A Day Trip to Pag Island: The PERFECT One-day Itinerary

If you’re planning a day trip to Pag, you’re in the right place. The island of Pag is one of the most interesting and easily accessible island destinations in Croatia. The island itself is neither too big nor too small, so there’s plenty to do there for an entire weekend. 

As we have small children, we mostly spend our time in the same places around Zadar as it is easier for us. As the children grew, I started to explore Dalmatia more thoroughly and mostly out of season because I can’t stand the crowds. Thus, my partner and I decided to take a few days off from Zadar and headed towards the island of Pag, which I hadn’t visited in over 10 years.

Pag is quite a ‘bare’ island, mostly you see stones and low vegetation. The Life on Mars trail is a hiking route where you can see how Pag really looks like another planet in some places. It’s also quite hilly and full of beautiful viewpoints where you can take great photos and watch beautiful sunsets.

Apart from its natural beauty, the island is famous for its top-notch gastronomy, good nightlife, excellent hotels and campsites, as well as cultural and historical landmarks. In this post, I’ll try to convey the beauty of the island and help you easily plan your dream weekend getaway or day trip from Zadar, Split or Zagreb.

Is One Day on Pag Island Enough? 

Let’s put it in perspective. If you’re traveling from Zagreb, you’re looking at around 6 hours on the road. This leaves you with limited time on the island.

From Zadar or Split, the trip is shorter, giving you a bit more time to explore. From Zadar you’d need one hour in each direction and from Split you’d need 2 hours in each direction.

Even though the island is not very big, there are many things to do in Pag. There are several viewpoints, beaches, churches and towns that are worth visiting.

How to Get to Pag From Zagreb, Split, or Zadar

You have three transport options to get to Pag: booking a guided tour, driving a car, or taking the bus. I prefer to drive, as I’m local and it’s the most convenient option for me.

There’s a ferry from Prizna to Pag, but if you’re coming from any of these cities, you’ll need to head to Prizna first. In my opinion, this should be your first option if you’re coming from Zagreb, as it’s the quickest way to reach Pag. 

From Zadar or Split, you would need to go past Pag and the Pag Bridge and drive an extra half hour to Prizna to catch the ferry.

Things to do in Pag in one day – Itinerary

Pag Bridge

This is the first thing you’ll see if you come by bus or car to Pag. The bridge itself is nothing special, but the wind on it feels like being in the middle of a hurricane.

During the summer months, it’s not so pronounced, but in autumn and winter, I feel like the bridge is closed to traffic more often than it’s open, due to the wind.

(Notice the waves below the bridge in the image below. Now, imagine how the wind gusts on the bridge itself. Wind speeds can reach up to 200 km/h.)

The magnificent vista of this stone island stands out as you drive over the bridge, and you can take a detour to take photos. The pictures will be great, but watch out for the Pag bora! If you’re lightweight like me, its strength might scare you, so hold onto something or someone.

By the way, I have a memory of three stitches under my chin from the bora when I was seven years old, so let me tell you what they told me, but I didn’t want to listen. Never run downwind, only upwind.

The reinforced concrete harbor bridge connects the island of Pag with the mainland, on state road D106. It was opened to traffic in 1968, and is 301 meters long and 9 meters wide.

Lun Olive Groves

One of the few locations in the world where original wild olives still grow. The Lun olive groves are self-sown, and for centuries its wild olives have been grafted with cultivated varieties to produce higher-quality fruits for oil.

The groves are not intensively farmed even today, and young trees continue to develop naturally from seeds. They slowly grow from bushes into trees, taking on distinctive shapes, and produce small, oily fruits.

These naturally grown trees represent a unique genetic heritage of traditional olive growing. Some trees are over a thousand years old.

I was particularly impressed by an olive tree with a lace-like shape, which inspired the creation of Lun lace.

There are two walking paths of a few kilometers each. Ideal for a stroll. Parking is free. Entrance to the Lun Olive Gardens is charged 3-5 € (children – adults), and all information can be obtained via email or phone as listed in the picture below.”

This text describes the Lun Olive Groves, highlighting their unique and traditional cultivation methods, the genetic heritage of the trees, and the visitor experience, including walking paths and entrance fees.

Šimuni Camp

Šimuni is a small fishing village located on the southwestern side of the island is situated halfway between Novalja and the city of Pag, at the foot of the island’s highest peak, Sveti Vid.

What many people know Šimune for is its famous auto-camp, which is open all year round.

Paying for a ticket and spending at least one day inside the camp is worth it. The beaches are beautiful, and the camp itself offers great amenities, including restaurants and cafes.

The campsite is adjacent to a kilometer-long beach surrounded by greenery and pine trees.

Salt Museum in Pag

The Salt Museum in Pag is located in old salt warehouses, which were built using stones from the city’s walls. 

This historical aspect is intriguing, especially when you consider how it’s tied to past public health actions. Back in the 18th century, there was a cholera outbreak in Pag. 

To combat this, a decision was made, reportedly from Vienna, to demolish the city walls to increase air flow, which helped in controlling the epidemic. 

Today, these warehouses house the Salt Museum. Here, you can see tools that were used in salt production until 1980, providing insight into the traditional salt-making process of the area.

Mornings in the Salt Fields of Solana Pag

The Mornings in the Salt Fields of Solana Pag is a new project launched by Solana Pag since July 12, 2022. 

Interested locals and tourists can sign up for an organized tour of the salt fields and harvesting of salt flowers under expert guidance, gaining a wealth of knowledge to take home along with the harvested salt flower.

Climbing to the Highest Peak of Pag – St. Vid

Guided by Sunturist Novalja and the excellent guide Ivan, I went on an early morning climb to St. Vid. It was worth getting up at 4 am, as the experience of watching the sunrise at the top is priceless. Next time we must go during sunset.

We started at 5 am from Kolan, and the ascent took about an hour. We went at a leisurely pace, with occasional stops for photography. The trail is about 3 km long and very simple, not demanding. 

It is well-marked. One should be careful because of the rocky terrain. Sturdy sneakers are important, and watch your step because of the possibility of vipers. All we saw were charming sheep.

The view is magnificent in every direction. Velebit and a bunch of islands at your fingertips. It’s best to go after the bora wind when the view is much clearer.

City of Pag

The heart of the city of Pag will transport you back to the 15th century as soon as you see its numerous historical landmarks and peaceful stone streets, rarely disturbed by noise. 

People from all over the world are starting to pick the city of Pag for their vacations. It wasn’t well-known before, but now they like it for its old and pretty center, clean beaches, and calm Mediterranean vibe. And, let’s not forget that Pag is among the cheapest islands in Croatia.

Until the 19th century, Pag was surrounded by defensive walls and city gates, of which the largest, Porta Marina, has been preserved to this day. 

Along with the city gates, the best-preserved remnant of this impressive defensive system is the Skrivanat tower, where various events and entertainment programs are often held in the summer.

As you walk through the main city square, you will also see the Prince’s Palace, which has always been the center of city and island administration. This cultural monument is the main venue for social events, performances, and klapa concerts during the Pag Cultural Summer in the summer months. 

All summer events, peaceful life, and pleasant everyday life take place under the watchful eye of the Church of St. George, the patron saint of the city of Pag, whose construction began back in 1465. 

A historical walk and a view of the city beach are definitely a winning combination for those who want to spend their vacation in a true Mediterranean ambiance without too much noise and stress.

The Old Town of Pag is located a kilometer south of today’s city center. Once a large and wealthy city, it is now a rich archaeological site and sanctuary. Preserved is the Romanesque-style Church of St. Mary with a statue of the Mother of God and the ruins of the Franciscan monastery. 

Pag residents traditionally pilgrimage every year on the day of the Assumption from the Old Town to the new Pag, carrying the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Monastery of Saint Margaret

In 2018, the Women’s Benedictine Monastery of Saint Margaret in Pag celebrated its 700th anniversary of establishment and uninterrupted operation. Here is kept a thorn from Jesus’ crown, recognized by the Vatican.

Pag’s Mud

A little further from the sea coast are shallow and overgrown marshes, the so-called “blata na Pagu” (muds on Pag): Veliko, Kolansko, and Malo blato (Big, Kolansko and Small mud).

Gallery of Pag Lace

It is located on the ground floor of the Prince’s Palace. The production of lace has been a tradition of Pag for centuries, believed to have started back in the 15th century. 

It is thought to have its roots in the ancient Greek city of Mycenae. Since there were no templates or designs for drawing in the past, the skill was passed down from generation to generation.

Pag Triangle

Just a few kilometers from Novalja is a natural phenomenon, a megalithic imprint in the middle of the sharp rocky terrain known as the “Pag Triangle”.”

Arnold could have filmed ‘Total Recall’ here and they wouldn’t make a mistake. No need for a studio – we have Mars right here.

Zrće Bay

Who hasn’t heard of this famous party destination on the island of Pag?

It’s one of the reasons for the summer crowds at the Prizna – Žigljen ferry port. Zrće, a world-famous beach, attracts tens of thousands of young people looking for great fun. 

Nature, sea, beach clubs, and excellent music are enough to lure you in for all-day partying. So, if that’s what you’re after… Head to Zrće.


Although Novalja is often mentioned in a “party” context, it is much more than that. 

In addition to being abundant in apartment complexes, which are growing in number year by year, making it one of the most popular destinations for families with children, the city core of Novalja tells a completely different story from the wild parties at Zrće. 

Novalja is the tourist center and main port of the island of Pag, and its natural beauty, hidden coves, clean sea, and rich historical and cultural heritage offer plenty of content and opportunities for an active vacation. 

This city is full of archaeological sites and remains, and its old stone streets and main square will charm you with their typical Mediterranean allure.


The ancient aqueduct in the City Museum of Novalja is a unique first-century structure carved into living rock. This unique Roman aqueduct, locally known as Talijanova buža, supplied water to Novalja from the Novalja field. 

The aqueduct is about 1050 meters long, with a maximum width of 60-70 cm, and has nine surface openings, known as ‘odiha.’ In places, it is up to 40 meters high.

Previously, it was possible to walk a large part of the aqueduct, but now it is limited to the first 40 meters, which is enough to experience its significance.

Caska Bay

Caska is a bay located a few kilometers from Zrće and Novalja, which is historically and archaeologically interesting.

The seabed of the bay houses a sunken city, and diving reveals the remains of buildings, though most of the former city is hard to access and barely visible. The beach is sandy and pebbly, like most on the island of Pag, and the sea is clean.

Beritnica beach

Near Metajna, there’s Beritnica beach, above which lies the Stogaj walking trail. The sea is shallow, and three large stone rocks on the beach make this secluded cove a popular place for social media photos. 

Don’t forget to bring sun protection, closed shoes for walking, and plenty of fluids, as the only refreshment at this beach is the sea, with the nearest café located in Ručica.

Ručica Beach

This is a sandy and pebbly beach without shade. Be sure to bring good sun protection and plenty of fluids. It’s worth spending a day relaxing on this beach.

If you want to walk around the surrounding rocks, it’s recommended to bring sneakers. The rocks are very sharp, and sneakers are the only suitable footwear for safe walking.