The first records about the population on Abruka originate from the Middle Ages, when the Bishop of Ösel-Wiek founded a horse breeding manor (Abro) there. Permanent population developed in the 18th century. 1881–1972 an elementary school operated on Abruka.
Abruka is the site of a Central European-type broadleaf forest, which is rare in the region. To protect this a nature reserve was created in 1937.
There's a library (located in the harbour building) and a museum which is located on the side of the former manor park in the oldest building on Abruka (The Abruka House).
Abruka can be reached by postboat Heili from Roomassaare harbour in Kuressaare.