Pag Island, Dalmatia

Pag Island

Have you ever wondered what’s it like on Mars? Or tried the flower of salt? Are you looking for the best cheese dairies or the most exciting island trails? Want to know where to find the best spots to watch rare birds or why Maria Theresa was fascinated with Pag lace?

Read on to find out…

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Pag Island

Thrilling landscapes created by the bora wind and salt

The island of Pag in Northern Dalmatia stretches under the slopes of the mighty Velebit mountain. You can reach it by the Prizna – Žigljen ferry line or, even easier, by crossing the Pag bridge via the A1 motorway. The moment you set your foot on the island, you’ll be fascinated with its peculiar geomorphology resembling the Moon’s surface. The view of the boundless deep blue sea will only add to your experience. Pag cheeses owe their legendary status to the fluffy sheep grazing along kilometres-long dry stone walls. In contrast to its rugged and dramatic side, the island shows a delicate beauty in the olive trees of Lun, Pag lace and salt fields covered in sparkling crystals. Pag will shake you like the bora wind that shaped its piercing rocks and heal your soul with the aromatic herbs that grow despite the island’s harsh environment.

Top 5 experiences on Pag

  • swimming on natural pebble and sandy beaches stretching over 20 km of Pag’s coastline
  • otherworldly running and hiking experience on the Life on Mars trail
  • visiting the Pag Lace Gallery and the amazing Salt Museum in the town of Pag
  • visiting the Lun Botanical Reserve with olive trees over 1500 years old
  • purchasing and tasting cheeses in one of the famous cheese factories of Pag: Gligora, Mih, Paška sirana, OPG Fabijanić


A place that reminds us what life is all about

In the southwest of Pag lies Povljana, overlooking the blue sea and the islet of Vir. Nestled in a cove with springs and exceptionally fertile soil, the village has long provided the entire island with fruit, vegetables, and wine.

Today it is a favourite destination for outdoor enthusiasts, who equally enjoy tiny coves in the shade of pine trees and rocky landscapes battered by the wind. Just like the invigorating bora wind that clears your mind, Povljana helps you connect with your inner being. With a combination of raw wilderness, beaches sheltered between rocky cliffs, cycling trails and a nature reserve where more than 160 bird species nest, Povljana is an ideal setting for you to rediscover your true self.

Top 5 experiences in Povljana

  • swimming on the pebble beach of Aminess Avalona Campsite 5*
  • birdwatching in the ornithological reserve Veliko blato (3 km from Povljana; tickets available at Povljana’s Tourist Board)
  • cycling on marked trails around the town and sailing on westerly winds
  • walking along the dry stone walls, in the company of fluffy sheep
  • exploring the local farmers’ market offer: Pag cheese, fresh fish and local vegetables


The gift of salt

The island of Pag was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period, with the Liburnians being the first known tribe to settle there. They were conquered by the Romans, whose presence is visible in a 1st-century aqueduct, today a tourist attraction. We do not know exactly when the salt pans became the island’s major economic force, but there is evidence that in the late Middle Ages they were owned by the noblemen of Zadar. The Venetian Republic took over at the beginning of the 15th century, followed by the rule of the French and Austrians. Despite a turbulent political setting and difficult working conditions, the production of salt remained the main source of income for centuries. You can find out more about the lives of islanders who worked in the salt pans by visiting the Salt Museum.
In the early 20th century, Pag witnessed outbreaks of grape phylloxera, massive emigration and two world wars, but started to revive and develop as a tourist destination in 1968, when a bridge was built to connect it to the mainland.

Top 5 historical locations

  • Novalja’s town museum and a walk through its ancient aqueduct
  • Solana Pag’s salt pans and the Museum of Salt in the town of Pag
  • medieval centre of Pag with the Skrivanat tower, stage of many summer events
  • Fortica fortress near the Pag bridge, once used to control an important maritime route and today as a location for amazing photo shoots
  • remains of the mill on the Povljana – Gorica road, with channels once used for crop production in the wetlands


Unique needle-stitched lacework

Pag lace is a unique handiwork made with a needle and thread, which requires an enormous amount of skill and patience.
In 2009, its beauty and exceptional value earned it a place on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It was the Benedictine nuns that kept the lacemaking alive and thriving within their convents. They held lacemaking courses for women on the island. Even the Empress Maria Theresa was amazed by this unique craft. On one occasion she visited Pag to meet the lace-makers and took one of them to work for her in Vienna. Besides the lace, the island’s stunning folk costumes are also protected by UNESCO.

We recommend

  • Create a special experience for your family! Visit the Pag Lace Gallery in the town centre or come to the International Lace Festival, which takes place every year in June. If you want to discover the place where the first lace thread was formed, you should visit the Monastery of St. Margaret and the nearby museum (where you can buy baškotini, a crispy souvenir of the island of Pag).


The sea and stone ‘playgrounds’

If you’re loodeking for extraordinary landscapes and are a fan of trail running, free climbing, kayaking or sailing, you’ll love Pag! The island offers 6 marked cycling trails, 15 walking trails and 2 unusual rocks just made for climbing. With generous winds swirling through the western coast in the afternoon hours, it’s a surfers’ paradise. Along the coast you will find perfect starting points for your kayaking or SUP adventures and enjoy splendid vistas of the moonscapes. If you prefer cycling or mountaineering, the rocky hills intertwined with dry wall stones and echoing with sheep bleats are the perfect choice.

We recommend

  • mountain bike tour to Povljanska blata
  • family hike on the easy trail Put Panosa
  • kayak trip to one of the interesting locations marked on the map
  • free climbing to the top of the picturesque Stogaj cliff above the Beritnica beach
  • surfing and sailing along the west coast of the island


Feel the island’s vibe

As a popular outdoor destination, Pag offers an array of sports activities and competitions, and its stunning trails attract more and more visitors each year. Cultural events organised in July and August will treat your ear and soul to klapa, classical and pop music performances on beautiful open-air stages. Fishermen’s evenings, as well as festivals and fairs of Pag lace, cheese and sheep will give you a deeper insight into the island and the ways of its warm-hearted residents.

To learn more about the current events on Pag visit the Povljana Tourist Office.

We recommend

  • Summer in Povljana – performances by klapas and other musicians, fishermen’s festivals and sporting competitions (in July and August)
  • Meeting of klapas ‘Povljana u pismi’ (Povljana singing) – on the first Friday in July
  • Pag Summer Outdoor – a variety of sports activities available on the island led by coaches, in the following disciplines: mountain biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, running (trail) and Nordic walking (in June, July, August and September)
  • Life on Mars Pag Island Trail – a runner rated 5 star race
  • Pag Cultural Summer – event with a rich cultural programme held in the beautiful surroundings of the town of Pag
  • Pag sheep and Pag cheese exhibition – cheese makers competition and tasting for visitors


Our top 5

  • The Aminess Avalona campsite beach

    This pebble beach with natural shade is a true oasis for those who wish to enjoy the lovely Adriatic Sea. It’s 800 m long and divided into four zones, each offering different amenities: glamping, relax, family & relax, and pet-friendly. Thanks to a landscaped promenade, solar lighting and luxury amenities such as canopies and solar showers, you can enjoy this beach day and night.
    Ideal for: families with children, couples, pet owners, adventurers, lovers of relaxation
  • Dubrovnik beach

    This beautifully landscaped pebble beach with a sandy seabed in Povljana faces the open sea and is shaded by pine and palm trees. It is accessible by car or on foot along the coast and offers many amenities such as beach bars, restaurants, showers in addition to the rental of sun loungers, umbrellas and pedal boats. The freshwater lake of Segal is located nearby, and its muddy sediment is used to treat and prevent various diseases.
    Ideal for: families with children, couples, novice swimmers
  • Beaches Ručica and Beritnica

    Ručica beach is located near Metajna and surrounded by a unique landscape irresistibly reminiscent of the Moon’s surface. Due to its bare nature, you won’t find any shade here, but there’s a bistro nearby where you can have a drink or grab a bite. Not far from Ručica is the rocky beach of Beritnica, famous for the natural formation of three rocks rising from the sea shallows, that have become a recognisable symbol of Pag.

    Our advice is to be sure to bring everything you might need to these beaches. They are the right choice for you if you want to avoid crowds or if you like challenges such as rock climbing, since the exciting Stogaj climbing rock is close by.
    Ideal for: families, couples, adventurers
  • Zrće beach

    If there’s one beach on Pag you’ve heard of, it must be Zrće. Known as ‘Croatian Ibiza’, Zrće is one of Croatia’s most popular beaches. Located just a few kilometres from the centre of Novalja, it is well-equipped and landscaped, surrounded by pine trees and a large parking lot. A proud bearer of the Blue Flag, it’s visited by thousands of people every day during the peak season. In addition to swimming and exciting nightlife, it offers many recreational and fun sports, particularly for young people.
    Ideal for: young people and young at heart
  • Plat beach

    Plat beach is the best choice for families with small children and lovers of natural sceneries, thanks to its easy access to the sea and the fine pebbles that cover it. On one side of the beach, you can see the dry stone walls that give it a special local touch, and on the other, the beautiful Pag Bay. Although it’s sunny all day long, you can find some shade under the umbrellas or in the nearby bar. One of Plat’s main assets is free parking, just a few minutes’ walk away.
    Ideal for: families with children, couples
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Working miracles with salt air

Despite its poor soil and vegetation, Pag will surprise you with its unique delicacies. Wild herbs caressed by the salt air and exposed to the bora wind lend a special flavour to the sheep milk, which the locals turn into exquisite cheese. The island’s aromatic flora is also the main ingredient of oils and herbal brandies, and is dried for spices. Among Pag’s famous brands you’ll also find Pag lamb, salt, and Žutica wine. Vines have been grown here for centuries, with the best known indigenous varieties being gegić, trbljan and plavina. And if you happen to have a sweet tooth, be sure to try delicious baškotini cookies, pandešpanj sponge cake, kolacići buns, and shortcrust pastries such as rafioli and koludraške štrike!

Top 5 dishes you must try

  • Pag cheese, with protected designation of origin
  • lamb (prepared in every possible way)
  • baškotini (the Benedictine nuns have maintained the tradition of making these biscuits for over 300 years)
  • Paška Žutica wine
  • slocal herb brandies


Sun, wind & salt on your skin

The climate of the island of Pag is Mediterranean, and its specific characteristics are due to its location at the bottom of Mount Velebit. In winter, strong bora wind blows from the top of the mountain, keeping rain and clouds away. That’s why Pag has over 2500 hours of sunshine a year and is one of the Croatian islands with the lowest levels of rainfall. The average annual temperature here is 16 °C. The coldest month of the year is January, and the warmest is July.

  • average sea temperature in summer: 23.5 °C
  • bathing season: from the end of May to the end of October

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