Twenty kilometres north of Pag Town, NOVALJA is the island's main resort, much more developed and crowded than Pag Town. Originally a Roman settlement dating from around the first century AD, it preserves a few ancient remains, including an underground water conduit , known by the locals as the "Italian Hole", a stretch of which you can walk along - it's clearly signposted just north of the seafront. There's a curving gravel beach at the south side of town, from where a stony path leads south to the much larger, pebbly Stragko beach. Two kilometres south of town on the road to Pag Town, a side-road descends to the east-facing Zr6e beach, a vast, gravelly expanse with a view of the pale ochre hills of eastern Pag and the greenish Velebit mountains beyond.There's a sandier beach in the next bay to the north, about ten minutes' walk, although it's more exposed to the wind.

In recent years a string of alfresco DJ bars have set themselves up on Zrče beach in the summer, turning the area into a dance-till-dawn paradise for Croatian clubbers. Zagreb-based establishments like Papaya and Aquarius decamp here for the holiday season, although it's local outfit Calypso that has been on the beach the longest - and has developed a cult following in the process. Food and drink is served round the clock, so you can just about spend 24 hours partying and chilling on the beach if you want to. Buses stop on Novalja's seafront, from where it's a short walk uphill to the tourist office at Zvonimirova bb. The campsite at Stragko beach is like a small town in its own right, with shops, bars and spaces for four thousand campers – a third of which are reserved for nudists.There are plenty of places along Novalja's waterfront serving up inexpensive if undistinguished food. Steffani, in the town centre at Petra Krešimira IV 28, is definitely worth the extra expense, cooking up a superlative range of fish, shellfish, Pag lamb either stewed or roasted – and local snails.


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