Seen from the mainland, PAG is a desolate pumice-stone of an island that looks as if it could barely support any form of life. Around eight thousand people live here, looking after three times as many sheep, who scour the stony slopes in search of edible plant life. Much of their diet comes from sage, which covers the eastern side of the island with a grey-green carpet. The two main settlements are Pag Town, with an attractive historic centre, and Novalja, a bland modern settlement whose beach-based nightlife has earned it the title the “Croatian Ibiza”. Tourism apart, the island’s main industry is the production of salt, with saltpans stretching out along the island’s central valley.

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