Today I want to tell you about my favorite island in the world, the Island of Pag. I have to admit; I might be slightly biased due to my family ties with this island and countless memories Pag and I share together. But hopefully, after reading this article, I will transfer to you at least a small part of my love for this place. Love that started many, many years ago when Zrće beach was just a beach and Papaya was just a name of the fruit. When „beach party“ meant a few friends who are sitting in a circle while one is playing guitar and everybody else is singing. It was the time when we didn’t drink expensive cocktails but a wine someone stole from his grandfather’s basement. We watched the stars falling. First kisses. First drunk nights.
Pag is all of that to me, and much more.
That is why I am writing this post. Because it slightly irritates me when this lovely place is recognized only for its famous party beach that newspapers like to call „Croatian Ibiza“. But don’t get me wrong, I did spend lots of awesome days and nights on that beach. And if you like a good house music while partying in great clubs next to the sea (or in the sea) Zrće is a place to go.
Zrće is a place where you will make a bunch of crazy memories. The only problem is, you will probably not remember them all.
Now I want to show you a different side of Pag Island.
Welcome to the home of cheese, wine, delicious lamb, internationally recognized lace and an exceptional landscape.
Although visited by thousands of tourists each year, this big Croatian island is still quite undiscovered. The majority of visitors are young people who go straight to Novalja for a party and don’t move around the island much. But if you are trying to find a vacation destination with the clean sea, peace and the sound of crickets…a bit of culture and good food… but also a place which is not completely „boring“ and where you can find a good party… You are welcome my friend, I just found a right place for you.
Where is it?
For the beginning let’s talk statistics. Pag is the island located in the northern part of the Adriatic sea. With its 284,56 km² makes the 5th largest Croatian island. Although there is an island in Croatia called Long Island, Pag is the island with the longest coastline (meaning bunch of gorgeous beaches).
So, why visit Pag apart from the Zrće beach?
Because it is the closest you’ll get to the moon
Last week my friend from Sweden visited Croatia. He was staying in Zadar, and I decided to show him Pag (which is connected by bridge to the mainland). His first impression after we crossed the bridge was: “Have I just landed on the moon?” Well, he was for sure not the first one with such a comment, and you can see why. Most of the island is rocky and deprived of any vegetation which makes it one of the most unusual and unique Croatian islands. It is something you will either love or find very unappealing. To me, the white stone, surrounded by dark blue sea and blue skies, is one of the favorite scenes.
2. Because your taste buds will thank you
One of the most exciting things about traveling is trying the local food. And Pag will not disappoint you with its offer. You can eat some of the best lambs on the island and try Pag famous cheese made from the sheep milk. Cheese is hard and salty and goes excellent with the olive oil. Most famous producer of this type of cheese is Paška sirana, the oldest cheese facory on the Island that won several International Cheese awards. You can also visit the factory to see the production and taste the best cheese on the island. One kg will cost you around 40 euros. Not cheap but worth it.
Photo credits: Paška sirana
Good cheese goes great with some good olive oil, and good olive oil is another thing you can find on island Pag. If you drive to the most north point of the island, you will get to the small town of Lun. Lun is one of three world locations with the largest number of wild olive trees called Olea Oleaster. Walking down the macadam road between the big olive trees, some of them a thousand years old is a unique experience because each tree is different from another.
Because it has a rich culture and a long tradition
Pag lace (Paška čipka) is probably the most recognizable symbol of the city of Pag. In 2010 it entered the UNESCO register by which it became one of the seven immaterial cultural goods from Croatia. The lace is a handmade work made by women of the Pag city which originates from the 15th century.
If you visit Pag during the summer carnival, you will also see women in the folk dresses dancing traditional dance „Paško kolo“ on the main square.
Because it has better sunset than Zadar
Most „famous“ Croatian sunset is the one in Zadar where each day hoards of tourists sit on the sea organ impatiently waiting for the sunset. When the sun goes down, everyone stands in ovation. For real. I am not quite sure why because I’ve seen the sun goes down in many other places as well 😊 . It is quite funny but entertaining as well.
Now I will tell you a little secret. There is a place from where the sunset is even more beautiful and where you can enjoy spectacular view without being poked by others who are trying to get a better picture. I am talking about the small town of Povljana, on the southeast of Pag island. Find your spot on one of many beautiful beaches and enjoy the view. You can thank me later, just don’t tell anyone. 😉
Because it has beaches for everyone’s taste
If you are looking for nice beaches, Pag got you covered here as well. Depending on your preferences, you can find different types of beaches on the island. For a busy beach, packed with young people and great clubs, you know where to go. Zrće is easy to find as it is near the city of Novalja and on the main road you will see many signs which will show you the way. Or you can just follow where everyone else is going.
The beach in Šimuni is probably my favorite one on the island. It is located between 2 cities, Novalja and Pag and you can easily reach it with a car. I like this beach the most because it is big but never too crowded and has the cutest little beach bar called Kokopelli. This is also one of the rare green parts of the island, so it is easy to find shade.
I don’t recommend the main beach in the city of Pag since there are always too many people and it is not always clean, but if you happen to get a boat, there are plenty of gorgeous bays around where you can have a beach just for yourself.
Have You ever visited Pag? What did You like the best? What didn’t You like? Share in the comment section so we can discuss it further. 🙂
Thanks for reading,