Novalja has been known as a top beach & party destination in Croatia.
I decided to take an evening walk in the centre of the town on June 18, 2020, to check the atmosphere after Croatia opened its borders and started welcoming tourists from the European Union.

Novalja is getting back to life
Novalja is getting back to life

Evening walk on Riva in Novalja

While walking on Riva, I was positively surprised. Novalja already started fair tourist activity, and I can say that it is successfully recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. As expected, there were no crowds of people, just small groups walking up and down or sitting in coffee bars.
I could that notice that almost all bars and restaurants opened its door and were half-filled with people.
In my estimation, the number of people is half less than in the same period of 2019.

Bars are half full in Novalja in June 2020
Bars are half full in Novalja in June 2020

Same is with nightclubs which began to fill up with people. It is still necessary to maintain social distance and respect all the restrictions related to the work of nightclubs.

Nightclubs are required to keep social distance
Nightclubs are required to keep social distance

I believe this kind of controlled tourism which does not involve crowds of people may be stunning for many people who can enjoy holidays in a more quiet fashion. Furthermore, as borders between EU countries will be opening further, Novalja will receive more and more tourists, up to 50% of last year’s number as forecasted, which guarantees good and somewhat more intimate fun this year.


Zvonimir Peran     2020-12-04

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