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.