10 Essential Tips For Your First Hideout Festival

 Introducing Hideout Festival…

Now celebrating its seventh year, Hideout Festival takes place on the island of Pag, Croatia and attracts party-goers from all over Europe (and the world!) with the hottest DJs, boat parties and an abundance of sunshine and debauchery.

Sandwiched between mountains and the Adriatic sea, Hideout festival  is held on Zrce Beach across a number of purpose- built outdoor clubs called Papaya, Aquarius and Kalypso which host incredible daily pool parties andy crazy, exotic raves every night.

If it’s your first time at Hideout Festival this year, then these are our essential tips so that you can have the best week of your life!

Read my tips on how much to budget for Hideout here.

1. Sort Your Transport As Soon As Possible

Especially if you are planning on flying out. Although there are lots of direct flights to Hideout festival, these soon fill up from all over the UK and prices soar! In 2013, we paid £350 for a direct flight to Split however all flights the week after were advertised at £85! To check flights, I always use Skyscanner.

If you fly, there is the option to get a bus from most main airports in Croatia straight to the festival, however we found it so easy (and much cheaper) to hire a car and drive up. It’s around a 3-4 hour drive from Split, but the route is gorgeous and very straight forward, we even got there without a sat-nav! You can also plan stops on the way such as Krka National Park, which we hugely recommend.

Alternatively you can get a coach to the festival and lots of people do this as it can be a much cheaper option – so long as you don’t mind 36 hours on a coach! For more info on coach travel, visit Planet Festival who offer a full Hideout Festival package including transport, accommodation and tickets.

 

Zrce Beach hideout festival

2. Stay In Novalja

Hideout was so different to what we expected it to be, as the Festival itself takes place on Zrce Beach;  a quite isolated stretch of beach close to the town of Novalja. If you can, I would stay in Novalja or nearby. There is also the town of Pag, but Novalja is much closer to Zrce beach and full of good, cheap accommodation, restaurants and bars.

The boat parties all set off from here and there are also lots of regular buses to the festival within 5-10 minutes.

We rented an apartment using Adriaday and they were very helpful. The accommodation was basic, but perfect for what we wanted!

 

hideout X 2015

3. Pack ALL Of Your Friends!

Although Hideout serves up a platter of incredible people that will quickly become your best buddies, there is something magical about going in group. Last year, there were around 40 of us that attended, all in our own little groups and when we got together it made the experience so much more special!

Having a big group generally ensures you’ll get the best dancing space and won’t find yourself being pushed around as much. It’s also a nice surprise to bump into a friendly face all over the festival.

drce-beach-friends hideout

4. Arrive A Couple Of Days Before

Although the set festival dates span four days, we would recommend to get there a few days before so you can find your bearings and get warmed up! You can sort your bus wristband and go through the festival wristband exchange process in advance before all the crowds come which is certainly a bonus.

The pre-parties are absolutely amazing

Zrce Beach is so much fun and Croatia is absolutely beautiful, so definitely max out your time here!

 

hideout pool

5. Book Your Boat Party Ticket In Advance

These sell out pretty much as soon as they’re released! You can buy a maximum of 6 tickets per purchase, so you might as well buy them for your friends if you do get through. Remember to take everything you might need with you on the boat party as you will be stuck on it for 3 hours. If you’re easily sea-sick, it might not be the best idea for you, but the pool parties are more than amazing anyway!

One really annoying thing on the boat parties is that you can’t pay for drinks with cash and have to use tokens that you purchase below deck. Buy these as soon as you board so you’re not stuck downstairs for ages when you feel like getting a drink.

 

hideout boat party

 6. Don’t Spend All Week In Papaya

Papaya has an awesome layout, is huge and has a lot of the headline acts playing here, which means most people end up flocking here and then not wanting to leave because of who’s playing next. Festivals are a great way of discovering new music so try going to a set of someone you’ve not heard of before, you never know you might be pleasantly surprised!

Definitely check out Noa which is on a jetty over the sea and has hammock nets around its perimter!

 

Noa hammock

 7. Remember Your Bus Route By It’s Colour

There are regular buses from Zrce beach to various stops around Novalja and each route is determined by colour. You can buy a bus wristband which allows you unlimited travel all week and is definitely worth getting! Otherwise, it’s around 20 kuna per trip (around £2).

The shuttle buses cover the following destinations:

  • Red Line – Novalja Zones A
  • Yellow Line – Novalja Zones B & C
  • Blue Line – Gajac
  • Black Line – Stara Novalja
  • Green Line – Caska, Vidalici, Kustici, Zubovic & Metajna
hideout bus route

 8. Hit the Pool Parties!

Don’t lie in bed all day feeling hungover and sorry for yourself, get out and enjoy the festival at it’s best – the pool parties! We loved the pool parties more than some of the nights! They are less busy and you are partying in glorious sunshine.

Remember to drink loads of water if you’re out during the day, as you don’t want to get dehydrated or sun stroke and end up feeling ill. I suffered from sunstroke on the first day and felt awful for it – get into the shade regularly and wear a hat or bandana to cover your head; it really helps!

 

pool party

 9. Stay Strong And Party On

You’ve waited all year for this, travelled all that way and spent your hard-earned money paying to get here so make the most of it! Let loose and enjoy yourself, you might never experience anything like this place again and I can promise you, you won’t want to miss a moment of it!

No one looks back on their lives and remembers the nights they went to bed early…

 

hideout sunrise

 10. Don’t Book Your Journey Home For The Day After Hideout Ends!

We made this mistake the first year we went and ended up missing part of the last night and feeling horrendous the whole drive back. If you have a couple of days left after the festival, not only can you finally get some sleep and recover  but also enjoy everything else that Croatia has to offer! We made a trip to the Krka waterfalls on the way home which was incredible – definitely one to add to your bucket lists!

 

Zrce Beach

 Don’t Forget:

  • The Currency in Croatia is Kuna (NOT EUROS!)
  • Your ID to collect your tickets and the bank card you paid for it with

Read my post on how much to budget for Hideout here.

hideout friends

Any questions, please leave us a comment below!

 

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  • Adele

    I’m going to the festival for the first time this year!! I was wondering if you could recommend roughly a good amount of spending money to take? Also what sort of outfits to bring as I am unsure on the likes of temperature at night and how casual people tend to go out! Thanks x

    • Eeeek! You will absolutely love it, very jealous right now. Money wise, it depends entirely on how crazy you want to go! I took £400 spending money and it lasted me for the whole 10 days I was in Croatia. I’d say on £50 a day you’ll be very comfortable! You can get big cocktails which are like a tenner but last for ages between two of you at the festival. Croatia is pretty cheap compared to Spain and other holiday destinations and if you’re staying in an apartment you should have a little kitchen area where you can make food. Remember to get Kuna not Euros! For outfits: during the days at the pool parties everyone wears a bikini/swimsuit with a cover up of some sort (or not!) or little shorts and then mostly converse or jelly shoes. Flip flops are a bit of a mare as people can stand on them so i’d recommend sandals of some sort. Trainers are a perfect tbh for both day and night. It’s really hot during the day so maybe take a hat if you’re sensitive to the sun. For the night, it’s a little more dressed up but still quite casual-cool. I usually wore high waisted shorts and a crop top with either trainers or sandals. Don’t take heels! Everyone last year made a big effort with make up – there were bindis galore ha and generally most girls looked like they’d been time machined from the 90s. If you want to look a bit different, then go for a more boho hippie vibe. Let me know if you have any more questions, i’ll be happy to help 🙂

      x x x x x

  • Tom

    Hey, how far away from Novalja was the National park, looks well worth a trip but not sure if it will be possible for us staying in Novalja!

    Thanks
    Tom

    • Hello!

      The KRKA national park was around 1.5 hours drive south towards Split. Pag is quite a remote island so it takes almost 40 minutes to get off it as Novalja is right at the very end of it!

      Are you getting a bus transfer or driving?

      x

      • Tom

        We are flying to Zadar, so I think it might be a bit of a
        trek! There are companies that offer day long excursions from Novalja but only
        got one day free and may need that to recover!! Haha thanks for your help and
        your blog has been really useful!

  • Lucy Mae Gow

    Hiya, it’s my friends and my first time to hideout, the excitement is killing us! I just wanted to know a sort of schedule (I know that sounds really anal haha) so what time do the acts start at what time do they finish? Do people go onto clubs after? Are there many clubs, what ones are the best? Are the pool parties all day, what time do they start?
    I also wanted to ask is it the kind of festival where you go back change into a nicer kind of evening outfit later in the day or do you just stay in your bikini and kaftan till 6am the next morning? Sorry for all the questions haha! 🙂

    Thanks
    Lucy

    • HI Lucy! You’re going to have the best time. Hideout is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before and it’s so much fun. Basically there are pool parties every day from around 12 -8 pm. These are part of the festival and were my favourite part! Then the night time parties start in the same venues at 9pm until 6-7am. You can either stay out or go back and get changed, i did both! For outfits, you want to wear trainers like converse ideally and then shorts/dress in the evening and bikinis and kaftans during the day. You might also want to wear a bikini at night, lots of people did (or maybe they were just still out from the day!)
      Don’t wear flip flops, as people stand on them and they can rip! I’d wear sandals you can strap into or trainer type shoes. The clubs on the beach where the festival take place is where you’ll spend all your time, you’ll have no need to find anywhere else!

      Please let me know if you have any more questions, I’m happy to help! I always like to know what the crack is before I go anywhere too so I will give as much detail as I can 😀

      x x x

  • Sarah Close

    I was wondering which colour travel band (busses) you recommend getting? Also how much they are for the unlimited travel for the week? Also is there options to pay for your ticket in smaller chunks rather than all at once? Tickets come out soon but I’m pretty strapped for cash ATM! Thank you! Xx

    • hey Sarah, sorry I only just saw this! It was around €30 for the week when I went, so quite cheap. the bus band got you on all routes I think – we just stayed in Novalja so mostly got the red line! yes you can pay in instalments I think, there should be an option on ticket arena 🙂 hope that helps! x x x x let me know if you have any more questions

  • Katie Dawn Armstrong

    We’re going to hideout next year for the first time! So so excited. We were wondering where you buy boat party tickets, and pool party tickets in advance – can you do that? Also, we’re flying in on the Sunday. What does the ticket / wristband exchange entail? One last question – is the line up announced by day in advance? We’ve bought a programme as part of our ticket package. eeeeeek. are you going again this year? xxxx

    • wooooop! I’m so so jealous!! have you signed up to hideout emails? you will get plenty of them from jan onwards which tell you about boat party tickets. the pool parties are part of the festival so don’t cost any extra! where are you flying in to? The wristband exchange is really easy – it’s just a big tent thing near the bus station (or it may be different for 2016 so have a look out for the info in the emails which you get a few weeks before the festival) 🙂 yes you’ll get the line up on your programme so you’ll be able to plan what you want to do in advance! i’m unfortunately not going again this year as i’ve been travelling for 3 months and now completely skint, but I can promise you it’s the best week ever! Croatia is amazing – remember the currency is Kuna not euros! x x x x

      • Katie Dawn Armstrong

        Thanks that’s really helpful. I’ll go sign up for emails now – I’m not sure if I am or not. Flights are a bit of a nightmare actually. We’re flying from Scotland so to get there the day before it starts we have to fly into Dubrovnik. Otherwise we’d be arriving on the day and that would be a mega rush But we can fly home from Split. Where did you fly into? Nearly all of us get travel sick so we will have to have loads of travel sick tablets at the ready for the 4 hour coach trip!! Haha. Do you have any tips for flights? Xxxx

  • Molly Carlisle

    Just wondering if they check you for ID because one of our friends won’t have turned 18 when hideout takes place she’ll be 17??

    • Hey Molly!

      I don’t remember ever being asked for ID but i’m a bit older. I think you’ll be ok though
      🙂

  • Bluejaw

    Hi Sylvie, thanks for this post! It’s really helpful and useful. I’ve been to U.K festivals where there is five or six stages all in close proximity, is Hideout like this? For example, are there different venues to go to or is it the same place every day and night?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hey! Yes that’s exactly what it’s like, except all the Hideout stages are in beach clubs along the beach. They have pools so there’s pool parties during the day and then at night the different acts are on in each venue. It’s so much fun, you’ll love it!

      xx

  • Naomi Hefter

    hi there, im off there this year, i cant wait and your info has really helped.. one question though.. where is the pre party? ive looked on line and cant find any info on it . is there just one and if so is it the same venue or somewhere dif? cheers . Naomi x

    • Hey Naomi! The pre-parties are all at the festival site on Zrce beach. They happen for a couple of days before the official festival starts and are awesome! They include info and set times for the pre-parties on the programme. It’s like a Lanyard with flippy card that tells you who’s playing each day that you can buy 🙂 eek! you’ll have the best time x x x x

      • Naomi Hefter

        ah cool thank you for that!! 5 days and counting till im off!!! 😮 xx

  • Jessica Cline

    Hey girl, I’m going in a couple of weeks to Hideout! I’m wondering how I should carry my stuff (phone, money, sunscreen) and if theres a place to store everything

    • Hey sweetie, woo i’m so excited for you! I had a small backpack that I got from Newlook. Loads of people wore bumbags and some people take larger bags – depends on how much you want to take I suppose! Don’t take a towel for the pool parties – no need! I don’t think there’s any lockers to store stuff. Keep it on you and keep it close. Have the best time! xx x x x x

  • Rohan Moses

    How’s it going!? We are planning on going for a bachelor party and were debating between Hideout and The Yacht Week (not sure if you’ve been on that). How much did you spend total (flights, hotel, spending money, food, tickets, etc.)? Also coming from the USA, any ideas what is the best place to fly into or out of? Finally if you have been on The Yacht Week, any preference and why? Thanks so much!!

    • Hey Rohan! So sorry for my late reply, i’ve only just seen this. So I would 100% do Croatia – Hideout is amazing but the Yacht week is also unreal.. try both!? I flew from the UK so flights were probably cheaper for me, but in total it was around £1000 for the week including everything. zadar is the nearest airport to Hideout, but most people fly to Split. You could also get flights to Zagreb as it’s in the north and seeing as you’re coming from the US that might be your best bet. Hope that helps 🙂 do let me know what you end up doing! xx

  • nadiacetrangolo

    Hey, me and my friends are planning to go to hideout festival but we’re quite confused as to how it all works. Is there anyway we can contact you to get more information?

    • Amrit ‘Amo’ Bains

      Hello! I’m the same but I’ve managed to get loads of important and essential info. What do you need help with? I may have the answer ? x

    • Hey so sorry I just saw your comment now! If you still would like any help or advice, please feel free to email me 🙂 [email protected] xx

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  • Willow Harris

    Hi, me and a few friends are going hideout this summer but all of us are so unsure on how much spending money to take! What would you recommend? How much is an average drink?

  • Colby Cox

    Awesome page, thanks for all the info!