Like a mermaid enchanting over the centuries with its undying beauty, the island of Pag lures with its blend of old, new and simply surreal. Here, the beaches gained the Blue Flag for perfect conditions/plentiful amenities while the crystalline sea is known to hide the rainbow colors of the underwater world. Walking along paved streets once claimed by past cultures, you will notice that intrinsic features like sheep farming and salt production survive in antithesis to the neon hotspots of the contemporary world. Spoil your palate with the salty taste of Paski Sir and allow Pag to reveal all its mesmerizing mysteries!
Beauty in Contrasts
Part of the Northern Dalmatian archipelago and the Kvarner Island Group, Pag is Croatia's fifth largest island. With a long coastline of over 300 kilometers (187 miles), the so-called ''jewel of the Adriatic'' is appreciated as a peaceful retreat for families as well as an entertainment magnet for party seekers. Accessible either by bridge or by ferry, this unspoiled terrain bordering clear waters contrasts between its East and West side. While the Eastern flank amazes through its barren picturesque beauty, the Western wing vibrates through its visited towns and villages.
Next to the unique surroundings and amazing recreational highlights, the island has a rich cultural heritage. Its history goes back to the Stone Age; the first time the Croats arrived here was in the seventh century. Even though several other cultures have occupied the island's territory leaving important signs of their conquests, Pag was mostly connected to its precious salt resources and its distinctively flavored Paski Sir.
Reminders of the Renaissance
Novalja and Pag are the two main towns on the Croatian island in the Adriatic. Walking towards the white marble town squares in either of the two former Venetian cities, you will feel the enthusiasm as you discover ruins or old buildings in different architectural styles. The traces of past civilizations as well as numerous events contribute to the appeal of these two urban settlements.
Novalja, very popular because of its close by Zrce beach was historically part of the Rab commune in the North of the island. If you want to spend your day in the city choose the Stomorica Archeological Collection, known as one of the most valuable exhibits of the Adriatic or the Novalja Town Museum where you can observe an antique underwater aqueduct. Two of the most appreciated outdoor activities besides sunbathing and swimming are diving to the reefs teeming with marine life or cycling to observe the wonderful natural surroundings.
Medieval Pag is the main town, which emerged near the island's salt pans, about 3 kilometers South from where the first settlements or the Old Town once was. Here, you can explore Croatian tradition not only in the small chic restaurants serving Paski Sir or Prsut but also by walking along the streets where quiet black-dressed ladies ply the Paska cipka, a famous lacework and one of the most original souvenirs that you can get in this region. Besides being the island's main harbor, Pag town shows numerous traces of the past; two of the most preeminent monuments- the Collegiate Church in Gothic/Renaissance style and the Duke's Palace, once the seat where the dukes were installed while under Venetian rule.
Searching for the Perfect Blue
Number eight among 41 countries participating in the Blue Flag Program, Croatia is inviting you to soak up the sun and dive into the foamy waves of its 113 beaches of superior quality. Pag's long coastline makes no exception from the association to the excellence, suiting even the pickiest demands.
Located in a small bay, Kukurina Beahc with its shallow sea and smooth sea bed makes the ideal place for families traveling with children. Caska Beach is said to be the site of a Roman town which sank into the deep blue during the 4th century. Pick shady Povljana if you want the natural sun umbrella of the poplar trees, pebbly Strasko for a wide range of water sports or secluded Rucica with its wonderful stone area resembling the moon's surface.
Declared ''the most desirable location for fun in Europe'' by British club magazine Mixmag, Zrce Beach is the hot, wild, loud entertainment heaven. With themed events held in neon lighted open-air clubs, the white pebbled beach where the dancing never stops has earned Pag the ''party destination'' reputation. No matter if you want to feel the touch of the crystal clear sea, sip on the ice-cold exotic cocktails or practice your dance moves at the pool or in the foam, you are guaranteed to have a blast.
Corals and Submarine Antiquing
Swimming, water skiing or surfing are just a few of the activities why you would want to get wet in Pag's clear waters. Rich in colorful reefs teeming with sea creatures as well as sunken wrecks transformed into underwater museums as time passed, the Adriatic offers absolutely amazing diving opportunities for professionals and novices alike.
The Euterpe steamship in the bay of Vlaska Mala attracts most experienced divers. The remains of the giant built in 1907 lie in an 85 meter abyss, on a sludgy sea bed. Euterpe sank after being torpedoed by an Italian submarine in the year 1918, during the first World War. Another two torpedo boats await professionals to visit their sites of solitary beauty.
Look for the Simuni campsite if you are an amateur of the deep blue and need courses in learning the diving skills. The underwater world at Simuni does not reach the hidden abyss of the large wrecks but it will prove of great diversity. The individual rocks here are known to hide colorful small fish as well as the fragile sea horse and the octopus with its eight tentacles. If you do want to visit wrecks even with beginner skills, you can take on this adventure and dive to see the two Crovettes which sunk in 1944 and lie at a depth of about 9 meters.
Visit the old towns with conserved monuments after feeling the fine sand underneath your feet. Dance in the popular clubs with full time entertainment or dive into the solitary underwater world. Learn about Croatian tradition while observing the delicate Pag lace or by tasting the unmistakably flavored Paski Sir. Absorb the splendor of Pag Island and try everything what the island of the Adriatic has to offer!