Panama City and Cancun might be the brand names for Spring Break in the Americas, but when Europeans are trying to party, they head to Zrće Beach, located on the Adriatic island of Pag in northern Croatia. Pretentiously dubbed “Eastern Europe’s Ibiza,” Zrće features beach parties, all-hour nightclubs and shows from the top DJs of the world during the Croatian summer.
It all started back in 1988, when a club named Kalypso opened up on the beach and has been a dancing spot ever since. The founding of Aquarius and the Papaya Club further cemented Zrće Beach’s status as a party destination. Most of the clubs begin the party at 4 p.m., and keep going until the sun comes up the next morning. Aquarius in particular has been featured in Mixmag and DJ Mag as one of the best clubs in Europe, and is world famous as the host of the Hideout Festival.
The beach itself at Zrće isn’t anything to write home about. It’s a pebble beach and the average temperature during the summer is in the mid 70s, so it’s far from the tropical paradises popular with American spring breakers. One popular camp on the beach is Strasko, which offers gymnastics, yoga and aerobics during the day, and karaoke and live music by night.
While Zrće isn’t the most picturesque, it is clean, and has been awarded a Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education, meeting their stringent criteria for water quality, safety and environmental management.
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