Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ode to Olive - the Tree of Life

The olive tree is native to Mediteranean basin, everywhere from Arabian world to Greece, Italy and of course Croatia.  Nowdays there are many hybrid cultivars but we are to talk about native olive. 

It is known that olive originates from Syria. The Phoenicians spread it throughout the Mediterranean, and the Greeks brought it here are a few centuries before Christ, while the Romans popularized and spread the olive groves. It is known that the edible olive has been cultivated for at least 5,000 to 6,000 years, mainly for olive oil which was the source of wealth for the acient civilizations, who used it as a basic foodstuff, for massage, for sacred rites and as fuel for oil lamps.  
During the ancient Olympic Games the fighters as a sign of victory, received a wreath woven out of olive branch.

The ancient Romans considered people who used the fat of animal origin and not olive oil- a barbarians. 

For Christians, olive is a sacred tree. The Bible often refers to the olive tree. Noah with his boat sent a dove in search of land, it returned with an olive branch in its beak. It was a sign of hope, a sign that the earth was green again, that life is back. Since then a dove with an olive branch in its beak is a symbol of hope and peace. Jesus was entering Jerusalem greeted with olive branches and spent his last night in the Garden of Olives.As a motive, olives is common in the art, for example, in the landscapes of the Mediterranean. The olive harvest is shown on Greek amphorae in the 4th century BC.

Olive tree is a symbol of peace, although peace under its tree were few. It is said that time and suffering  deeply cut into the bark, so is the face of farmers and fishermen often said to be flogged by bora and old as an olive tree.
In Croatia, the most famous famous are Olive gardens of Lun, millennia-old wild olive tree groves, one of three such sites in the world in general. Protected in 1963g. and declared a botanical reserve. We are talking about over 80,000 trees high up to eight meters on 24 hectars with about 1,500 wild old olive trees "Olea Oleaster" - beautiful wild olive trees which stand out for their age, size and fantastic shapes. On the whole Mediterranean there is no more such surviving wild olive trees in their natural environment. The cultivated olive tree has a wide space in which it grows, a wild olive tree as a forest species of Mediterranean evergreen species Olea Oleaster is now extremely rare.

An interesting fact about the oldest olive trees in Croatia:
 - In Kastel Štafilić near Split, growing olive tree is around 1750 years old, meaning planted around 260. year AD.- Brijuni old olive tree, established the age of about 1600 years
 - In Lunj olive oldest olive tree has about 1600 years
showing that they were planted 300 years before the arrival of the Croats in this area ..

Rab olives are right behind those listed above. According to current research, the oldest living olive trees on the island of Rab was found in village Kampor, planted back in 772.nd year, up to the 2015 counts fantastic 1243 years of age! And after almost 13 centuries it is still alive and gives the fruit - rightfully  "the tree of life". Eight meters of hight and still bears fruit, about 100 kilos of olives per year.

A series of Rab olives by age continues by olive from 978th ​​yr., 1129. yr., then 1281 year - all three from Supetarska Draga village, followed by olives from year 1317 and 1360 both from Palit and  one from 1398 year from Barbat village.

Especially interesting is the fact that all seven of the oldest olive trees on the island of Rab are located near the present and former monasteries in Kampor, Supetarska Draga and Barbat. We can conclude that the Church in the Middle Ages gave considerable attention to the spread of olive agricultural crops.
It is important to note that until the 20 ct. Lun land with the oldest olive trees on the Adriatic coast belonged to the diocese Arbe since its founding in year 530, therefore to Rab - so we can proudly say that Lun olives bear effort of Rab people and that the olive growing on the island of Rab is just as old. 
In Croatia are cultivated dozens of varieties of olives, and besides Dalmatian, very popular are Istrian olive oils. Olive oil is an essential ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine but it's healing properties have long been known, in particular of olive leaves. Ancient Egyptians used it for medical purposes and in mummification of Pharaoh, while later established cultures realised that the leaves are more useful to living than dead.

Naimly, the green fleshy olive leaf is rich natural source of compounds that have potent antibacterial activity.
In Dalmatia and on the islands the olive leaf is dried and then prepared as tea. This tea has been used against cough, flu. Today research reveals that olive leaves regulate pressure and sugar, feaver and influenza, improves the condition of the body in a number of diseases caused by microbes - pneumonia, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, influenza, meningitis, hepatitis B, herpes, etc. It is also good in the urinary problems and in surgical infections. It has also been proven that olive leaf prevents infection caused by the action of fungi.

So  "When you pass next to the olive, bow to it!"

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Rab in winter and low season

For the cultural/ travel orientated, Rab just like most places along the croatian coast and islands, lives a different tranquil life off the main summer rush.
Blessed with a mild climate even during the winter months, island Rab is a great destination to visit all year offers relaxation from bussy urban life, pleasant walks outdoors and visiting historical sights without summer crowds.

Rab has perfect weather if you appreciate the great outdoors; biking or trekking. Best time to visit Rab is late autmun/early spring and if you want something unusual and spectacular - february and march to experience famous bura wind. December is usually much warmer than rest of the continental Europe and temperatures are arround 13-16 degrees celsius.

Winter on Rab, here’s why:
1. Fewer tourists. This is a big one.
The old town opf Rab is very small and during winter season almost deserted, which makes it a perfect scenary for wandering the streets and walls. When sunny ( and that is often) one can also enjoy the winter sun on the sheltered promenade just bellow the town walls. This time of the year offers pristine serenity and space to truely enjoy the sights. At ease, with time for everything.
2. Cheaper. Except for the Christmas-New Year’s period when Croatians head to their Adriatic pearl, Rab hotel rates or private accommodation are up to 40% cheaper in winter but since only a few are open timely booking is required. Therefore, you'd need to make sure you have a place to stay in advance so conntact us and book on time.
3. More authentic. Without the rush of tourists, you can appreciate the place as a living, breathing island, not a mass tourism hotspot. The cafes are filled with locals and there is a number of local gatherings.
4. Local Festivals. Participating in Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Rab can be a wonderfully festive way to experience local culture and liven up the winter months. Except winter holiday season there is a review of the “Rabske vedute” klapa ensembles, Day of walking and a Bread Day in October; Rab trekking in November, St. Nicolas seamen day  beggining of December month culminating with Christmas concerts and N.Y. celebrations from morning-to-morning. Beginning of the next year starts with local carnivals, then Easter celebrations and spring festivals for the beginning of the new tourist season. Rab has a lively artistic and musical communities and there are different occassions throughout the year when one can enjoy different concerts and art-shows. Last sunday in April are "Krizi" local religouse pilgrim for health and goodness and the nicest month of them all is of copurse, blossoming May, when we also celebrate Rab town's day (09.05.)

 bura and snow on the peaks of Velebit, here +18 C.

swans winter stay december, 2010

- Last sunday in April - local pilgrimage KRIZI / Crucifixes - held annualy since 16ct.Veza

Except local carnival events during the winter on a local parties in villages arround the island and with the final carnival parade before lent - Rab is also known for it's 500 yrs old Crucifixes procession.

Spring brings wonderful flowers and warm weather for lng walks and enjoyments in discovering various island landscapes or day-excursions.

For overseas arrivals outside summer season, the easiest way is landing at Zagreb airport and getting a public transport to Rab or conntact us for organising a transfer. Like many destinations along the Croatian coast, Rab does not have a regular flights since the nearest Krk or Zadar airports operate only during the tourist season April - October .. However, Zagreb is only 3,5h away.  Just conntact us on time to organise your accommodation ( and a  transfer if you preffer) and that's it.

To organise your accommodation, check best accommodations page and please conntact us in time; there are limited resources in hotels and in private acommodations since most are orientated to seasonal work.

Best walking trails on the island Rab

Trekking and Walking routes on island Rab

Island Rab is
the second greenest island on the Adriatic after NP Mljet down south in Dalmatia. It is full of wonderful discoveries for the nature lovers and holidaymakers. Island of Rab has long promenades along the coast and cycling paths for an active recreational holiday. Routs are leading past the attractive scenary and outstanding natural beauties.

For visitors who are into the off-the- main road wanderings, avoiding bussy spots and like hidden beautiful locations, there are many walks to discover here on the island. Since the island is diverse in it's geological characteristics, the trails differe significantly in their sorts and overral landscape experience; from ridge stone desert to rich woods and breathtaking coves... The walks can be easy or more demanding, depending on the route selected.

In this blog you will find useful information about all these walk possibilities ( guided or for your own exploration).

Guided excursions can be tailored to your own interests and according to duration of your stay. Please email for more information or to organise your stay ( accommodation, food, excursions) and to make arrangements with the guide, more at

Individual and 1st time visitors;
It is advisable to hire a local guide for most trekks, even if you are an experienced hiker - new habitat is always tricky. Highly recommended, a requirement for 1st time visitors if going for more demanding routes ( see bellow descriptions).

Best time for the trekking and long walks is in spring months to mid-June / beginning of summer and mid- September to November. This way one avoids summer heat and rush and enjoys the pleasant temeratures and the surroundings at their best. Even the winter months are OK since usual temperature are arround 8-10 C , and there is no snow. Summer time ( 15.06.-15.09.) makes it very difficult due to high temepratures ( can be 40+ on the rocks, no water, no shade) and is not recommended to anyone. In any case, although this is not great wilderness, common sense and good equipment ( walking shoes, provisions) are required ;-))


Rab is the ninth largest island of the Croatian Adriatic, 22 km in length and 11 km wide. The total length of cycling paths on the island of Rab is 157 km and the total length of walking paths on the island of Rab is 144 km.

WALKING TRAILS - overviews and descriptions:

- Gonar / Supetarska Draga - Kampor area
Overview; seaside walk

Description: This promenade romantic stroll starts along the Miral bay to Boljkovac horn; 1,5 km of quiet and nice seaside walk, ideal for spring/ late summer walks. Best time; early mornings or afternoon so that you can end it with a nice glass of wine on the terrasse in Restaurant More and deliciouse dinner with stunning sunset view or in a caffe near by.
Tip: best starting point for this walk is directly from Gonar if finishing at the evening since there is no streetlight along the promenade.

Gradation: easy , due to damaged passages not recommended for cyclist.


- Ciganka, Sturic, Dubac; Lopar.

Overview; sandy landscape walk, interesting geological location

Description; Start from the harbour of old Lopar towards the Church and further to reach the remote natural sandy beaches with a view on high mountain and neighbouring islands Grgur and Goli. Stunning landscapes formed by stgrong bura winds, natural sculptures of carved hills and sandy slopes to the shore covered with aromatic bushes and herbs. Nice and not difficult walks along the paths next to the cristal clear sea.
The whole back NE side is very quiet and ideal for a whole day picknick and a good rest, in summer season also great for swimming.

Gradation: medium, duration cca 3 h

water and wind sculpture by kristoforina
water and wind sculpture, a photo by kristoforina on Flickr.

Lopar also offers comfortable bike ride on the side roads passing over the countryside hills of Lopar, through the woods.

- Sahara, Podpecina, Stolac; Lopar.

Overview; sandy landscape walk, interesting geological location

Description; Start from the San Marino side behind the private houses on the hill and follow markations to reach the remote natural sandy beach Sahara. Popular bathing bay in summer, can be flooded in winter. Walk along the bay and cut accross the hill towards Stolac bay, avoiding Podpecina branch which is very difficult terrain and only for adventurouse and well fit. Off the main season this is a piece of unspoilt landscape with a stunning view on high mountain Velebit and neighbouring islands Grgur and Goli. Earth configuration is shaped by stgrong bura winds, natural sculptures of carved hills and sandy slopes to the shore covered with aromatic bushes and herbs.

Gradation: medium to heavy, duration cca 3 - 3,5 h.

Warning to individual trekkers; Walking roundabout Lopar peninsula can be very demanding at times due to tricky terrain. roundabout Lopar peninsula required a whole day and in short winter days( dec- feb) not possible. Area around Podpecine, although drawn in the local maps is not recommended due to very difficult terrain. Engagement of a local guide highly recommended for 1st time visitors.


- Kalifront walk
Overview; trekking or cycling in the rich oak wood, if visiting during the bathing season, go for a swimm in Cifnata bay.

Description: Kalifront peninsula is located on N-W side of the island Rab. Its main characteristics are carst relief, holm oak woods and coast with beautiful sea bays. This is the greenest part of the whole island. The length is 9 km from the cape of Kalifront to the cape of Frkanj. The width is 3 km from the cape of Planka to the bay of Kampor. The sea altitude is 50-70 m and the highest point is the area of Plogar 94 m. The micro destination is located in a Nature wood reserve covering wide area of Kalifront and Dundovo woods and is 'a must' for recreative walking. The whole Dundovo-Kalifront area is also ideal for mountain-biking or long trekking. In this space is located the open State hunting grounds, managed by Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb for the purpose of scientific and research work. The area is marked with high fences. Visitors can enter the grounds through provided entrences or through the main gate.
This is ambient rich in flora and fauna. From the big animals here you may find deer ( Axis axis) and mouflon ( Ovis musimon) and small animals include various birds ( for expl. Athene noctua and Apodemus flavicollis ), beetles, butterflies, snakes ( no vipera) and lizzards.
Dundovo and Kalifront wooods are famouse for its holm oaks. In 1949 the whole area was declared a natural rarity. Holm oak ( Quercus ilex) is an evergreen oak which can count thousands of years of age. Couple of impressive oaks are preserved in the forest. Particularity of the woods are old samples of Quercus pubescens.

Through the woods runs an asphalted road from the main road to Kalifront horn and to Sv. Mara.

Due to the well marked easy paths Kalifront- Dundovo woods are suitable for different users, from sportsmen ( for conditioning), to older people and families with children. Highly recommended to people recovering after medical treatments or people with respiratory tract problems. Half-day tour or whole day excursions - guided tours recommended as people often loose orientation and sense of time in the wood area..


A) - walk or bike to Kristofor horn and then turn to Cifnata bay for a nice bathing. Distance: cca 5 km one way from the main crosstroad to the horn + another 4,5 km to Cifnata and back. Gradation: medium.

B) - walk or bike to Kalifront horn at the very end of the whole peninsula and take a bath in one of the small pebble beaches there. Gradation: medium. cca 5 km straight

C) - serious biking trail: - Kalifront woods - turn to Armata bay, along the trail toward the Planka bay or Sv. Mara and then up to the main path in the middle and head back to the main motorway road. I preffer the road from Planka back to main road since it is more challanging for a bike-ride and is on the trekking road, no asphalt.
Gradation: medium.

D) Premuzic trekk 2 -see the map bellow; This path of Premuzic was built around 1930 by Ante Premuzic, an engineer holding a BSc in Forestry and a famous architect and constructor of forest roads, mountain-tourist paths and stream management. The path ;  Pidok - special reserve forest Dundo - botanical reserve - Bay of Christopher - Gozinka - Suha Punta. Marked on the map with numbers 9 and 10. In whole, it is 15 km long, passing primarily through the woods. The resting places; Gozinka cove, Suha Punta and during the tourist season on Frkanj peninsula west side. The coastal part of the trail is exposed to the sirocco winds. The trail is not for cyclists.
Gradation; medium, duration whole day


Warning to individual visitors;
Walking roundabout Kalifront peninsula can be very demanding due to tricky terrain, specially if you are walking the costal part and is time consuming -
lso, orientation in the woods can be tricky and the distances are greater than appearing on the tourist trekking maps. Engagement of a local guide highly recommended for 1st time visitors.


- walk along the stonewall alley -

Overview; roundabout between the stonewals labyrinth

Description; Stonewalls are old traditional and the main landmarks of the whole adriatic region. This is the oldest construction technique in use since prehistorical times to present. Since there is no dating and no particular characteristic for distinguishing, since the materials used are always ones at the first hand, local simple stones, it is impossible to say how old the stonewalls around the croatian islands are. They are omnipresent on our islands and in the coastal area, giving a characteristic look to the landscape. Best known ones are the Starogradska polja ( the Ager of Pharos) on island of Hvar ( best preserved antique landscape on the whole Mediterranean, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List), stonewalls near Primosten or nearby centurian or even millenian stonewalls on Lun, island Pag. Of course, island Rab also has its stonewalls; mainly on the hills of Kamenjak ( you will walk accross some if you depart on the Premuzic trekk along this hill) and smaller ones in the fertiel walles.
Recently the Barbat community has taken a great effort to restore traditional stonewalls on one of the locations near the Grpe hammlet. Predict a minimum 2 h medium heavy wander walk or take longer time and more difficult trekk into the inland stone and carst wilderness of Kamenjak ridge.

Gradation: medium to difficult, not recommended for cyclists. cca 5 h


- Premuzic trekk 1 - GEO PARK

Overview: Path crosses the main Rab ridge and leads accross the Geopark Fruga valley to Lopar. The trail is partly exposed to the sun, and partly runs through the woods, passing through the Geo park with intersting geological sights. The Lopar part of the trail is exposed to the bora wind. The trail is not for cyclists.

Description; The Premuziceva-1 geological begins in the settlement of Matkici near the village of Supetarska Draga, on the bridge above a dam which regulates stream waters of Vela draga and takes you across the hill to the camping area in Lopar - San Marino. There are no resting places nor drinking water, so it is recommended to bring along the water. The sea altitude of the bridge is 12 m and the path slowly climbs along the left flow of the stream Vela draga and then exits to the plateau at the 120-130m above the sea level. There is a rare Holm oak forest Suhanj where we can see impressive examples of Holm oak trees. The path proceeds to the forest area Fruga. Before reaching the rocky carst area, on the left side of the path there is a ground eroded in the flood, which is a nice example of the climate factors' influence on the ground and the significance of the vegetation for the protection of such ground. There is also a "Roman path", a part of the pathway which indicates the construction methods of the Roman Empire. The path reaches the rocky carst area and here you can enjoy wonderful views from the peninsula of Lopar, the islands of St. Gregory and Krk. Mountain Velebit can be seen in the background. Due to bora impacts the vegetation in this area is quite scarce. The path lowers towards the bridge-dam of the stream area Jamina, next to the fence of the campsite San Marino in Lopar. Marked on the map with numbers 1, 2 The influence of erosion on the flysch ground and its vegetation is best seen on the examples of unusual forms of ground in the area of the path of Premuzic. Some of the forms which resemble towers and pyramids reach the height of 5 m.

Whole distance Rab- Lopar along this trekk is cca 12 km , suitable only for advanced and fitt - prepare for some stone-walls crossings, difficult paths and sharp stones.

Gradation: demanding, duration 5h one dirrection

fruga by kristoforina
fruga, a photo by kristoforina on Flickr.
geopark by kristoforina
geopark, a photo by kristoforina on Flickr.

- Kamenjak panorama trekk -

Overview; easy hill trekk along the asphalted road. Duration from town Rab 4h.

Description: Excellent panorama views on the whole island. Kamenjak with its peak at 408m is the highest point on the island. It is a composition of limestone that protects the island from the cold northern wind - bura. This wind is also the main moulder of the carst desert on the Velebit canal side of the island and scarce vegetation, creating the most stunning environment. At the top one can enjoy the best and most encompassing views of the island and of the whole archipelago; see islands Cres, Losinj, Pag, Silba, Olib, Krk... On a clear day it is possible to see the mountain Ucka on the nord or islands Ugljan and Molat on the south, which are almost 40miles distance. In the main season ( June- September) there is a rest point - restaurant open, with nice terrasse where you can buy soft drinks and snacks or even order some grilled dishes.

Gradation: to panorama point - medium, rest of the trail heavy
Duration cca 4-5 h up & back

Warning: Although marked on the trekking maps, the whole trekking route along the Kamenjak hill from Barbat to Lopar is very difficult; difficult-to-walk sharp rocks terrain criss-crossed with stonewalls and fences, difficult to move and with no shade, not recommended for children or unfit / older people. Due to its difficulty and duration ( not possible in one day) this is only for experienced trekkers and with a guide only.

alone in wilderness by kristoforina
alone in wilderness, a photo by kristoforina on Flickr.

- Mundanije and Banjol countryside walk -

Overview: - walking path through the fertile valleys in the island middle.

Description; Start along the hill Sv. Illayah, cross to Mundanije and continue at the Sotici hammlet towards Godinici, Ribarici and Matusan hammlets. Take a turn off the main road arround the hill and continue to Santa Lucia church in Banjol, returning to the town along the long promenade from the camping Padova 3. This is an easy half day walking tour. No rest points so bring your own supplies for picknick. This is a great idea if you want to enjoy the nature and countryside and also meet to local inhabiotants..

Gradation: easy

pretty pretty by kristoforina
pretty pretty, a photo by kristoforina on Flickr.


On the locations off the main road and out of villages there is no services or a restaurant/ shop, so you need to take your own provisions. Paths are partly exposed to sun, so fair amount of water is a must, specially during the summer months... In summer avoid Kamenjak hill completely when, due to heavy conditions ( high temepratures, no shade, difficult terrain), it can get dangerouse even for experienced trekkers and it is high chance to get a sunstroke. In winter periods ( Dec.- March) avoid trekking under bura winds as these conditions heavily increase the energy and time needed for the complition of the trails; you can get underwarmed and loose lots of energy on moving.Individual visitors;

It is advisable to hire a local guide for most trekks, even if you are an experienced hiker - new habitat is always tricky. Highly recommended, if not a requirement for 1st time visitors.

Only Gonar trekk is easy enough for do-it-alone sightseeing. Oherwise, never leave alone, tell to your host where you are going and when you plann to be back, get a good map, sVezaome food and water, small first-aid kit and make note of the important emergency phone numbers before you leave; the emergency help number: 112 .

More on existing guided trips is available at the Kristofor agency. We have prepared a handful of trails for you to explore.

Conntact for the guiding.


related photoalbums:


Hidden Rab


For those of you who are confident and adventurous enough to do it on your own, walking maps are available localy in the TIC or with us, in the Kristofor agency or see it it here;

TREKKING MAP - source TZ Rab

Friday, 10 January 2014

Best of Rab Apartments

Comfortable short term holiday rentals in private accommodation

 Private Apartments offers comfort, friendly atmosphere and a relaxed, private holiday.

Kristofor travel offers proffesional, tidy, well furbished holiday apartments in private accommodation on island Rab in all tourist places on various locations.
From basic accommodation in simple apartments to classy luxory style apartments in villas.

Here some accommodation highlights ( full catalog is available online here):

4 star apartments directly by the sea and close to the town.
Air-conditioned, with intertnett access. Balcony sea view.

luxory apartments in a villa with pool. 2x A2 and 2x A4.
Air-conditioned, with panorama view.

Luxory accommodation in two apartments A4 **** cca 120m2 and smaller A2***. apartments with air-conditioning, Sat TV, wi-fi internet, very close to the historic town of Rab.

3x luxory studio-apartments in a villa with pool. 3x A2
Air-conditioned, near the sea.

High class apartments in a house with outdoor and indoor pool. Fitness, sauna, internet. Owner living in.
Great choice for cyclists, nature lovers and bigger groups of friends and family.

Comfortable apartments for up to 16 people, quiet and pretty location near the sea in Miral bay. Sandy beaches, close to the sea.
3x A4 and 2x A2 apartment-studio.

- 2 comfortable and spaceouse apartments each for 4 people, near the sea/ sandy beach. Air-conditioned. Boat anchoring on request.

- 2 apartments A4 and one smaller A2 apartments in a house close to the sea and not far from the old town. Boat acnhoring on request.

- big apartments for 4 and 6 people in the vicinity of the town Rab 300m from the sea.

Except these few examples, more apartments and houses are availabe for viewing at our main Cataloge.
Visit the main site and choose your place: or send the enquiery form to kristofor agency directly.

For More croatia rentals check Croatia Vacation Rentals direct by owner or try Ferienhäuser & Ferienwohnungen bei von Privat