Kvarner newsletter / no 32

Hundred years of tourism

Lopar on the island of Rab this year celebrates a great anniversary – 100 years of tourism. The biggest celebration to mark this important date is scheduled for mid-September, the month that will include a wide range of attractive programmes and events.

The municipality of Lopar, located in the north-western part of the island of Rab, this year celebrates an important anniversary – 100 years of tourism, and the main celebration is scheduled for September. As a result, this part of the island of Rab, which is famous for its sandy beaches – probably the most beautiful on the Adriatic – will also be well visited during September.

A series of activities, such as unveiling a memorial plaque at the place where health tourism was "born", presentation of the book entitled "Lopar – tourist past and present", demonstration of old customs and handicrafts entitled "Back to the Roots" is now behind us, but what follows in September are several entertainment events designed to make visitors better acquainted with this attractive part of the island of Rab.

The central event will take place from the 3rd to the 12th of September, when Lopar will host entertainment events every day. The central festival to mark the Day of the Municipality of Lopar will include lot of music and dance, and rich gastronomic offer based on various specialities of the island. The organisers expect many visitors to Lopar, especially in the period between the 10th and the 12th of September, when ca. five hundred bikers will attend the traditional Bikerfest Lopar 2010.

After that, Lopar will on the 18th of September host the traditional angling competition, which will be followed by the "Rab Dive Off" Croatian Open Free-Diving Competition from the 24th to the 26th of September. In addition to divers form Croatia, many competitors from abroad announced their participation in this competition, including some holders of national records from previous championships.

All these events will be additionally enriched with stories from the past. Being the furthest settlement on the island of Rab, Lopar has preserved the strongest connections with its past up to the present day, and the great anniversary has additionally strengthened this connection. Local inhabitants will tell the visitors the oldest story about local tourism, which dates back to 1902. It was the year when the first inn was opened in Lopar. Its owner was the then head of the village, Petar-Šime Pičuljan, whose descendants still live on the island. The inn initially offered only simple dishes, but after the introduction of the first shipping line, the inn was visited by many foreigners, which resulted in turning the inn first into a restaurant, and then into a small guesthouse with nine rooms in 1910. This year, when first tourists stayed overnight there, has been declared as the beginning of tourism in Lopar.