There’s party cities, and then there’s party islands. Because nothing is much better than being semi-stranded in a tropical oasis with 4,000 other people dancing, drinking and eating local cuisine in the most remote parts of the world. From Texas to the wild islands of South East Asia, we’ve rounded up the world’s most badass party islands that are worth checking off your bucket list. This week we’re fixated on a Croatian island that is talked about world-wide for its music festivals and 5 A.M. beach parties.
Where you need to party: Pag, Croatia
What it’s known for: Music festivals, Zrce Beach, 24-hour party scene
Where you should stay: The boutique Hotel Boskinac, complete with incredible winery. Or if you’re looking for something for a large group near the clubs, try rentals on HomeAway
Music you can expect to hear: You’ll hear live performances from DJs like Showtek, Hardwell and Swedish House Mafia. If you don’t like house and dance music, you should find a different island to party at
What you should eat: Since Croatia and Italy are separated only by the Adriatic Sea, there’s distinct Italian influence in its food scene. Order fresh seafood, meats and cheeses and fritule, or fried dough (the best dessert you’ll seriously ever eat)
What you should drink: When in Croatia, try Rakia, baltic brandy made with specific fruits and the local wine
Why you need to go: There’s been a drastic influx of international DJs jetting over to the dreamy island of Pag nestled in the Adriatic sea, and it’s for many reasons. Music-loving revelers around the world flock to world-famous Zrce Beach, a part of the coast heavily dotted with Vegas-like clubs. Head to hot spots like the open air Papaya beach and Nightclub to catch live DJ performances from Hardwell and The Bingo Players, or stay for the week for the club’s insane music festivals like Hideout. If you need a break from dancing, Papaya offers other island activities (they do exist) like bungee jumping at sunset, jet skiing, wakeboarding and “flyboarding.” You know, water jet packs? And here’s a pro tip: If you’re only there for Zrce Beach, make sure to stay in the town of Novalja, about 1.2 miles away from the epicenter of partying. After a couple hours on the island, you’ll understand why parties have now dubbed Pag as “the new Ibiza.”
Warning: This is an island you will absolutely lose track of time and the days will blur together.
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Nicole Theodore is an editorial assistant at Playboy. She only remembers bits and pieces of her Croatia trip. Follow her on Twitter.