Many will know Croatia for its more traditional holiday attractions; its crystal clear turquoise water, rocky coves, ancient castles and cobbled streets, for example. Its climate of mild winters and long warm summers have cemented Croatia as a firm holiday favourite. Croatia holidays are, however, also growing in popularity amongst party-goers.
The ‘Land of a Thousand Islands’ has become a mainstream summer holiday destination in recent years. Ten million tourists annually enjoy the winning formula of reliable weather, low prices and accessibility. Croatia’s appeal is well and truly proven. Wandering the ancient towns winding streets as the sun sets and the music starts, you get a glimpse at the beginning of a very long night. The Roman ruins come to life with the pulse of nocturnal twenty-something year olds. Ancient towns such as Hvar are popular for bars and clubs right on the harbour, followed by after parties on the beach.
Hvar town is set around the large public St Stephen’s Square, which is open to the harbour; perfect for mooring up and a relaxing evening in the historical town. Those looking for party spots should check out Veneranda, one of Europe’s largest open-air venues set in an old fortress. Set on a hillside, the rooftop views down towards the moonlit beach are beautiful.
Further up the Dalmatian coast is the party island of Pag. Last summer Pag island hosted the first ever Hideout Festival, an electronic music festival set around Zrce beach. Hideout 2011 proved so popular that the festival is returning this summer on a bigger scale. Chase & Status, Sub Focus, Toddla T, Annie Mac, and DJ Fresh are amongst the extensive line-up for 2012. The chilled-out atmosphere and fun-filled open-air clubs are likely to reconfirm Pag as a firm favourite amongst party-goers fed up with the astronomical prices of Ibiza.
Once all the bars, beach parties, and clubs have been explored, fear not! On the Dalmatian coast alone there is still a huge amount left to discover. Summer holidays are a great chance to explore this sunny coastline. Taking the local ferries to island hop is a fantastic way to visit the seaside towns sprinkled around this area, and appreciate the stunning scenery. The olive groves, vineyards, and pine forests make for a typically Mediterranean backdrop to the culture rich towns of Split and Dubrovnik. Fruit orchards and lavender fields are also found along this stretch of coastline, and make for wonderful walks and photo opportunities. For the active-minded, cycling is a good way to see this coastline, and bikes are allowed on the ferries. Trekking around the national parks in the mountains is a popular activity, as is the multitude of water sports available at the shoreline. Snorkelling, diving, and windsurfing, are all accessible, alongside the more obscure water sports.