Forget Ibiza, Head to Croatia

The Electric Elephant Carnival on the coast of Croatia offers the perfect opportunity to chill out and party down.

The Electric Elephant Carnival on the coast of Croatia offers the perfect opportunity to chill out and party down.

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Summers are made for fun.  Unabomber, the Manchester group that started Electric Elephant, the annual electronic festival, will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in July 2012 – this time in Tisno, Croatia.

Electric Elephant is the music-lovers music festival, known as “The underground house music festival of underground house music festivals.” For five days every year, the little town of Tisno manages to attract an up-beat, adventurous and continental crowd looking for something a little more artistic than other seaside club scenes. With so many days and nights, it also achieves a come-together attitude.

After only a few years, Electric Elephant remains relatively family-friendly – in town, you’ll see as many general tourists as partiers – and close-knit. The organizers manage to avoid the teeming-masses that so many music festivals stumble into. The atmosphere is fun-loving, but not deranged.

In fact, if dance music has your idea of heaven, you may find paradise on the coast of Croatia. There’s very little sleaziness, and a real love of the music.

Check out this video from 2011 to get a feel for the scene.

Naughty-cal Pursuits

You can’t accuse Electric Elephant of not taking advantage of its surroundings. Located on the edge of the Adriatic, festival-goers can venture out at night aboard the Argonaughty, a wooden vessel which lives up to its name, if you want it to.

The Argonaughty carries a party of 200 people, and some of the best DJs are found out on the water.  Specially decked out (pun intended) with a dance floor, 10-foot-tall speakers, lights, booze and a DJ booth, the Argonaughty is a ship of dreams.  For one, the view of the sunsets – the whole coast of Croatia is dotted with picturesque islands – are even more spectacular from the water, and when the sun goes down, the music heats up.

Croatia’s waters also offer more than just boat rides. Don’t forget to try some of the fresh fish all over town. After all, that’s what 900-year-old fishing villages are for.

What to look for in 2012

After four years in Petrcane, Electric Elephant is moving about 70 km down the coast to The Garden Tisno, a secluded, private, sandy bay just a few minutes walk from the village of Tisno. While long-time EE fans may be thrown off, it actually looks like the new site might be a little bit better than the original. Unlike the previous party spot, Garden Tisno has on-site accommodation. The 80 apartments and 30 Indian Shikar tents are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also tent sites for the more rustic types.

Tisno, like Petrcane, is a small town, easily walkable, and filled this time of year with sunburned tourists. Festival organizer Unabombers will, of course, be performing again this year, and they have already added Andrew Weatherall, Balearic Mike, Capracara, Chris Duckenfield, Kelvin Andrews, Krysko, Lowlife, Nathan Gregory Wilkins, Sean Johnston, and Will TRAMP!

Around the Elephant

Can’t take five days of rave? If you want to extend your stay in gorgeous Croatia for a little bit longer, you can check out some of the neighboring sights.  In fact, I suggest going a little early. Explore some of the natural beauty surrounding Tisno, go for a hike or two, and then lose yourself in the music.

Zadar, the main city in the Dalmatia region, is only 60 km up the coast from Tisno. Check it out for the marble, car-free roads, Roman ruins and the medieval churches. Worth an afternoon’s wanderings. You can also go see the Kornati National Park, a beautiful set of rock outcroppings. A true archipelago, Kornati appears like a post-modern dream of land’s emergence from water. You won’t find much to do on these islands, but the vista is not to be missed.

There are five national parks within a short boat ride from Zadar: Kornati, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Krka waterfalls and North Velebit. I recommend Kornati and the Krka waterfalls. They are all worth your time.

Tips for the Croatian trip:

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