Novalja is the tourist centre of the island. It developed in an open bay in the north-western part of the island of Pag. It is well known for its beautiful sandy and pebble beaches, especially Zrće Beach, situated between a dense pine forest and the crystal clear sea. It is a true pearl of the Adriatic.
During summer, the terraces of various cafes and snack bars create a special atmosphere, where guests can find refreshment and fun. If you want to get to know the finest gastronomy of this part of Croatia, you have chosen the right place to enjoy the autochthonous specialties of Pag. Novalja’s chefs will offer you traditional and unique flavours of the island in their restaurants and taverns. Experience the perfect harmony of flavour in specialties such as cheese, lamb meat, wild asparagus, seafood, Kvarner Bay shrimp and fresh fish, with the addition of the well-known oil obtained from the biblical olive trees of Lun and aromatic herbs of the rocky island of Pag.
By visiting the Boškinac Winery, which forms part of the Boškinac Hotel, built in an autochthonous architectural style, you will get a chance to taste the enticing aromas of wine that the inhabitants of this island and their guests have been enjoying for centuries. The hotel’s restaurant and tavern offer a harmony of traditional specialties flavoured with herbs from the surrounding hills and fine drops of top-quality wines.
The remains of three basilicas have been found in Novalja. The largest one is situated in the centre and it is the largest basilica in Dalmatia discovered so far. Beneath the hill that separates the city of Novalja from its field area, there is a Roman aqueduct called Talijanova buža (Italian’s Hole), hand-carved in stone. It is a unique example in the Southeast Europe and the longest section of this type of construction in general. There are many other valuable sites and archaeological remains, such as the Illyrian Fortress from 1500 BC, the Roman fortress of St. George, a number of early Croatian churches, Kaštel (Castle), Knežev dvor (Duke’s Palace) and other valuable remnants.
Novalja is home to a very interesting old kolo dance called Naški, performed in beautiful folk costumes. People still vividly remember many original folk inventions, tales, songs and humorous stories, as well as chants characterized by the melodies of Istria and the Croatian Littoral on one hand and Northern Dalmatia on the other hand, thus bearing a special Dalmatian character. At the beaches and in the sea, visitors can enjoy varied programmes of recreational activities and sports. Guests, especially those of younger age, can spend their evenings at Cocomo Club in Novalja, or have fun all day until late into the night at modern clubs like Kalypso, Aquarius, Papaya, and Noa at Zrće Beach. During the summer, a variety of entertainment and cultural events are organized in Novalja.
The town of Pag was built in the 15th century, combining the features of Gothic and Romanesque style and according to the urban development plan of the renowned builder Juraj Dalmatinac. It is rich in cultural heritage, nurturing centuries-old traditions and customs. The famous Pag lace is highly valued in the world. Pag is located in Pag Bay, where pebble and sandy beaches line one after the other like pearls in a necklace along the crystal clear sea.
Povljana has been inhabited since Roman times, as evidenced by the remains of Old Povljana, 3 km south of today’s town. Of the cultural and historical buildings, it is worth mentioning the well-preserved old Croatian church of St. Nicholas from the 11th century. To the west of the town there is a location where one can find healing mud with sea sediment, great for the treatment of rheumatism.
Stara Novalja is situated on a gentle slope of the north-western part of the island of Pag. A sequence of sandy beaches separated by small piers stretches along several miles of the quiet bay. At the entrance to Stara Novalja, the sandy beach of Trinćel attracts attention with its beauty. Along with numerous sea food specialties offered in several restaurants, even the most picky wine lovers will be satisfied at Boškinac Restaurant, situated in the field area of Novaljsko polje, which offers homemade wine, the well-known Pag cheese, prosciutto and salted fish.
Košljun is a peaceful tourist place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and sheltered from strong bura wind, which attracts lovers of holidays filled with silence and relaxation. The village is located 11 km south of the town of Pag and it was founded as the exit port of the town of Pag to the open sea. Inhabitants of Pag would occasionally stay here during the year, and the village was first mentioned in written documents in the 14th century. Family holiday homes with beautiful gardens welcome guests eagerly, while the hosts, being skilful fishermen as well, heartily offer a variety of fish specialties and other island delicacies. The Košljun coastline boasts several lovely pebble beaches that offer beautiful views of the blue horizon and the island of Vir, while the thick shade of pine trees serves as the perfect spot for the local campsite. Cyclists are attracted by the macadam road, the oldest road on the island, which leads from the Old Town of Pag to Košljun and passes along the sea salt factory. In the neighbouring cove, a few kilometres from Košljun, there is a charming village of Proboj with a small harbour and several houses.
Vidalići is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to enjoy views of the Bay of Pag, its turquoise sea and the coast characterized by alternating scenes of rocky terrain and wooded landscape.
The village of Vidalići is located at the beginning of a series of villages with the common name of Barbati in the north-eastern part of the island of Pag. In addition to Vidalići, Barbati also includes the villages of Kustići, Zubovići and Metajna, most of which were formed in the 18th century by families moving from the town of Pag to catch and dry tuna fish, flocks of which were frequent visitors to the Bay of Pag.
Vidalići can be reached from the direction of Novalja or the ferry port of Žigljen. The main activity of the inhabitants of Vidalići is tourism, mostly providing apartment accommodation services to their guests. The enchanting beauty of Pag Bay entices visitors to enjoy the charming beaches of Vidalići until sunset.
In the immediate vicinity of Vidalići, on the road that leads from Caska to Vidalići, begins a path along the drystone walls that leads to the Pag Triangle, an unusual footprint in the stone, a phenomenon that has been attracting the attention of scientists and tourists since its discovery more than 20 years ago.
The village of Zubovići overlooks the impressive landscape of the Bay of Pag and its crystal clear sea. It is located in the north-eastern part of the island of Pag, in Barbati, a group of villages that, apart from Zubovići, consists of Vidalići, Kustići and Metajna. Zubovići is situated in the central part of Barbati, which is probably why in the 18th century, when the village was founded, it was called Sridnje Selo (Middle Village).
Barbati can be reached by a ten-minute drive from the direction of Novalja or from the direction of the ferry port of Žigljen. The road leading to Barbati is very picturesque, surrounded by the typical Pag landscape of sparse vegetation and numerous drystone walls combined with the blue sky and sea. The landscape of Zubovići is completed by the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception from 1854.
Zubovići boasts a lovely pebble beach called Veli Žal, and the village of Dražica, which belongs to the area of Zubovići, is widely known for its enchanting Plat Beach. The interest of visitors to enjoy the beauties of the local landscape has caused the tradition of work in agriculture and fishing to be replaced by providing accommodation in apartments and holiday homes.
The Kozje berdo educational and recreational hiking trail starts from Zubovići and leads to the former bauxite mine and the beautiful bays of Vela and Mala Luka, which belong to the Upper Sea. The view of the Kvarner Islands and Velebit Mountain from the top of the trail cannot be easily forgotten. In the village there is a bakery, shop, several cafes and restaurants where guests can taste the island’s specialties.
Kustići offers views of a raw, rocky landscape complemented by a crystal reflection of the Bay of Pag. The village is located in the north-eastern part of the island of Pag, between the villages of Vidalići and Zubovići, which together with Metajna form a group of villages that the local people call Barbati. Like other Barbati villages, Kustići was founded in the 18th century, when several families from the town of Pag moved to the area to catch tuna fish, flocks of which were very common at the time.
Kustići can be reached by road from the ferry port of Žigljen and from the direction of Novalja. Visitors can relax on the pebble beaches, separated by small piers. From Kustić one can go on a boat ride across the Bay of Pag to the beautiful beaches of Prnjica, Čista, Sv. Duh and Filino.
For the most part, the Osapnik educational and recreational hiking trail passes above Kustići, which, defying the wild rocky terrain, leads to magnificent panoramic views. There is a bakery in the village, and refreshments can be found in the local cafe and restaurant.
Metajna is located in the eastern part of the island, nested in a rocky landscape. Nature has left a lasting mark here, with a unique blend of wind, stone and sea. During the season, local festivities are often organized in Metajna, characterized by the smell of freshly grilled fish, the taste of local wine and the sounds of cheerful music. If you are a fan of rock climbing, the Stogaj locality in the immediate vicinity of Metajna provides real pleasure and excitement. The nearby villages of Zubovići, Kustići and Vidalići also offer the possibility of a pleasant and peaceful holiday.
Kolan is a village in the centre of the island of Pag, so it is not surprising that its inhabitants call it “the heart of the island”. It is located between the two largest towns on the island, Novalja and Pag, 10 km from the first one and 16 km from the latter one.
Kolan is settled in a valley surrounded by the tops of the hills that protect it from strong bura wind that brings a large amount of salt from the Velebit Channel to the island of Pag. The locals of Kolan are primarily engaged in sheep breeding and viticulture.
Kolan has been inhabited by Liburnians since prehistoric times, and during Roman times on Pag Kolan was an important place, since the Roman settlement of Cissa was supplied with water from the Kolan field by a Roman aqueduct, to which Kolan probably owes its name.
Although Kolan has no access to the sea, many choose to spend their vacation here because of the superior gastronomic experience, natural beauty, interesting history and proximity to beautiful beaches. Sv. Duh, Čista, Prnjica, Katarelac, Girenica, Rogoza and Zrće are just some of the beautiful beaches in the vicinity of Kolan.
The protected ornithological reserve of Kolanjsko Blato is a favourite destination for bird watchers, as this wetland habitat boasts as many as 163 bird species.
Kolan is home to Gligora Cheese Dairy, the most awarded cheese factory in Croatia and one of the most awarded in the world, as well as Mih Cheese Factory, another internationally awarded factory, both of which produce Pag Cheese, a widely known Pag specialty. A tavern is open all year round where one can enjoy the best island specialties. During the summer, a few more taverns are open, so guests do not have to worry about not having the opportunity to enjoy exceptional food.
Lovers of active holidays are attracted by the proximity of the highest peak of the island of Pag, St. Vid, which offers a spectacular view of the entire island of Pag, the nearby islands, Pag Bay and Velebit Mountain.