Island Pag – Travel guide

Island Pag – Travel guide

You have finally found the ultimate and most fabulous destination of your dreams. Whether you are traveling with your family, friends, or you simply want a vacation for yourself, the Island of Pag will do the magic for you. Welcome to the Island of Pag!

Though commonly known as 'the Moonrock,' attributed to its rocky nature,the island is a stunning part of nature to visit.

The excellent Adriatic Sea, historical sites, an exquisite collection of food and wine, and host to the most significant festivals in history make this island the perfect tourist destination. The weather is magnificent, especially during the summer, giving you the perfect atmosphere to experience the fantastic Croatian culture.


1. About the Island Pag

About the Island Pag

A visit to Croatia cannot be termed complete without a feel of the Pag islands’ magical sunsets, beaches, and the gentle breeze offering you a mystic experience. Why now? The island has increasingly grown in popularity due to its remarkable reputation as a supreme party destination.

Zrće Beach near Novalja, situated in the Northern part of the island, has some of Croatia's best open-air clubs, such as Aquarius and Papaya, which hold the most significant festivals and events in Croatia with international attendance. This beach breathes into and holds the life of the party.

The town also hosts the annual colorful carnivals that you can explore to understand the cultural heritage of the Croatian people while having the utmost fun. The carnival is held biannually, during winter and summer, with the best dances, food, and costumes for a full-on experience.

More to the island makes it an ideal traveling destination other than the partying bit. For instance, the blue Adriatic sea waters provide a tranquil and fresh environment for someone looking to relax. If you are looking to relax, swim and sunbathe, Pag is the right place to be.

Did you know that the popular movies Ibiza, The Terror and The Grand Tour were filmed on the Island of Pag? Thanks to the ambiance and beautiful landscape, the island progressively grows into the ideal destination for the seventh art, filming. The island has and continues to be used to shoot movies, series, and commercials by renowned brands such as Porsche and Mercedes. Music videos have also been shot in the area at the beautiful Lun Olives Garden.

What speaks better about a culture than their products, such as food? The island is known for its state of the art cheese (Paški sir) production, wines, and olive oils. In addition, as the name suggests, the Pag lace originated from this island. St. Margaret convent's Benedictine nuns initiated the centuries-old tradition.

There is a vast array of options for accommodation; good quality hotels, campsites, and apartments.

The majority of these holiday hotels provide a Pag Island Airport shuttle service that you can use to avoid mishaps along the way, giving you comfort.

Although the island of Pag is one of the islands receiving a large amount of sunshine in a year, the warmest months are July and August.


2. History of Pag

History of Pag

Where has this treasure of a destination emanated from? It is safe to say that the Island has been occupied since as early as the Stone Age. This is evidenced by the ruins left in the place and some cultural archeological artifacts, most of which are sunken and will be fun for you to explore.

This island has had varying rulers since its establishment. The first recorded occupants were the Romans in the 1st century (BC), followed by the Liburnians and members of an Illyrian tribe in the 2nd century (BC). Novalja was once known as Cissa, a Roman city that sunk due to an earthquake while occupants vacated.

Due to the convergence of Slavic people groups to the Croatian coast, various island areas went under the control of the houses of worship of Rab and Zadar.

The island looked to wrestle control from Zadar throughout the long term, effectively on occasion, albeit different fights saw it get once again to Zadar's control during this period, as apparent by the landmarks and structures that actually exist on Pag.

After various encounters as part of Yugoslavia, it later gained independence in 1992 as part of Croatia.


3. Top 7 things to do in Pag

1. Discover how the ancient Romans lived

The aqueduct, Talijanova Buža, is an ancient structure expressly built in the 1st century. This subterranean of Croatia was made using solid rock by the Romans in Novalja. Explore the mysterious passageways in this unique 1.2 km-long aqueduct. The Romans used this structure to supply the Nolvajan town with water from the fields. Moreover, the entrance to this site is situated in the Town Museum, Kralja Zvonimira street. Therefore, you get to also discover the town’s ethnological and cultural heritage in the process.

2. Explore Pag’s Bermuda Triangle

Do you love discovering amusing facts and places? Pag boats of the best sites to feed a curious mind. One in particular that continues to attract tourists and even UFO investigators is its Bermuda Triangle. First discovered in 1999 by the surveyor Zdenko Grbavac, this perplexing stretch of land is a triangle shape inscribed into the rocky earth by an unknown power. Even more bemusing is how its rocks differ from the rest in the area. Come armed with a pair of heavy-duty boots and join other adventurous people in trying to understand or solve this mystery.

3. Enjoy the Pag Carnival

A splash of color and complete immersion to the Pag carnival is a brilliant way for you to experience the Croatian culture. You can choose to dress in a costume and join the parade or be in the moment from the sidelines. The carnival has been continuously held for decades now, twice a year, winter and summer. The Pag Winter Carnival is mainly enjoyed by the local and offseason tourists. It starts the earliest Saturday following the Epiphany. It then ends on Ash Wednesday. Every Saturday during this time, you get to enjoy the dances (tanci) organized by the locals. The carnival celebrations shift to the central town plaza for the final three days.

4. Sip Pag brandy

Enliven your tour by trying out the traditional Croatian brandy, Rakija. It is passed on as family medicinal grape brandy. Other varieties such as Orahovac and Medica will stimulate your taste buds, giving you a euphoric feeling. Some of the best of these brands are available in restaurants and bars. Enjoy this special brew and the health benefits of its contents while at it.

5. Voyage Pag Bay

Go on a state-of-the-art excursion across Pag Bay. Feed your eyes and mind with the beautiful scenery on the cruise. You will also get to explore the underwater town of Cissa, destroyed after an earthquake in the 4th century. This was a Roman area of residence believed to be Novalja’s forerunner. The best travel agencies will provide you with complete itineraries to follow. For example, you can have locally sourced fish for lunch at Metajna village and later sunbathe and swim at Beritnica Beach. The most thrilling part is the boat ride through the cave.

6. Go on a thrilling adventure at a ghost town

A kilometer away from the present Pag town, Old Town Pag is now a ghost town. The town was an area of residence for over 6000 people. Beautiful historical ruins such as the Church of S. Mary and the Franciscan Monastery are still visible in the town. Old Pag town was a very successful center of the salt trade. However, most people vacated the town due to harsh conditions, especially drought. The uninhabited town now gives ghostly vibes worth exploring.

7. Do a wine tasting of Pag’s best vino

You do not necessarily have to be a sommelier to do a wine tasting. Simply treat it like an adventure for your taste buds and full-on senses. Pag wine creation is indispensable in Pag's set of experiences and history, with over 3000 tonnes of grapes grown annually. It was a genuinely monetary support point for the island for quite a long time, but urbanization led to the loss of many vineyards.

However, production is still ongoing and even getting better. Their two top wines include Žutica and Gegić. The wines get their dryness from the sandy soil in the region. It is best to pair the wine with meat such as lamb or cheese. To get the best authentic experience, get the wine from the locals in the area.


4. Lacemaking

Lacemaking

Acknowledged as 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO', Pag lacemaking is one of Croatia's most treasured traditions. The Pag lace is highly unique and mainly done by the Benedictine nuns. Ancient history illustrates that Pag lace takes its starting point from the city of Mycenae. In the town of Pag, lacemaking started in the late fifteenth century for the congregation ceremonial garments. Making the laces was started by the Benedictine religious circle with a school of trim.

Pag town's Lace Gallery displays the best laces made by the locals, mainly the nuns. To get a further dive into how lacemaking originated, you need to understand the culture of the people in the Pag town back in the day and how they dressed. This craft began in the Renaissance. The lace was customary white material shirts and neckerchiefs worn on Pag island. As customary dress died out in the twentieth century, trim edging enriched decorative spreads, unique stepped area materials, quilts, and clothes. In 1906 a School for Lace Making was laid out in Pag, and the trim started to expect the mathematical shapes you see today.

Over the years, lacemaking continued to gain popularity. In 1911, Pag's lace got more extensive consideration because of an Austrian author, Natalie Bruck-Auffenberg, who introduced a lace shirt to Archduchess Maria Josephine. The archduchess ventured out to Pag to submit a request and more honorable women went with the same pattern. A lace producer from Pag dwelled at the imperial court in Vienna during the rule of Queen Maria Theresa (1717-1780).

To properly make lace, you need to have thread and an ordinary mending needle. In addition, you should have good eyesight, properly cleaned hands and a lot of time at your disposal. The cycle includes adorning a spider web design with geometrical themes and is sent today by more established ladies who offer drawn-out courses. The designs are passed down generations, each adding its unique touch. The lacemaking is done on a backing such as a hard enough pillow. The product is fragile yet very delicate, making it worth every second spent on it.

Partaking in such a class and learning the art is a great way to relax your mind and add something to your skillset. Moreover, you can purchase the Pag lace as a souvenir, promoting the livelihoods of the locals while carrying home a reminder of your wonderful trip to Croatia.

5. Croatia’s best delicacies: Pag cheese, Pag lamb, and Pag salt.

You cannot term your trip a complete success if you have not tasted the Island’s best cuisines. As food is symbolic of love, the best way to feel the warmth and love in the fantastic Croatian culture of the people residing in Pag is through their best delicacies:

Pag cheese

Pag cheese

Paški sir, Croatia's most incredible pride, is top-tier cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk. This Pag Island cheese is obtained from Pask Ovca, a unique breed of sheep that produces intensely salty milk in a limited amount. This is due to the various herbs they feed on, flavored by the sea salts blown into the land by the Bura wind dust.

The Pag cheese is hard and matures for four months, although cheddar makers can offer it at different development periods from 2 to a year and a half. The pate shifts from light to dull yellow underneath the thin skin, contingent upon age. The surface adjusts from dry to flaky with the expansion of charming graininess. The more youthful wheels uncover a lot of zest alongside an unmistakable exquisite and sweet-smelling natural taste. As the cheddar (cheese) develops, the exquisite flavor and tartness become more grounded.

The cheese pairs well with the Pag wine. This cheese is recommendable at room temperature and can be paired with wildflower honey, anchovies, and the local bread rolls known as paške bubice.

Pag lamb

Pag lamb

Why hassle to find the Pag lamb when you can have lamb chops anywhere in the world? Paška janjetina, the Pag lamb meat, has its unique aroma and taste attributed to the plants on the island. Croatian lamb is primarily viewed as a treat and held for unique events. The meat is outstandingly delicate, juicy, and delicious when accurately cooked. It is tantalizing due to its full flavor.

To enjoy every aspect of the Pag lamb, nothing other than salt and olive oil is expected as a marinade and preparing, albeit the spit-simmered adaptation gets a tempting smoky taste. Served simmered or barbecued is the most effective way to bring out the flavor thoroughly. The dish is best paired with potatoes and a dressed plate of mixed greens or salads.

Pag salt

Pag salt

You will most likely be served with the Paška sol(Pag salt) as you frequent Croatian restaurants.

The salt is full of minerals and has numerous benefits to your health. It used to be obtained through panning and drying in the sun, but now the process is done in factories. Being fresh from the sea in proximity, the salt has a unique taste that will add to your delicacies, especially the Pag lamb.

6. Zrće Beach, Island of Pag: Festival Capital of Europe

Zrće Beach, Island of Pag: Festival Capital of Europe

The island progressively gains popularity as the epicenter of the world's best festivals, based on the Croatian culture. The beach has iconic, spacious, and marvelous open-air clubs that host hundreds of local and international people during the festival.

Moreover, there are never-ending boat parties based on each festival's theme that will have you culminating every ounce of stress you may have. The Adriatic coast provides a perfect touch of nature to blend with the music for the festivals giving you the ultimate experience year-round.


7. Summer Festivals on Zrće Beach 2022

Summer is the best time for you to visit this beautiful Croatian Island. The weather is pleasant, allowing you to partake in fun activities such as water sports, swimming, and basking in the sun. Moreover, you can enjoy the culture in a fully immersed experience through the following summer festivals:


ZRĆE BEACH SPRING BREAK FESTIVAL

May 26-31, 2022  

How best to kick off your summer mood than with a state-of-the-art party? During these three days, the nightclubs and boats around and at Zrće Beach host the grandest beach parties. There will be a lineup of the best DJs, both local and international, with fantastic food and drinks, guaranteeing you a lifetime experience.

The festival continues to gain popularity as attendees from Europe and worldwide travel to attend the never-ending party. The best part, the beach parties are extra accommodating and friendly to everyone regardless of age or preferences. Whether you love EDM, house music, or a mash-up, you will enjoy it. At the Zrće beach spring break festival, there is something for everyone! Take a break from the daily tussles of life, attend this festival, be yourself, and free your mind.



FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL

June 25-29, 2022

The Fresh Island Festival is the perfect go-to destination for hip-hop and urban music lover. This being the festival’s 10th-year edition, you can bet the celebrations will be bigger and better. Also held at Zrće Beach, on boats at the Adriatic Sea, and open-air clubs such as Papaya and Aquarius, the festival lasts for a week (5 days). What makes this event special?

Each year some of the best international artists perform at the festival. For instance, Snoop Dog, Tory Lanez, Guna, Stefflon Don, Rae Sremmurd, and Madcon have performed in the place; Snoop Dog even went ahead to shoot a film due to its exhilarating energy.


This festival gives off a concert vibe that you should take advantage of and sing and dance your heart out to.

XISTENCE FESTIVAL

June 27-30, 2022

This is a psytrance festival held at the Zrće Beach, home to the life of the party. The festival promises psytrance lovers a surreal experience as they party on the lush beaches and enjoy the sun and the beautiful waters. The lineup is announced close to the festival.
However, it is safe to expect the best performances as the previous years have had top-notch artists such as MR.BLACK, Ace Ventura, and Astrix.

HIDEOUT FESTIVAL

July 3-7, 2022

Electronic music lovers will have the best time at this festival on Zrće Beach. Enjoy a week-long celebration of the festival’s 12th anniversary, with great music, from house techno and garage to drum and bass.

You get to have an immersive experience of pool, boat, and club parties alongside international people that genuinely enjoy the same genre of music as you. The energy at such an event is crazy, and the five conic venues that will host continue to expand over the years to accommodate more people.


DROP ZONE FEST

July 11-14, 2022

How hard can you party? The drop zone fest is a hard dance paradise for this genre’s fanatics. The event has insane day and night parties with artists and fanatics from the entire world. If you love or want to try partying hard, you should definitely go to this festival for the summer party of your life.

The sound systems are electrifying, and the energy from everyone is just perfectly contagious. Noa and Kalypso beach clubs, also located at Zrće Beach, will host the festival's second edition.


SENSES FESTIVAL

July 11-14, 2022

Mother nature has an exquisite way of soothing your body and helping you get in touch with your inner self. The 'AWAKE' festival has been reimagined ad recreated into the Senses Festival.

The goal is to give you this experience as put by the organizers, "Close your eyes. Imagine a light summer breeze on the back of your neck. The taste of salty air. The sound of the sea crashing against the pebbled beach. The vibe is thumbing under your feet. It's getting stronger. You move to the rhythm. You move to feel you are alive. You move to awaken all your SENSES.’

Relinquish a magnificent trance music haven played by 20 of the best carefully selected DJs. They will play across two of the best club on Zrće Beach.

SONUS FESTIVAL

August 21‒25, 2022

Grand beach Clubs at Zrće Beach clubs such as Kalypso and Papaya have fantastic stages that hold the most prominent festivals. This includes the Sonus festival, which provides the most intense and exhilarating experience to Techno music fans.

Artists in this year’s lineup include techno legends; Monika Kruse, Chris Liebing, Jamie Jones, and many more.

The festival provides you with a combination of artisanal techno and hedonism worth every second. Their hi-spec sound systems send the proper chills down your soul.

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