make sure you take that into consideration.
Travel on Foot
Since all the historical sites, scrumptious restaurants, and major Rab hotels are located nearby, you can explore the whole Island without having to pay a dime. Walking will also allow you to explore Rab through a different lens and you can find cozy spots away from the hustle and bustle of tourists.
Rab is a popular location visited by several people from around the world, with its heavenly cuisine, amazing four-star hotels, and natural beauty. However, it is not easy to plan a trip from far away with limited knowledge of the location.
That’s why we decided to combine all the information you need into one place. So, if you’re planning to visit this chunk of dream-like land, make sure you go through the article first!