Though we had a bit of a slow start in Croatia (between rainy Zagreb and overly crowded Plitvice), our drive out to the coast was in indication of things to come. The Dalmatian coast is all it’s cracked up to be; rather than attempt to describe it, I’ll just let you judge for yourself based on the photos in this post.
When we pulled over on our way to Pag Island to buy a soda and take in the view, a couple of local older men gave us each a wedge of Pag cheese to welcome us to the area. I don’t particularly believe in omens, but I will say this: when the day begins with cheese, it’s definitely going to be a good one.
We arrived to our airbnb in the mid-afternoon and were greeted by an adorable Croatian woman — Maria — who didn’t speak a word of English. [Side note: it’s pretty easy to get around Croatia as an English speaker. We put in minimal effort with words like bok (hi / bye) and hvala (thank you) and virtually every Croat we’ve met rescues us with near-perfect English.] After some hilarious and moderately successful sign language, we were settled into our little apartment and ready to explore.
Our Lonely Planet guidebook describes Pag Island as “something you’d find in a 1950s Italian film, perfect for a broody black-and-white Antonioni set — it’s barren, rocky, and sepia coloured, with vast empty landscapes.” This description really hits the nail on the head; the vibe in Pag is very low-key and doesn’t feel touristy. It’s actually kind of sleepy town, which we liked.
On our second day in Pag, we went to check out some nearby towns which, in the summer months, are home to a big beach party scene. We parked at Zrce Beach — known as “the Ibiza of Croatia” — and did a self-guided tour through the massive (now empty) sound stages and beach clubs. It was sort of eerie, like an abandoned theme park.
We found a gorgeous dinner spot right on the water in a town called Novalja, where we watched the sun set. Jeff indulged my request for a massive cheese platter (because he is a prince) and we drank some local wine, which was quite good.
At this point, you’re probably sick of hearing about our wine/cheese/sunset routine, which pretty much sums up our time in Northern Dalmatia. I totally get that! So I’ll just end this thing with a couple more photos: