Discover Pag, Croatia.

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When someone says Balkan – one would be reminded of the two wars which lasted from 1912 through 1913, and associate it with being war torn. The truth is, Balkan is a pretty place to visit and there is no more war. Part of Balkan, south-eastern of Europe, sits Croatia and we have gained independence in 1991 breaking away from the republic of Yugoslavia. Croatia is now a beautiful, democratic country and part of the European Union. Croatia has rich history, nature, great food, having the clearest sea in the world and the land with more than a 1000 islands.

One of the islands I would love recommending to our readers today is the Island of Pag. It is an island situated in the central part of the Adriatic sea. The fifth largest island of the Croatian coast, Pag features the longest coastline. Its rocky soil forms a moonscape defined by two mountain ridges and a lot of villages. What’s best about Pag? There’s great food, wine and insane parties. It is also known as one of the leading salt producers in the region following a tradition that has been practiced for more than a thousand years.

The island of Pag is also famous for its production of Paški sir, a type of cheese made from the milk of the island’s autochthonous breed of sheep. One of the best can be found in the small village of Kolan, at the Gligora cheese factory. Guided tours are available in the cheese factory followed by local wine tasting if you’re a wine lover like myself. This practice of making cheese originates all the way from the Roman Empire and their recipe hasn’t changed since, winning them the best cheese award globally. The secret to its distinctive flavor lays in the environment in which the Pag sheep, known as Pramenka lives and feeds. The Pramenkas are fed with a variety of medicinal plants such as sage and nightingale that grows locally on the barren rocks. Next up, you’ve got to try their lamb. With specific breeding and dietary habits, their lamb is so succulent and tasty you will be craving and begging for more.  The world’s gastronomes consider this dish to be an unforgettable delicacy in Pag. With so many restaurants and places to visit, take note that a car is required to get around the island.

This is the part where its going to interest most girls, Croatian lace.  Lacemaking in Croatia has been an old tradition since the Renaissance period and Pag is known to still operate the best lace making centers, keeping this old tradition alive. It is also known that the Lace-makers did their work without any drawings. Every piece of work is inspired by a special someone, with its own personal touch making it truly unique and special. Croatian lace is the most traditional Croatian souvenirs and is also an inspiration to a lot of fashion designers, especially wedding gown designers. Alright, are you now ready to explore the party scene with me? 😉

For the past 15 years, Pag has been branded as New Ibiza. Its most famous Zrce beach is where you can drop dead partying on the pristine white sand till sun rise. The owner of hotel Boskinac, Mr. Boris Suljic created Club Kalypso in the late eighties and slowly more clubs were being introduced. Zrce beach has been attracting people around the world, with a large percentage from Germany, Italy and in the recent years, Brits. One of the most popular festival is Hideout festival where the heavy artillery of the Croatian festival scene take over the clubs bringing a huge lineup of the hottest and finest DJs like Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Julio Bashmore, Four Tet, and Dixon (Of cos, we’re looking forward to have DJ DOWAGER spin here soon). Pag can offer you, countless nights of partying, beautiful culture, great food and organic olives that are literally bursting from each acre of the ground, but all of this wouldn’t be complete without one, very important thing and that is the wine. As a Sommelier, my experience could be a little subjective, but trust me when I say that Pag wines are just absolutely gorgeous.

The oldest wine perhaps, known throughout centuries is Žutica. Today reproduced in different varieties such as “Gegić” and “Burin”, they are quality Croatian wines that you should never leave here without trying. The most important piece of knowledge that all Croatian wine lovers should know, the “Paska Bura”. It’s a super strong, northern to north-eastern katabatic wind in the Adriatic region which can freeze up our entire shoreline with tons of snow piling in, plummeting the temperature to -14°C. It sometimes also throws fishes out of the sea. Such storms sprinkles sea water all over grapes and helps dries meat faster.

However, when you try Pag wines, remember that there is an essence of pure energy and nature from the “Paska Bura” in every drop. I look forward to having everyone visit Croatia and Pag island (remember, Summer is the best time for partying!). After your visit, you will have to agree with the sentence from world famous Chef, Anthony Bourdain has said after visiting Croatia: “Croatia – Holy Shit. That’s so Good!”

 

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1 Comment

  1. eminence

    May 17, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    The most amazing trip I’ve ever had! Croatia, I’m definitely coming back for more!

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