Pag’s main tourist resort, located 20 km north-west of the village that gives the island its name, Novalja is one of the top destinations in Croatia (and Europe!) for those seeking fun and nightlife.
Its nightclubs, including the Cocomo Club, Aquarius and Noa Beach, are legendary, as is the annual Hideout electronic music festival and other similar loud events.
If you’re not interested in nightlife, don’t cross Novalja off your wish list: the town is pretty, easily accessible, has excellent facilities and is not particularly expensive. The beaches? Beautiful.
To find accommodation in Novalja, it is advisable to choose a flat or holiday house because there is much more choice, while hotels are few. Low-cost travellers will find some cheaper accommodation such as guesthouses and hostels, the latter being recommended for young people who want more opportunities to socialise.
In July and August, prices spike, so if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to book well in advance to be able to find the cheapest houses or rooms.
Although it has based its tourist industry on entertainment and nightlife, Novalja is a pretty town to visit, with an old town centre of Roman origins and a pleasant seaside walk.
Walking around the town, it is impossible not to come across ancient ruins, including the remains of several early Christian basilicas dating back to the 4th-5th century AD.
Don’t miss the mosaic floor of the Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary in the town centre, and above all the most famous monument in Novalja, the Roman aqueduct, known as the Talijanova buža: a tunnel carved into the rock over a kilometre long. The entrance to the aqueduct is near the Municipal Museum, which is interesting if you want to learn about the history of the island.
Novalja’s iconic beach is Zrce, which has become internationally famous for its crazy nights of techno, electronic and house music.
It is a beautiful beach of white pebbles almost three kilometres long, framed by a dense pine forest and washed by the clearest sea, but what attracts the tourists, mostly very young, are the legendary beach parties, discos by the sea or half-hidden in the pine forest, foam parties and electronic music festivals. Dancing starts mid-afternoon and goes on until morning.
Zrce is only two kilometres from the centre of Novalja and can be easily reached by car or bus (running 24 hours a day).
Other beaches not to be missed in Novalja are:
To get to Novalja it is best to first arrive in Zadar, either by plane or by ship from the Italian city of Ancona (one trip per day, 6 hours of sailing), then reach Novalja by car. You will not have to take another ferry because the island of Pag is connected to the mainland by a bridge: from Zadar to Novalja calculate about an hour and a half.
There are also some buses from Zadar to Pag, but it is not advisable because once on the island, local transport is poor.
What's the weather at Novalja? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Novalja for the next few days.
Novalja is a small town on the west coast of the island of Pag, about 25 kilometres north of the city of Zadar.