Sonus & DA present: A guide to planning a techno holiday in Croatian paradise
Croatia is quickly rising as Europe’s next booming party destination. When looking into its growing presence on the public radar, it becomes evident why — not only is the coastal nation lined with beautiful beaches and warm, crystal-clear waters, but it also boasts a tourism-friendly economy with easily attainable event permits and affordable pricing for lodging and food.
These factors make Croatia a veritable “White Isle” of the Adriatic Sea, as dance events are increasing in volume along with a legion of tourists looking for a paradisal experience that seems a bit easier on the bank account than the increasingly “VIP” culture and hiking prices in Ibiza.
feature photo credit: Felix Hohagen
One such dance event that has become a favorite among the dance music crown is Sonus festival, which is organized by Time Warp and provides a premier underground dance experience to guests across five days and five nights. This year marks the festival’s fifth birthday, and they’re pulling out all the stops — Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, and Adam Beyer are a few of the big ticket names on the roster, with over 70 more top acts booked alongside them.
To boot, Sonus is held on Zrce Beach, which has become known for its excellent clubs and 24-hour parties that happen throughout the summer. Zrce beach is located on the picturesque island of Pag, which boasts an array of gastronomic specialties and special tourism zones outside its stretch of day & night clubs.
As Sonus is touching down in Pag from August 20-24, Dancing Astronaut is here to provide a look at what one’s holiday might look like during the festival. photo credit: Kid Kuts Media
When settling in before Sonus begins, a good way to start off the elongated holiday with is the local cuisine. Pag is known for its wine production and good growing soils — Gegić and Burin are two wines in particular that have come out of that region of Croatia, and pair well with the various seafood dishes that are offered on the island.
Additionally, locally-farmed sheep in the region produce paški sir, or Pag cheese, which is a favorite throughout the country.
Zrce beach clubs are some of the most famous in Croatia, and many are situated right by each other on the beach. Papaya, Kalypso, and Aquarius clubs will be open with hardly any breaks throughout Sonus’ five-day duration, and are all in walking distance with each other.
A pool-lined Papaya, for example, will be a highlight during the daylight hours with events that include “all day long” parties with Apollonia and Joseph Capriati. Veterans Sven Väth and Carl Cox will also be headlining earlier slots on Tuesday and Thursday, August 22 & 24, respectively.
photo credit: Felix Hohagen
Pag has a number of places to excursion to as well. Those needing a more laid-back day during Sonus could head over to the island’s famous Lun olive groves for a spot of peaceful greenery, or enjoy a hike to the intriguing Pag Triangle. Furthermore, the crystal-clear ocean surrounding the island is perfect for swimming and sailing.
Sonus also has daily boat parties that allow for a bit of oceanic exploration whilst being doused by grooving techno — Rødhåd will be pounding his guests with heavier beats on August 21, while tINI and the Gang will be bringing their unique vibe out to sea on the 22nd.
photo credit: Zadar Film Commission
After the sun sets is when Pag and Zrce Beach truly transform into the “Ibiza” of the Adriatic sea, and clubs are open well past sunrise. Naturally, these places are the pillars of nightlife culture on the island.
Aquarius’ lush outdoor decor will fit well with the vibe of artists playing there throughout Sonus’ duration — Tale of Us, Jamie Jones, and me make up a few. Kalypso, the oldest and first-ever club on Zrce Beach, will be hosting an equally class lineup in its recently-renovated space, including Maceo Plex and Ricardo Villalobos.
photo credit: Felix Hohagen
Pag is undoubtedly a place to put on one’s bucket list, and planning a holiday around a high class festival like Sonus helps provide further motivation to make the journey out to Croatia’s pristine shores.
Josip Milkovic, local DJ and Sonus resident, leaves us off with the following:
“Visiting Croatia is a no brainer! It’s a dreamlike holiday destination with breathtaking nature and beautiful Adriatic Sea with endless beaches and hot music festivals. If you love music and like to party you just have to come and visit that magical Sonus festival. Experience mesmerizing beats of Sonus and fill your heart with joy and love which flows through all of us while we dance together. It’s coming soon guys and I sincerely hope to see you there.”
photo credit: Elephant Studio