Things to Do in Pag: National Parks

Pag to Do List – A Guide to Best Day Trips

A travel guide to the island of Pag and the surrounding area – find out what to visit!

Stuck on figuring out what to do in Pag? If you’re staying in Pag, you’ll have the unique opportunity to quickly visit four Croatian national parks – so the answer is, take day trips!

With our detailed guide to the islands prettiest locations, your Pag to do list will be overflowing with ideas. The best part? All of the beautiful places in this guide are easily accessible from Sunwell apartments. And visiting each of them will only take a day!

Croatia is rich with natural beauties, from the beautiful and very clean sea, beaches, and untouched nature to nature parks and national parks that are truly worth your time.

When you first arrive on Pag, it will feel like you’ve landed on the Moon or Mars. A big part of the island’s surface is rocky and doesn’t give out an overly hospitable feel.

It was previously believed that the Venetians cut down all the forests of the island of Pag and didn’t bother with reforestation. But that’s not entirely accurate – local people have throughout history played a part in the continuous deforestation of the island, as well. That’s the reason behind Pag’s rocky surface.

You can still find “green areas” on the island, where deciduous and evergreen vegetation grows. The combination of both – the rocky terrain and the green areas – is what gives Pag its particular charm.

That’s why we call it “the moon island”!

Its unique landscape makes visiting Pag an interesting and adventurous experience, especially if you decide to turn from the paved road.

A great addition to your Pag to do list is certainly a visit to Pag’s cycling, tracking and trailing routes. The island has recently invested a lot in these routes, which is why it’s become a top destination for lovers of outdoor activities. Not to mention it also offers kayaking in the calm sea of Pag’s gulf.

Okay, now lets get on with our guide! We’ve made a list of the prettiest tourist destinations that are located within a radius of 250 km from Sunwell apartments.  According to our experience, it is possible to visit each of them in one day.

A quick note before we start: during the summer tourist season, in June, July, and August, you can expect traffic jams, especially on the main roads.

So before taking any trips, make sure you check the traffic reports. Also, we do not recommend taking excursions on weekends. Pick a work day instead.

The Pag Triangle

In first place on our list of things to do in Pag is a visit to the mystical Pag Triangle; which is a great representation of Pag’s rough and rocky surface.

It may not be a monumental attraction, but it’s certainly an interesting place to visit, especially considering how close it is to Sunwell apartments.  It will take you only a 10-minute drive toward the ferry port Prizna-Žigljen and then some 20-30 minutes’ walk on the north side of the gravel road to get to it.

The Pag Triangle

Photo: Visit Novalja

Find the location here.

Maybe it’s a UFO, maybe a trace of an ice age culture, maybe a meteorite?

Pag’s Triangle is a megalithic 12 thousand years old phenomenon shaped like a triangle, measuring 32x32x22 meters. There is currently no scientific explanation for its origin.

Since many people claim its shape reminds them of a spaceship, many believe that this is where an alien UFO landed on Pag and left its mark. Examination of the stones found at the location revealed that the stones were once exposed to high temperatures – nowhere else on Pag have stones of similar properties ever been found again!

The Triangle has been placed under protection because many stones have already been removed from it, for various purposes.

Some scientists believe that a small meteorite fell here. It was supposedly a part of a larger meteorite, one that was responsible for ending prehistoric civilizations 12000 years ago.

The Pag Triangle From the Air View

The Pag triangle from the air


Things to know before you go visit the Triangle

During the summer months, we recommend you take the trip only at early dawn. That means that by 9 or 10 AM, you should already be done with your adventure.

The best time to visit the Triangle is spring or autumn, when temperatures do not exceed 30°C.

No matter the season, you should wear good trekking shoes or at least sneakers, preferably not new ones. There is a very big possibility you will scratch them on the rocks. Without good and strong footwear, do not go on this adventure, no matter how small it may seem.

Expect sharp stones on your pathway, as well as stinging vegetation. Beware of snakes (one of variants is venomous) and less dangerous, but just as bothersome “sheep bombs”.

Also, bring water or some other soft drink with you (it’s not that far away, so you don’t need food). Do not go if a strong northern wind called bura is blowing, or if the weather forecast announces unstable weather. There is nowhere to hide from strong winds and storms, which can come suddenly.

But not to discourage you – it is very interesting to see such an old and inexplicable monolithic phenomenon, especially if you are fascinated by UFO stories, mysticism or traces of old civilizations.

It is often said there are no animals or insects on the Triangle itself. Some visitors claim they feel various emotions during their visits, some very good, some bad.

But, you will need to see it and experience it for yourself to know for sure.

Lun olive grove gardens

Lun Olive Grove Gardens

About a half-hour drive from Sunwell apartments, next to the small village called Lun, at the very tip of the island (overlooking the islands of Rab, Cres, and Losinj) you will find beautiful Lun olive grove gardens, with over 80,000 olives.

See the location here.

It is the largest olive grove in the world, dating back to Roman times. The oldest olive trees are 2000 and 1600 years old and are among the five oldest olive trees in the world.

This incredible botanical grove has been maintained for centuries and millennia, due to its favorable location and the area’s specific microclimate, that keeps vegetation safe.

We visited the Lun olive groves garden during a rather strong bura (northern wind from mountain Velebit) in late summer. And while in every other place on the island strong wind was blowing, in olive gardens, we only felt a light breeze. It felt as if summer has returned – the weather was hot and we spent a wonderful day walking, swimming and sunbathing.

Nice walks and beaches

The educational trail through the olive grove is 1600 meters long. The grove leads you to beautiful beaches Budunavla and Vadikandija, where you can spend a day swimming and sunbathing surrounded by olive trees and other Mediterranean vegetation. It’s a big bonus, especially during the summer months!

So, if you are planning to visit in summer, bring beach equipment, some drinks and depending on the length of your planned stay, some food.

But even if you don’t bring food, you won’t end up hungry! You’ll find good local restaurants in the small town of Tovrnele just a few kilometers from the gardens.

We recommend taking lighter sneakers or velcro-like sandals, not slippers, flip-flops, or similar light and unstable footwear.

Regardless of the season, make sure you bring some head protection and sunscreen.

Find more information on the official web page.

A must on the Pag to do list: National parks

Pag and Sunwell apartments are in an excellent position when it comes to one-day visits to croatian national parks – four of them are very near by!

National park Paklenica

National Park Paklenica

Photo: Nacional park Paklenica

This national park is the closest to the island of Pag and is situated on the slopes of mountain Velebit. We recommend it for lovers of mountains, hiking and cliff climbing.

Paklenica is located only 100 km from Sunwell apartments, and about an hour and a half drive by car. Do not go to Paklenica by ferry, but through the Pag’s bridge.

See the location here.

You don’t need to be in any particularly fit shape to visit the National Park, even though it may seem that way. But if climbing and trekking are not your thing, you may not be able to see all the places that Paklenica has to offer.

Of course, remember to take adequate footwear and clothing, drinks, and some food. Be sure to follow the weather forecast and other instructions you can get on the web page of the National Park.

National park Kornati

National Park Kornati

Photo: Getbybus

If your Pag to do list needs a nautical adventure, National Park Kornati is the right place for you.

It is an archipelago of 150 islands, islets, rocks, and reefs, 89 of which fall under the protection of the National Park.

Islands and islets are mostly uninhabited.

Unspoiled nature, crystal clear sea, incredible beauty, and unique landscapes are worth visiting or sailing by.

During the summer months, every day from Novalja you can reserve an organised tour of NP Kornati by tourist boat.

The most common boarding places are in the city of Zadar and the small town of Sveti Filip i Jakov, although there are other departure points. It all depends on what travel agency you choose.

We visited Kornati, departing from Sveti Filip i Jakov, which is 100 kilometers from Sunwell apartments.

See here for potential boarding locations and the location of the NP Kornati.

Keep in mind that you have to start driving from Sunwell apartments at least two or two and a half hours before the departure of the tourist boat, due to potential traffic jams on the road. Also, when you get there, you will need to find a place to park, and then embark on the tourist boat.

As for the sailing, the boat we were on was a nice tourist boat, on which we were provided with drinks and a decent meal.

Bring a bathing suit

The day we visited Kornati was a nice hot summer day, so we had to protect ourselves from the sun with hats, sunscreen and even beach towels.

We disembarked on Dugi otok (Long island) at Nature Park Telascica near Slano Jezero (Salt lake), where we swam and rested for about two hours. Resting in the shade was great, but the lake itself didn’t particularly delight us – it was very salty and muddy.

But the detour gave us the opportunity to see the cliffs of Dugi otok, which are truly imposing.

If you get the chance to take a dip, we recommend you find a sea beach. Ask your guide for directions. If you don’t feel like swimming, the pine forest by the lake itself is pleasant. You will also be able to take a walk on the cliffs and take nice photos.

You can get more information about NP Kornati on their website.

National park Krka

National Park Krka

Krka is one of the most romantic national parks in Croatia!

As the name suggests, this national park is located on the river Krka, and partly on the river Cikola.

Near the small town of Skradin, the Krka flows into Lake Prukljan, which is connected to the Šibenik gulf.

The park is truly special – with its beautiful cascading travertine waterfalls and a somewhat deltaic estuary, which forms a fairy-tale landscape dotted with waterfalls and lakes, and mostly untouched nature.

While there, it is also certainly worth to visit the old water mill, ethnic village, “Oziđana Pećina” cave and the second oldest hydroelectric power plant in the world.

Nikola Tesla’s (the world’s known scientist and born Croatian) hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls was put into operation just two days before the one built on Krka.

Interestingly, this hydroelectric power plant is still working.

Slopes of National Park Krka

How to plan the visit?

The park itself has five entrances, but we recommend the entrance to Skradin.

That is the closest entrance to the Park when coming from the direction of the island of Pag and Sunwell apartments. It is also a great place to start sightseeing, because it begins with a boat ride on Prukljan lake.

You can choose several sightseeing routes, which differ based on length. If you decide to go on longer tours, you should wear sturdy shoes because the longer tours include numerous uphill and downhill walks.

Also, lovers of hiking and cycling will be able to choose between numerous trails, if they’re in for an active vacation.

It will take you two and a half hours to drive from Sunwell apartments to Krka, or 138 kilometers – under normal conditions, that is.

When you get there, you will need to park the car and get to the place where you’ll board the boat. Also, don’t be surprised if a long queue is waiting for you at the ticket office – we recommend that you buy them online.

National Park: Krka

See the location here.

Try avoid visiting NP Krka over the weekend during summer tourist season. Instead of enjoying nature, you might get stuck in traffic!

Until a few years ago, swimming was allowed in the lake beneath Skradinski buk waterfalls, which was truly a special experience. But now, due to drowning accidents, it’s strongly forbidden.

More information about National park Krka you can find on their website.

National park Plitvice lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park

And last but not least  –  National park Plitvice Lakes. It’s on every to do list for visiting Croatia, let alone our Pag to do guide.

Its fairytale landscape is dotted with waterfalls, lakes, and ponds. It’s under the protection of UNESCO and its beauty and uniqueness are almost impossible to describe. So, if you can, certainly make sure you don’t miss to plan a trip to this wondrous location.

Out of the four national parks we have mentioned, Plitvice lakes are the most distant National park from Sunwell apartments. You will have to drive two and a half hours or 170 kilometers to get to it.

See the location here.

Slopes of National Park Plitvice Lakes

Considering the distance from Sunwell apartments, the visit needs to be well-planned. On the website of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can find all the necessary information related to the visit, from buying tickets, opening hours, entrance options and parking, to the scope of sightseeing routes.

We also recommend downloading the Plitvice Lakes app.

Choose the route

Have in mind the season in which you plan to visit, the road conditions and the time you will spend in the Park itself.

Although there are numerous route options, longer routes will give you the fullest experience.

National Park: Plitvice

Most of the park is designed for sightseeing on foot, but there are also boat ride options. The return to the starting position is provided by a tourist train.

Adjust your clothes and shoes to the season and weather conditions. Most of the route you must take is made of wooden bridges, gravel paths and earthy terrain so we recommend tennis or trekking shoes.

National Parks: Plitvice Lakes

You can find restaurants and places for picnics at several locations in the park, but there are not too many of them, especially at more remote points of the park. Bring water or another refreshing drink with you and some simple food.