Europe is home to some of the biggest and best clubbing destinations on earth, attracting hordes of electronic music enthusiasts who come to see the world’s top DJ’s. Some of the top party islands are found in the warm, Mediterranean south of the continent, meaning hectic nights dancing are complimented nicely with lazy days lounging on the beach. When looking for a party, people are looking for something unique, and that’s what they get with these top party islands…
Needing no introduction, Ibiza in Spain is the Don Corleone of clubbing destinations in Europe and is the number one party island. The nightlife scene here is legendary, ranging from epic sets by top DJs such as Carl Coz and Pete Tong in the gigantic super clubs, to laid back minimal afternoon sessions overlooking the sea at sunset in venues such as Café del Mar. For clubbers, there are two main destinations in Ibiza.
Those looking for the classic, full-throttle Ibiza clubbing holiday in the heart of the action should stay in San Antonio. This is the busiest and biggest clubbing town on the island, home to two of Ibiza’s most popular super clubs, Es Paradis and Eden. You’ll also find the West End here; a strip of pre-club bars with plenty of drinks deals on to get you in the mood for the night. Hotel accommodation in San Antonio tends to be cheaper than elsewhere in Ibiza.
Those not so keen on San Antonio’s debauched, down-and-dirty atmosphere may prefer to stay in the more cosmopolitan Ibiza Town. Here you’ll find an attractive harbour with classy bars, some excellent beaches nearby in Playa Den Bossa and Les Salines and close proximity to the popular Space and Pacha nightclubs. Ibiza Town has a sophisticated vibe that’s sets it apart from other resorts on the island.
- The best time to visit Ibiza is between June-September. Outside this period many of the main clubs will be shut and there are far less people.
- For the biggest nights at popular clubs such as Space and Pacha, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance to avoid queuing.
- All clubs open at 24.00 (although Space sometimes opens earlier) and continue through until 06.00 (officially).
Located on the sunny west coast of Majorca, Magaluf is one of Europe’s best-known clubbing destinations. The resort boasts the biggest nightclub in Europe the BCM Planet Dance as well as 5 other MCP clubs and the Office Club. Combine these with dozens of other venues such as Bananas, Boomerang and Carwash, as well as hundreds of bars, and you’ve got a recipe for a wild clubbing holiday. The resort attracts some of the world’s top DJ’s, with Judge Jules and Tiesto both having played here before. Clubs staying open throughout the night and regularly hosting popcorn and foam parties. The main clubbing district in the resort is known as ‘the strip’, and starts in the town centre stretching up to Terranova.
- You have to be over 18 to enter Magaluf nightclubs, and the door staff will often ask to see photo ID. While photocopies are not officially recognised as acceptable ID, some clubs may accept them.
- Investing in a Magaluf Club Pass will gain you entry to a number of the resorts top clubs at discounted rates, plus let you jump the queue!
Since the early 2000’s, Ayia Napa in Cyprus has been one of the Mediterranean’s top party islands. While this was once the backdrop for the burgeoning UK Garage scene, nowadays you’ll find a whole range of bars and clubs to suit every musical taste and style, over 250 in all. Clubbing here is firmly focused around the frenetic Napa Square, where you can experience everything from 70’s disco to funky house to R&B. For cheesy party music, head to Carwash or Starskys. Castle Club is the biggest club in Ayia Napa, with R&B, House and chill-out rooms. Abyss is all about grime, garage and R&B, with a popular foam party night. Club Ice is one of the most popular clubs in the resort, with a riotous foam party on a Monday night. And for those looking to carry on the party, both River Reggae and Aquaclub put on after parties until well after the sun comes up.
- Drinks cost around €5 each, and around €3 for a shot. If you haggle with the PR workers who hand out club flyers, you can often get a good ‘buy one get one free’ deal.
- For a few laid-back, pre-club drinks, check out Jello by the harbour, and Liquid on Kyrou Nerou (opposite the monastery).
Kavos is the ideal clubbing destination for anyone who wants a truly wild time. There is no pretence of the sophistication found in Ibiza here; this resort is unashamedly brash and boisterous. The resort couldn’t have and easier set-up; it’s essentially one long street, lined with clubs, bars and restaurants. Some of the best-known UK club promoters put on nights in Kavos, including Cream and Ministry at Futures Club S-ex puts on an infamous foam party, while 42nd Street Bar caters for all tastes offering everything from UK Garage to funky house. Top clubs and bars here include Limelights for top house tunes, The Venue for commercial dance, Atlantis for chilling out on the beach and some laid-back R&B, Stadium a huge, epic club and Futures for the best DJ’s from Cream and Ministry of Sound.
- There are two beaches in Kavos – Kavos Beach is centrally located and the most popular, with a lot of water sports available. St Georges Beach is about 15 minutes away in a taxi and has better sand.
- Kavos is prone to a lot of mosquitos at night, so make sure you pack insect repellent.
Located on the east coast of Crete, Malia is a typically vibrant Greek party island. The music here swings between cheesy disco to old school house to smooth R&B. Be sure to visit the funky Candy Club on Malia’s Beach Road, as well as Banana Club, Factor and London bar. Other nightspots of interest include Zig Zags , Jumpin Jaks, Premier Bar and Yiassou Melon Bar. There are plenty of drinks promotions on offer, generally of the 2-for-1 variety, often with free shots thrown in as well. July and August are the peak months for clubbing in Malia, with June and September quieter as a rule. It’s advisable to book accommodation with a pool if you visit Malia, as the beach is not fantastic.
- Some stretches of the beach in Malia are owned by bars and clubs on the main beach road; head down there in the day and see if you can pick up discount passes and flyers for free drinks at night.
- Most bars close at around 4 in the morning, with some open till 6. For those looking to carry on the party even after this time, head for Petrino’s 24 hour bar.