Just like Velebit mountain in foothills of which it lies surrounded by the clear blue sea, the island of Pag seems hostile and unwelcoming at first, but it will offer you an unforgettable experience and memorable moments. It was nicknamed ‘the Moon Island’ due to its surface and unusual stony landscape. This unique stony gem turns out to be one of the sunniest Adriatic islands with an indented coast, more than 2500 hours of sunshine annually, and a 270-kilometers-long coastline consisting of bays, capes, and beautiful beaches that seem to promise sheer pleasure.
The biggest settlement on the island is the city of Pag. It is a city of rich cultural and historical heritage and historic buildings, such as the Parish Church of the Holy Assumption of Virgin Mary located at the main square, Rector’s Palace, and Skrivanat Tower – the only remaining tower out of nine that, together with their walls, used to surround the city. Everywhere you look there are lovely stone frames, Baroque balconies, and stone coats of arms. Archeological excavations area the Old City of Pag with the Romanesque Church of St Mary and the remains of a Franciscan monastery are only one kilometer away from the city center. A Permanent Exhibition of Salt Production in the saltworks testifies to a centuries-old tradition of quality salt production on Pag. Along with preserving valuable relics and paintings, the Benedictine Convent has preserved the tradition of baškotin production – an aromatic hard biscuit available at the entrance to the convent. Pag lace, which can be seen in the Gallery of Pag Lace and the Benedictine Monastery, is world-famous handicraft that has a centuries-old tradition, and every single lace artefact is a unique piece of work. The city of Pag is also famous for its traditional winter and summer carnivals as well as the International Lace Festival.
The city of Novalja is the main harbour and a famous tourist destination. It is located in a bay in the northwestern part of the island and has interesting history to which numerous archeological excavations, amongst which there are three early Christian basilicas dating from the 5th and the 4th century, testify. For those who are further interested in archeology, the bay of Caska with the remains of a Roman settlement Cissa is to be investigated, but the most notable landmark is the one-of-a-kind Roman aquaduct dating from the 1st century, which was made of stone. Aside from its interesting history, Novalja has recently been drawing the attention of younger population as a place of entertainment and fun, mainly due to a large number of festivals and clubs located on the beautiful Zrće beach. It is the beautiful beaches surrounded by crystal clear water and untouched nature that Pag is most proud of. In addition, Novalja has found its place on trail running map with ‘Life on Mars Trail’ race being one of those that have attracted numerous participants over the last couple of years.
Kolan is situated between the cities of Novalja and Pag, and the local population mostly lives of livestock farming, and more recently, tourism as a result of the area’s spectacular beaches and pristine sea. Worldwide famous cheese factories, the churches of St Lucas, St Jerome , St Mary, and St Vitus are just a part of the story you need to hear once you decide to visit this place. You can enjoy the famous Pag cheese, lamb, prosciutto, sea food specialities, and excellent wine. Not far from Kolan there are two beautiful tourist destinations: Mandre and Kolanjski Gajac. Mandre is situated in the southern part of the island with a view of the islands of Silba and Olib, and it is a perfect place for those looking for a peaceful beach vacation and crystal clear sea. Kolanjski Gajac is situated in a beautiful bay, and the vicinity of Novalja, as well as of Zrće and Katarelac beach, makes it even more appealing in the hot summer months.
Povljana lies in the southern part of the island of Pag and has traditionally been an agricultural area that has fed almost the entire island, but it has recently become an important tourist destination as well. Aside from visiting an important archeological area in Povljana, active holidaymakers can also pay a visit to Veliko Blato Ornithological Reserve, which has over 168 different kinds of birds, cycling routes, and beaches to offer while the gourmands may enjoy quality Mediterannean food.
And in the end, a new beginning… a beginning of your visit to this magical island that awaits your return again and again… more opportunities to enjoy a wonderful testimony of love between people, stone and the sea…