Novalja has been thought of as Croatia’s answer to Ibiza. It took us 5 hours to reach Novalja by bus from Zagreb and when we arrived at the bus terminal, it was chaos.
At first it was a visual assault. Lots of guys with shirts off darting on and off buses to different parts of town. Then, as our ears became accustomed to the buzz of the bus terminal, we realised that almost every person in the entire bus terminal was English.
We were visiting Novalja for Hideout festival that is held at the four main clubs on Zrce beach. In short, it was a three day, 72 hour, non stop party. The day time was for pool parties and the evenings were spent dancing and looking out to the beach. The most impressive time of the festival was watching the sun come up and looking at the surreal and barren landscape of the beach, with the soaring cliffs of Croatia’s mainland coastline in the distance.
We rented an apartment about 15 minute walk from the centre of Novalja which was a lovely little base for our time there. It was a relief to finally have an apartment to stay in so that we could spread out and relax. The view wasn’t bad either!
Given the sheer volume of foreigners descending on the Island, we wonder what the locals thought of the festival. There were lots of restaurants and bars in the town, as well as countless shops selling slices of pizza. These piping hot pizza slices were sold almost 24/7 along the main street and being cheap and tasty, we ate our fair share!
We enjoyed our time in Novalja and think that spending more time island hopping in Croatia would be absolutely amazing. While the island of Pag and Novalja were quite commercial, this isn’t the case everywhere.