Fancy an island trip with your mates? Choosing where to go can be tricky so we've rounded up Europe's best holiday isles and why to go.
Nothing says fun like having your nearest and dearest on an island. From beach party escapes in the Balearics to purse-friendly getaways in the Canaries, Europe's islands offer plenty for the perfect trip with friends. We round up the best of the best for every party size, be it a small group getaway or an epic 'everyone's invited' blowout.
1. Best Island For Big Groups: Ibiza
The king of group holiday hotspots, this slice of Mediterranean paradise knows how to cater for even the biggest of parties. If experience counts for anything, then Ibiza wins bigtime; it's been welcoming groups for decades. The larger the group, the bigger the discounts - on everything from club entry and drinks promos to boat parties and villa bookings. TripAdvisor has an entire page dedicated to Ibiza restaurants which are suitable for large groups, while iconic party hotels like Ibiza Rocks offer 10 percent off deals on group bookings of 25 people or more. Luxury villas are often able to accommodate 20 to 30 guests while the beach clubs and bars have ample space for your whole entourage.
2. Best Island For Small Groups: Malta
Miniature Malta is a tiny island nation with plenty of soul. From the elegant squares of its historic capital Valletta to the golden sand beaches in the north, this Mediterranean gem offers plenty to see. Perfect for smaller groups, the island has several great hostels and small villas (particularly on the sister island of Gozo) as well as group-friendly hotels and apartments (try Expedia for deals). The up-all-night party area of Paceville is ideal if you want to dance into the early hours, while the turquoise waters of Comino's Blue Lagoon are a short boat ride away. If you're a group of five or fewer then hiring a car is also cost-effective and makes exploring the island a doddle.
3. Best Island For Stag and Hen Groups: Mallorca
The largest of Spain's Balearic islands, Mallorca is somewhat (in)famous for its stag and hen parties - but there's plenty more on offer than just beer bongs and debauched antics. If you're looking for a traditional stag and hen blowout then hit one of Europe's most famous party resorts, Magaluf. Famed for its wild parties, drinks promos and abundance of drunken revelry, this isn't necessarily the spot for a civilized night on the town. It is, however, the best spot on the island for clubs and bars so give yourselves at least one night out (and two days to recover) in this hedonist's paradise. For a slightly classier stag or hen, try one of the various activities or courses on offer - from tapas tours to cocktail workshops. Hotels.com offer group discounts and deals throughout the world, including in Mallorca.
4. Best Island For Active Groups: Crete
Europe's fifth largest island, Crete in the southern Mediterranean, offers an abundance of options for active groups. With a varied landscape and seaside towns, the hiking, biking, climbing, water sports and diving opportunities are great. Adventurous (and dedicated) groups should make time to tour the Samariá Gorge; this spectacular World Biosphere Reserve is home to a wonderful hiking route (you'll need to start before dawn) and is one of Greece's most iconic pathways. There are also plenty of companies offering bike and scooter tours - who are well versed in group bookings - along with several fabulous caving and scuba centres (particularly around Chania). Do Something Different has a vast range of Cretan based activities.
5. Best Island For Budget Groups: Tenerife
If you're on a budget break with friends then Tenerife is the perfect island getaway. Nicknamed the 'land of eternal Spring', this Spanish island is warm all year round, so you can visit outside the peak (aka pricey) summer holiday season and still top up your tans. Unlike mainland Spain, Tenerife enjoys duty free status which means - you guessed it - cheap everything. From bargain drinks prices to plenty of purse-friendly hotels this is one for groups on a budget. The only costly element can be the flights, but even these can be nabbed for a good price if you book early enough.
6. Best Island For Festival Groups: Pag
If you're looking for some festival action with your gang then look no further than Croatia's Pag. Everything you want from an island escape (think beach bars, lagoon-like waters and guaranteed summer sun) this Adriatic gem is also home to some of Europe's biggest and best festivals. Forget schleping around a muddy field in the UK, Pag combines holiday perfection with festival fun. Two of the best fests are Fresh and Loveweek (both held in July) which attract big name DJs and electronic dance acts. Many events are held on boats and offer group discounts, making this the perfect place to party with your mates. Accommodation (including multiple-occupancy villas) are available nearby; check out Viagogo for upcoming festivals and events.
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