If you are here, you are probably interested in the Hideout festival. As a visitor from the very beginning of the festival, I’m going to share with you some useful tips from my experience!

For those who still don’t know Hideout Festival is an annual electronic music festival held in a stunning and unique location, Zrce beach in Croatia on the island of Pag. The first festival was in 2011, and landed on The Guardian’s list of the best European festivals of 2011.

Hideout won me over from the first year. Dubbed as the ‘event of the summer’, every year sold out Hideout Festivals definitely impressed 40,000 festivalgoers. With an insane Hideout line-up, stunning beach setting and a energetic crowd out to have the best time possible, the festival has the perfect formula and it certainly provides a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Every year, the event went down over three days and nights, preceded by a series of boat, beach and pool parties. Set over the course of 7 days the festival usually starts mid-week, but – trust me, three days simply won’t be enough. I strongly recommand you to hit the pre-parties, an amazing combination of events taking place on boats and in pools. Before the festival even begins, there will be huge acts, world famous Djs, warming you up for the big event. It’s great oportunity to make some new friends, so you can build a whole party team of people you like ’till the main days.

Last summer, based on my experience from previous years, I created a perfect personal program for „Hideout vacation“. After buying a ticket (you should be fast with that, because they sold them out in record eight weeks last year), I booked accommodation via internet. The biggest mistake from the first year was starting the search for accommodation too late, and by LATE I mean in June. By then, everything was sold out. Nothing was available. Not even 1 bed! What a panic… So, make sure you book your accommodation on time! I stayed in an apartment in a private house with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, which is, for me, the best option. You can save by cooking in the apartment. All apartments are in the vicinity of Zrce beach – in  Novalja. You can take a look at accommodation offer here.

Arriving early in the week gave me the great opportunity to get to know the surroundings, Novalja and Zrce Beach, and check out the clubs, restaurants and the markets. You can spend first night at Cocomo club in Novalja, which, for every-year-visitors, is almost a tradition. Despite trying to ease myself in gently, and to save myself for the festival, I danced till the sun came out and even when I stopped I just couldn’t get that beat out of my head. Couldn’t help myself! J

And DON’T MISS AFTER BEACH PARTIES! Don’t limit yourself just to night parties, Zrce is famous for its after beach parties starting at 4 p.m., and this is something you must experience! Prepare yourself for loads of tanned girls, long limbs and six packs. 😉 Sure, available dance floor space could be measured in millimetres, but when it came down to it, it seemed that no one even noticed.

Anyone who paid extra for the Hideout boat party tickets will know that it is well worth every EURO (wich is, btw, the accepted currency along with the official croatian KUNAs).

To get to Zrce, I recommend shuttle buses. The price is 10 kuna (approx. € 1.40) and in the evening 15 kuna (approx. € 2) per trip, and they go every 15 minutes straight to Zrce beach from Novalja. If you prefer a car, I discovered no charge parking at the end of the beach (main parking is 10 kunas per hour). When you get to the crossroad for Zrce beach, don’t turn there, just continue driving straight for about 2 minutes and than turn left after the gas station to an unpaved road.

The venue at Zrce beach includes four outdoor locations with two outdoor pools and the amazing view over the sea. Outside the party program, you can enjoy water sports, bungee jumping and other adrenaline activities at the beach. About what to do and see in Novalja you can read here.

It’s hard not to mention food, since I reeeeealy love to eat! J So, lamb is a nationwide specialty, don’t forget to try it. The city has many restaurants with fair prices, and also many fast food stands. My favourite restaurants are Riva and Starac i more. Sheep cheese is worldwide famous and has won lots of gold medals for top quality but because of limited production its price is about 25 to 30 €/kg. Amongst wide range of sea food, try fish soup, Novalja brodetto, seafood risottos as well as cooked or grilled fish.

There’s nothing more to be said other than to wish you a great festival experience! Zrce is definitely the new Ibiza and Hideout is certainly a festival leader in Europe. I can hardly wait until the season 2014!! 🙂

Author: Maja Šustar