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I am told that Pag Island was once home to an extensive forest before Venetian overlords exploited that natural resource. I don’t know for sure if that is true or not, 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. Even 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 that is 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 lace-work 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 no doubt find plenty to see and do. We recommend you rent a car and check out these ideas:
The Lace Museum
The village of Pag is well known for its extraordinary lacework, which has adorned emperors and noblewomen to the common folk. Lace-making in Croatia began during the Renaissance period when it spread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Lace was used initially to make ecclesiastical garments or ornaments for clothing and tablecloths. The work is so important to the Croatian culture UNESCO inscribed it to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009.
This tiny museum, in the Ducal Palace (Kneževa Palača), was created to illustrate the history of this handicraft and provide examples of the best workmanship. 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
The award-winning products found at this squeaky clean cheese factory are made as they have been for centuries. Using sheep’s milk that comes from neighboring farms and traditional techniques, this business makes some of the tastiest creations on the island. It is an ideal destination for rainy or chilly days when visiting the beach isn’t an option. We enjoyed a tour earlier this year and did not want to leave. The staff are super friendly the tour costs just 60 Kuna (only €7). 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! If you enjoy what you sample, you can purchase more in the factory’s cheese shop.
Local Tip: If you love cheese, you can sample not only this award-winning cheese but varieties across the country at this annual festival on Pag.
Address: Figurica 20, 23251 Kolan | Open: Mon-Sat from 7:00 am till 3:00 pm |Cost: 60 HRK
Olive Gardens of Lun
The grove is protected site thanks to the local government securing funds from the European Union to protect the 80,000 beautifully gnarled olives against development. In the 24 hectares that make up the garden the most important specimens are the 15,000 wild olive trees that can 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. 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 your own for free. Head to the tourist center on arrival to find out more info, as all of the information I could find online was in Croatian.
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 hammock. 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. Parking at this spot is free, and the adjacent campsite has complimentary Wi-Fi. Activities here include the typical beach pastimes of swimming and sunbathing, but jet-ski and paddleboat rentals are available as well.
Your family will think it’s well worth the small amount of money to enjoy this family day out. Several stops are made during the leisurely boat cruise so that participants can snorkel, visit otherwise inaccessible beaches, and see the local cave formations. Along the way, travelers can feel free to sunbathe on the boat’s open upper deck. Those coming on this journey are also provided with a midday meal that includes grilled mackerel or chicken, bread, and vegetables as well as plenty of wine, juice, and rakija.
Friends tell me that the owner and his family are all quite friendly and go out of their way to make the experience a pleasant one. The seven-hour tour lasts from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm and costs about USD 42 (€33).
Where To Find Pag Accommodation
Family-friendly suggestions include:
Another option to consider is investing in a toddler travel bed to ensure your little one always has a safe place to sleep to matter what hotel you opt for.
Also On Pag Island
Not exactly family-oriented, but worth a mention is Hotel Boskinac for a fancy meal if you can leave the kids behind with the grandparents for the day. Plus also Zrce Beach, where I bungee jumped for the young party animals you may know in your family.
We’ll go back to Pag when things get warmer next summer and keep adding to this list. Until then, what would be your top picks for things to do on Pag Island?
Map Of Things To Do On Pag Island