WET AND WILD: Babes cool down crowds in emerging party capital Pag island, Croatia
Croatian island is a ravers paradise says VICKY LISSAMAN
BILLED as the Croatian Ibiza, Pag is the hip new place to party without the designer price tag.
The ingenious wild bunch that is Club 18-30 is setting up camp on this beautiful island on the Dalmatian coastline from next year.
Click here now for amazing offers to Pag!
It might be a bit off the radar now, compared to the mega party zones of the Balearics, Greek islands and Cyprus, but Pag has been slowly building up its bars and clubs over the past few years and is ready to go mainstream.
It all started in 2007 when this area, which is linked by a causeway to the mainland, became the only place in Croatia to be granted 24-hour booze licences.
Catching the eye of one of Croatia's festival promoters, music bosses moved in to host a series of events such as Supernova, Beat The Heat and Moonsplash, as well as EXITed - the warm-up gig to Serbia's massive EXIT festival.
Aquarius Club - one of the biggest clubs in Zagreb, the Croatian capital - plus Papaya, where Calvin Harris played an open-air set last year, also moved onto Pag's Zrce Beach, which is now home to plenty of buzzing bars and clubs.
Kalypso Beach Club makes up the hat-trick of banging clubs.
For a big night out, start in the jungle-themed Cocomo Club for some travarica - a Croatian tipple of herb-infused grape brandy. The club has two floors and boasts a harbour view from the sunset terrace.
The beach here is a 24-hour party zone, with DJs spinning tunes all day and where foam parties explode and boat bashes set sail by night.
Although Pag is now on the European party map, it is still proud to be Croatian and has kept its identity.
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Head for the bar-lined square of Trg Loza to try the local Balkan snack burek, a pasty fied with feta cheese or mincemeat.
Croatian wine is a revelation too. It's very palatable and extremely cheap. Stock up on Dingac, the best of the red, or for lovers of dry white, get Vrbnicka Zlahtina.
The sea around Pag bay is great for watersports. Try jetskiing, wakeboarding or plunge headfirst into the blue from a bungee rope.
Diving is big in Pag and there are loads of specialist shops along the beach, including the Blue Bay Diving Center, where it costs ?6 per dive. For more experienced divers with PADI stripes, the place is Slana Bay with its unusual rock formations and intricate caves.
Climbers should head into the hills to Paklenica National Park, where there are 400 routes. Cycle and moped hire is easy.
There's a shop in Camp Strasko in Novalja, and you'll soon be whizzing through olive groves and vineyards, or the coves of the south west. Picturesque Lun on the western tip is an ideal photo opportunity.
Pag town is a maze of pretty cobbled streets with local shops and cafés, or, if you fancy heading out of town, stop off at Jakisnica, a cute little fishing village.
PRICES start from £375 for seven nights on Pag with Club 18-30, travelling next year. Visit club18-30.com for details.
For more information on Pag see Club 18-30's free lifestyle magazine.