The surface of planet earth is dotted with islands that have a ‘special something’ going on, a mysterious and magical vibe that can’t quite be explained, an atmosphere that sets them apart from merely average islands, a je ne sais quois that brings people from all over the world to their hallowed shores to enjoy a week or eight of wild parties, exciting new friendships, and unforgettable peak experiences
The most famous party islands in the world are places that feature large on the bucket lists of millions of people who are eager to see what all the fuss is about.
There is a huge amount of diversity among the party islands of the world. Each one is a unique mix of natural beauty, great weather, local traditions, and unique styles of partying and going nuts! Some, such as Florianopolis, are large buzzing metropolises with hundreds of thousands of locals living and working in what just happens to be a tropical paradise with an exquisite party scene. Others, like Ibiza, are small, rural outposts that have been largely taken over by the party industry and turned into 24-hour adult playgrounds where anything and everything is possible and almost no type of wild revelry is out of bounds.
Which party island you choose to visit depends on what type of experience is currently tugging on your heart strings, imploring, “pick me, pick me!”
A visit to one (or a few, or even all!) of the world’s best party islands is an experience worthy of any bucket list, so to help you decide which windy rock appeals to you most, here is our list of the the world’s six best party islands. Have a read of our recommendations, put the places that appeal to you most in your BUCKiTDREAM planner, and start polishing your sunglasses and practicing your dance moves in preparation for the holiday of a lifetime!
Get Down and Dirty in Ayia Napa, Cyprus Once a lowly fishing village, Ayia Napa has grown into one of Europe’s premier party destinations. It is not an island in its own right, but we include it here, as the entire country of Cyprus is, in and of itself, a pretty small island. Ayia Napa is a Mecca for clubbing, often rivaling the best that Ibiza or Majorca have to offer. It attracts over a quarter of a million clubbers every year, so it’s awesomeness as a party destination is no secret!
The island has a vast array of lively bars, great restaurants, amusement and game parks, as well as some of the most awesome nightclubs in the world. Ayia Napa is mega-busy during the summer months (especially July and August), and to say it’s ‘vibrant’ would be a criminal understatement!
The crowd in Ayia Napa is young, gorgeous, often rowdy, and hell-bent on having a good time. The town’s super-clubs attract the best DJs in the world every summer. Foam parties abound and fancy dress is usually the norm. Most clubs stay open until the sun rises, and even after that the partying continues with daytime pool and beach parties with dancing and crazy games (what happens in Ayia Napa stays in Ayia Napa!).
Party Hard in the Medieval Streets of Hvar, Croatia Just off the Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea lies the sunny island of Hvar. This island has become the wildest and most happening party destination on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. The town of Hvar has some of the biggest clubs and best parties anywhere in Eastern Europe. This island is quite salubrious, with some very hot clubs and bars that are not all that cheap.
Glamour and effortless cool drips from this place and prices reflect its exclusive vibe. Hvar is full of historical landmarks and contains a lot of culture should you find yourself alive and hungry for sightseeing during daylight hours, which, to be fair, is unlikely, as parties tend to last all night and into the next day!
Hvar has stunning beaches, beautiful hot weather, and a classy yet wild party scene. Beach parties happen every day during the summer months; an especially good time to visit is during the Ultra Music Festival that happens in Split each July and tends to spill over onto the beaches and clubs of Hvar.
Let Your Hair Down On Southeast Asia’s Weirdest and Wildest Party Island, Phuket, Thailand Located along Thailand’s west coast in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is one of the largest and craziest party islands in Southeast Asia and the world. Phuket has been at the top of many people’s ‘best party island’ list for quite a few years now, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Phuket has a fascinating mix of insane, ‘anything goes’, often tacky and always fun nighttime venues. Phuket parties the whole way through the night and attracts a vibrant and super-friendly crowd from all over the world, particularly Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia.
Patong Beach is the most popular party destination on the island, with a huge amount of nightclubs, bars, strip joints and eccentric discotheques. Phuket beach parties are world famous, and Patong Beach’s Bangla Road is mysterious, tacky and fun in equally monstrous measures!
Mykonos Is Beautiful, Quaint and…Crazy!! The Island of the Winds is a little rock off the Greek coast that is dotted with cute white-washed villages and ringed with countless beautiful beaches. It also has one of the hottest party scenes in the world. Especially famous for its gay-friendly ethos, it has a bunch of insanely fun and drop-dead glamorous venues catering to the LGBT community.
The night’s mayhem usually starts with a party in one of the island’s beach clubs and then continues on into one of Mykonos’ super-hot clubs, and then in all probability back to the beach in the morning! All night long partying is compulsory, and early nights are verboten in Mykonos.
Florianopolis Is Brazil’s HGottest Party Island-City The ‘Magic Island’ is famous for its fantastic nightlife and party scene. It was named ‘party destination of the year’ by the New York Times in 2009. It’s full of great bars, restaurants and clubs and the weather is fantastic. During the summer the party action is concentrated in and around the city’s main beaches, with outdoor parties and lots of great clubs pumping away all day and night.
Unlike most other party islands, the revelry does not stop for winter – Florianopolis is a big, bustling city in its own right with almost 300,000 inhabitants, so the party rocks all year ’round (it just moves indoors to the clubs, bars and restaurants of Lagoa da Conceição!).
P12 at Parador International is a super-popular nightclub that attracts a lot of famous DJs. For some traditional Brazilian-style partying, head to Fields, which is a very popular venue with locals as it specializes in Sertaneja, Southern Brazil’s most adored music genre.
Ibiza Is Still the Glamorous and Glitzy High-Queen of Party Islands! It’s kind of impossible to look past Ibiza when you are scouring the world for amazing party islands. A disproportionately huge amount of the planet’s best clubs is on this little rock in the Mediterranean Sea. Many of the world’s best DJs not only play here regularly but have moved here permanently!
Ibiza has spectacular clubs and 25-hour parties that routinely change lives. It also has numerous great bars, restaurants, glorious beaches and wholesome scenery. As well as the world-famous super-clubs such as Amnesia, DC10, Eden, Privilege and Pacha, Ibiza also has lots of other exciting venues like Aura Ibiza, just outside San Lorenzo, which is a smaller club that has regular impromptu appearances by top DJs, and Ibiza Underground, which is near Privilege, but more cheap and cheerful, and often an even better night out for it.
Basically, whatever you want from a party island, Ibiza has it. That’s why we say it still (just about) holds the crown for World’s Best Party Island. “Well done Ibiza, would you like to say a few words?” “Errrr…PARTY ON!” “I concur.”
Not all party islands are created equally, but every island on our list has something that makes it a uniquely amazing party destination. You will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, whatever island you choose.
While you are letting the mega-bass vibrate your soul in an Ibiza superclub, sipping crazy cocktails in Phuket, or doing the Macarena on a beautiful Florianopolis beach, why not share your good time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?