Our visit to Island of Pag, which is about 30 minutes from Zadar, along the road you have wine fields and agricultural land, but once you reach the island of Pag, the landscape completely changes, the photos below are taken by the bride Paski most leading to Pag Island, as you can see I looks like a moon landscape!
During the homeland war this bridge was the only connection between northern and southern part of Croatia, (as I mention in our story from Zadar, the JNA force was position a few km outside of the city) a friend of mine from Split, told me that during the war he used 12-14 hours to drive from his hometown Mostar to Zagreb for supplies. The bridge was close to collapsing in 1993 do to the heavy traffic, but luckily a second north – south connection was opened to take most of the traffic before that happened. Postwar the bridge has been completely renovated and enforced.
Pag Island is well known for at least 4 things, the first of them you meet (or at least their parents) just after crossing the bridge! Paski lamb is consider to be one of the best lambs you can get in Croatia, if not even in Europe, do to the high concentration of salt on the Island, the sheep’s diet consisting of grass and wild herbs gives the lam from here a very special taste.
The second thing which Pag is known for is the Paski Sir, which is a cheese made from sheep milk, again the sheep’s diet place an important role in terms of generating a very special taste, but also the facts that the cheese is rubbed in olive oil before maturing are said to have great impact on the taste. When you drive around on the island, you see signs with “Paski Sir” available here everywhere
The third thing which Pag is known for is salt, the last 7-8 km before you reach Pag city, (following the road 106 Paski most – Pag) you will on you left hand side see a large area of strange looking flat fields, this is the production area of the company Salona Pag, who is the main salt producer in Croatia, so if you have bought salt in the supermarket down here, you have for sure tried there product.
Besides regular table salt, Salona also produce sea salt and several special salts for cooking like garlic salt or meat salt, the two later I highly recommend you to try, they are excellent for a barbecue.
After you have past the salt fields you will reach grad Pag (Pag city), Pag city has a nice old town with streets constructed in squares, in the old town you can also find the last remaining tower from the prior fortification, several old churched and the duke´s palace from the 15th century.
Pag is popular tourist city, so you can easily find private accommodation on Pag, in the city there is also a few hotels, unfortunately there is no camp outside the city, but with in a range of 20 km you have 3 camps available, Camp Šimuni, Camp Košljun and Camp Dinjiška.
Camping Village Simuni is located between the tows of Pag and Novalja on a beautiful coastline of bays and beaches.
Camping Strasko is located only one kilometer from Novalja. The beach inside camping is 2 kilometers long, so it is the perfect holiday destination for families with small children.
From Grad Pag, we continue on our Pag excursion to our next stop Novalja, which is 25 km from Pag city, on the way we have to cross a small mountain, and saw the following welcome message in a serpentine? (We assumed this was related to 4th thing which Pag is known for).
After 40 minutes drive on curve road, we reached Novalja. Novalja city is properly the most well know tourist destination on the island, main reason for that is a the forth thing which Island Pag is know for, a beach called Zrce, situated 3 km outside the town. Zrce beach is one of the biggest party places in Croatia during summer, as you can see on this preseason photo the area is quite big and as far as I have heard it is crowded here in the main season!!
Of course Novalja, Is not only for young people parting as you can see on the photos here, the city in also a really nice place for a nice family holiday.
From Novalja we went all the way to the peak of the island in Tovrnele, before turning the car for a 2 hour drive back to Zadar. We all had a great day, with lots of impression, so we will for sure return to Island Pag another time.