The island of Pag in Croatia: what to visit by motorcycle

The Croatian island seen through the eyes of an enduro rider.

Close your eyes. Imagine the warm breeze on your face, the smell of the sea air, the June sun. And now open them again. You are on a long bridge aboard your Multistrada 1260 Enduro… behind you, dry land, while in front of you, ready to welcome you with open arms, the island of Pag…

For thousands of youngsters who choose it for their summer holidays each year, Pag is the Ibiza of the Balkans: beach bars, party boats, international DJ sets and a lively atmosphere, 24 hours a day. But for an enduro rider, the island of Pag is one of the closest things to paradise on earth. Just one glance and this is clear: a lunar landscape, with vast white stretches that reflect the sky, low rocky hills and nature that is exactly how it appears, naked and raw, no shadow, no trace of vegetation. No pretence.  

There is one precise moment, across that bridge, when only one thought exists in the mind of enduro riders: riding the tarmacked corners that separate them from the dirt and taking in the rocks. Speaking of off-road tracks, you are spoilt for choice on the island of Pag, from main roads, cobblestoned and not always perfect, to narrower tracks, mainly dirt and stones, that are only passable with the right bike. Having given in to that initial enduro instinct, as you travel on to the city of Pag you’ll soon see that the island is not as predictable as it appears. While it surprised you at first with its lunar landscape, heading inland will take you into the heart of the Mediterranean scrub, with its authentic vegetation, inviting but also a little wild.

The beauty of Pag lies in its contrasts, which make it ideal for youngsters wanting to have fun, families seeking solitude, and two-wheeled explorers.

As in life, it’s all about choosing a direction on Pag. If your head screams “fun”, head to Novaglia, the pulsing heart of the island: a small town that never sleeps, with bars that face onto the sea, busy restaurants and countless nightclubs. While Novaglia comes alive at night, it is on the beaches of Zrce that crowds of young people come together during the day, to dance, jet ski, and get involved in all kinds of activities, even bungee jumping (yes, you heard us).

Faced with this junction between nightlife and solitary adventure, an enduro rider will probably opt for the latter. And they won’t be disappointed, because, as we’ve said, young and rowdy Pag has an alter ego, a more raw and authentic side that combines isolated beaches where uncontaminated nature reigns supreme, traditions that local families carry forward with pride, and typical small-scale production supported by its inhabitants.

The gastronomic culture of the island is based on several certainties, not least the cheese of Pago. A culinary star recognised across the world, this pecorino has an unmistakable flavour, owing to the pastures in which the sheep graze on the steep and rocky slopes exposed to the Bura wind. 

When on the island, you cannot miss the famous Pag ham and lamb, the flavour of which once again comes down to the unique climactic conditions, different to those inland, where the animals are bred. The Croatians have a close bond with all these typical products, but their real love is Rakija: a typical white grappa that changes its name depending on the ingredient with which it is made, from honey to grapes, to all kinds of other fruit. 

Here, each family produces it at home, in their own way. It won’t be hard to try it: in every corner of Pag, from the beaches to the towns, you will find the older island folk selling their home-made grappa, because, as the famous saying goes, “if you haven’t tried home-made rakija, you haven’t tried rakija”. 

Adventure Tour

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Beyond Boundaries

It’s time to delve into the wild side of Croatia and conquer the muddy, dusty roads: a land in which the Multistrada 1260 Enduro is free to express itself.


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