Heading off to an island or coastal town abroad to party for several is a summer ritual for most young adults in the UK.
The pilgrimage to party islands for sun, sand, sex and getting smashed is almost becoming a pastime for those from the land of cheeky Nando’s.
I, myself have been to four different destinations for lads holidays. Each has been great, and each has its pros and cons. Here’s how I rank them from fourth to first.
4) Zante, Greece
Being the lowest-ranked destination on this list is nothing to scoff at, because Zante is a fantastic place, especially for those who are new to the lads or girls holiday game.
While there are no megaclubs like you’ll find in Ibiza, there are plenty of places abuzz with party people and the strip lights up the resort of Laganas leading straight down to the beach.
The Greek island has a fantastic beach and coral waters, and there’s a water park and the shipwreck at Navagio Beach if people are stuck for something to do in the day.
Drinks are cheap and there are plenty of legitimate deals on offer down the stip. There’s also the famed white party and boat cruises on offer, too.
Flight times are also restricted as planes cannot take-off or land overnight due to loggerhead turtles which lay their eggs on the beaches at night.
Overall it’s good for newcomers and those at the younger end of the spectrum, but more hardcore clubbers may want to look elsewhere.
3) Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza has been the Mecca of clubbing and electronic music since before I was even born, and is ever-popular with young people in the summer months.
But its lacklustre West End strip and the absolutely ridiculous price of drinks in big clubs dampen the experience.
Charging €9 for a 200ml bottle of water, €13 for a bottle of beer and €21 for a double vodka and mixer is absolutely asinine – which is probably the reason why the White Isle is the drug haven it is.
The strip isn’t as bad as it sounds, but the ones in the other places are all a great deal better. Play2 is the pick of the strip’s clubs and there are plenty of cheap drinks on offers to break up those big club nights.
But still, there’s something encapsulating about Ibiza. The sense of freedom resonates in the evening at the Sunset Strip, where there’s usually a big name DJ playing music from the Café Mambo booth as the Sun sinks below the horizon.
The big attraction, of course, is the plethora of giant club venues that host some of the biggest names in music. There’s a reason, other than money, that the likes of Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and David Guetta continue to play in Ibiza summer after summer. Pacha, Ushuaia, Amnesia, Privilege and the rest can provide some of the best nights of your youth.
Regardless of its ranking, Ibiza is something you have to do at some point in your life.
2) Magaluf, Spain
While being a little less classy than neighbouring Ibiza, Magaluf, in Mallorca, is a great destination for a group of lads and/or girls looking for a summer getaway.
It’s cheap for both food and drink as well as flights and accommodation, there’s a big beach, the Mediterranean Sea and everywhere within the resort is walkable.
Magaluf’s strip is one of the very best, and it always seems to be packed, creating an atmosphere fitting of the occasion.
Then there’s BCM, the massive club where the big DJs usually make an appearance and the drinks are more compatible with lesser budgets. This gives Magaluf the best of both worlds – a quality strip and a big club venue.
And don’t let those reports from last year about its ‘dirty’ reputation put you off. You’ll find sex acts in public places at any type of destination – it just appears to be part of the culture.
Magaluf is the cheap and cheerful of the summer party holiday world.
1) Ayia Napa, Cyprus
There’s something extremely liberating about spending a night on the unbelievable Ayia Napa strip, then cooling off and relaxing in the pool at outdoor nightclub River Reggae.
And, honestly, I didn’t contract chlamydia from the water – contrary to the popular rumour of its contamination.
Ayia Napa is the premium lads and girls holiday destination. It’s got big clubs, small clubs, quality bars and it always seems to be busy.
Whether it’s a silent disco, foam party, or just some great music you want, then Ayia Napa has it all on offer.
It’s somewhere that goes off from dusk ‘til dawn, and will satisfy even the most fervent party animal
The resort’s main drawback is the distance the centre is away from the beach. Unlike Zante and Magaluf where the sand and sea is a stone’s throw away, the Blue Flag Nissi Beach requires a short and inexpensive taxi ride – perhaps not the best thing to do when hungover.
But that alone doesn’t ruin a holiday, and the quality of the strip combined with after party clubs put it at the top.