Austrian naturalist Camillo Morgan visited Rab in 1889, 1904 and 1909 and writes, “…the sea in ten or so beautiful bays has a special colour which becomes an emerald-green colour. If the coasts of Italy and France deserve the name Côte d’Azur then this should be called the Côte d’Emerald.”
The island of Rab is rightly referred to as the pioneer of naturism on the Adriatic. The month of August 1936 is frequently mentioned as the official beginning of naturism in Rab, i.e. when the English king Edward VIII stayed there and the Rab authorities allowed him and his wife to take a nude swim in the bay of Kandarola. However it is certain that naturism on the island started long before that. The article “Trade in nakedness”, published in the Austrian economic journal “Trend” no. 11/83 reports that the naturist beach in Rab was officially opened as early as at the transition to this century and that 50 beds in the hotels were reserved for naturists.
The same article mentions that the first naturist beach in Rab was opened personally by Richard Ehrman, the president of the International Naturist Federation from Vienna in 1934. Naturism in Rab is also mentioned in the article of the Czech Josef Herman, in 1907 and of professor Günther in 1912, which proves that the Rab people had understood long ago the bright prospects of this movement which, at that time, was a very bold attitude. The possibility to swim without clothes attracts for a lot of tourists, so that many of them choose to spend their holidays in Rab. While nudists used to be very rare earlier, there are thousands of them nowadays.
King Edward VIII (1894 – 1972) and Wallis Simpson (1896 – 1986) on the island of Rab, during a holiday cruise on the Dalmatian coast, August 1936.