Island of Pag

Croatia

Overview

Pag is the fifth largest island off the Croatian coast. There are two towns on the island, Pag & Novalja, along with other smaller villages. It is often called "Island of Rock " or "Lunar Island".

Events

Things to do in Island of Pag!

Hotels

Booking.com

Guide

Neighborhood


One of the sunniest Adriatic islands, Pag has two towns, Pag and Novalja, and many smaller villages and communities, including Lun, Stara Novalja, Gajac, Kolan, Mandre, Šimuni, Metajna, Dinjiška, Vlašici, Povljana and others.

The town of Pag has a rich archaeological history, and the town of Novalja is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.

St. Vitus, the highest peak on the island, offers views of many of the island’s towns – Pag, Kolan, Šimuni, Mandre, Košljun, and neighboring islands.

  • Pag
    • Old town Pag, the largest town on the Pag Island, is a rich archaeological site. Pag Old Town is located about 1 km to the southwest of the present-day town. The present town administration building is actually a converted cannon tower.
    • The Rector’s Palace, located on Pag Town’s main square, was once the residence of the Venice-appointed Duke, who governed the island.
    • Pag is known for its lace, which was initiated at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Margaret.
    • The Pag Lace Gallery situated in the town centre, in Petar Krešimir IV square, has the lace collection compiled over 150 years, a handicraft which is rumored to have originated from ancient Mycenae.
    • The Skrivanat Tower, built in the 15th century, is the only existing tower among the nine that defended the town of Pag.
    • The Church of St. Mary built in Romanesque style, holds a statue of Madonna and the ruins of a Franciscan monastery are preserved.
    • The 15th Meridian – the town of Pag had one of the first sundials in Europe that would be found in the coastal part of the old city.
  • Novalja
    • The City Museum of Novalja, a central cultural institution in Novalja has an abundant ethnographic collection, and is known for Talijanova buža – the 1050 m long antique underground aqueduct from the 1st century.
    • Novalja has many beautiful beaches in its direct surroundings –  Zrce, Caska, Strasko, Babe, Trincel and Branicevica, the most famous being Zrce.
    • Visitors can also see remains of Roman buildings, mosaics and early Christian basilicas at The Church of Mary of the Rosary which was built in the 17th century, and exhibition of the archeological collection Stomorica.
    • A few kilometers from Novalja, on a mountain peak called Velo Tusto Celo, is the Pag Triangle. It is a natural phenomenon, an isosceles triangle on the ground and shaped like an iron print. Although this phenomenon hasn't been fully researched, its existence is often associated with the appearance of UFOs over the entire Pag area in the past.
    • There are several diving clubs in Old Novalja.
    • Novalja has many events during the year –
      • Carnival (January)
      • The Easter Breakfast
      •  The May Festivities
      • Novalja Summer Culture Festival begins during “Antonja”, 13th June, which is also celebrated as Novalja Day. The Novalja Summer Culture has exhibitions & music concerts, ensemble performances, cinema and sporting competitions.
      • Nakanat Music Festival - Nakanat is the traditional folk two-part singing (November).
  • Lun
    • The Lun olive groves, the only one of its kind in the Adriatic Sea region, were proclaimed a botanical preserve in 1963.

  • Metajna
    • Metajna’s most known beach is the Rucica beach, which can be reached via Kanjon (the Canyon).
    • Fishing events are regularly organized in Metajna.

There are islands around Pag which could be visited:

  • Rab Island
    • Between the islands of Krk & Pag, lies Rab Island with Lopar which is among the best beaches in Croatia.
    • Rab Town dating back to the 12th century with architecture built under Venetian rule.
    • Rab's four famous bell towers date back to the 12th century.
    • Church & Tower of St John, thought to date back to the 5th century, the Romanesque basilica is near the restored 12th-century bell tower.
    • In the town of Barbat, Mirko Diving Center provides diving experiences.
  • Kornati
    • The Kornati archipelago consists of 140 islands, islets and cliffs, is the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea.
    • The eighty-nine southernmost of the 140-odd islands is a National Park.
    • In the village Zaglav, scuba diving and water sports are an option at the Kornati Diving Center.
    • From Pag, Kornati can be reached via Zadar.

Getting around


General info

The largest airports are Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik with Zadar, Rijeka, Pula and Osijek also receiving international flights. The closest major airport to Pag, Croatia is Zadar Airport (ZAD / LDZD), 72 km from the center of Pag.

Pag Island is accessible via a 30-minute drive from Zadar, and via several buses during the day.

Travel between Pag Town and Novalja can be time-consuming, but both towns are compact enough to travel by foot.

Rental cars and scooters are the transportation of choice if you intend to explore more than one part of the island. Rental agencies, including Budget, Dollar, Hertz, and Avis, have kiosks at the Zagreb airport and in other major Croatian cities. Rental agencies are also available at local airports.

Additional details about airports can be found at websites of the local airports –

  • Pula: www.airport-pula.hr
  • Rijeka: www.rijeka-airport.hr
  • Zadar: www.zadar-airport.hr
  • Zagreb: www.zagreb-airport.hr
  • Split: www.split-airport.hr
  • Trieste: www.aeroporto.fvg.it
  • Venice: www.veniceairport.it
  • Ljubljana: www.lju-airport.si

Train

  • The nearest train station to Pag is Zadar. It is connected through trains between Split, Zagreb & Rijeka. Refer here for the schedule.
  • International trains from Venice, Ljubljana, Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade to Croatia generally end at Zagreb, with a train from Vienna ends at Rijeka.
  • Eurail Croatia Pass costs from approximately GBP 95.50 (1st Class) and approx.. GBP 76.50(2nd Class). The pass provides travel on Croatia’s national rail network, with a choice of 3, 4, 6, or 8 days unlimited travel in a 1 month period.
  • The Eurail Regional Pass provides travel to two bordering countries with pass options for youth, adult and family of the Eurail Croatia - Slovenia - Hungary Pass or the Eurail Austria - Croatia - Slovenia Pass. Additional details can be found at the Eurail website.
  • The Eurail Select Pass provides the option to choose extensive rail travel on the national rail networks of 4 adjoining countries connected by train or ship. The Eurail Select Pass costs approx. GBP 338 (1st Class) and approx. GBP 220 (Youth, 2nd Class). Additional details can be found here.
  • Tickets can be booked online at the following sites:

Bus

  • Bus tickets can only be purchased at the bus station.
  • In addition to the ticket price, you might have to pay a small fee for reservation and a bus station fee on top, normally this is approximately GBP 1.00 per ticket.
  • If you bring luggage for the hold, you will have to pay less than GBP 1.00.
  • A ticket from Zadar to Pag costs approx. GBP 5.50 and from Zadar to Novalja approx. GBP 8.00.
  • The timetable for buses from Zadar to Novalja can be found here.
  • Antonio Tours buses depart from Zadar at 10:15 am, 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and arrive in Novalja at 11:50 am, 3:45 pm and 9:40 pm (they don’t have departures on Sundays and holidays).
  • Autotrans bus departures from Zadar at 10:45am and arrives in Novalja at 12:15pm.
  • For additional information, visit the Bus Croatia website.
  • Buses from UK can be booked at here.

 

In the City

  • There is little public transportation in Pag, except for private taxis and intercity buses between the mainland and the towns of Pag and Novalja.
  • Refer to the Novalja’s city bus website for more details.
  • There are several bus operators in different Croatian cities and towns. For additional details, visit their respective websites –
    • Antonio tours: Routes from Pag (Novalja & Pag Town) to Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Zagreb.
    • Liburnija: Zadar
    • Puntamika-line has routes between Zagreb & Zadar, and Split and Zadar.
    • Autotrans: Zadar –Novalja costs approximately GBP 8.50, Pag - Zadar costs approximately GBP 5.50, Pag to Novalja costs approximately GBP 4.00.

Taxi

  • Taxis from Zadar Airport to Novalja are approx. GBP 80, but it’s best to agree a price before setting off.
  • Taxi prices depend on the location, but look out for taxis carrying the sign agreeing to lower taxi fares.
  • Taxi operators in Novalja are:
    • Boom, tel. 091/278 36 00
    • City, tel. 098/16 666 15, 099/806 66 65
    • Ilijaš, tel. 098/521 210
    • Ivan, tel. 099/87 53 994
    • Klik, tel. 091/314 31 44
    • Laudis, tel. 098/788 032
    • Mare grandis, tel. 091/598 54 98
    • Mateo, tel. 091/395 05 82
    • Murva, tel. 095/893 82 40
    • Novalja Galerija – Nevia, tel. 098/282 872
    • Parti, tel. 095/821 99 95
    • Tomislav, tel. 662 408
    • Tomuli?-Kop, tel. 099/877 77 02
  • Taxi services can be booked online.

Tipping


Tipping is typically not expected in Croatia, since in most cases tips are included in the bill along with taxes, but has become a common practice in upscale restaurants & cities. Tipping is not expected in informal restaurants and in smaller towns, but most people leave any coins they receive in change for the waiter.

  • Hotels: Tipping is not expected but you can tip your porter GBP 1 per bag depending on the bag weight.
  • Restaurants: If you have a large group or receive excellent service, then tip your server 10% - 15% of the bill before taxes.
  • Bars: Tipping is not expected but if you want, you could tip the barman GBP 1 or 10% of the bill.
  • Taxi: It is not a requirement to tip in taxis. If you wish, tip your airport taxi driver GBP 2-3 for helping with luggage.

Suggested itinerary


Island of Pag in 3 Days (Source: Croatia Traveller)

 

Day 1

Start the day in Pag

  • The Rector’s Palace, in the main square, which was once the residence of the Venice-appointed Duke, who governed the island.
  • The Pag Lace Gallery.
  • The Skrivanat Tower, built in the 15th century and the city walls.
  • The Church of St. Mary built in Romanesque style.
  • The 15th Meridian – one of the first sundials in Europe, is located about 5 km from Pag on the grave road that goes from Bošana to Zr?e beach.
  • The peak of St. Vitus can be reached by hiking from Dubrava (45 minutes) or Kolan (1 hour). Newly constructed trail from Stari Šimuni provides access to the St. Vitus by car.

 

Day 2

Start the day in Novalja

  • The City Museum of Novalja with the Talijanova buža ,the antique underground aqueduct.
  • The Pag Triangle on the mountain peak called Velo Tusto Celo.
  • The Church of Mary of the Rosary.
  • Diving at Stara Novalja costs approximately GBP 250.
  • Visit Lun for its olive groves or Rock climbing at at Stogaj near Metajna.
  • Enjoy yourself at one of the three nightclubs on Zrce beach – Kalypso, Aquarius or Papaya.

 

Day 3

Start the day by travelling to Zadar

  • Visit the Five Wells Square located between the medieval City Walls with a cornice and the Renaissance bastion Grimani Bosworth.
  • Discover the most outstanding collection of Ancient Glass at the Museum of Ancient Glass Zadar.
  • Experience the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun on Zadar's Riva.
  • Visit the Kornati island by boat and experience the richness of the National Park, and join a diving excursion. Additional details about diving operators can be found here.
  • Cruises can be booked online.

Staying connected


  • Croatia uses the GSM 900 and 1800 frequency bands. For 3G carriers use the 2100 band. Hrvatski Telekom is providing 4G services in the country now.
  • The phone will need to be able to work on the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz GSM bands and, to use a local SIM it will also need to be unlocked.
  • There are many local service providers in Croatia
  • Major national carriers:

Eat / Drink


Local

The Island of Pag has many gastronomic possibilities. Pag has been voted by the Guardian as the best for foodies amongst Croatia's top five holiday islands.

Some typical food items that you should try out while visiting Pag are:

  • Paski Sir (Pag Cheese).
  • Pag lamb.
  • Baškotin, the oldest sweets produced at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Margarita – a kind of hard milk bread, like toast.
  • Burek, a thick flour-based pastry filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables, commonly eaten for breakfast, and sold by the slice.
  • Blitva, swiss chard and potatoes cooked together.

Some notable local restaurants in Pag are:

Gourmet

  • Boškinac
    • Cuisine: Traditional island cuisine

 

 

  • Niko
    • Cuisine: Seafood

 

Vegetarian

 

 

 

Drink

Some of the well known pubs include:

;
Banner image credits: Mario Fajt