Novalja is a tourist destination settled on the island of Pag. It is one of the most known and talked about destinations in Croatia, especially after the boom of party tourism in the last decade. Famous Zrće beach attracts thousands of young and not so young tourists every year. Local clubs host several international festivals during the summer, which usually bring in the biggest stars of electronic music.

First urban (like) settlement on Pag was founded during the Bronze age by an Illyrian tribe. Novalja, or Cissa, was established some time later, and in later centuries it became the seat of Roman governance on the island. There are ample historical and archaeological finds that prove its significance throughout the middle ages, although the settlement never regained the importance it had during the Roman Empire. With the coming of Croats from the North, city of Pag became the biggest settlement on the island. During the turbulent period between the 12th and the 16th century Novalja often changed hands, from Croatia to Venice and was often a staging ground for conflicts between local warlords who sought to occupy the island. The city was destroyed completely in 1203, and it never fully recovered from that blow, losing much of its former influence and prosperity.

Economy of modern day Novalja relies (mostly) on tourism. During the winter,  the city is half deserted, full of empty vacation houses, apartments and hotels. The image is quite different during the summer, when hosts of tourists roam the streets, and there is scarcely a free room from June to October. Beach Zrće is one of the main drivers of tourism for the city, which used to host mainly elderly guests and families. Before the party boom,  Novalja was a destination for those who sought peace, quiet, delicious food and crystal clear sea. Nowadays, however, it is bustling with young people from all continents who party 24 hour hours a day. To accommodate the new situation, city made alterations to its policies, allowing loud music until late hours and arranged amenities for guests traveling to Zrće, which is some 10 minutes away from the centre of the city.

Novalja is full of restaurants, pizzeria’s, and local „konobe“, which offer a wide variety of foods to match almost any taste. From fish, meat, veggie, exotic Mexican and myriad other food tastes, tourists can take their pick. Bars, lounges and night clubs work 24/7, offering mostly electronic music, live shows and other forms of entertainment. Beach Zrće is the main party zone of the city, housing several clubs situated directly on the shoreline. Beside the ideal location, the clubs offer constant supply of live music, performed by renowned DJ’s, steady supply of drinks, foods and naturally, non-stop partying.

Every year, Zrće beach is host to several festivals which draw in thousands of visitors. The now traditional Zrće Spring Break brings a dash of US ambience to Croatia, offering a unique perspective to the end of the school year. Hideout festival has also become somewhat of a tradition on Zrće, offering tons of music and world famous music stars on stage. Papaya Day & Night offers as the name suggests, non stop partying with the biggest stars of electro music.  Other festivals include Beach Odyssey, Fresh Island Festival, Loveweek Festival, Electrobeach Croatia,  Sonus festival and others. Along with the festivals, there are many individual concerts taking place in each of the beach bars almost every day of the week.