Pag Island is becoming more and more popular for tourists to visit, and it's probably down to the party town of Novalja. This has recently been likened to the Ibiza of Croatia and having been I can understand the likeness. Although the differences are vast (Ibiza costing on average of €90 to enter a super club and in many places there being a dress code unlike on Zrce Beach, the main party strip in Novalja, it’s free entry and flipflops were ok), I would say the atmosphere is the same - it’s electric and seriously buzzing. It may be down to the fact that booze and drugs are present in both, but either way everyone was having a good time! What I found most hilarious was that there is a bungee on both the famed San Antonio strip and on Zrce Beach!
Now if you’re like me, you’re not the best at staying up all night but don’t panic - the parties run all day with the clubs having jumps into the sea or into pools to cool down. Then in the evenings, it’s just one big party! I would recommend hitting both Noa or Aquarius - we had a great time at both and you can chill out on the beach for some down time between the dancing. Don’t feel you need to book a hostel or hotel close to the party either, taxis run all through the night and are super cheap, it will cost you around 50p - £1.50 each in a taxi. These drivers don’t care about the rules of the road either - 15 people stuffed into a 7 seater made for slightly uncomfortable journey but was cheap as chips! Be warned though, you may want to pre-drink as I would say that drinks in the clubs at Zrce are fairly watered down.
Pag also boasts some incredible scenery, the locals refer to it as a moonscape and I completely agree! It very much looks like we should be on another planet, with minimal vegetation around. It’s great for grabbing a tan, but a little difficult if you’re a ginger with a tendency to burn and need a little shade! As I keep saying with Croatia, the waters are crystal clear and great for taking a dip in - we took a range of inflatables each day and would just float in the surf so you can still cool down without the covering of trees. If you have the chance, walk or travel to the beaches a little further away, they’re much less crowded and make for a more magical day swimming and jumping into the clear water.
A highlight of our time on Pag was our day quad biking. We spent an hour each way zooming along the roads to get to some of the beaches a much further away. We hopped off road for a little more excitement but it was a great way to see a little more of the island! This a really cheap and safe option to explore with so I would seriously recommend you check it out. However, just make sure you point out any problems with your bike before you leave so they don’t charge you for it later - money grabbers!
My final point about Pag is that if you’re not a vegetarian, make sure you try the seafood! We had traditionally cooked octopus which was absolutely, mind bogglingly delicious. There is no way I could have enjoyed this more than I did, we got a huge sharing plate for our table of 8 that consisted of vegetables, salads, huge octopus tentacles and traditional pag island cheese (paski sir). But of course, no traditional Croatian meal would be complete without a few shots of Rakia. Rakia is a very strong alcoholic beverage that comes in a range of flavours, and is best when made by the locals. It’s also you’re cheapest and strongest drink when out so if you’re on a budget grab yourself some on ice!
Photography by Talento Productions