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In Labin and Rabac you get the best of both worlds - a pretty seaside village and a historical hilltop town, side by side. Labin and Rabac are on the sheltered eastern coast of Istria, looking out over islands and sea towards Kvarner. Labin is a colourful hillside town, filled with art studios, galleries, museums, old buildings and churches. Rabac has some of the nicest beaches in Istria, and still has the feel of an old fishing village, even with its great tourist facilities. The towns are only 5km apart, but quite secluded from the rest of Istria.


For such small towns, Labin and Rabac seem to host more than their share of events. One of the most popular is the Rabac Summer Festival. Held on Girandella beach every May, it is a three-day electronic music festival featuring artists from all over the world and attracting crowds of thousands. Labin’s longest event is the two-month Labin Art Republic, a cultural and artistic festival in July and August celebrating the historical and cultural heritage of Labin. You can visit local artists’ workspaces and see them working or enjoy other entertainment including film, comedy, and theatre as well as the Labin Classic Summer music festival and the Labin Jazz Festival. September 22 is the Miner’s Republic, an event remembering what life was like in 1921 when many of Labin’s residents were coal miners. It includes tours of an old mine, as well as food and drink from that era. The nearby little village of Kršan hosts the annual spring festival Samoniklog Bilja to celebrate the use of wild plants in cooking, nutrition and medicine.


There is an excellent range of things to do in Labin and Rabac. You can go on a boat excursion to the nearby Island of Cres, or along the Rabac Riviera. Take a picnic to Cres and enjoy the nice beaches, and remember to look out for dolphins when you’re on the water. You can also take a guided fishing tour and see sailing regattas and rowing races. Rabac has some super beaches - four of them have Blue Flag status which means they meet high standards for water quality, safety and environmental management. 

Other places to stay & visit

  • Pula

    Stay in or near to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Pula to soak in the local history and pure authenticity of the area.

  • Central Istria

    A stunning rural escape, rich in vineyards, fine foods, agritourism and plentiful beaches.

  • Vrsar and Funtana

    These areas offer many gastronomical establishments and some fun outdoor activities to get stuck into.

  • Umag and Novigrad

    With natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, these locations are attractive with delicious local cuisine.

  • Labin and Robac

    These medieval towns are full of history and offer an array of outdoor activities such as hiking and sea kayaking. 

  • Rovinj

    One of the most beautiful seaside towns in all of Croatia, stay here to experience charm and character.  

Girandella is a sandy and rocky beach great for swimming, surfing, waterskiing and sunbathing, while the stunning sandy Maslinica has a beautiful promenade and facilities for sports, children and people with disabilities. Further inland from Labin there are great hiking and biking trails, and the nearby valleys and forest hills are good for wild game hunting. You can also do free climbing and horseriding. If you want to have a real sporting adventure, take part in the two-day Rabac Adventure Race, where people compete in pairs doing hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, caving, climbing, abseiling and tunnelling. It’s in August and there are different categories for amateurs and professionals. For a cultural experience, you can easily visit a number of small villages nearby such as of Plomin, Pićan and Kršan, or the teeny-tiny village of Raša, which has an interesting church shaped like an up-turned coal mining cart. In Kršan you can see a medieval tower which was once part of a castle. The Dubrova Park of Sculptures is just 3km from Labin and features more than 70 stone sculptures by artists from around the world. If you’re interested in Christian history, the house which 16th century Lutheran reformer and Labin local Matthias Illyricus was was born in hosts an exhibition about his life.


Labin-Rabac has four Blue Flag beaches: Maslinica, Girandella, Lanterna and St Andrea.

  • Near Maslinica beach

  • Lanterna beach

Food and wine

Labin and Rabac both have a nice selection of cafes and restaurants. A pretty spot to have dinner or lunch is at one of the restaurants along Rabac’s sea-front promenade. Rabac also has a good range of bars, many of them with a sea view. Some of the nearby towns like Trget and Montozi have cute well-rated restaurants serving local food. Just a few kilometres from Labin are various vineyards and olive groves where you can do tastings or have a meal.


Labin has been settled since ancient times, with many different rulers and regimes controlling it over the years. Visit the remains of Kunci, a Bronze Age hillfort in Labin. Or wander around the cobblestone streets to see the range of yellow, red, orange, white and grey buildings from different eras. You can climb Labin’s 17th century church tower or the old fortress Fortica at the top of the hill for a superb view of the town, Rabac and Kvarner Bay. One of the loveliest buildings in Labin is the ochre-red Battiala-Lazzarini Palace built in the 17th and 18th centuries, now home to a museum displaying archaeological, cultural and historical artefacts. The Municipal Loggia, built in 1550 as a community centre, is extremely well preserved and worth a look. Labin used to be a walled town, and you can still walk through the 16th century city gate Porta Sanfior, with a Venetian lion carved into its archway. You can see a similiar lion on the 14th century Church of Blessed Virgin Mary’s Birth. Labin used to be Croatia’s largest coal mining district until the last mine closed in 1989. Visit the Labin National Museum to see an interesting exhibition about the history of mining in the town, and go into a model mining tunnel (if you’re not too claustrophobic). If you visit Labin in September, you might be in time for the Miner’s Republic event where the town remembers what life was like for miners. In Rabac you can visit St Andrew’s Church - the oldest church in the town, built in the 15th century.

  • Battiala Lazzarini Palace

  • View of Kvarner Bay