Activation of the blue highway: Three islands in three days by scooter

Author  Nedo Pinezić

22. August 2022.

Croatia is a country of a thousand islands. More precisely, 1244, of which only 67 are inhabited. Each island is a world unto itself, and traveling from island to island is a special experience.

We decided to travel by scooter from the island of Krk to the island of Pag via the "blue highway". "Island Jump" (Inselhupfen) is a well-known tourist product - a multi-day arrangement where you travel from island to island by boat and around the islands by bicycle. Can this very popular way of traveling be organized as an individual trip? In addition to a bicycle, is it possible to travel with a moped for two people in a similar way? It's best to check it out for ourselves.

We left from the ferry port "Valbiska" with the ferry "Jadrolinija" at 7,45:37,00 a.m. to Lopar on Rab. The ticket price per person is HRK 72,00 and for a moped HRK 45. We arrive in Lopar after an hour and forty minutes of pleasant driving. After a short stay with refreshments, we continue our journey to the other end of the island to the port of Mišnjak. The ride takes about 20 minutes, and the good thing about traveling by moped is that you always have priority on the ferry, there is no waiting in line, so we literally get in at the last minute, filling the small remaining gaps between the cars at the end of the garage. Employees of "Rapska plovidba" arrange vehicles in the ferry garage like "Lego blocks", everything goes quickly and efficiently. XNUMX minutes of sailing and here we are in Stinica.

From the port of Stinica to the port of Prizna, we travel on the Adriatic highway for about half an hour and, overtaking the kilometer-long column, we arrive with a couple of other bikers "at the head of the column" for boarding. We board the "Jadrolinija" ferry to Žigljen on Pag. The price of the ferry is the same as that between Mišnjak and Stinica. 15 minutes of sailing and we arrive at the island of Pag. It takes about twenty minutes to drive from Žiglje to Novalja.

We contact the tourist agency "Papaya travel", through which we previously booked accommodation in Novalja. The friendly staff of the agency accommodated us in an apartment for six people, which consists of two double rooms and a living room and kitchen with a sofa bed, a bathroom, and a balcony. The price is a reflection of the demand and the guest's willingness to pay as much as is required of him due to the strong motive of his visit. This is the shortest explanation of the special status of Novalja's accommodation offer in the summer months. We are happy that in the peak of the season, on the weekend before the Assumption, we managed to find accommodation that was favorable for local conditions and in a good location.

Lun and mythical olives

As Boduli from Krk, we don't like to have unused time for money, so we head towards the Moon. Our goal is the Lunje Olive Gardens. The already well-known ancient wild olives are worth admiring and enjoying the almost unreal appearance of each tree, which acts more like an incredible sculpture in space. A lot has been done on the preservation and presentation of Lunje olives in recent years, perhaps even at the last minute. Of course, there is room for improvement of the organization itself, but a particularly large space has marketing potential.

Everything could "revolve" around olives, Lunjska olives can really brand the entire area up to Novalja: architecturally, gastronomically, culturally... these unique beauties can be imposed through many topics. The story that can be told is simply too strong not to live.

Traveling, sightseeing in the sun quickly consumes energy reserves, so getting a table in the famous Lun restaurant "Tovarnele" is like winning the lottery. The Makarun family lovingly prepares dishes that are woven into the restaurant's long tradition. Whatever you choose from their menu, you won't go wrong. Everything is simply excellent - from appetizers, to main dishes, to fantastic desserts.

Lunch in Lun, dinner in the "golden triangle"

Between Kolan, Mandro and Šimuni, somewhere in that "triangle" is OPG Prtorić. This place is away from the summer crowds in the coastal tourist towns. Somehow, here one returns to the origins of Pag and to what this island is still best known for – the Pag sheep, the breadwinner of the islanders. Thanks to our friend David Peranić, our table was reserved on time, which could not be said for our arrival. we were late from lunch to dinner, from Lun to Šimune. Fortunately, David and his dear family are understanding as real hosts who are used to various dislikes of their guests. Excellent ambience, friendly staff and specialties of the interior of Pag with a magnificent view of Šimune, truly magnificent.

The grain

On the way back from OPG Prtorić towards Novalja, we pass by the famous Zrć. "Croatian Ibiza", the best place in Croatia for young people's entertainment, is within reach, so even though we are no longer young, we cannot resist taking a peek. The fact that we came between two festivals also helps us with our Bodul mentality, so the entrance fee is not paid. You don't even have to pay for parking for mopeds, in fact, it's the closest to the entrance to the world of entertainment. Who would resist such an opportunity? We are entering this big "musical amusement park": Aquarius, Papaya, Kalypso, Noa, Euphoria, Backstage beach Bar, Rocks Beach bar, Ice bar, Burra Beach House...something for everyone. We were, to the core, strange to ourselves in an environment similar to a mega prom party. The visitors we found are mostly between the ages of 16 and 18, almost all Italians. Nothing unusual for Ferragosto.

We are about to leave at midnight, and then hundreds of young, already "warmed up" partygoers arrive, who have been preparing the whole evening for the night party at small parties in the apartments. At Zrća, one drink from a liter jug ​​is consumed for hours, the prices are ridiculous. If you are not already well "partyed", warming up will cost you quite a bit. Currently, the picture is like this. Probably, with the arrival of big names from the world of electronic music, another audience is also coming, those between the ages of 25 and 35, who have more generous financial resources at their disposal. In any case, a person can have a good time if he likes the musical repertoire of Zrć without spending a lot of money on drinks. The organization is good, somehow after all these years everything has "fallen into place", as it seems.

Novalja by night

The coast of Petar Krešimir IV in the evening hours is the real "lifeblood" of the entire island. Sitting somewhere, drinking a drink or eating an ice cream and watching the "fashion runway" is an exceptional experience. The inspired fashion creations chosen for a night out are a real work of art, highlighting the eager, young men and women. It is not easy to get through the traffic jam, but it is a shame to miss the experience of Novalja by night. In addition, mobility on a moped is incomparably easier and the availability of parking spaces is outstanding.

Overwhelmed by fatigue, we fall asleep at the first contact between the head and the pillow. The night is quiet or we slept soundly. At some time at dawn, a short awakening caused by the arrival of young guests from Zrć. However, aware that they are not alone and that they are no longer on Zrć, they silence themselves, the dream continues.

Excellent breakfast

We're not really into preparing breakfast in the apartment, so we decided to go down to the waterfront and look for a place for morning refreshment. Novalja also offers more choices here. English, continental breakfast, Italian with coffee and croissant... whatever you like. Well refreshed, we decide to continue our journey towards Pag with a swimming break in Šimuni.

Šimuni "the center of the suite"

We drive to Šimun through that "golden triangle" again. In Kolan, you have the opportunity to visit Gligora cheese. On Sundays, the tasting room is not open and there are no organized tours, but that is why the cheese boutique and other excellent Croatian products are open. Unfortunately, there are few products from Pag, which is a problem in other tourist destinations, but the selection of excellent products from the wider area is excellent, the staff is very friendly. After "investing in the local economy", we continue driving to Šimun. There we found a small oasis for swimming somewhere at the end of a beautiful beach. An interesting beach facility, the thick shade of the holm oak and the pleasant, refreshing temperature of the sea... What more could a person wish for?

Pag - the city of salt

After refreshments in Šimuni, we continue to Pag. In Pag, we refill fuel tanks on scooters. Our bills are from HRK 50,00 to HRK 70,00. Another advantage of traveling by scooter – very low fuel consumption. After refueling the moped, it's our turn to renew our energy. Already quite hungry, we make a typical mistake of the average tourist - we go to a restaurant in the center of town, first row to the sea. We are aware of the mistake, but we don't have the strength to investigate. However, the result was finally not bad. We refreshed ourselves enough for a short walk around the city of Pag.

From foot to foot to the Square of King Peter Krešimir IV, the church of St. Maria and desserts in the form of coffee and ice cream. "Satisfy and drink" we will cross the "Pag bridge", i.e. the Katina bridge, to the permanent exhibition of solar energy in the salt warehouses. As luck would have it, our host was one of the most passionate connoisseurs of solar energy in Pag - Mislav, a physics student and summer guide through the history of solar energy. The well-guided tour of the exhibition enriched us with new knowledge about the history, technology of salt production and the characteristics of the flower of salt, coarse and crushed salt. Clean five! It was really worth coming to Pag just for that.

The question remains about better use of the brand of salt thanks to which the city of Pag was born and survived. Finally, the famous Pag lace, with its structure, irresistibly reminds of salt crystals, the lightness, delicacy, preciousness of the salt flower... A long article could be written about Pag and salt, but let's leave that for another occasion.

As a vow of thanks for all the good things on the way, we visited the old town of Pag and the church of St. Marije, from which a pilgrimage is traditionally made on the feast of the Assumption to the church of St. Mary in the new town of Pag. This votive procession has its origins in 1852, when cholera was ravaging Pag. The view of the town of Pag and the Pag valley from the viewpoint on the road to Šimune leaves you breathless. We enjoyed Pag "until the last ray of the sun" and headed back to the center, you guessed it – to Šimune.

Dido's house

At the beginning of the week, five days before the trip, we booked a table at Dido's house in Šimuni. It was almost too late, we managed to get a table in the "second round". But it was worth it. The very ambiance of Dido's house, run by Mrs. Gordana Fabijanić, makes it clear that you are in a special place. Dido's house celebrates family tradition in a special, striking way.

Handmade dishes, fantastic home-made bread, a rhapsody of island flavors through an imaginatively designed cold appetizer and then the main home-made, fresh combination from the sea with the land and at the end a sweet that simply cannot be resisted... Be sure to go and experience it for yourself.

Perhaps the most difficult part followed - after the gastronomic delights, you have to get on the motorbike and drive 20 kilometers in the dark and not stop at Zrća... But we managed to do that too. We consumed alcohol in minimal quantities - as a thin bevanda with excellent fish dishes.

You're welcome

As always, we come "home" at a decent time. In the neighboring apartments, young guests are just warming up for going to the world of entertainment at Zrće. Tickets are free until midnight, so a well-organized network of taxis is suddenly activated from 23:00 p.m. to 24:00 p.m. and they drive like diligent ants on the route Novalja - Zrće. There is also public transport by bus, a wide sidewalk for pedestrians and cyclists, you can rent various vehicles from scooters to baggies, quads, cars, romobiles... And so we fall asleep while the "rest of the entourage" "goes to life". In the early morning, we set off on our journey, and the suite returns home late. Coexistence of different generations with different interests and biorhythms.


Brief inspection of the apartment and refund of the deposit, then "back in the saddle" and on the road. We are the first to get on the ferry between Žigljen and Prizna, as well as Stinica and Mišnjak. Coffee on the ferry is literally worth its weight in gold. For those who were early, coffee was offered in the town of Rab, before the holy mass in honor of the Virgin Mary. The Rab Cathedral - the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the ideal place to celebrate this great Croatian holiday. After the mass, have an ice cream and then go swimming under the city ramparts. This place is close to our hearts and we can hardly imagine a summer trip to Rab without refreshing yourself in the sea and resting in the shade of dense pine trees.

All that is beautiful lasts only a short time, so we have to go to Lopar on the ferry to Valbiska. The comfortable lounge of Jadrolinija's ferry provides an opportunity for a "pižulot", a half-sleep, or meditation with closed eyes, some would say. After an hour and forty minutes of sailing, we arrive in Valbiska. I must emphasize here that the port of Valbiska, compared to the other ports we passed through: Lopar, Mišnjak, Stinica, Prizna, Žigljen, is the best-equipped, best-organized port with the most facilities that passengers need. Valbiska is a benchmark for all ferry ports.

Everywhere is beautiful...

The thread adorns the work, so our three-day journey ends at the doorstep in the tavern - pizzeria "Ivinčić". Here we summarize our three-day trip to the three Kvarner islands (don't let the people of Pažan be angry that we adopted them, they are partly ours) and conclude that we just opened the door to the wonderful world of the KVARNER ISLANDS. We are returning to Pag safely, we have only just begun to discover it.

Author Nedo Pinezić,

Author  Nedo Pinezić

22. August 2022.