May in Labin and Rabac
Started as a small local fishermen’s festival, it took only four years for Kvarner Shrimp Festival to become the most popular gastro event in the south-east Istria. In a relaxed atmosphere at the Rabac waterfront with live performances of popular music bands, local caterers prepare dishes using Kvarner shrimp, the most popular sea delicacy of the Kvarner Bay. Caught by the local fishermen, members of Alba Fisheries Local Action Group, festival’s organizer, shrimps are prepared as a classic risotto, shrimp sauce with polenta, to pads filled with shrimp cream and many other variations served with the finest wines from Labin area award-winning wine-makers. Feel the atmosphere of the fishing festival and discover the local delicacies from Rabac gastro offer.
The traditional Labin Republic sailing cruise regatta with its large sails attracts the gaze and lust of lovers of the sea and the wilderness of the wind. Become a part of the exciting races in the waters of Rabac Bay where sometimes only the centimetres decide on the winner. Along the kilometres of Rabac promenade walk and observe the competition, take photos of interesting scenes at sea, relax under the pine trees on benches along the sea and if it is warm enough swim together with sails. For years one of the most visited regattas in Istria and Kvarner, organized by Kvarner Sailing Club from Rabac, gathers crews from Istria and Kvarner and promotes sailing. The tradition of sailing in Rabac dates back to the days when Rabac was a fishing village, and the regatta carries its name as a memory of Labin Republic- the riot of miners who used Rabac cable-car called teleferika to transport bauxite from Labin coal mines to the sea.
From Plomin Bay, Rabac and Sv. Marina to cape Crna Punta, seabed is full of underwater treasures, flora and fauna with a diving attraction - shipwrecks of two sunken steamships in Vela vrata canal. Discover this magnificent world and if you have not yet learned to dive, do so in Rabac in one of the specialized professional diving centres or in Sv. Marina at Marina 4 * campsite with one of the best diving centres in the Mediterranean. With a relax infinity pool for intial training at an adequate depth, the centre offers full bottle filling service, diving courses, boat trips and equipment rental, diving equipment washing area, mobile homes with diving equipment storage area and other amenities. The walls of Sv. Marina are a favourite place for divers because of three large reefs that descend directly from the beach to 55 meters deep into the open sea so it’s possible to go diving even when the weather does not allow boat ride.
The underwater at Girandella beach in Rabac will delight you with great depths and a multitude of stone cascades and crags with corals and sponges, and at the end of Rabac bay, you’ll find cape Babino, famous for gorgonians and sponges.
May is the ideal month for discovering picturesque villages of Labin. The lavish purple sage blossoms will guide you on the Sage Trail to Skitača village on the southernmost point of Labin peninsula. You can taste quality sage honey in a variety of dishes offered at Labin and Rabac restaurants. Only three kilometres from Labin Old town, in the village of Kranjci, take on the adventure of discovering the buried Byzantine treasure on St. Florentius’ Trail, with a chapel of the same name, protected Croatian cultural treasure. In the neighbouring Rogočana tavern you’ll find delicacies from the indigenous local spring ingredients, and afterwards you can continue exploring at Dubrova Sculpture park at the outskirts of Labin, a unique open-air sculpture complex with works by some of the greatest Croatian and foreign artists. The road then leads you to Nedešćina and Sveti Martin village where the tradition of winemaking dates back to the 19th century. In Kaštel Pineta agrotourism you can sleep in the baron castle with a swimming pool, and at the countryside palace Lazzarini - Battiala enjoy the wine cellar and continue to discover all the magic of Labin Wine Road. When returning to Rabac, take a left turn uphill towards the picturesque Ripenda. From Due Frattelli restaurant and Markus tavern, and Oleum Viride Belić oleoteca in Rabac, enjoy the sea and meat delicacies with Labin and Istrian extra virgin olive oil, globally awarded from the best olive growing region in the world.
Along the sea, waterfalls and streams filled with fragrances and lavish yellow Spanish broom, in the revitalizing scents of wild sage and immortelle, fresh sea salt in the air and forest smells of oak and pine trees, allow your body to get back into shape. Rabac and Labin provide almost unreal natural environments for running, trekking, walking, recreation and complete natural detox. Where the sea meets the hills, only a few meters from the sea you can enjoy the spring splendour of waterfalls and streams on Sentona’s Trail or run on red Istrian soil by the sea on Terra Magica Trail and swim at its end on the wild beaches at Prtlog. Bellavista Trail Rabac - Kosi will take you to the mountain slopes above Rabac with spectacular views over the Kvarner islands.
For two and a half summer months Rabac will again be the entertainment centre for all generations. After more than 60,000 visitors, the third season starts on 15 June with the traditional summer carnival, carnival madness with Croatian and foreign groups that take over the whole Rabac promenade with fun long into the night. Music part of the festival opens with Massimo's concert on 5 July at The Beat Beach Club. The charismatic vocal of the Croatian music scene in his hometown will take us on a musical journey with hits from his 30-year-long career. The festival closes on 23 August with live performances by The Stones, an iconic The Rolling Stones tribute band, and the excellent The Queen Real Tribute Band.
Program will take place on multiple locations and this year it is also divided into four categories: Special Events, Cinema and Theatre, Street Music and Street Performance. Visitors will be able to enjoy the refreshed concept of well- known Sundance Tribute Festival. The Sundance Beach Club will welcome excellent Joe Cocker, The Beatles, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, ABBA and Zucchero tribute bands.
Cinema and Theatre program brings free open-air projections of popular family and animated movies, and the popular scene-educational attraction Istria Inspirit with a new scenario of interactive interaction for the whole family, which will introduce you to the tradition and the past of Labin mines and miners.
A new show for this season was also prepared by a circus company Circus in the City with the original Cabaret Show. For the youngest visitors there is a Princess Ball that brings boys and girls to the magical world of Alice in Wonderland. In cooperation with Labin Art Republic, various concerts and theatre performances will connect Rabac and Labin this year.