Monthly Archives: July 2016

Are say no for clubbing

Tired of BPM-obsessed bores, queue-jumping liggers and fascist security? Looking for a new clubbing experience? David Hillier explores ball pools, bondage gear and spa parties to find the best alternative club nights across Europe.

Each year tourists flock to all corners of Europe to get loaded and have a weird time, whether it’s in an Ibiza superclub, a Berlin technohaus or on a party boat in Belgrade. Of course, it’s all fine and well when you’re travelling with someone who loves dance music as much as you do, and who only needs a box room, a DJ and a Void sound system to achieve disco enlightenment.

But if your companion is not a techno fiend and needs more from a club than untarnished BPMs, here are some of the best nights out on the continent.

Regression Sessions (UK)

Strictly speaking, it’s a night rather than a club, but let’s not concern ourselves with trivialities. Regression Sessions have been putting on events all over the UK for the last five years and are famous for their ball pits, bouncy castles and expansive production. The vibe is very much adults indulging their childish sides, so if you’re not feeling the drum and bass, house and techno spun by Fabric residents, there’s always something else to do. That might just mean face painting.

Fluxus Ministerija (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Housed in an abandoned shoe factory, the Ministry of Fluxus is an accessible art project that happens to throw twanging raves. You’ll find a different vibe in every cavernous room, and the swirling visuals and chin-strokey art installations will make more sense when you’re two pingers down. The lengths of their parties are legendary – come on Saturday, leave Sunday afternoon. Spend the next two days in your hotel room squinting through the curtains and watching Lithuanian dubbed reruns of Diagnosis Murder.

Elrow (Barcelona/Ibiza/Madrid)

Elrow states that its primary function is to “entertain and amuse” and it does so through a magical alchemy of the finest tech house and techno in the style of a throbbing technicolour carnival. Their spiritual home is Viladecans in Barcelona, but they’ve had a recent residency at Space in Ibiza, as well as shows in Madrid, Zaragoza and the UK. Expect elaborately costumed actors, confetti drops and endless blow-up toys to joust with.

How to find perfect jewel

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily boasts dramatic coastlines and rugged interiors that are soaked in dazzling sunshine most of the year.

Many visitors stick to Sicily’s seaside resorts, but there is so much more to the island than beaches. Hire a car and go speeding down winding country roads, pausing to drink in the heady vistas, such as olive-coloured fields dotted with groves of orange and lemon trees or solitary hamlets standing in the shadow of a mountain-strewn horizon. Make sure you don’t miss out on these sights and flavours, too.

In the Valley of Temples

Halfway down the southern coast is Agrigento and the Valley of Temples, one of the best-conserved sites of Ancient Greek architecture. Then there’s the brooding presence of Mount Etna, whose hulking craters are well worth trekking up to; local companies offer guided tours through the countryside and mountains.

Sicily’s natural wonders may be what attracts visitors, but the cities are worth spending time in too. The largest, Palermo, is chaotic and sprawling, but it’s also home to the island’s most beguiling Norman-Byzantine architecture. Expect ancient churches, crumbling but charming palaces and gorgeous time-worn piazzas. For a taste of the high life in this ancient city, visit Voyage Privé for excusive deals on four and five-star accommodation in Palermo.