17 Best Things To Do On Pag Island Croatia, The Island Of Lace

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Heading off to Pag Island in Croatia? This trip to Pag Island guide is your go-to for discovering what makes this place a must-visit. Known for its moon-like landscapes, Pag isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a culinary adventure waiting to happen.

Ever heard of Paški sir cheese? Thanks to Anthony Bourdain, this island’s famous delicacy is on the foodie map. But there’s more to Pag than just cheese. From exploring its history and culture to indulging in outdoor activities that let you connect with its unique natural beauty, learning about Pag is an experience in itself.

Whether you’re here to chill on its beaches or dive into the local gastronomy, this travel guide has the scoop on all things to do in Pag.

Croatia Travel Blog_Things To Do On Pag Island_PIN

I am told that Pag Island was once home to an extensive forest before Venetian overlords exploited that natural resource. I don’t know if that is true, but, indeed, Pag Island is merely a rocky limestone outcropping in the Adriatic Sea. However, to dismiss this location based on its treeless landscape would be a mistake.

During the summer months of July and August, parts of Pag Island transform into a giant, riotous beach party, so we’ve found you some family-friendly activities. Despite those rowdy parties, Pag is still one of the most family-friendly islands in the Zadar Region.

At other times of the year, this is a quiet destination known for its culinary delicacies, such as Paški sir, a type of salted goat cheese and freshly harvested salt. Pag Island is also known for intricate lacework that is still handmade by the inhabitants.

Pag Island is also home to the first Croatian wind farm, which has been in operation for the past ten years, and visitors to this sunny spot will undoubtedly find plenty to see and do. We recommend you rent a car and check out these ideas!

We’ve categorized activities into broad themes like cultural experiences, food and drink, natural sights and outdoor adventures, and specific adventures or exploration activities, offering a clearer overview of what you can do.

Cultural And Historical Experiences

1. The Lace Museum

Where to go in Croatia | Pag Lace Cipka_NationalTZ
Photo Credit Zadar.hr

The village of Pag is well known for its incredible lacework and adorned emperors and noblewomen to the common folk. Lace was used initially to make ecclesiastical garments or ornaments for clothing and tablecloths.

Lace-making in Croatia began during the Renaissance period when it spread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The work is so important to the Croatian culture that UNESCO inscribed it on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009.

In the Ducal Palace (Kneževa Palača), this tiny museum was created to illustrate the history of this handicraft and provide examples of the best artistry. Thus, it makes a good stop for those who have been rained out at the beach or those who are considering purchasing lace as a beautiful souvenir on their visit. After all, it’s best to know what the genuine article looks like because otherwise, what seems like a good bargain could prove a very costly mistake. 

Address: Trg Kralja Krešimira IV | Open: 8 am to 11 pm Jun-Sep |Cost: 10 HRK

2. Pag International Lace Festival

A wooden chair beside a stone wall at Pag Lace festival in Croatia.

Taking place in June, celebrate the history of this artisan craft at a festival dedicated to these beautiful needle stitches. From viewings to workshops to a wedding dress fashion show, three days of events are available for you to take in the intricate beauty that is lace

3. Check Out Roman History At Talijanova Buža

Pag has a huge amount of Roman history, and you can visit this Roman aqueduct in Novalja. The aqueduct is around 1km long, where the town used to get its water, dating back to 1 AD. You can tour the dark and winding passageways via the local tourist office.

Translated, ‘Talijanova buža’ means ‘Italian hole,’ and it’s a somewhat different way to spend an hour, but a strangely interesting one and will give you a glimpse of life back in Roman times.

4. Celebrate At A Pag Carnival

Heading to Pag for a unique cultural experience? You’re in for a treat with the Pag Carnival, a vibrant tradition that has the whole town buzzing with cultural and fun events. Kicking off on the first Saturday after Epiphany and wrapping up on Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent, this winter carnival is a must-see.

Each Saturday, the town comes alive with ‘tanci’ (socji) – think masked dances that are all about having a good time. As the carnival reaches its climax in the last three days, the action shifts to the central town square. Here, after the ceremonial handing over of the town keys, everyone gathers for a traditional circle dance, moving to tunes composed by Zadar’s own Šime Dešpalj.

But that’s not all. The Družina cultural and art association, known locally as ‘The Troupe,’ steps in to perform the folk drama ‘The Slave Girl of Pag,’ adding a dash of theatrical flair to the festivities.

And if you miss the winter carnival, don’t sweat it. Pag throws a summer carnival too, the oldest of its kind, held on the last weekend of July every year since 1959. Whether you’re here for the culture, the party, or to soak in the local vibes, Pag’s carnival scene has something for everyone. So, please mark your calendars and be part of a tradition that’s as lively and welcoming as the town itself.

5. Visit Stari Grad Pag

If you travel a short distance outside of Pag Town, you’ll find what locals refer to as ‘Stari Grad Pag,’ a deserted town that was once a bustling center of the island’s salt trade.

As the weather changed over the years, droughts set in, and this badly affected trade. Residents slowly moved away to more profitable areas, i.e., Pag Town, and you can visit what is left behind.

It’s almost like a ghost town in some ways and pretty cool to see.

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6. Sirana Gligora

cheese factory at pag island.jpg
Stop laughing; you’ll have to wear this outfit too.

The award-winning products found at this squeaky-clean cheese factory are made as they have been for centuries. This business makes some of the island’s tastiest creations using sheep’s milk from neighboring farms and traditional techniques. It is an ideal destination for rainy or chilly days when visiting the beach isn’t an option.

We enjoyed a tour earlier a few years ago and did not want to leave. The staff was super friendly and the tour cost just 8 euros.

The guide gives you a detailed overview of the work that goes into creating their specialty cheeses, such as Paški sir and Zigljen, and you can see the team hard at work – and the cheese maturing. Just don’t touch them! You can purchase more in the factory’s cheese shop if you enjoy what you sample.

Pag Island Paski Sir cheese range
Pair Croatian wine with Paski Sir on Pag Island.

Local Tip: If you love cheese, you can sample this award-winning cheese and varieties across the country’s annual festival on Pag.

Address: Figurica 20, 23251 Kolan | Open: Mon-Sat from 7:00 am till 3:00 pm |Cost: 60 HRK

7. Try Pag Lamb, A Local Delicacy 

Whenever you go somewhere new, it’s essential to try the local cuisine; it’s the ideal way to experience the local way of life! Pag lamb is a must-try and a true delicacy of the island.

If you can try it in the first half of the year, the locals will tell you this is when it’s at its juiciest and most delicious. However, it’s great anytime. Basically, it’s a chunk of lamb that is spit-roasted and carved up, served with potatoes on the side.

Families often spit roast their lamb outside their houses, or you can sometimes see it on the roadside as vendors look to catch hungry motorists on their way home.

8. Try Pag Brandy – Rakija

Croatian Rakija

Pag is home to some fantastic food and beverages, but one of the best-hidden gems is brandy. However, do beware that it’s pretty intense!

The brandy is made from the various plants and types of grapes that grow naturally on the island, and throughout history, it has been used to help with gum problems and rheumatism. Today, it’s enjoyed at the end of a meal.

9. Enjoy Pag Wine

Boskinac Hotel Cellar | Croatia Travel Blog
Boskinac Cellar – Boskinac Hotel

Pag is also famous for its wine, thanks to the abundance of grapes that grow around the island. Of course, you can enjoy it with some famous Pag cheese, and there are many different types of wine to choose from; however, red is certainly a favorite.

You can take a wine tour around the island if you want to learn more about how wine is made and sample a few different types at once.

Nature And Outdoor Activities

10. Veliko Blato (Birdwatching Area)

Bird lovers should undoubtedly head to this beautiful yet deserted spot on Pag. The marshland around here is home to more than 150 different types of birds, some of which are endangered. The land is protected, and plenty of signs tell you what to look for. 

The gadwall and calandra lark are just two of the endangered types of birds that call this part of the island home. However, you can spot many other birds, including herons and spoonbills.

It is located as far south as you can get on the island, and it’s a protected area with huts where you can observe the birds. It’s particularly busy during migration season and nesting, so be aware of that before you go.

11. Olive Gardens Of Lun

An old olive tree in the Greek region.
Olive Trees Garden, Mediterranean old olive field. Croatia olive grove, Lun, island Pag. – Image

Thanks to the local government securing funds from the European Union to protect the 80,000 beautifully gnarled olives against development, the grove is a protected site. In the 24 hectares that make up the garden, the most important specimens are the 15,000 wild olive trees that can be found interspersed among the other trees, whose average age is 1,200 years old.

These trees are the last of their kind in the region to be still left in their natural state. On arrival, head to the tourist center to find out more info, as all of the information I could find online was in Croatian. There is a highly informative guided tour of the site, which can be done either on foot (2 hours) or by golf cart (45 minutes) for a fee. Or, you can wander the trails on your own for free. 

12. Pag Beaches

Best Beaches In The Mediterranean -Aerial view of Rucica beach on Pag island, Metajna, Croatia._Depositphotos_205486858_S

Šimuni Beach, Šimuni

Like most beaches in Croatia, this beach is home to sparkling crystal waters and rocky shores. It also has trees that provide shade that guests can either rest under or string up their hammocks.

Though it is not hard to reach, the somewhat isolated location of Simuni Beach allows it to be less crowded than other spots, even during the high season. Activities here include the typical beach pastimes of swimming and sunbathing, but jet-ski and paddleboat rentals are also available. Parking at this spot is free, and the adjacent campsite has complimentary WiFi.

Zrće Beach, Novalja

Croatia Travel Tips: Zrce Beach

Anyone looking for a beach party must check out Zrce Beach on the Island of Pag. This spot is nothing short of world-famous for its epic summer music festivals, sunset party cruises, open-air nightclubs, and 24-hour parties. It’s also where I bungee jumped!

Other Pag beaches to go to are:

  • Babe Beach, Novalja
  • Caska Beach, Caska
  • Gajac Beach, Gajac
  • Jadra Beach, Stara Novalja
  • Lokunje Beach, Novalja
  • Metajna Beach, Metajna
  • Plat Beach, Zubovići
  • Planjka Trinćel Beach, Novalja
  • Povljana Beach, Povljana
  • Prosika Beach, Pag
  • Ručica Beach, Metajna
  • Sveti Duh Beach, Kolan
  • Vlašići Beach, Vlašići

13. Take A Boat Trip Around Pag Bay

Hotel Boškinac Sail #Croatia Island of Pag - Chasing the Donkey #Croatia

Many trips leave Novalja and sail around the bay, giving you a stunning view and a really relaxing time. There is also some history here, as the bay is where the Romans decided to build Cissa, a city that thrived at the time.

The city is now sunken under the mud, but to know you’re in the same place is pretty mind-blowing. Of course, the bay itself is stunningly beautiful in the summer months, and a few hours of sailing is a relaxing way to spend your time.

14. Rock Climbing At Stogaj

Stogaj is close to Novalja, and it’s a popular area for rock climbing, with many marked routes to follow. There are some for beginners, too, so you don’t need to be an experienced climber. However, there are some more advanced ones that will challenge and show amazing views. However, if you don’t want to climb and you want to enjoy the scenery, the beach is a great place to spend a few hours.

Adventure And Exploration

In addition to checking out Talijanova Buža, mentioned previously, these are other great ways to find adventure on the island:

15. Pag Bermuda Triangle

Yes, you read that right. Pag has its very own reputed Bermuda Triangle. This spot is just off the 106 roads on a quiet hillside, and in 1999, this area attracted UFO enthusiasts and experts from around the world. A formation of patterns made of stone was discovered; nobody is quite sure how they arrived there and why they are in their distinct way. The stones are also quite different from the others in the area. 

There is a signpost from the road, but you’ll need to trek to the exact spot, so be sure to wear suitable footwear.

16. Wallow In The Mud

Pag Island’s healing mud is the real deal for a natural pick-me-up. This isn’t just any mud—it’s packed with minerals that locals swear by for soothing sore muscles and rejuvenating the skin.

Forget fancy spa treatments; here, it’s all about slathering on the mud, letting the sun bake it dry, and then rinsing off in the sea for a natural glow.

Whether you’re in it for the potential health benefits or just for the unique experience, giving yourself a mud mask on Pag is a must-try. It’s a fun, down-to-earth way to potentially ease those aches and pains, and hey, it’s a great story to bring back home. 

Where To Stay On Pag Island

Boutique Boskinac Hotel

Hotel Boskinac Restaurant 

Not your ordinary hotel, the Boskinac Hotel is a hotel, restaurant, and winery – yes, a winery! Located in one of the most picturesque settings you will find on the beautiful Island of Pag, Boskinac offers opulence, relaxation, and sophistication.

The hotel offers eight rooms and three suites, so you’ll never find yourself in the middle of a busy and bustling reception area. Each room is classically decorated, with handmade furniture, using ethically sourced materials.

A scented forest, an adjacent vineyard, and an olive grove surround the hotel. Regarding gastronomy, the Boskinac restaurant is impressive, with some cutting-edge Croatian cuisine accompanied by outstanding wines.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Family Hotel Pagus

Croatia Travel Blog_Things To Do On Pag Island_Family Hotel Pagus
Photo Credit: Family Hotel Pagus

This 4-star property is an all-inclusive option on a pebbly beach not far from the historic town center of Pag.

The inclusive offer includes three buffet-style meals each day and coffee and tea. A spa and wellness center, as well as indoor, outdoor, and children’s pools, will keep the whole family relaxed.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Hotel Meridijan

Croatia Travel Blog_Things To Do On Pag Island_Hotel Meridijan
Photo Credit: Hotel Meridijan

Another great 4-star option just a few minutes from the center of Old Town is this adults-only hotel overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The hotel caters to couples and families and offers a variety of room options.

The beach is just steps away, and an outdoor pool is available for guest use. The hotel also organizes trips around Croatia for those looking to explore further.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Camp Porat

Croatia Travel Blog_Things To Do On Pag Island_Camp Porat
Photo Credit: Camp Porat

If tents and mobile homes are more your style, Camp Porat is the perfect place to stay with the family! Situated in a pine forest in the small village of Povljana in the southern part of the island of Pag, this camp features a children’s playground along with several beaches and restaurants nearby.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


What would be your top picks for something to do on Pag Island?

Comments (21)

  1. Pag Island looks like an ideal place for a long weekend getaway. The cheese tour, olive gardens and beach all look and sound appealing but especially the cruise. We love tours like these that take visitors to inaccessible places, provide lunch and let you have some time to enjoy the water too. Thanks for introducing us to another island and reason to visit Croatia :)

    1. The Island has so so so much more to offer. But as it’s so close to us, we’ve never really explored it top to toe as we think ‘it’ll always be there’. So stay tuned for more info next summer Mary.

  2. I want to go to the Lace Museum and the Simuni beach! Are there budget friendly places to stay at Pag Island?

    Next summer’s still far away though, but will still be looking forward to your next update here! :)

    1. Yes, yes, LOADS. There are tonnes of private apartments, and also some camping options like this one which is located in a great place and well set-up.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous!

    You know, I’m kind of obsessed with nice lace and I only ever knew of Belgian lace. Love to know there’s another option.

    1. Yes there are different lace forms across Croatia, you can read about some more here, which is protected my UNESCO>

  4. Amazing tips SJ. Pag is a popular party destination for people here in Italy and for some reason it’s never been high on my list. But it sounds like it has a lot to offer (you can never go wrong with cheese!) and beautiful nature, too. Thanks!

    1. Oh I never knew that about Italians, probably as its so darn close eh? Yes, cheese, cheese, cheese hmmmmm hmm!

  5. It’s nice to learn about Pag Island and to add another destination to my Croatia wish list. It offers lots of things I like – cheese,, olives, artisan museum, the beach, etc. Just read your post on Hotel Boskinac. Sounds like a great foodie stop I’d love to take. Enjoyed your photos, especially the one of the water. It’s so inviting.

    1. Thanks Matisol, Pag has a mix of everything, and although it gets busy – not as busy as many places so it’s great for that reason also.

  6. Looks absolutely beautiful and cool – wind farm and famous for lacing and salt goat cheese. You know I love islands so learning about new ones is what I live for. Got to make it to Croatia and Pag Island.

  7. 1200 year old olive trees? Wow. I don’t need the party in the summer but I’d love to visit the island.

  8. That incredibly blue water around Pag Island looks so pristine. Gorgeous! I think I would most enjoy the cheese tour and the olive garden. I do love food.

  9. You had me at salted goat cheese ;) Really, I’d never considered Pag before, but you sell it well. Your photos and writing are splendid.

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