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HOT SPOTS DESTINATION WINTER/SPRING 2023.
Whether you enjoy trekking, bike, hike, climb, kayak or practice any activity you can
imagine in between, Island of Pag is a true paradise for lovers of active tourism,
nature and adrenaline.
SYNERGY THAT KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES
Pag Outdoor is a project which is the result of the joint efforts of as many as five tourist boards – The Tourist Board of the City of Novalja, The Tourist Board of the City of Pag, the Kolan Tourist Board, the Povljana Tourist Board and the Stara Novalja Tourist Board. It is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of the Republic of Croatia (MINTS).
Regarding Pag’s rich outdoor offer, it is important to say that the whole story includes licensed guides and trainers who add to the entire experience with their own experience, as well as the local DMC tourist agency.
Of the striking four-leaf clover which marks Pag’s outdoor offer, perhaps the most peculiar is the one that is actually the “birth certificate” of the island, unique because of its resemblance to the surface of a distant planet; some will see Mars in it, some will see the Moon, but this island is certainly attractive precisely because of that unique landscape. This is how the famous Life on Mars Trail Race was born.
THE LIFE ON MARS TRAIL
This year, Novalja wins the Simply the Best award with Life on Mars for the exceptional quality and attractiveness of this event, which enriches the whole tourist offer with its content while promoting the sustainable development of active tourism, it also firmly positions Novalja at the very top of the Croatian outdoor destination list. Unspoiled nature surrounded by the awe-inspiring smell of sea, stone and salt represents a true break from the stressors of
everyday life and a “psychological detox”, and as such – according to the runners – the aforementioned track has definitely earned its “five stars”.
The Life on Mars trail has also been rightfully adorned with an award from the readers of “People Outdoors” magazine for the best outdoor tourist infrastructure, with its many marked trails and coordinates.
It should be noted that the Trekking League in cooperation with the Tourist Board of the town of Novalja organises the Life on Mars race every spring, and the exotic Metajna canyon is the attractive location of the most popular trekking race in all of Croatia, a race characterised
by its truly distinctive “cosmic beauty”.
However, it would be unfair not to mention the fact that Pag boasts as many as eight excellent running tracks.
SAY CHEESE AND RUN!
The outdoor Island Pag Trail Race is the perfect place to mingle with other enthusiasts and conquer some exciting trails. The race is held every year in April, and the many participants have the privilege of discovering all the diversity and beauty of Kolan along several tracks. The trails are not too difficult, they are very interesting because they pass through Kolanjsko polje (the Kolan plain), the Kolanjsko blato ornithological reserve, all the way to Sveti Vid, the
highest point on the entire island of Pag. It offers an unforgettable view of all sides of the island, the imposing Velebit mountain range across the channel, as well as the islands of Maun, Silba and Lošinj. The Island Pag Trail guarantees a unique and unforgettable experience to all of its visitors who can enjoy engaging in sporting activities and delicious local cuisine, as well as beautiful natural sights and countless top quality food products from Kolan and the
rest of the island of Pag.
If you prefer being out in nature, being constantly on the move, if you enjoy progressing with dynamic and exciting adventures and competitions, and if you’re always looking for new things to try – come and visit the Island Pag Trail race in Kolan on the island of Pag.
Say cheese and run!
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON TRAIL – PAG
The Other Side of the Moon is an area where three paths made of stoney magic are intertwined, with beautiful views of the mythical Croatian Velebit mountain, the gorgeous, azure blue sea, rugged rocks and the deep blue sky! Each of these paths has its very own
story, a number of interesting notes from Pag’s rich history and special views made of stone that only nature could shape. If you take any of these trails, enjoyment and relaxation are guaranteed because the paths pass Ledeniko, the most beautiful and interesting geological-paleontological part of the island of Pag, and entirely unique in the entire Mediterranean region.
If you like hearing historical stories, you will definitely be able to satisfy your curiosity
here, because when taking this trail, you will reach Veles’s closed cave, named after the god from Old Slavic mythology who leads his eternal cyclical battle with the god Perun. Given that Veles was depicted in the form of a snake or a dragon in Old Slavic mythology, when visiting this place, don’t bother to try to open this cave with some magic words.
This path, which is short, easy to walk along and accessible to all ages even in the warmer part of the year, can be used for a nice all-day family trip with swimming in the beautiful Zaton bay, and on the path itself you will come across two viewpoints which boast some utterly
THE PANOSA TRAIL
This trail starts at Trg Ban Jelačića (Ban Jelačić Square) in the very centre of town and is very suitable for trail walking, Nordic walking or just plain old walking.
It starts next to the parish church of St. George (Sveti Juraj), through the wells – which in the past provided much needed water for the grazing cattle, and later became the water supply – walking along the asphalt road we reach the location of Obatnica, a place right down by the sea, where there used to be an ancient villa, which was later transformed into a monastery. After a short climb, we’ll reach the lookout point, which offers a view of the stunning surrounding islands.
The path then continues and turns towards the north and to Velebit. It further descends towards the bay and the sandy beach in Stara Povljana. Through Povljansko polje, we reach the church of St. Martin, which was constructed way back during the fourteenth century, and Stara Povljana, where there was once an old settlement during the Middle Ages. At the very end of the trail, a spectacular scene awaits us – a strange but beautiful moon-like landscape, located in the area of the macadam path which connects
Povljana and the nearby fishing village of Smokvica, and stretches out into the beyond, as far as the eye can see.
Even the most “down-to-earth” people will want to shake off those proverbial shackles every once in a while, and they can easily do so by climbing the unreal rocks of Pag, in rugged landscapes shaped by harsh storms. For lovers of this type of recreation – climbing –
Croatia is already profiled as an extremely attractive destination, and the island of Pag is one of the most popular of all. On Beritnica beach, nature has arranged three large rocks in the shallows of the sea – this natural installation is an unforgettable sight and by far one of the most popular not only for climbing, but also for filming and taking pictures.
The spectacular Stogaj rock rises imposingly above the beach as if someone designed it precisely to beckon you to climb to the top. It’s no wonder that this is a favourite destination for climbers.
Stogaj offers almost seventy clearly marked routes over four parts for athletes and recreationists of all abilities. It is also suitable for beginners who can try their hand at an easy, shorter climb at a height of ten metres, and for those who are experienced climbers, it has the Scorpion and Spyder tours. Swimming in the crystal-clear sea below after climbing is an essential item to tick off the list, and something like this is definitely not to be missed.
Don’t miss another strong asset that the island of Pag boasts – kayaking! One of the more popular routes starts at Ručica beach, an inspiring setting for many film, music and fashion shoots, and moves towards the sandy cape of Sušac along the passage under the impressive rocks of Stogaj and Teplica.
It then allows you to paddle past long and spacious sandy beaches which are strung together like pearls, with occasional rest stops for some swimming implied. In the surroundings of this strange white karst landscape combined with the crystal clear blue sea lapping against it, rowing towards the opposite side of the Pag bay becomes an unforgettable experience with, among other things, a spectacular view of the Velebit mountain and what’s known as Paška vrata (the Pag Gate) the mysterious Gača cave and beaches the likes of which exist nowhere else on the planet.
Cycling, as one of the most popular activities, has been at “home” on the island of Pag for a very long time now. Today, there are more and more tourists who come to cycle. They aren’t only ecologically conscious people, but also consumers whose main motive for coming to a destination such as Pag is the diverse landscape and well-maintained biking trails. There is no fear when it comes to Pag, as there’s an offer for all types of cycling tourists!
This peculiar island which boasts endless cosmic beauty has a whole series of beautifully arranged trails for different profiles of passionate “pedalists”: from beginners to intermediate cyclists, up to true adventurers seated on two manually controlled wheels.
For example, the Path of St. Anthony in Novaljsko polje (the Novalja plain), as well as the which has the same name, is suitable for beginners and lovers of a lighter riding style. The Put Girenica and Povljanska blata routes are also right up that same alley. All instructions on the routes, mileage and ascents are available on the pag.outdoor website, and the same applies to the medium-demanding trail – The embrace of the stone and wind.
GRANFONDO PAG – Cycling on the Moon”
In short – what marathons are for runners, and what ironman is for triathletes, Granfondo is for cyclists. Competitors in the leading group are all peddling away, fighting for victory, those in the middle are attempting to achieve their best possible personal time, and the cyclists at the back are there primarily for overcoming the challenge of finishing such a demanding race (sometimes also to avoid the “cut off time”). Rather than racing against the other cyclists, the
Granfondo is a battle with oneself, and the length of the course successfully completed (about 100 kilometres!) is the greatest reward of all.
Reserve the date of October the 14th, 2023, for the fourth International Cycling Marathon “Granfondo Pag – Cycling on the Moon (85 kilometres), and the recreational race “Mini Granfondo” (35 kilometres) and ride through the unreal, lunar landscape of the island of Pag.
Photo: Pag Outdoor
This post is also available in: Croatian