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14 Epic Things to do in Novalja Croatia in 2023! (Recommended)

Things to do in Novalja

Planning your trip and need to know all the best things to do in Novalja? You have come to the right place to find everything you need to know about this beautiful city on Pag Island. Pag Island Novalja is a small rocky island off the Dalmatian coast. They are most known for their Paski Sir (Cheese from Pag), sheep, bora, and of course Zrce Beach.

There are so many things to do in Novalja, Croatia that does not include partying all night at Zrce. Do not get me wrong though definitely give it a chance. There are plenty of Novalja hotels, beaches, restaurants, and shopping centers to keep you entertained for your holiday to Pag Island.

Planning to travel to novalja? You need our travel guide to Pag Croatia!

Pag Island bridge
Pag Island Bridge

What to do in Pag Croatia

Visit Olive Gardens of Lun

You do not want to miss checking out the Olive Gardens of Lun on Pag Island. They are home to some of the oldest olive trees in the world, including a few that are over 2,000 years old. You could spend your whole day walking around and looking at these old beauties.

There are also wild sheep that graze here, you cannot miss them or at the very least hear them. And one of the best things about the Olive Gardens of Lun is that after you check them out you can walk down to the beautiful beach that they are at. You will not your visit Olive Gardens of Lun they are one of the best things to do in Novalja, Croatia.

The address to the olive grove is right hereyou will see signs all over the island pointing you in the right direction. Make sure to stop and buy some Olive Oil it most likely will be some of the best you have ever had.

the oldest olive groves in the world The Olive Gardens of Lun
Old Olive Grove

Life on Mars Trail in Novalja

Have you ever been to Mars? No! Well, we went there quite a few times while we stayed in Novalja. The Life on Mars Trail in Novalja has two beaches and epic viewpoints throughout the whole day. If you are looking to get outside, this is what to do in Novalja Croatia!

There are so many different hikes on Pag Island but this is absolutely one of our favorites. Make sure to bring a lunch for your halfway point and plenty of water, especially in the summer.

To get to the Life on Mars trailhead to this parking lot and walk down until you see the sign. It is hidden behind a boat repair shot. 

You can expect this hike to be moderate and should take you about 4 hours mars hike activity duration. It is an out and back trail and if there is a spot in the back to rock climb, you must bring your own gear.

Hiking Trails in Croatia Life on Mars Trail in Novalja
Moon Rock Trail in Novalja

Walk the Boardwalk in Novalja

Taking a stroll down the boardwalk in Novalja is one of the best and free things to do in Novalja. The boardwalk is right along the beach and you can follow it straight into town. Be sure to take a stroll down the path during the sunset. Alfred Hitchcock once said that Croatia has the best sunset in the world, and who can argue with that.

The boardwalk in Novalja is very easy to find, it is right in front of the harbor and it is maybe 4 km (2 miles) long. It should be just a short walk from the many accommodations options nearby. There are restaurants, and bars serving adult food and drinks! This is one of the top Novalja Croatia things to do to stretch your legs, and its free!

take a walk down the board walk in novalja it is one of the best things to do in Novalja
Boardwalk in Novalja, Croatia from Above

Go Taste Pag Cheese in Pag Town

The cheese from Pag Island, known as Paski Sir, has won many prestigious awards from all around the world. The reasoning behind the epic cheese is due to a few different factors. A combination of the sheep that they get their milk from, and the strong winds that blow the salt from the ocean onto the herbs that the sheep eat. And of course, the process in which they make their cheese.

There is a specific kind of sheep that you can only find living on Pag Island. They are mini sheep, but they are furiously strong from the intense bora wind that they encounter during the winter months. The milk from these incredible sheep is one of the reasons that the Pag cheese is so special. Be sure to go cheese tasting, it is one of the best things to do on Pag Island.

This is one of the best places for culture adventure after you check out the factory you can can go see the island and nin saltworks nearby!

There are a couple of Paski sir locations to try out on the island. The first one is in the town of Kolan and is called Sirana Gligora. And the second one is in the town of Pag and is called Paška Sirana. We went to both and enjoyed our time immensely at both places. Going there was one of our favorite things to do in Novalja.

Try the Paski Sir while on your hoilday
Paski Sir Cheese Factory

Rent a Mountain Bike or Quad Bike – Outdoor Novalja

There is a brand new mountain bike trail in Novalja, Pag that is 20 km long and ends in an epic location, called Svetojanj. This trail will start at Novalja Feild, which is another super cool story all on its own, and will take you through all the different parts of the island.

You will encounter the moon-like landscape in some areas, and you will also ride through locations that are lush with greenery and wildlife. If you rent yourself an electric mountain bike from Sunturist you should have no problem with this course. Do yourself a favor and get outdoor novalja it is one of the best things to do in Novalja, Croatia.

Like the beautiful outdoors? Check out all the amazing Novalja Camping sites!

Rent a bike in Novalja two people sitting out watching the beautiful sunset
Watching the Sunset in Novalja

Zcre Beach Line Up – Novalja Nightlife Music Festivals

Zcre beach is a popular destination for big name djs and good for all ages of people who love to listen to music and dance their day and night away. There are three clubs on Zcre NOA, Papaya, and Kalypso. You can find entertainment on Zcre all day and night with some of the best DJs, like Steve Aoki, in the world. One of the biggest festivals is the hideout festival in August.

Visiting their stages makes it one of the best and most popular things to do in Novalja. There are shows with hip hop, dance, house music.

You can find the address to Zcre here, although you probably do not need it. There are shuttles and taxis that will give you a lift to the popular beach. It is only about 2 (1 mile) km from the main square in the town center.

Novalja Beach

There are countless beaches in Novalja for visiting. I think we counted up to 12 different ones that you can visit. Babe Beach was a popular one for us. It was walking distance from our apartment and dogs are allowed at babe beach.

Jadra Beach is another beach that we loved, this was not a sandy beach but it has a wonderful landscape. While at Jadra you can see views of both Velebit Moutain and the island of Rab.

Caska beach is another one of the best beaches in Novalja. This beach was much more sandy and it was easier to swim there. We asked a few different locals to Novalja which beach they liked the best and both times they said Caska Beach was their favorite. But be sure to check out all the beaches in Novalja they are all special in their own way.

Or you can check out the boat tour and see them all in one day!

Beaches in Novalja me in the caska beach waters
This is Caska Beach

Pick Wild Asparagus in the Country

Wild asparagus grows in Novalja just about everywhere and you can go pick it freely. We went up to the hill right above the Hotel Olea and there was plenty to find in the bushes. We were able to pick asparagus during April when the island started during green. lazy afternoon exploring

Be careful of snakes when you explore the city they love to slither around the dry stone walls that you will see all over Pag Island. We saw plenty of red and black snakes but were told that they are harmless.

Take a History Tour of Novalja City Museum

Novalja is a jammed pack town of interesting history dating back to the first century BC. During that time the Romans had control and left one of the best-hidden gems the aqueducts in Novalja. We had the privilege of being able to walk down the small, dark passageway known to the locals as Talijanova buža, or Roman hole, that is under the museum.

You can also set up a tour through the tourism office, it is a once and a lifetime treat and one of the best things to do in Novalja if you are into history. There are also quite a few Christian basilicas ruins around Novalja. This suggests that Novalja was once a very important hub for bishops and other important religious figureheads.

If you take a tour with Darka, you will learn everything there is to know about the history of Novalja. She was a wonderful tour guide and we spend a lovely afternoon with her strolling around town as she pointed out everything there is know about the small town.

History tours in Novalja me in the Roman aqueducts
Roman Aqueducts in Novalja

Go to a Festival on Pag Island

While we were in Novalja we were able to attend two different festivals in town. They were the Easter celebration and the festival of May. They were both so much fun located in the town square in front of the beautiful church.

While at a Novalja fest you will see traditional dancing and outfits worn by a dozen or so young adults that put on a fantastic show for you. Witnesses this was one of my favorite things that I saw during my time in Novalja. Their dresses and headpieces are beautifully designed and are a deep part of their history on the island. Be sure to check on out during your holidays to Pag Novalja!

the center of town in novalja during a festival this is one of the best Things to do in Novalja
Easter Celebration in the town square

Boat Tour Novalja Day Trips to Nearby Towns + Small Islands

Set sail on a day of adventure from Pag town’s waterfront on your holidays to Novalja! Along the way you will admire the karstic landscape as you head to Zaton bay for a swim. Then followed by a guided exploration of a hidden sea cave.

Continue to Slana bay and Beriknica beach, for swimming and climbing. After your work out enjoy a local lunch in the fishing village of Metajna, with options to eat onboard or at a restaurant. Afterward, visit Rozin Bok beach for a final swim before returning to Pag town. This boat cruise promises breathtaking views, thrilling activities, and lasting memories of what to see in Novalja!

Boat Tour of Novalja: Getyourguide.com

a boat tour around novalja with a beautiful blue sea and someone swimming in the water

Kayaking in the Adriatic Sea + Water Sports

One of the best ways to spend the day in the warm weather is to do some sea kayaking in Novalja! The crystal clear water and beautiful Velebit mountain range makes for a picture perfect backdrop! On this tour you will be able to visit sandy and pebble beaches and enjoy a day of swimming through Gače Cave.

Book a tour today: Getyourguide.com + Activity Duration : 4 Hours

Or try night water sea kayaking! On this trip you can explore the moonlike world of Pag Bay and enjoy the view of the illuminated seafloor! GetYourGuide.com

two people kayaking at night time in the pag bay. the sunset is so beautiful and they have a tent set up as well.

Pag Island Day Trip to Zadar 

One of the best day trips from Pag is to the near by town of Zadar. Start your journey with a one-hour drive or bus ride from Pag to Zadar, offering scenic views and epic bridges along the way.

Remember, the best trips are often those that are flexible and allow for spontaneous exploration. So, while in Zadar, take the opportunity to discover hidden gems and enjoy the local cuisine.

Once in Zadar, explore its rich history and culture by visiting the Sea Organ, Greeting to the Sun installations, and the roman ruins in the peoples square. You may also opt for a private tour that includes transportation, allowing you to delve deeper into local traditions. Find more things to do in Zadar!

For nature lovers, consider taking a boat tour to the Kornati National Park or visit the stunning waterfalls at the Krka National Park. If time allows, experience island hopping around Dugi.

Town view of Novalja, Croatia. you can see the velebit mountains and the beautiful pag bay
Novalja From Above

Is Novalja Croatia nice?

the festival of may on pag Croatia. there are people dancing, signing, eating, and drinking in the town square of novalja pag

Novalja, Croatia is a beautiful, small town on Pag Island and is located on the sea and is right in the center of the island. Although it has a small-town vibe, there is still plenty to be seen and things to do in Novalja. It is the biggest and nicest city on the island of Pag.

What is Pag Island known for?

Things to do in Novalja

Pag Island is known for a few different things. Depending on who you are talking to they could tell you that they are most famous for their Paski Sir. If you are speaking to the younger generation, Zcre Beach is what you will get told Pag Island is most known for.

Zrce has transformed the island into a huge party destination every summer. Thousands of young adults flock to the island to hear the latest DJs perform while they dance the night away in the sand. There are multiple different stages and venues making it easy to spend your day listening to dope music and swimming in the crystal clear ocean.

What is Novalja Known For?

a beautiful photo of a boat in the middle of the pag bay

Novalja is known for olive oil, adult novalja fun, Zrce Beach, pag cheese, the Novalja city museum, and the friendly locals. But mostly, as a party island! In the summer Novalja comes to life with so many tourists filling the streets and Zrce beach music festivals. But in the winter and colder months of the year it can turn into a ghost town. 

Is Pag Worth Going to?

a beautiful photo of the pag bridge in the center of pag town croatia

Yes! Pag is worth going to! Pag Island, nestled in the Adriatic Sea, is a blend of natural beauty and heritage. It’s home to stunning beaches and hidden bays perfect for swimming. Nature lovers will appreciate the world’s oldest olive tree grove, the Olive Gardens of Lun. Pag is also known for its cheese, lace, and salt, Pag offers a unique gastronomic journey.

Is Pag Croatia a Party Place?

a girl partying in Novalja with a purple bathing suit and a pool in the back round

Yes, Pag Croatia is renowned as a party place. Often referred to as the “Croatian Ibiza,” Pag Island is one of the top clubbing spots in Croatia and is particularly known for its vibrant nightlife scene.
Pag Island is home to many clubs and bars, with Noa Beach Club, Kokopelli Beach Bar, and Euphoria Club being some of the most popular. With this being said, there is still so much to do in Novalja and Pag town that doesn’t have to do with partying.

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Abbey Rae

Fulltime Traveller, Blogger, SEO Writer

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