sunny festival crowd

Croatia’s fortunes are looking up. This stunningly beautiful country is once again attracting visitors in droves, especially to its Adriatic coastline. Expect more positive vibes than ever this summer, as Croatia will be celebrating its acceptance into the European Union in July 2013. In the party spirit, we’re taking a look at more fun reasons to visit Croatia – its decadent festivals.

Be there at the beginning – Unknown (10–14 Sep)

Rovinj

Hideout, on Pag (the ‘party island’), is Croatia’s hottest festival ticket. Naturally, it sold out in a flash, but Hideout’s promoters are getting busy with the next big thing on Croatia’s festival circuit. Unknown promises an immersive experience like no other in a “purpose-built location” near Croatia’s Rovinj. Expect it to be mysterious, arty and avant-garde.

Headliners: Jessie Ware, Django Djando, Four Tet

Getting there: Transfers will take you to Rovinj from Pula, which is near the Italian border and within easy reach of Venice

 

Extend your endurance – Garden Festival (3–10 Jul) & Electric Elephant (11–15 Jul)

Up for almost two weeks of fun in the sun? Then why not go for ‘double whammy’ tickets to this prime duo of festivals? The Garden Festival is Croatia’s longest running dance music festival, but 2013 sees it upgrade to a magical private bay with a sandy beach (and Croatia isn’t known for these!). Pair it with the more eclectic Electric Elephant (which hosts reggae, soul, electronic, house and techno DJs and live acts), and you’ll have double the hedonism, day and night.

Headliners:  Floating Points, Eats Everything (Garden); Carl Craig, Frankie Knuckles (Electric Elephant)

Getting there: Trisno is between Zadar and Split, but if you’re flying from the UK, Split is easiest. Airport transfers from Split to Tisno take about 1 hour

 

Get spooked – Outlook Festival (29 Aug – 2 Sep) & Dimensions Festival (5–9 Sep)

Pula Croatia

Outlook is billed as ‘Europe’s biggest bass culture and dubstep festival’ and its little sister, Dimensions, is all about underground electronic sounds. The real draw for both festivals, though, is their spookily atmospheric, one-of-kind location. Punta Christo, an abandoned 19th century fort near Pula, provides a wealth of unforgettable backdrops and curious nooks, from its ‘dungeon’ to the circular ‘ballroom’.

Headliners: Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox (Outlook); Daphni, Pantha Du Prince (Dimensions)

Getting there: Pula isn’t far from the Italian border, so airport transfers from Venice to Pula are a good option

 

Leave the best to last – Stop Making Sense (1–4 Aug)

Bring on the boat parties! Stop Making Sense wraps up everything that’s great about Croatian festivals in one joyous house-and-disco package. It comes with the drop-dead gorgeous coastal setting and rocking boat parties you’d expect. And it’s still got an exclusive small-scale feel, too. Best of all, coming as it does at the end of a string of summer festivals in Trisno, it feels like the last hurrah in a season of serious partying.

Headliners: Lindstrom, Ame, Dixon, Prins Thomas

Getting there: Trisno is between Zadar and Split, but if you’re flying from the UK, Split is easiest. Airport transfers from Split to Tisno take about 1 hour

What festivals are you looking forward to this summer?

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