Kala Festival – A Party In Paradise!
Just landed on the ever growing festival scene is Kala festival, which helped to put Albania on the map of “GO TO” travel destinations for young Brits.
Compared to it’s neighbouring countries Greece and Croatia (of which I have visited countless times), Albania sees a lot less visitors per year.
I have to admit when I first heard it was in Albania, my first thought was ‘Oh I’ve never even thought to go there, do I know anyone that’s been!?’ – but that could all be set to change!
So what exactly is Kala I hear you ask? It’s a week long music festival set along the coast of Albania at a popular beach resort town of Dhermi. It’s slap bang in the middle of June, so expect to catch some rays. The journey is by no means quick and easy, the route being a flight to Corfu followed by a ferry to Albania then a coach, bus or taxi to the resort, however the beautiful scenery en route more than makes up for it.
The festival itself was spread across 5 areas comprising of beach bars and beach stages. Each area was emblazoned with multi coloured Kala signage and pretty bunting, and fairy lights lit up the site giving you those real festival feels. My favourite daytime hang was ‘The Cove’ area, it was always vibes – a tucked away spot, which was never too crowded, and although the beaches are stony, the crystal clear waters make you quickly forget!
As well as the various beach spots for you to pick from during the day there is also an abundance of restaurants to choose from, most of which have nice overlooking views. By far the most popular and most convenient (due to the wristband point being there) was Luciano’s. My top pick though, with the best menu hands down was Hotel Platinum, cheap and tasty eats for the win. (Truffle linguine & vegetable soup was mouth watering!)
The festival was well rounded and had something for everyone, amazing beaches, water sports and a great wellness program during the day as well as a good party, with music going on till the early hours of the morning.
If all of this hasn’t made you start looking into tickets and accommodation for next year maybe some information about the music might sway you!
The music selection was predominantly electronic music but there were some live performances, garage and disco thrown in to the mix too. The presence of well established London labels: Feelings, Secretsundaze, Phonica and Stamp the Wax definitely helped to bump the party vibe. Moodymann and The Black Madonna presents night were up in my ‘Top 2′ of the week but Roy Ayers was the most magical, also because I got to meet the legend himself and get a signed copy of his CD (FANGIRL MOMENT).
Another perk of the festival was ‘the secret stage’ on Gjipe, just a boat ride away to another beautiful beach and eco-camp. What made it even more appealing aside from the fact everyone spent ages figuring out how to get there, was that it was only on for the weekend out of the 7 days you were there – an experience not to be missed.
There was an array of DJ’s playing on a small stage tucked back amongst the trees and cliffs, playing till the sun set and then you had to get the boat back to ‘reality’ and dive straight back in to the main party. The festival kept surprising me everyday and with the help of the sun, the friendly locals, good food and great crowd it really grew on me and by the end I didn’t want to leave!
Having had the Prime Minister drop by at the beginning of the week, with his view on the festival being: “I have to admit, I don’t know anything about the festival but, in principle, it’s fantastic” he put the cherry on top with his act of kindness on the last day.
There was I minding my own business, winding down on the last day when suddenly everyone was running around like a mad man possessed. When I asked what was going on all I could hear was “The PM has just tweeted the festival saying he’s left a palette of beer at Luciano’s for everyone – free beers all round! WHAT A G, and what a way to end the festival.
Dates for 2019 tbc.
A three-night hotel + festival wristband deal costs from £162 and a seven-night deal from £235.
Check the website for more info HERE