Our 5 favourite gay beaches in Europe: which ones have you been to?
Over here in Europe we are blessed and highly favoured to have some of the best gay beaches in the world. Every summer, gay boys in their thousands descend on these pink beach havens to party, play and take the thirstiest photos ever.
For us, when it comes to gay beaches, Spain leads the way, with Portugal and Greece not too far behind. We've put together our 5 favourite gay beaches in Europe which we absolutely love, and where you’ll most likely find us unashamedly showing off our latest speedos next summer!
Please note there are many fabulous gay beaches all around Europe to check out. The 5 we have included in this article are simply our own personal favourites that we both loved the most! We have included a section at the end of this article listing other popular gay beaches in Europe to check out. For more gaycation inspiration, be sure to check out our detailed guide to the best gay beaches around the world as well as our guide to the best gay vacation destinations in the world.
1. Es Cavallet beach – Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza island is like nowhere you’ve ever been before. We arrived at 3am on a Wednesday morning in Ibiza main town and the place was just buzzing with atmosphere. It’s an incredibly exciting place to be, whether you love partying or not. It’s a very pretty island, with some of the most famous clubs in the world, and, it has one of our favourite gay beaches in the world.
Es Cavallet beach is located on the southern end of Ibiza, where all the gay boys hang out during the day. To reach it, you take the bus from Ibiza main town, then walk for around 20 minutes through a small forest. Because of the journey, you’ll develop a sense of camaraderie with fellow travellers on board and will quickly make friends. The beach is of course stunning and has its own cruising area behind it amongst the bushy dunes. It’s officially a nudist beach, so draws out the exhibitionists in their numbers.
Peak season for Es Cavallet beach is July and August when it’s packed full of gays. If you prefer fewer crowds, then consider going in June, September and early October.
2. Bassa Rodona beach – Sitges, Spain
Barcelona in Spain is like a gay haven for European gays. We all love it and have been there at least once. We’ve been many times and definitely consider it a place we’d want to live one day. The icing on the cake about Barcelona is its proximity to Sitges, a town 45 minutes train ride away.
Sitges is an old fishing village, located 35km southwest from Barcelona. Today it is a small coastal town with less than 30,000 inhabitants. It’s super cute, with pretty, quaint, narrow streets, beautiful beaches, lots of bars, restaurants and boutique shops.
And it’s SO gay!
Throughout the year, Sitges is like a pilgrimage for the gay boys. The summer months are of course the peak times to visit, when most of the Barcelona party crowd come here to hang out.
There are many gay beaches here that the place feels like a catwalk for gay swimwear fashion. The most popular is Playa de la Bassa Rodona, near Hotel Calipolis. Nudists will want to head over to Playa del Muerto or Playa de las Balmins.
Popular times to visit Sitges are in February for the Gay Carnival, June for Sitges Pride, July/August is peak summer season and in September for Bear Sitges Week. For more, check out our gay guide to Sitges and our gay guide to Barcelona.
3. Elia beach – Mykonos, Greece
Third on the rite of passage for any good gay is Mykonos island in Greece, specifically the gay beaches on the south of the island: Elia, Paradise and Super Paradise. Head here in July or August and they are packed full of gay boys.
Their popularity has grown so much that they’ve been discovered by the straight crowd who also now head here. Elia beach however remains the most popular with the gay crowds, with a rainbow flag standing proud. Beyond Elia beach is a second, more isolated beach, which is popular with nudists at its far end.
4. Kiosk #7 beach – Gran Canaria, Spain
That's the third one from Spain and for good reason. Not surprising as the country does have incredible beaches, but in addition, Spain is also one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.
Gran Canaria is a popular gay destination for us European gays, throughout the year. This Spanish island is part of the Canary Islands, which lies off the coast of Africa, therefore guaranteeing almost 365 days of great weather.
We also love it because at the southern part of the island in Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles there is a massive gay scene. The Yumbo Centre is the focal point, a large shopping mall full of gay bars, clubs, restaurants and boutique shops. It’s a gay man’s paradise. Slightly further south of this is the large gay beach of the island, by Kiosk #7.
To reach the gay beach of Gran Canaria, start at Riu Hotel in Playa del Ingles, then head out into the sand dunes, following the trail of gay boys for around 20 minutes, until you hit the rainbow paradise on the other end. Read more in our gay guide to Gran Canaria.
5. Beach 19 – Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is a completely underrated European city, offering a mix of ancient architecture, Instagrammable vistas, smoking hot guys and a fun party atmosphere, especially in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood.
However, the big draw for us in Lisbon during the summer months is the legendary Beach 19. Between April and October, those pretty Lisbon gay boys come here in large numbers to hang out.
Beach 19, or Praia de Bela Vista, is in fact a nature reserve along the Caparica Coast, around 12km south from Lisbon. Historically, Beach 19 was a famous cruising spot for closeted gays, but it has since evolved to become one of the best gay beaches in Europe and also for nudists.
To reach Beach 19 you can take the local train to train station #19 (which is what the beach is named after!), as well as by car rental, taxi and bus.
Other gay beaches in Europe to check out
As we said at the start, we've only focused on our 5 favourite gay beaches in Europe. So for completeness, we've set out here a list of some of the other famous ones worth checking out:
- Mar Bella in Barcelona, Spain: best gay beach in Barcelona, nudey friendly and the focal of the big Circuit Festival in August.
- Il Buco, Rome, Italy: one of many gay beaches in Italy. This one the most popular due to its proximity to Rome.
- Mont Rose Beach – Marseille, France: the oldest gay beach in France located around 45 minutes bus ride from Marseille. It's rocky, busy and picturesque!
- Nice gay beaches, France: Nice has several gay beaches including Le Plage de Coco and Castel Plage. Find out more in our detailed gay travel guide to Nice.
- The Espiguette Beach – Montpellier, France: large gay beach located around 40km southeast of Montpellier, famous for its sand dunes and pine forests.
- Lokrum, Dubrovnic, Croatia: Lokrum is an uninhabited island, 10 minutes boat ride from Dubrovnic. It's secluded and very private!
- Zandvoort nudist beach, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: beach resort town around 30 minutes train journey from Amsterdam Centraal.
- Bellevue Beach, Copenhagen, Denmark: also known as Miramare, located around 10km short train ride from Copenhagen to Klampenborg Station.
- Brighton Naturist Beach, UK: located outside the city centre to the east, close to the Marina and the Electric Railway station.
Happy travels are safe travels
For more inspiration:
- Read what we rate to be the most gay friendly cities in Europe
- Check out what we rate as the best gay Pride events in the world
- You'll want to read our gay Berlin guide for lots of inspiration for Germany's awesome capital city
- Use our gay guide to Prague to help you plan your trip in the Czech capital
- Find out what Barcelona Pride is like
- For more Pride inspiration check out our guide to the best Pride outfits and accessories
- Check out our detailed gay guide to Amsterdam
- Read about the best gay Pride events in Spain
- Read what gay life is like in Germany in our interview with Marcel from Berlin.