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Novalja (Pag) (
In traffic sense Novalja is very easily accessible.
Thanks to the extremely good geographical and transit position of the island Pag, as well as Novalja’s location on it, Novalja became an important stop on your sea and land route maps from north to south Adriatic, i.e. from Kvarner towards Dalmatia, which also guarantees its excellent traffic connection to the land.
You can reach north side of the island, as well as Novalja by ferry line Prizna (land)- Žigljen (island). The ferry ride takes only 15 minutes, and it takes extra 5 minutes of pleasant ride to Novalja during which you can enjoy in picturesque and various sights of the island’s landscape.
From June to October ferries go day and night, and in the rest of the year they go several times a day from 5: 30 AM to 10:30 PM.
You can reach south side of the island through the Pag bridge, which, in traffic terms, makes this island a peninsula.
This south transit direction is the shortest way to the island i.e. to Novalja from the motorway Zagreb- Split (Dalmatina): from Novalja to the motorway entrance in Posedarje it takes less than an hour by car. (65 km)
Daily bus lines connect Novalja with almost every part of Croatia (throughout the year: Rijeka, Zagreb, Zadar, Split; during the season June- August also: Varaždin, Požega, Slavonski Brod, Osijek).
Ferry lines connect Novalja with Rab and Rijeka every day.
Thanks to its favourable position, Novalja is often the imperative port of many navigators, who can get fuel and water for their vessels.
If are using air traffic, the airport Zadar is 80 km away from Novalja.
The beauty of Novalja surroundings is not only in its amazing and picturesque landscapes but also in vivid places in its surroundings. Their differences give this whole area an additional charm and image of the exquisite diversity of the island.
Under the branches of hundred- year old olives in the far north- west of the island you will find Lun. Nature left the mark of its generosity in a unique combination of green and dark blue. If you wish to find piece lost in urban hectic, this is the ideal place for your vacation. Mild Mediterranean climate and reinforcing peace and quiet of the Lun olive gardens will renew your exhausted strengths. In such quiet you will feel like time stopped.
Nearby palces- Jakišnica, Dudići, Varsan and Potočnica, situated in colourful bays, are also an excellent choice for your pleasant vacations. You can find accommodation in rooms and apartments in many family houses with hospitable hosts and in a modern hotel Luna (Jakišnica).
Botanical wild olive reserve
Lunj olive gardens represent a true oasis of peace and one of the most picturesque and most beautiful corners of our island. Amongst countless olive trees, over 1500 wild olive trees take special place- olea oleaster. They are from five to eight meters high and twenty to eighty cm in diameter wide.
This wild olive area, with its 24 ha surface is unique in the Adriatic and it has great botanical value. Due to its features it is protected and was pronounced a botanical reserve in 1963.
In the rocky nest, on the east part of the island you can visit Metajna. Written documents say that the first tourists visited Metajna in 1928, so don’t waste any more time but follow their lead and discover the beauty of this place.
Nature demonstrated its infinity here in the unique combination of wind, stone and sea. During hot summer days you can find refreshment at local beaches among which a small beach Ručica takes a special place. You can reach it through a vivid tract called Kanjon.
During tourist season Metajna is famous for its fishermen nights which are always accompanied by the scent of a fresh grilled fish, taste of home- made wine and sounds of local songs. Nearby places - Zubovići, Kustići and Vidalići seem like they have grown from stone. They also give you the opportunity of pleasant vacations filled with peace and quiet. You can find accommodation in rooms and apartments in family houses with hospitable and welcoming hosts.
North of Novalja, in a warm deeply indented bay Stara Novalja hides its beauties. Planjka (Trinćel) beach stretches on the south- east end of the bay and presents one of the naturally most beautiful and best decorated domestic beaches, where you can have lot of fun and refreshment during hot summer days. You will experience evening refreshment in walks along a long, beautifully decorated seaside promenade. There are several diving clubs in Stara Novalja so we can freely say that divers open and close the tourist season. You can find accommodation in rooms and apartments in family houses of hospitable hosts.
Gajac is a tourist- residential place 2 km away from Novalja. Outside of the season only 100 inhabitants live there, but in summer it turns into a real town with over 10 000 inhabitants. A long sand Braničevica beach stretches along the coast and it is oriented towards the open sea. While refreshing in the sea you can enjoy in good catering offer in venues near beach. Other necessary contents are in the centre of the place. If you like the crowd, Gajac is the right location for you. During summer Gajac is connected to Novalja by public transportation.
Novalja: What to do / What to see?
The Island of Pag
Novalja has a long, vivid and interesting history, evidence of which you can find in numerous archaeological locations in the town and its surroundings. Three early Christian basilicas from the 4th and 5th century take a special place among them and you can see the remains of a floor mosaic of one of them inside the gothic church of Our Lady of Rosemary in the town centre.
Many pieces of church furniture and other items are preserved in the archaeological collection of Stomorica. Reliquary, found near one of the basilicas, is of great value and you can see it in the Archaeological museum in Zadar. Novalja is also a place where one of the oldest illustrations of Our Lady was found with the inscription: Maria on the east Adriatic coast.
From the archaeological aspect the area around Caska is very interesting and lately researches of the Roman settlement Cissa have been intensified. According to a legend, this settlement was destroyed in the 4th century earthquake.
The greatest value and interest is the unique ancient aqueduct from the 1st century carved out of solid rock, about 1.2 km long, 70 cm wide and 40 m high with 9 overhead openings, so. chiselled from live stone. This magnificent Roman aqueduct, popularly called Italian buža, supplied with water from Novalja Novalja field. Entrance to the water supply is located within the City Museum, which boasts of Novalja cultural and ethnological heritage.
National treasures from the Treasury point out local dance our way, that is, to the accompaniment of bagpipes, dancing in colorful folk costumes.
Nurture the traditional folk singing in two voices Nakanat which has its own festival, a harmony-singing groups Navalia (male), and Murtelica (female) cherish the original Dalmatian folk songs. The special value of the Liturgical singing is whose wealth is particularly evident in the religious rites of Holy Week (from Palm Sunday to Easter).
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Sports and recreation
Sports and recreation take ever more important place in our tourist offer thanks to the development of sports and existence of many sports- recreational facilities and town contents. Besides that, high quality accommodation, mild climate and excellent traffic connection with land are more than enough for sports preparations and more efficient development of sports tourism, which is Novalja’s strive, and which can also significantly contribute to the ectensio of tourist season.
Among many sports facilities Novalja has a football stadium, multipurpose sports gym, tennis courts, fitness gyms, saunas, hotel with an open and covered pool….
Novalja hinterland- Field of Novalja, intertwined with several- kilometre long cycling tracks which run by fruitful vineyards. A ride along these tracks will give a whole new dimension of a resting peace and quiet and you will experience the beauties of these parts in an unforgettable manner.
Sports- recreational contents can be found on many beaches and along with recreation in sea, sand volleyball is also very popular. During the year, especially in summer time there are various competitions and tournaments some of which have already become traditional.
On 13 June, Day of the town Novalja, a St. Anton’s cup is organized with angling and spear- fishing disciplines together with bowling and five-a-side soccer.
National Gratitude Day, on 5 August, is also characterized by many sports competitions. One event has a special place among them, and that is five-a-side soccer tournament Milivoj Pogorelic Memorial.
Cycling race Novaja- Lunj- Novalja and mini marathon around Novalja are on the yearly sports calendar of our town.
To climbing fans we recommend an attractive site Stogaj near Metajna, and for those who enjoy long walks along sharp rocky surface there is a Pag triangle site in the hinterland of Novalja (we recommend a guide).
If you prefer deep sea you can contact diving clubs in Stara Novalja. In deep and dark submarine world we recommend to all professional divers to visit amphora findings of the sunken Roman trade ship from the first century. You will find it in the Velebit channel, near Žigljen ferry port 30m deep.
Entertainment- recreational offer for kids is specially rich and we single out donkey riding, which always thrills our youngest visitors. Amusement park, rubbertown and other fun contents will give your kids tons of fun.
We invite you to take part in one of the contests or to use some of our sports- recreational contents and in that way make your vacations more interesting and fun.
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Novalja (0 m)
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Indulgence and fun
Novalja has many traditional performances, that are organized outside of the tourist season and they enrich town’s social life in that part of the year. These events contribute to preservation, advancement and more quality presentation of the original domestic cultural treasure, customs and tradition.
- Carnival - it is organized in the middle of January (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday- the beginning of Lent). On Saturday evening there are carnival shows, on Sunday afternoon there is a children’s carnival, and an interesting thing is that in the afternoon of the last day performances are organized on the main town square (Basilica square or as people in Novalja like to call it- Plac).
- Easter breakfast - it takes place on Easter Monday, on the main square in late morning hours together with songs and good mood visitors can enjoy in the offer of various home- made meals and specialties characteristic at Easter. This event has been celebrated since 2001 and it is a kind of a welcome to our first pre- season guests.
- May festivities - it is a gastronomic and ecological event which is organized around the first of May holidays and it offers the most delicious home- made meals and delicacies prepared by Novalja’s caterers. Garden flowers seedlings are given to the citizens so they could decorate their gardens as best as they can. The whole event would be unthinkable without music and song.
- Children’s music festival Antonja - it has been taking place since 1998 before the St. Anton holiday, on 13 June, which is also celebrated as the Day of the town Novalja. School children perform at these events.
- Island Pag festival of nakanat sonhs - it has been organized since 2003 at St. Catharine holiday- patron of Novalja parish (25 November). Nakanat singing is traditional folk singing in two voices so that singing couples from all over the island participate in this festival. Rerun of the festival is organized during summer season, at the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
- Novalja’s singing Christmas - it dates from 1997 between Christmas and New Year. Many harmony- singing groups from the island, guest groups and choruses participate in this event.
From the rich cultural and entertainment offer we present:
- Novalja culture summer
Novalja culture summer begins before Antonje- the Day of the town Novalja (St. Anton’s holiday, 13 June). It is a several- day cultural, entertainment and sports performance.
Many interesting events occur during Novalja culture summer- art exhibitions, classical music concerts, presentations of harmony- singing groups, ensembles, folklore troupes, promotions and sales book exhibitions, theatre shows, cinema premiers in the open, entertainment music concerts, show programmes and so on.
As separate events during Novalja culture summer we especially stress the Novalja music summer with classical music concerts and Novaljski trijatar (Novalja theatre) which brings all theatre shows together.
A special place within Novalja culture summer takes Era gallery which is a place where for more than 20 years various exhibitions of renown domestic and foreign artists have been organized.
The most visited performances are the ethno evenings where, besides Dalmatian songs, visitors can get some of home- made delicacies- frite, hrostuli, mendulati and dried figs.
Novalja is also one of the host towns for the musical- entertainment festival Melodije Istre i Kvarnera which takes place in the second half of June.
These performances take place at Pastoral centre, Town museum, Era gallery, St. Catherine parish, Our Lady of Rosemary church (Mala crikva), Briščić square (in front of the Tourist community), town promenade, Basilica square, summer stage and Dr. Franje Tuđmana square (in front of the town administration building).
Together with many quality programmes the ambient is also one of the factors that make visitors come back over and over again.
Today is generally considered that the Mediterranean cuisine is the best for our health because of the variety and quality of food we use and the way we prepare it. Novalja cuisine, as its recognizable representative, will offer you a genuine gastronomic pleasure.
Therefore, if you come to Novalja, you have to taste a unique harmony of home- made cuisine prepared many Novalja restaurants and taverns.From menus in tastefully decorated restaurants we recommend some of the famous and widely known domestic specialties- Pag cheese, lamb, needled macaroni (makaroni na iglu) and skuta strudel. You will experience full magic of Mediterranean cuisine if you decide to try some of seafood specialties.
Amongst wide range of sea food meals, we recommend nourishing fish soup, Novalja brodetto, various salads and seafood risottos as well as cooked or grilled fish. Various kinds of vegetable, which grow under the warm Mediterranean sun, prepared in many imaginative ways will provide pleasure to many vegetarian cuisine fans.
When you come across some of home- made pastries like hrostule and frite- try them! Thanks to their unique taste they have managed to stay popular despite the rich offer of modern pastries and also to remain one of the trademarks of Novalja cuisine.
In the end, a glass of home- made wine will make your pleasure complete.
Have a good meal!
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