– Written by Victoria Philpott
Beach parties = raving in your flip flops, wearing just your shorts or your bikini with the sun on your back and the music pumping in your ears. There are no sweat-dripping walls, skanky toilets and grumpy bar staff here. If it all gets too sweaty, just jump in the sea to cool off or start a water fight.
There are countless imitations and wannabes, but we’ve rounded up the biggest and best beach parties you’ll find around the world this year… get your sunnies out!
1. Full Moon Party, Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Famed worldwide for being the most epic beach party ever, these parties are intense. Everyone should go at least once.
The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan was started by a group of tourists who thought the view of the full moon from the beach was the most beautiful they’d ever seen. Now more than 20,000 people come every time the full moon returns. It can get up to twice this number on New Year’s Eve.
The party begins at dusk as thousands of lamps are lit to flicker during the twilight hours. This soon progresses to full party mode as the people emerge from their beach side bungalows. Crazed partygoers get hyped up on Chang beer and buckets (think kiddie beach buckets filled with around 500ml Thai Mekong whiskey, one M150 energy drink, cola and a lot of ice). Don’t expect to function after a few of these.
Any music goes – it depends who’s stepped up to the decks at the time – and you’ll be be amazed at the jugglers, fire-eaters and fireworks on show.
Where to stay
The J.B Hut Bungalows in Haad Yao, Koh Phangan are very cheap and extremely cheerful. Not only are they close to the party they also have stunning sea and sunset views over the bay, just two minutes away. They have a relaxed vibe with an open-air restaurant and bar and free Wi-Fi. There are 22 bungalows with various attributes which means they’ll suit all budgets – all have a bathroom, balcony and hammock. Make sure you book early!
Privates start from €3.34pppn | Book here
2. Playa d’en Bossa Beach, Ibiza
This is where you’ll find the king of all the beach parties. There’s no time for sleeping on the White Isle – although of course you’ll need somewhere to leave your party threads – there’s party after after-party here.
Head to Café del Mar to watch the sunset before the party – when I went last year they timed it perfectly to the Paul Okenfold mix of Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell, it was incredible.
Ibiza’s mythical party central status is backed up by the reality. Everyone knows they have the biggest and best clubs in the world, with Pacha, Privilege and Space, but they also have the best beach parties, every day. The long stretch of beach known as Playa d’en Bossa houses the infamous Bora Bora Beach party. Here you’ll find all the debauchery you’ll ever need, as well as the good spirits of your fellow partygoers.
There’s no better place to get raving than the party capital with sand between your toes, the sun on your back and the freedom of the seas as your backdrop.
Where to stay
Sunset Oasis Ibiza apartments have kitchenettes, air con and a balcony. They’ve also got a sun terrace, BBQ area, swimming pool and a snack bar. Cafe Del Mar and San Antonio nightlife are a ten-minute walk away.
Privates start from €34pppn | Book here
3. San Juan, Barceloneta Beach, Spain
San Juan is a centuries-old tradition in Spain where partygoers, bonfires and concerts fill the streets, beaches and squares from 23-24 June.
In Barcelona, Barceloneta Beach is the centre of the action. Beachside bars blast out music so everyone dances till dawn, creating the city’s largest annual beach party. It’s known locally as ‘verbenas’ or ‘revetllas’ meaning open-air fiestas.
The event marks the summer solstice and the next day is a public holiday so everyone’s free to celebrate at midnight – the Hour of Good Fortune when partygoers go a little crazy.
Here’s a sampler of what you can get up to when the clock strikes midnight…
- Jump over red-hot embers (the ascuas) an odd-numbered amount of times to rid yourself of life’s ordinary problems, to cleanse and exonerate sins, and to have your wishes granted.
- Wash your face and feet three times for three wishes to be granted.
- Race into the sea to have evil spirits swept away.
- Swim naked in the sea to purify yourself.
- Clasp the hand of your loved one, and leap together over a bonfire seven times. According to tradition this means you will live happily ever after.
- Cast wishes, written on paper, into the flames.
- Eat the herbs thyme, rosemary and verbena. On San Juan they’re believed to be 100 times more powerful at remedying your ailments.
For more of San Juan in Barcelona, check out the official site.
Where to stay
We’ve got loads of hostels in Barcelona to choose from, but Equity Point is one of the best located. It has amazing views over the city, a huge common area and is just a 10-minute walk from the beach. It’s on the beautiful Passeig de Gracia – Barcelona’s Grand Avenue – and is a huge hostel with everything from single privates to large dorm rooms. There’s also a free breakfast, lockers and Wi-Fi. All the main sites of Barcelona are just a few minutes walk away.
Dorms start from €21pppn | Book here
4. Goa, India
Goa’s beaches are notorious for providing a haven for the world’s trance ravers. They’re grimier than Ibiza, with none of the glitz, but all of the passion for the music.
Goa nightlife is magnetic. The Indian Ocean sets the perfect backdrop for the cool lights and fireworks along the beach. Impromptu DJ booths are set up all over the beach and everyone just follows the sound of the music. There are discos, lounge bars and beach shacks to keep you feeling feisty through the night.
As the sun goes down head to Anjuna, Morjim and Palolem for the best music. Or you can even hitch a boat ride out to one if the islands, join one of the nightclubs or enjoy a river cruise.
Thanks to the hippies of the 1960s Goa is now the beach capital of India, and it easily boasts one of the best beach nightlife scenes in the world.
Where to stay
The Prison Hostel is a little walk from the beach, but it’s an ideal place to meet fellow ravers before the party starts. There’s a huge communal area, the staff are friendly, it’s clean and there’s breakfast. All you need for a beach party town!
Dorms start from €3.57pppn | Book here
5. Super Paradise, Mykonos
If you’re after a beach party with a bit of glamour you need Super Paradise, Mykonos’s most fabulous beach. The backpackers, jetsetters, clubbers and glamour models all flock here to get some guaranteed sun and dance until dawn. It’s also a hotspot for naturists – and in some areas nudity is obligatory so don’t go wondering if you’re of a nervous disposition.
It’s the best party beach in the Cyclades with its great weather, clear blue water and incredible surrounding architecture. Early on in the day pick your spot on the beach to relax and as the party picks up in the mid-afternoon, make your way to the dancing podiums to show Mykonos your best moves.
If you’ve got sand in all the wrong places and are looking for the comfort of a nightclub, turn around and you’ll find some of the best in Greece lining the beach. There are also loads of beach bars that run oceanside – the most popular is Paradise Beach Bar where the party starts early and doesn’t stop till morning.
Where to stay
Hotel Jason is halfway between Mykonos town and the popular party beach Platis Yialos. It’s a family-run business with a swimming pool, a terrace and a garden so you can relax and prepare for the party evening ahead. Rooms are twin and double with en-suite, air-con, TV and a balcony or terrace.
Privates start at €29pppn | Book here
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Thanks to TimParkinson, m.a.r.c. and wallygrom (very busy at work) for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at the time of publication according to the Creative Commons License.