The Kvarner Bay is a gulf in the Northern Part of the Adriatic Sea (Croatia). Its main islands are Cres, Krk, Pag, Rab and Lošinj, with just the right kayaking distance between them. Interesting history, high cliffs, lush evergreen forests, interesting wildlife, miles of trekking trails, tens of viewpoints, hundreds of beaches and hidden coves (...) make this the best paddling playground in Croatia.
Rab Island is the best kayaking destination in Kvarner. It's our home. Guides are local boys who know the area and weather conditions well.
The Island boasts long history, well maintained infrastructure, preserved nature and rich heritage. Rab's coastal line is 103 km, but when you add the coastal lenghts of smaller islands surrounding Rab (Sv. Grgur, Prvić, Dolin, Goli otok), it sums up to 130 km. A 100 beaches, 38 capes, 15 km of cliffs, 20 km long forest line - are very good indicators how interesting the island is.
And the best way to experience it is with a kayak, of course...
22 kilometers long and 11 kilometers wide island stretches northwest-southeast and is separated from the mainland by the Velebit canal.
Mt. Kamenjak is the highest hill on Rab (420m height) and stretches around 20 km. It faces the continent and provides protection from the cold and strong north-easterly wind Bura. This beneficial effect favours the western territory where most of the villlages, vegetation, agricultural land and tourist activity is located. While the eastern side (under Mt. Kamenjak, through the Velebit canal) is rugged, but also popular due to pebbly beaches, high cliffs, clear and clean sea, interesting gelogical shapes and structures.
Rab has a rich history which is evident in the architecture of the town centre, language, religion, tradition and gastronomy. Settled by Illyrians in 350 BC, Rab became ancient Roman municipality in the 1st century BC and developed into center of the eastern coast of Adriatic, called Felix Arba. Its glory days began between the second half of the 11th century all the way to 13th century, when it was governed by the Croatian rulers, as well as members of Venetian republic in a form of a free Adriatic comune. It was later sold to Venice in the 15th century and remained in their rule all the way to 1798 after Napoleonic conquests. Austria regained control over the area in the 18th century and island remained part of the kingdom until the end of the First World War. Conflicts, turbulent times and "changing of hands" marked the islands twentieth century, but Rab is now an important part of Republic of Croatia - also a member country of the European Union.
Around 9,000 inhabitants live on the island (mostly Croats), but at the height of summer this number triples, for there are over 20,000 accommodation units available - in private homes, dozen hotels and few campsites. Rab is primarily a tourist destination so we are a devoted, friendly, safe and relaxing place to spend the holidays.
Lošinj, Krk, Pag and Cres are larger islands of the Kvarner Archipelago (Cres is the largest, Krk the third largest island in Croatia). It takes a few days to reach those islands with kayaks, but there are several smaller islands in Rab's immediate vicinity (Sv. Grgur, Goli otok, Boljkovac, Dolin, Lukovac, Maman, Sridnjak, Šailovac, Prvić, Školjić), all which are uninhabited and reachable with kayaks. Our expedition trips include visits to most of them, and we are also very close to the mainland. These islands complement the beauty and uniqueness of the main island.
Undersea has been well preserved and provides habitat to various fish, starfishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sponges, corals, crabs, shellfish etc. From larger animals we have dolphins and tuna. Luckily - although we have numerous shark varieties - there are no "great whites"! On land (beside domestic animals), we come upon deers and big-horned sheep, gryphon vultures, rabbits, snakes (non-venomous), spiders, rodents, reptiles and hundreds of different birds and insects.
Rab is an island of sunshine (2,417 hours per year). Has a pleasant Mediterranean climate and vegetation, with warm summers and mild winters. Snow is a real rarity for the island, the temperature never falls below 0 °C. Summers are sunny, warm and dry.
May, June and September are a little cooler but you can wear shorts and T-shirts most of the time. Temperatures above 35 °C are common for July and August. Generally, the weather is peaceful and predictable. Regarding tourists, season usually starts in late May, and - although April, June and September are pleasant for swimming and sunbathing - the peak months are July and August. Keep those facts in mind when preparing your vacation days!
These are the most significant winds in Croatia:
- Jugo (Sirocco)
The most "dangerous" of the above mentioned is the "Bura" (north-eastern wind, from the mainland) - due to its wild speeds and unpredictrable nature. This cold and dry wind is more frequent in winter and early spring. Bura brings cold air from central and Eastern Europe down to our coast, lowering the overall temperature of air and sea. It is very strong in the Kvarner Bay and Northern Dalmatia, starts suddenly and blows squalls toward the open sea.
On the other side, warm and humid "Jugo" blows from the southeast (African Continent), regularly bringing rain, but has a more constant and predictable nature. It is more frequent in late summer and autumn. It is not a sudden wind like Bura, takes time to develop but can reach force up to 20 m/s.