Heading north from our sea kayaking and climbing adventures in Split, we've moved northwards up the coastal road (Highway '8') to visit Camping San Marino (part of the Camping Adriatic campsite group) on the island of Rab. Camping San Marino is similar to the Orbitur campsites of Portugal. Almost always great places to stay and you know the quality will be amongst the best of on offer across Croatia (just like we'd seen at Camping Solitudo in Dubrovnik earlier this month)
For those that have been following our Croatia adventures, you'll know this is our 8th island. Ranging from the smaller islands like Lokrum near Dubrovnik to larger islands like Korčula or Pag. Some of these Croatian islands are easily accessible via either ferry or road bridge (i.e Krk or Pag) whilst others require ferries to enter/exit the island... As Rab is one of the latter, we arrived in what can only be described as an interesting crossing (Perched over the 'open' back edge of the ferry due to the fact larger vehicles are taken on board last, it was an anxious crossing, but here's a word of advice about Croatian Ferries.... as it's always worth checking timetables especially as we've been caught out this week - ferries info here)
As Camping San Marino is situated some 35mins from the main port... the scenic drive across the island allows you to take your time and enjoy some of the views (including the old town harbour of Rab) or the picturesque view southwards along the Croatian Coastline. Describing itself as the 'Happy Island' , Rab is roughly 20km long by 11km wide and has a long illustrious history of royal visitors (think British Royalty such as Edward VIII who whisked Wallis Simpson off to Rab for a whirlwind holiday in 1936!) However it's still largely undiscovered by British holidaymakers yet German & Italians visit in their droves each summer.....
You'll need to head northwards up the island to find Camping San Marino.... but the drive is worth every second through an area designated a 'GeoParc' for it's beauty and wide variety of flora, fauna & landscapes. Before you enter the gates of this 4* camping resort and are met with large, spacious grassy pitches that sit at the end of tree-lined avenues to the sandy beaches of the south east facing bay.... Yes, that's right... they are sandy! Unlike almost all other beaches we've found, this has over 200m of long golden sandy beaches with a waterpark nearby for good measure! Rab has more sandy beaches than anywhere else on this Adriatic Coastline
So with that in mind, we grabbing our increasingly useful Lazy Jacks 'beach dresses'... and spent an idyllic afternoon on the beach playing hopscotch, swinging on the swings or making sandcastles with the girls.... Sometimes the best days are the ones that can often cost the least money!
On our European Roadtrip of over 500+ days now, we've found that when we discover places with well serviced pitches or large areas to set up camp... it often means we stay for a few days... but sadly this was a quick visit before we head to Camping Krk Resort for an Easter Break... That said, we could easily have stayed for longer due to the feeling of space, peace and quiet here... Perhaps it's because it's an island that requires a ferry to access it so you feel even more isolated, or maybe it's the easy laid back nature of the locals... but it's certainly a place you could easily kick back and relax in....
So if a beach holiday is what you're looking for, then Camping San Marino is ideally placed to meet that need... Think afternoons lazing on the beach before heading to the large adventure playgrounds... or maybe even squeezing in a quick massage at the 'Wellness Centre'......
For us, we'll remember the island of Rab for it's truly stunning views from the beaches or the 4 impressive bell towers in the old walled town of Rab...... So we hope these below pictures (taken from the beach at Camping San Marino) gives a small impression of the view that awaits any visitor to this 'Happiest' of Croatian Islands!
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