As a starting point for your visit to the surrounding area you can choose Plomin. This small town, perched above one of the most beautiful bays in Istria to which it gives its name, was once a municipal center and harbor, a community of merchants, craftsmen, fishermen and seafarers. Nowadays the inquisitive are drawn to the splendid views over the bay and the historical monuments.
Kršan - 18 km distant from Rabac on the way to Pićan and Pazin. A visit to the old 13th century fortress is a must and, just next to its walls, stands the parish church of St. Anthony built in the 17th century.
Kršan - Bastion and walls of the medieval castle.
Pićan - a small medieval town some 30 km away from Rabac. The many valuable sacral objects and paintings kept in the Church and the Parish Museum bear witness to the fact that Pićan was a bishopric since the 7th century. The outstanding object on display is a bishop's mantle embroidered in gold, a present from the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. Pićan is also well known for its high quality wines, as confirmed by Ferdinand Hapsburg himself whilst visiting at the beginning of last century. The 48 m high church tower is the third highest in Istria.
Raša is the youngest town in Istra. On the personal initiative of Mussolini, the town construction started in the middle of 1936. The town square is dominated by St. Barbara church, the patron of all miners. The church itself is shaped like an upturned coal-mine cart, while the church tower reminds of a coal mine lamp. Church arcades resemble coal mine galleries as well.
Many Istrians conceive wine as unexplicable unearthly sacred potion, a necessity and passion, the culture of living, as nourishment and liquor, prayer and a curse. Istrians have been historically devoted to the grapevine. A proverbial saying confirms it,
Wine comes from grapevine and milk from a goat. Wheat is life, while wine is myth and as our elders would say: The bread is for the flesh and wine is for the soul.
Rabac is called a "Pearl of Kvarner Bay" due to its white pebble beaches, rich mediterranean vegetation and crystal-clear, clean and translucent sea water.
No wonder Rabac was awarded the "Blue Flag" eco-mark in 2002.
The "Blue Flag" is an international ecological award, a programme of environmental awareness and eduction and coastal protection run by the international foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in Europe and other parts of the world. It aims at making beaches better and safer for swimming, while, at the same time, protecting their natural environment.
Criteria of the "Blue Flag" programme
Cleanliness of sea and beach
clean bathing water which is verified by sample measurements every fortnight during the bathing season
no disposal of industrial and urban effluent waters without proper treatment
sufficient number of garbage bins, which are emptied regularly
regular cleaning of the beach and garbage collection
Beach organisation and safety of visitors
regular information to the public about bathing water quality
plans to meet a pollution emergency, with immediate notification to the public
prohibition of automobiles and motorcycles on the beach
prohibition of camping on the beach
sufficient toilet facilities with a controlled disposal system
trained lifeguards on duty, or immediate access to the lifesaving and first-aid equipment and a telephone in an emergency
care for people with special needs
Protection of nature and environmental awareness
printed information and codes of conduct for the beach and surrounding areas with sensitive natural environment, flora or fauna
beyond just simple information, the organisation of activities which actively promote the natural environment of the beach and the need to protect it
What a visitor of the beach can do
Enjoy this beach with the "Blue Flag", but also help us preserve it in good condition.
If you are satisfied with the beach, let us know.
If you notice shortcomings, please contact the person responsible for the beach, whose name you will find on the notice board by the beach tower.
PANORAMA - two-hours panoramic sightseeing by boat and discovering the beauties of the Rabac coast and the surrounding area.
FISH-PICNIC (CRES) - excursion by boat to the island of Cres. The picnic is organized on one of the beaches, where you will, after an aperitive, enjoy in a fish meal with wine and music. Relax, bathe, sun bathe and join the various games led by the entertainer. A visit to the town of Cres.
PULA - a half-day excursion to Pula. Pula is the town existing for three thousand years. Sightseeing of the ancient Roman monuments (amphitheatre, Augustus temple, Sergie's arch and Hercules' Gate).
BRIONI - a half-day or whole day excursion to several islands famous for their natural beauties ( the safari park, the ZOO, the Roman summer villa complex and others).
ISTRIATOUR - a whole-day excursion by bus along the west Istrian coast and sightseeing of Rovinj and Poreč.The return trip is over the inland of Istria. Lunch at the rural household.
POSTOJNA - a whole-day excursion by bus to Postojna and sightseeing of famous Postojna caves.
PLITVICE - a whole-day excursion to the Plitvice lakes, a unique national park, one of the most beautiful in the world. Under the UNESCO protection.
VENICE - a whole-day excursion by hydrofoil or a catamaran to Venice, sightseeing of the Saint Mark's square, a visit to the Murano glass factory, free time for individual sightseeing on foot, by gondola or taxi-boat.
BLUE CAVE - Sail around the Kvarner bay; visit Cres, the town of Cres and the Blue Cave, one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the Adriatic.
Museums and galleries
ART GALLERY ALVONA
LABIN CITY ART GALLERY
LABIN CITY MUSEUM
MEDITERRANEAN SCULPTORS SYMPOSIUM DUBROVA
MEMORIAL COLLECTION OF MATIJA VLAČIĆ ILIRIK
SACRAL ART COLLECTION
Porta SanfiorPorta Sanfior - main town doors of St. Flor dating from 1589 with Labin coat of arms and the Serenissima lion above. Canon dating from Austrian times was put up for the second time on the bastion (torjon) in 1995.
Baroque palace of Battiala-Lazzarini family is now a town museum. Counts Lazzarini, who had several properties in the Labin area, left after World War Two.
Three-nave church of Blessed Virgin Mary's Birth built in 1336 on the foundations of the small church from the 11th century. It was reconstructed several times. The last reconstruction was in 1993. A Venetian lion with a sphere in his mouth - a symbol of Labin recognizing the Venetian government - was put on the front facade in 1604. By the end of that century, in 1688, a baroque statue of senator Antonio Bollani, a combatant against Turks, was put on the same facade. The bust is one of the most beautiful examples of the secular sculptural art of Istria in the 17th century. On the right from the church, there is a palace which belonged to the Schampicchio family. Church of the B. V.Mary's Birth decorated with six marble altars. One of them has St.Justin's relics brought here from Rome in 1664. Main altar and altarpiece with six figures of B.V.M., St.Pauline and Saints : Justin, Sergio, Julian, Tom and Jacob. The author is Natale Schiavione from Dalmatia, the much more valuable altarpiece by the altar of the Madonna of Carmel from the l7th century is believed to be done by the famous painter Jacopo Negriti, better known as Palma the Younger. Valentin Lukas, a young Labin painter from the 19th century; is the author of the painting featuring the Stages of the Cross.
Town loggia - Labin - center of life in the past where news and court verdicts were read out. Peasants danced there every Sunday and on fair days. Built in 1550, it later got a collection of stone monuments. Pillar of shame was in front of the loggia.
St. Andrea's Church, from 15th century, is the oldest building heritage in the resort.
The medieval town of Labin is situated on the hill above Rabac. Its old name of Albona was first mentioned in 285 AD. The birthplace of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, the reformer and collaborator of Martin Luther, it is a cultural and administrative center today. The rich cultural and architectural heritage of Labin is enlivened by number of art ateliers and by the bustling youth gathering in the coffee bars scattered around the old town. The Sculpture Park in nearby Dubrova features over 70 forma viva stone sculptures. After a walk through the narrow streets of the Old Town, pay a visit to the Town Museum with its archaeological and unique in this part of Europe, a miniature coal mine. Have a look at the Memorial collection of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, peek into the art ateliers, enjoy the view of Rabac and Cres island from the Fortica or pop into the small, elegant shops and take refreshments on one of the terraces of the local coffee bars. Whether to do business or just to have a chat, these are the places where everyone meets
'RES PUBLICA ALBONESSIUM'
LabinLabin, a picturesque town situated on a 320 meters high hill and only three kilometers from the seaside, was inhabited already two thousand years B.G. The remnants of Kunci, one of the settlements called the 'castellums', dating from the Bronze Age, can be found in the vicinity of Labin. Its old Illyrian-Celtic name is Albona or Alvona and it was probably founded by Celts in the 4th century B.C. on the ruins of the ancient city. Some historians say it was fortified by the Illyrians in the 11th century B.C. They also say that Albona in the Celtic language means 'a town on the hill' or 'an elevated settlement'. Titus Livius said that Labin inhabitants were pirates. After the conflicts between the local inhabitants and Romans, which had started in the 3rd century B.C., Istra came under the Romans in 177 B.C. The borderline was the river Rasa. Labin and its surroundings thus became an integral part of Illyrian, the Roman province with a high degree of independence and authority over the nearby settlements. The oldest written document about Labin is a relief from the 3rd century with the insertion 'RES PUBLICA ALBONESSIUM'.
Rabac - The pearl of the Kvarner bay
Today, Rabac is a well-known tourist resort. By the middle of the 19th century, it was a small fishermen village with hardly ten houses. Due to the beautiful bay and splendid, tame surroundings, it soon attracted first visitors. In 1876, Richard Francis Burton, an English writer and a passionate traveler, was among the first tourists who stayed in Rabac. Having seen Rabac and other places on the Istrian coast, he wrote a book of the same title 'The Istrian coast', describing, among other things, the beauties and charm of Rabac. At that time Rabac witnessed the building of the first villas. The most well-known was the villa belonging to the Prohaska family, Czechs by origin, who were distinguished tradesmen from Rijeka. Unfortunately, the villa was destroyed during the Second World War, but one of the most attractive locations in Rabac still bears the name of Prohaska. 'Quarnaro', the first hotel in Rabac, was opened on 11th June, 1889 in the house of the Viskovic family situated close to the present 'Orlando' atelier. The hotel had only a few rooms and a pub on the ground floor.
Kaiser, the Austrian officer, who was a regular client of that first hotel, later bought Dubrova, an estate close to Labin. Today, Dubrova is hosting the Mediterranean Sculptors Symposium and is becoming ever more famous for its magnificent park of sculptures. The chronicle writers would point out yet another curiosity - at the beginning of this century in 1907, Prince Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, visited Rabac and was saluted by people who had gathered in the harbor.
The inhabitants of Rabac were skilled fishermen, seamen and owners of some ten sailboats which were either destroyed in the maelstrom of the Second World War or pushed back by modern ships. The first larger hotel was built in the period of the Italian government in 1925 in the very center of Rabac and was called 'Trieste' -its name today is 'Primorje'. The capacity of the hotel could not meet the ever growing demand of tourists, mainly from the northern parts of Italy. Hence the more intensive development of private accommodation took place. Ten years after 'Trieste', the 'Dopolavoro' hotel was built - presently the 'Jadran' restaurant.
Tourism in Istria, as well as in Rabac, began to develop during the sixties, when this small resort, due to its natural beauty , got the flattering name of 'The Pearl of the Kvarner Bay'. Since then, all existing hotels, apartments, camping sites and the majority of the private houses have been built. Among the visitors, for years now, the most numerous have been Germans and Austrians followed by English and Italians. Rabac can accommodate in one day even 11.000 visitors, mainly foreign, and several thousand bathers from Labin and its surroundings.