Sunshine, hot climate, crystal clear turquoise waters, beautiful beaches, blue sky, ancient architecture, towering mountains..paradise, they had me at sunshine. But that’s not all they have to offer. Over recent years Croatia has grown in popularity not only as a holiday destination, but also as a top party and festival destination. Imagine the absurdity of a festival where it’s more likely to be sunny, than it is to be rainy, I know, madness!
One of the highlights of Croatia is definitely how peaceful it can be, it retains it’s heritage and natural beauty that many tourist destinations have built upon and destroyed, that being said it definitely doesn’t lack atmosphere. It encompasses all of the elements for a perfect getaway, unless your perfect getaway includes skiing. By day grab your swimmers and sunnies, and island-hop down the Dalmatian coast and dive into the Adriatic, by night head out into an old town to find craft beers and Rakija, a traditional fruit based brandy. Split has both the old town for a quiet night but also clubs and bars on the beachfront for those looking for more of a party, even an inflatable “aquawonderland” to swim out to in the sea, for the hard-core partiers Novalja is the place.
After a run of bad luck on some travels, I ended up stranded in Novalja for a night, I can tell you now there is no funner place to be stranded. Novalja is like the Ibiza of Croatia, thousands of young people from across Europe head to the staggering clubs at Zrce beach which is more like a beach festival than the clubs we know, welcoming world famous DJs to the enormous stages. Beware though, the litre cocktails are somewhat deadly, the Croatians are very generous with their alcohol measures, with soft drinks commonly more expensive than alcoholic drinks.
Sharing the beauty of many European festivals is the daytime freedom you acquire. Surrounded by beautiful coastal settings, spend your time at the beach or, and I highly recommend, take a bus to a national park. Croatia can get pretty hot in the summer so don’t forget an array of swimwear, plenty of sun cream, water and some retro sunglasses to complete the look. If you can cope with the heat head to Plitvice Lakes, where you will find walkways and hiking routes trailed through 16 chained lakes linked by cascading waterfalls, however as tempting as it is you are not allowed in the water. Krka is the place to go if you find yourself in need of a cooling dip in a waterfall, follow the paths to get away from the crowds and find yourself alone amongst the trees and fish, truly immersed in nature.
For a real festival experience by the Adriatic look no further than Outlook, Hideout, Electric Elephant and Soundwave to name just a few. Expect to see Global DJs and Artists such as Jamie XX, Seth Troxler, Damien ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Skepta, Craig Charles, Andy C, Horse Meat Disco and so many more. That dream hipster sojourn to paradise is only a flight away.
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