Located within the renowned Dalmatian archipelago, Pag Island ranks as Croatia’s fifth-largest island and boasts the longest coastline. Its striking landscape, barren yet beautiful with rocky terrain, frequently evokes comparisons to lunar topography. This stark beauty, juxtaposed with the shimmering azure waters, creates a picturesque refuge that attracts a wide variety of vacationers.
The countryside of Pag is a magnet for explorers and culture seekers wanting to experience everything from hiking through olive groves to learning about ancient Roman ruins and even sampling unique cheese.
Pag Island is an idyllic destination for those looking for an action-packed summertime holiday, full of sun, sea, and DnB.
Festivals & nightlife
Zrce is situated along a gorgeous bay 10km from the town of Novalja and is a dedicated festival location. So that means there are no neighbours to disturb or noise regulations to worry about. The result? An all-out party from sunset to sunrise every day of the week.
The Pag Carnival is a memorable spectacle enjoyed yearly by locals and off-season tourists. From early January, the event runs every Saturday and crescendos into three days of non-stop, costumed festivities before Ash Wednesday.
The carnival fills the main square of Pag town, spilling into the surrounding streets too. You can go all out and dress in full costume or enjoy the fun as is.
Upcoming festivals in Zrće
Nightlife and bar scene on Pag
Zrće has four major super clubs that can hold roughly 5000 people each.
- Noa Beach Club
They feature multiple bar areas, pools, sunbeds, VIP areas, food courts and even cash machines. Expect smoke machines, high energy and great music to soundtrack your night.
The smaller and more exclusive Nomad on the beachfront provides a slightly more spacious experience if you don’t want to contend with shoulder-to-shoulder dancing.
In the nearby town of Novalja, there is Cocomo nightclub which is far smaller than its Zrce counterparts but indeed no less festive. Parties at Cocomo typically run until 4 AM, and there is a delicious variety of music played by local DJs.
Related Post: The ULTIMATE Party Guide To Zrce Beach
🏖️ Beaches & watersports on Pag Island
With an average high season (summer) air temperature of 28oC (82F) and average water temperature of 26oC (79F), the island of Pag is the perfect place to enjoy lazy days on the beach jet-skiing flat waters or try your hand at kitesurfing.
Top beaches on Pag
There are three that stand head and shoulders above the others on Pag. Each has been awarded the coveted blue flag status. An award given by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches, marinas, and boating tourism operators that meet laudable sustainability standards and environmental protection policies.
- Planjka Beach – Just to the North of Novalja town are the glistening sands of Planjka Beach, which is a firm favourite due to it being one of the armest and best-kept beaches along the whole Adriatic. Volleyball is popular and a great way to get everyone involved.
- Zrce Beach – Of course, Zrce would be a blue flag! There’s not much that this famous sandy strip doesn’t have. Experience the incredible nightlife, the young and the beautiful and even a bungee jump. If you prefer not to be a daredevil, pedalos, jet skis, and banana inflatables are available to enjoy in Pag Bay. Or you could just slowly sip a delightful cocktail with the sand between your toes.
- Straško Beach – This pebbly beach stretches for almost 2km along the Western shore of Pag Island. It is close to the town of Novalja and Zrce Beach. Nearby the main beach, there’s an allocated section for those wanting to tan ‘au natural’.
Fun on the water
Pag Bay is a large inlet of the Adriatic that extends from Pag Town to Zrce Beach. Although the afternoon wind (known as the Bura) whips through along the coast, the water remains relatively flat.
It’s an ideal situation to enjoy sea kayaking, jet skis, fly-boarding, and even kitesurfing should you have the time. Alternatively, the boat parties arranged by the promoters in Zrce Beach combine nautical shenanigans with sunset DJ wizardry to curate unforgettable experiences.
🚣♀️ Discover the barren yet beautiful coastline of Pag Bay by kayak🌅 Licensed tour guide🏖️ Stop at various beaches like Sušac and Malin🦺 Kayaks, paddles, safety vests, and a dry bag are provided🌊 Optional kayaking through Gače Cave for added adventure
🗓️ Reserve Now & Pay Later🚫 Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
🔍 Explore the island and its culture
Pag has a storied and rich cultural heritage dating back to the Romans, whose architecture can still be seen today. Pag offers a dramatic landscape that’s just begging to be explored and experienced.
A Walk on the Moon, Sveti Vid & Olive Groves
The Moon Trail – is also commonly referred to as a walk on Mars by the hiking community. This trail is roughly a 10km loop that begins and ends near the town of Novalja. Along the route, you’ll be treated to the magnificent Seline Bay. You can hike this trail with a group or self-navigate using Alltrails.
Sveti Vid – is the highest point on the island of Pag. Historical and mythological landmarks are abundant along the route. Enchanting views of the channel underneath Velebit Mountain are particular highlights of this hike.
The olive gardens of Lun – The Lun area is a botanical reserve where you can enjoy escaping the tourist crowds of Pag Island. A 3-hour tour is available that will show bring the history of Lun to life while teaching you all about the majestic olive trees and how the local olive oil is produced.
Culture to discover
The dry golden Žutica or the lighter Gegić wines locally made on Pag get this trait from the sandy soil and are perfectly complemented by the locally made chees (Paski sir). Be sure to take a bottle or two for your wine cellar at home to remind you of the unique flavours of Pag.
Pag cheese (Paški sir)
Before Pag Island became the party Mecca it currently is. The claim to fame was its unique cheese. Pag cheese is made from sheep’s milk. It is hard and crumbly and typically ages for several months or even years. Enjoy this local delicacy with olive oil and a glass of dry white Žutica. Or join a tour to guide you through the whole history and process.
👥 Private guide for a more personalized experience 💡 Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
🏛️ All entrance fees included 🚶 Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
📅 Reserve Now & Pay Later 🚫 Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Visit the lace museum
The extraordinarily restored Ducal Palace (Kneževa Palača) in Pag Town is home to the lace museum. Showcasing some wonderfully intricate designs and the historical timeline of lacemaking in Pag. This cultural heritage is vital to Croatia, and UNESCO gave lace-making Intangible Cultural Heritage status in 2009.
🗺️ Getting there
|Transfer Time to Pag
|Zadar International Airport (ZAD)
|Good connectivity to the rest of Europe and the UK, fewer flight options
|Split airport (SPU)
|More flight options and connections to major European & UK airports, including; Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted.
|Catch a ferry from Italy to Novalja, or drive from Zadar (50km from Novalja) or Split (200km from Novalja)
Is Pag nightlife good?
Yes, Pag Island has excellent nightlife during the summer. In addition, several electronic music festivals take place on Pag during June, July and August.
Is Pag a party island?
The beachside town of Novalja and the resort of Zrce Beach are popular destinations for those wanting to combine their holiday with an incredible party atmosphere.