Everyone loves the beach (and gay beaches are even better.) From clothing-optional to beaches with lively gay clubs, there are endless options when it comes to selecting your ideal coastal destination.
Europe is home to many of the world’s most famous gay travel destinations, from sun-soaked Mykonos to the cultural mecca that is Lisbon, there is something for every gay traveller. Thankfully, the continent also boasts a range of the most beautiful and varied beaches, many of which have established gay scenes.
Located on the Mediterranean’s party island and an epicentre of gay community and culture on Ibiza, Playa Es Cavellet is a tranquil and scenic beach that offers guaranteed relaxation. The beach is home to Chiringay – an almost exclusively gay restaurant that is the beating heart of the beach and serves drinks and food throughout the day. Es Cavallet is long and spacious, and the surrounding area has a rugged and untouched quality that adds to the character of the area.
In the high tourism months, the beach is packed with a population of, largely, gay sunbathers and sun-seekers. Playa Es Cavallet is located away from the beaten track and whilst the walk from the car park is roughly 20 minutes, it’s worth it when you see the stretching white sands and the large rainbow flag. The dunes behind the beach are also an extremely popular cruising destination. Read More: The Best Beaches in Ibiza
Very few places in Europe have the same fame as a gay travel destination as Mykonos, and Elia Beach is at the heart of the island’s gay scene. Elia is an expansive and stretching paradise of warm sand, crystal clear waters and a lively gay atmosphere. The beach is almost completely covered with sunbeds and umbrellas, however, there is a small bed-free section for those who prefer to soak up the sun from the sand.
Elia Beach is a mix of all the best things about Mykonos: beautiful scenery, a vibrant gay community and a lively and energetic nightlife scene. As the evening rolls around, the bars along Elia Beach become the focal point of the area and are great places to meet other gay guys from around the world. With a clothing-optional policy, the beach is a popular destination for nudists and fans of a more freeing beach experience. Read More: Things To Do in Mykonos
Located amongst a vast nature reserve, Beach 19 is accessible by both bus and train. Lisbon is an increasingly popular destination for gay travelers in search of sun and culture and the beaches here do not disappoint. The area surrounding Beach 19 is rugged, untamed and popular amongst those looking to cruise. In the summer, Lisbon’s gay population seemingly comes out in full force as the beach is taken over by the local gay community and visiting gay travelers.
One of Europe’s largest gay beaches, Beach 19 is renowned for its obvious gay popularity and the endless space here makes it the perfect location to enjoy the sun and atmosphere in the company of like-minded people. Read More: Things To Do in Lisbon
Barcelona’s smaller and gayer neighbour Sitges is one of the most famously gay destinations in Europe, welcoming thousands of visitors every year and continually providing a fun, open and authentic gay experience. Bassa Rodona Beach is the most central in the town and is a hub of the area’s gay community. The beach is well served with a myriad of cafes, bars and clubs along its length, with many catering for a gay clientele
With its thriving gay atmosphere, close proximity to some of the town’s best gay bars and clubs and stunning views, it’s no surprise that Bassa Rodona is frequently described as one of Europe’s best gay beaches. Read More: Discover Sitges – Spain’s Gayest Town
Lokrum – Dubrovnik, Croatia
There’s only one thing better than a gay beach, and that’s a gay island. Lokrum is a deserted island off of the coast of Dubrovnik and is only accessible by a ten-minute boat ride from the mainland. The island is a rugged and untouched wilderness with a rocky landscape filled with pine trees and lagoons of crystal clear water.
Lokrum beach is located in one of the many coves of the island and as such has a level of privacy and seclusion that is rarely found on Europe’s gay beaches. Here you’ll be able to truly relax and unwind in absolute peace. The beach is a popular spot for Dubrovnik’s gay community to meet and hangout and the area is also clothing-optional. In the high summer months, Lokrum Beach has a gentle breeze which provides a welcome relief from the sweltering heat.
Mako beach – Gallipoli, Italy
Puglia is famous for its long and dramatic coastline, featuring monstrous caves and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet, so it’s no surprise that the area also boasts one of Europe’s best gay beaches. Located near the town of Gallipoli, Mako beach is a hidden gem of gay culture, welcoming thousands of visitors every year to a four day gay festival on its warm sands.
Maku beach is the only gay beach in the Puglia reason and is considerably more understated than many of the other top locations. However, gay guys from across Italy and Europe flock here every year for one of the best beach experiences and palpable gay community.
Beach No 7 – Gran Canaria, Spain
Gran Canaria has an established and well-earned reputation as a centre of gay tourism in Europe. Every year hundreds of thousands of gay individuals from across the world descend on the island for days of sun, sea and relaxation. Part of the draw for the flocks of gay tourists who visit are the stunning and pristine beaches that line Gran Canaria’s varied coastline.
The most popular beach amongst the gay community on Gran Canaria is undoubtedly Maspalomas’ Beach No 7, a large and spacious stretch of hot sand that is backed by rolling dunes. The beach is also a clothing-optional location, and in the summer months it is not uncommon to see hundreds of nude sunbathers spanning its length. The popularity of No 7 Beach is linked to the close proximity of the Yumbo Centrum, the epicentre of the island’s gay community and culture.