Thursday 23 Nov 2017


Pag is an island in the northern Adriatic Sea. It is the fifth largest island on the Croatian coast, and the one with the longest coastline.
The biggest bay, the bay of Pag, is rounded by 20 km of the gravel beaches. Pag is unique due to its vegetation where trees are the rarest form. Therefore, Pag is the largest kingdom of rocky ground on the Adriatic, where thin grass, low aromatic herb cover, sage and immortelle grow. They make the foundation of the nourishment of the island’s sheep on the rocky ground, intersected by long dry stonewalls, giving a special flavour to the well known cheese of Pag.The two towns on the island are Pag and Novalja and there are many smaller villages like Lun, Stara Novalja, Gajac, Kolan, Mandre, Simuni, Metajna, Dinjiska, Vlasici, Povljana. The island is administratively divided. The northern part belongs to the county Lika-Senj and the southern part belongs to the county Zadar.Pag extends northwest-southeast along the coast, forming the Velebit channel. The island has an area of 305 km² and the coastline is 302.47 km. It is around 60 km long (from northwest to southeast), and between 2 and 10 km wide.The southwestern coast of the island is low (the Pag Bay with the large Caska Cove), and the north-western is steep and high: (Stara Novalja Bay). The main part of the island is rocky and a smaller area is covered with Mediterranean shrubs. The southeast of the island contains karst lakes Velo Blato and Malo Blato. The island's highest peak is Sveti Vid (St. Vitus, 348 m).


In the past Pag was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe called Liburnians At the beginning of the 1st century at the latest, the Ancient Romans constructed a fortification system to defend themselves against Illyrian tribes: a large castrum Cissa (Caska), a port castrum Navalia (Novalja) and smaller forts: Kosljun above the Novaljsko field, Svetojasnica on the cape of the karst Zaglava. Apart from the forts, there were also larger cities (Pagus) and smaller Roman settlements like the ruins of a town in Tovarnele near Lun, in the fields Brbonovica and Lesandrovica.
The name Pag was mentioned for the first time in the 10th century. In 976, the Croatian king Stjepan Držislav took Pag from the Byzantine authority.In 1244 Croatian-Hungarian king Béla IV granted Pag the status of a free royal town. In the battles against Zadar which took place in 1394 Pag suffered a heavy defeat and devastation.The inhabitants moved to a new location, where the present Pag was founded.The king Ladislav, in 1403, sold his share of Dalmatia, Pag included, to Venice and thus sentenced Pag to a centuries-long life under the Venetian rule. In 1433 Pag received the Town Statute.In the middle of the 15th century the inhabitants of Pag decided to build a new town. The construction works began, on 18th May 1443, on today’s location of the town. Juraj Dalmatinac, a great constructor and sculptor participated in the development of the urban plan of the new town.In the late 19th century and the early 20th century, the town of Pag had 4700 inhabitants, many inhabitants emigrated, mostly to the USA, Canada and Australia. A concentration camp was set up on the island of Pag during World War II by the Croatian Ustaše puppet regime. Thanks to the bridge that connects it to the mainland on the south and a ferry line on the north of Pag, the only link between southern and northern Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991, was the island Pag.


The city of Pag is located at the centre of the island. It was founded in the 15th century and today is a rarely found well preserved middle age walled-in town. It is the cultural, touristic and the administrative centre as well.
Pag is the town of the sea salt. The importance of the salt was the main reason that Pag was constructed in the 15th century, according to a plan and as a fortified town. The plans for its construction were made by the renaissance architect Juraj Dalmatinac. The original salt manufacture by draining of the sea, which is brought in the small clay pools (saline), is still present on the island. These salt pools are not only an authentic relict of the past but also an interesting photographic motif.
The town of Pag is also the town of needlework, the famous lace. Every lace is an unique item. The slow and demanding process of making them has been nourished through centuries and still lives in the streets of the old town.
The oldest place on the island lays 1 kilometer to the south. There are the remains of a fortified convent and church which preceded today’s Pag.
There is the parish Church of the Assumption on the main town’s square. This church is a valuable cultural and art monument because of its exterior and interior architectural solutions, as well as the exhibits. The town abounds in beautifully carved doorposts on the entrances of the noblemen’s houses and yards, small baroque balconies, stone coats of arms from the period 15th - 18th century and a magnificent portal on the Duke’s palace.
The Benedictine convent of St. Margarita, besides numerous valuable sacral relics and pictures, cherishes also the tradition of making “baškotini”, the aromatic crunchy biscuits that are offered at the entrance of the convent.


Novalja is a town in the north of the island of Pag. In recent times Novalja became famous because of the Zrcé Beach, which is one of the biggest summer party zones in Europe.

Novalja has a long, vivid and interesting history, evidence of which you can find in numerous archaeological locations in the town and its surroundings. Three early Christian basilicas from the 4th and 5th century take a special place among them and you can see the remains of a floor mosaic of one of them inside the gothic church of Our Lady of Rosemary in the town centre.
Many pieces of church furniture and other items are preserved in the archaeological collection of Stomorica. Reliquary, found near one of the basilicas, is of great value and you can see it in the Archaeological museum in Zadar. Novalja is also a place where one of the oldest illustrations of Our Lady was found with the inscription: Maria on the east Adriatic coast.
From the archaeological aspect the area around Caska is very interesting and lately researches of the Roman settlement Cissa have been intensified. According to a legend, this settlement was destroyed in the 4th century earthquake.
The greatest value and curiosity represents a simple antique water supply system from the 1st century, chiselled from live stone and about 1.2 km long, 70 cm wide and 40 m high with 9 overhead openings. That unique roman aqueduct, popularly called Talian’s hole, supplied Novalja with water from Navalja’s fields. Entrance in the water supply system is inside of the Town museum which also preserves a part of Navalja’s cultural and ethnological heritage.
From the treasury of folk treasure we single out a domestic dance- naški, which is performed in colourful folk costumes to the bellows music.
People also treasure the traditional folk singing in two voices- nakanat, which is also performed at a festival. Harmony- singing groups Navalia (men’s group) and Murtulice (women’s group) cherish the original Dalmatian harmony- singing tradition. Liturgical singing is also of great importance, whose richness comes to its fullest at religious ceremonies of the Holly Week (from Palm Sunday to Easter).

Zrce, next to Novalja village, is probably the most beautiful and the most popular beach on the island. It is a shingle beach with shoal. Parking and entrance is charged. It can be reached form Novalja by car or you can take a small shuttle bus operating during the summer. The beach offers lot of facilities like bars, water slides, renting boats, jet skiing, deck chairs, sunshades, beach volley, billiards and more. There are three popular open-air clubs offering entertainment. Aquarius and Papaya are outfits from Zagreb's popular clubs, and there is also beach-bar Kalypso. This open air disco has excellent music and free entrance.
The coves at the right side of Zrce beach are used by naturists.

  • Aquarius is superbly equipped. There is the possibility to eat something. Be sure to taste the homemade ice-cream. Visitors can drink and dance, do aerobics and can enjoy a fun pool! Aquarius often organises theme parties, bubble parties and live concerts, and resident and international DJ's come to bring superb atmosphere in the beach bar.
  • Papaya is exotically decorated. There’s a bar, a restaurant, a VIP area, a pool, a water slide,and a Jacuzzi. The club offers after beach parties, cocktail parties, foam parties and the crowd can dance here all night. All kind of music styles are played by resident and international DJ's.
  • Kalypso is a beach sport bar. The tourist is offered sand volley, darts and badminton. Also available is Internet access and fast food. Under the sun one can enjoy one of the tasteful cocktails. To entertain the people the bar organises events like a Miss and Mister Competition. Of course also here the guests can enjoy good music until the early morning.

Mandre is a tourist resort located in the southern part of the island of Pag. Mandre offers a gorgeous view of Silba and Olib and of the little islands Maun and Skrda which abound in coves and beautiful beaches. There is a beach with clear blue sea which extends along Mandre.
It is a perfect place for those who want a peaceful vacation in magnificent natural surroundings of evergreen oaks, drystone walls and crystalline blue sea.

Kolan is located inland. Kolan lies on a hilltop overlooking a fertile valley, 9 km south-east of Novalja. The nearest swimming beaches are 3 km away in the places of Simuni and Mandre. Kolan has retained its rich folklore heritage including traditional songs and crafts. Kolan is famous for its "konobas" (local restaurants) offering many Pag specialties: lamb, local wine and delicatessen Pag cheese. Locals sell their home grown vegetables, honey and wine. Kolan is recommended to people not interested only in swimming and sun tanning but also in local traditions and gastronomy.

Povljana is situated in the south of the island of Pag in a beautiful natural bay. Facing west it is sheltered from strong winds as Bora and sirocco.
It is located on a hill, where karst rocks and fertile Povljana fields meet. Extensive agriculture (vegetable and viticulture) is possible due the presence of several water wells. Vast area of fertile land is covered with vineyards. Traditionally, Povljana was an agricultural area that for centuries supplied food to the majority of people on the island. In addition to agriculture, the population of Povljana earned their living from fishery and cattle breeding. Great changes occurred in the middle of the 20th century, when tourism started to develop in Povljana. First, hunting tourism developed. Evidence supporting this theory can be found in the remains of a house in the territory of Veliko blato. This house belonged to the family Košćina, and this Pag nobility invited hunters from across Europe.

Miskovici is a small place in a wide bay on the Northern part of Pag, immediately after the Paski bridge. Miskovici is located on a hilltop overlooking a 10 km long beach. The village consists of family houses and summer houses and is easily accessible due to the vicinity of the bridge (10 km). Far away from larger cities, Miskovici with its beautiful beaches is ideal for a tranquil holiday with children and for outdoor enthusiasts due to the vicinity of Velebit mountain and the island's extraordinary landscapes. While in Miskovici, make sure to try traditionally prepared lamb, cheese and wine.

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