Novalja is the tourist center of the island. It developed in an open bay on the north-west side of the island Pag. It is especially known for its beautiful sandy and pebbled beaches. Among them stands out Zrće Beach, situated between a dense pine wood and a crystal clear sea. It is a true pearl of the Adriatic.
In summer, 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 most beautiful aspect of the gastronomy of the Croatian Littoral and Dalmatia you have chosen the right place to enjoy the autochthonous specialities of Pag.
Novalja’s great chefs will offer you traditional and unique flavours of the island in restaurants and taverns. Experience a perfect harmony of flavours enjoying specialities such as cheese, lamb, wild asparagus, seafood, Kvarner Bay shrimp and fresh fish flavoured by widely known oil obtained from the biblical olive trees of Lun and aromatic herbs of the rocky island of Pag.
Visit the Boškinac winery situated at the homonymous hotel whose architectural style respects the autochthonous tradition and enjoy the enchanting wine aromas that the inhabitants of this island and their guests have been relishing for centuries. The hotel’s restaurant and tavern offer a harmony of traditional specialities flavoured by herbs from the surrounding hills and rich top-quality wines.
In Novalja there are remnants of three basilicas. The biggest is situated in the centre and is the biggest basilica in Dalmatia discovered so far. At the foot of the hill separating Novalja and Novaljsko Polje Valley there is a Roman aqueduct called Talijanova buža (the Italian’s Hole) dug through rocks. It is a unique example in the Southeast Europe and the longest section of such architecture. There are other more valuable sites and archeological remnants such as Ilirska tvrđava (Illyrian Fortress) from 1500 B.C., Sv. Juraj (St. George) – a Roman fortification, a number of early Croatian churches, Kaštel (Castle), Knežev dvor (Duke’s Palace) and other valuable remnants.
Novalja is a home to a very attractive old wheel dance “Naški” performed in exceptionally rich folk costumes. There are still very much alive original folkloral literature, tales, songs and humorous tales as well as chants characterized by melos of Istria and the Croatian Littoral on one hand and North Dalmatian melos on the other hand giving them a special Dalmatian feature.
At the beaches and in the sea visitors can enjoy varied programmes of recreational activities and sports. The visitors, especially younger ones, spend evenings at Cocomo Club in Novalja, or have fun all day until late into the night at modern disco-clubs Kalypso, Aquarius, Papaya, Noa and Pepermint at Zrće Beach. During the summer Novalja hosts a variety of entertainment and cultural events.