People travel from far and wide to visit the "city that appears out of nowhere," also known as The Monegros Desert Festival. Celebrating its 29th year, the temporary city will welcome over 50,000 residents on July 30th, 2022.
Taking place miles away from the heart of Fraga, Spain, festival-goers will travel through dunes and blasted grass to finally reach a horizon with sun-glinted stages and booming speakers. The secluded location does not favor the attendees looking to explore outside of the confines of this desert event, nor does it need to. Since the festival is a non-stop party that starts and ends within 24 hours, it's safe to assume people will budget their vacation time accordingly to give themselves an extra day or two to enjoy the other attractions that Spain has to offer.
The lack of sleep and a marathon of music will likely lead to exhaustion that might cause a zen-like state of thoughtlessness. Lucky for you, we've made it a little easier to plan what the days after the festival will look like. We've included an afterparty, three impressive dance clubs, two attractions, and a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you won't want to miss.
Fruiturisme (Aitona, Spain)
Located a few miles away from Fraga in Aitona is Fruiturisme. This beautiful farm is home to thousands of trees bearing peaches, nectarines, and other sweet fruits, creating a corner of colorful landscape that will make you feel at one with nature. From the breath-taking purple and pink rows of trees to the sweet aromas tickling your most dominant sense, this experience will provide you with sights you'll never forget – but in case you do, you can always pull out your phone to capture the moment. The experiences offered here range from tours of the landscape, picking and tasting fruits, and biking paths that let you roam around the farm like the flower child you are.
Museo de la Mina de Mequinenza (Mequinenza, Spain)
This exciting museum lets visitors journey down to the depths of the Earth to explore hundreds of meters of galleries that exhibit more than 170 years of mining history. The Mequinenza keeps the coal mining traditions alive through paintings, artifacts, and thoughtful guides that supplement the exhibit with captivating story-telling. So grab your hard hat and book a reservation to explore an underground world filled with a rich history. This museum is located in the Old Town of Mequinenza, which is a bonus because as you walk through this quaint place, you will see the Castle of Mequinenza that sits 185 meters above the Ebro river.
The Horta Labyrinth (Barcelona, Spain)
Have you ever wanted to get lost in a real-life labyrinth? The Horta Labyrinth is an elaborate, albeit confusing, garden structure designed and built-in 1791 by Marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls. Located in the foothills of the Serra de Collserola in Barcelona stands this 820-yard long maze made of trimmed cypress trees that was inspired by the myth of Theseus: whoever makes their way to the center finds love as a reward. If you can’t find love at the club, try your luck with this labyrinth.
Rocambolesc (Girona, Spain)
Michehlin star chef Jordi Roca believes he’s been addicted to sweet entertainment for more than fifteen years. This craving paved the way to creating a unique gelateria that pushes boundaries and makes ice cream even more fun (who knew that was possible?!).
Rocambolesc offers up many sugary treats, but it’s the presentation that you’ll most remember. The whimsical ice cream shop offers the Rocanose, a strawberry sorbet popsicle in the shape of Jordi’s famous oversized nose, an Icephone (iPhone) made of yogurt, and the Velancoco, a coconut popsicle in the shape of a buff man. If your interest is piqued, check out the campy 80s themed video above highlighting the Velancoco.
Alboroto Experience (Madrid, Spain)
When you see the neon skull floating over the bar, you know you’re at the right place. Alboroto Experience is located a few steps from the emblematic Plaza España in Madrid and offers a gourmet menu with a picturesque ambiance. Their signature cocktails are standouts. Some of the most notable are the Candy Flip, which teleports you to the county fair with cotton candy settled on top, the Shopping List, which comes in a little plastic bag inside of the cutest miniature shopping cart you’ll ever see, and the Black Kiss which comes in a beaker that gives serious mixologist vibes.
Borau (Fraga, Spain)
From the outside, Borau might look like a typical roadside bar, but if Monegros left you famished, then this nearby little restaurant will provide the nourishment your body needs after a night of dancing. The menu has a wide range of options, from French to Mediterranean to European dishes. Many Borau patrons delight in the healthy portion sizes and affordable prices. The Instagram-worthy cuisine looks just as good as it tastes! After digging into your main course, make sure to leave room for homemade desserts.
Fabrik (Madrid, Spain)
Fabrik Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in the capital, and as such is a must-see. This Madrid classic hosts big names in techno consistently throughout the year. Located in the northeast corner of the map, Fabrik is a vast techno wonderland. The space features large-scale lighting systems and ice machines that fill the 4,000-person capacity dancefloor with smoke. Laser shows and video projection screens also contribute to the event's magic. On top of the cavernous indoor space, Fabrik boasts an outdoor terrace with a pool, providing three different stages to accommodate the large number of dancers and travelers.
Florida135 (Fraga, Spain)
Need some overtime after 24 hours of partying? Then head to the oldest nightclub in Spain, Florida135. Located in Fraga, this afterparty is only a hop, skip, and a boogie away from the main event. This famous club, also known as the Cathedral of techno, is owned and operated by the Arnau family, who are the same folks that put on Monegros Desert Festival. What started as a movie theatre back in 1942 by Juan Arnau and Francisca Ibarz is now one of Spain's most iconic electronic clubs. This space has seen a massive influx of prestigious and international DJs, making it an essential reference point for club culture in Spain.
Octan (Ibiza, Spain)
If you're looking for a raw underground aesthetic, then head to the island of Ibiza. Previously known as Sankey's, Octan is a newer nightclub that opened its doors in July 2019. Although it's only been a few years since their debut, Octan instantly became a rave haven for lovers of underground dance music. The venue consists of three rooms, a roof terrace, and a unique body sonic dancefloor. As you enter, you will walk into the famous basement with low ceilings and a roof covered with LED lights that provide attendees with warehouse party vibes. Keeping its visuals and entertainment to a minimum, its focus is on 'proper' music rather than distractions. The VOID sound system lends itself to this mission, with extraordinary state-of-the-art design that pumps ruthless, resilient bass.
INPUT (Barcelona, Spain)
INPUT High Fidelity Dance Club is the gateway to a creative space where art meets music. INPUT was born out of one ambitious goal: to make your night an incredible, out-of-this-world experience. Located in the depths of Barcelona, this venue is a massive techno hub with an atmosphere that caters to all your senses. Their penetrating sound system and grand audiovisual technology take you into a world of psychedelia that will make saying goodbye to the night nearly impossible.
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