First things first, we have been asked time and time again, ‘what is a gay beach’?
The answer is quite simple.
Just like the concept of a gay bar, a gay beach is somewhere that you can relax, be yourself, show affection to your partner and be just that little less self-conscious than you may otherwise be at any other beach.
That’s not to say you can’t do these things elsewhere; however when we are on vacation we like to take the guess work out of whether we may or may not experience any sort of homophobia – heading to a gay beach (for us) certainly takes any such worries away.
Naturally, gay beaches tend to be a little more liberal with many being gay nudist beaches, a tad cruisy and generally having a more carefree atmosphere – for some (such as Maspalomas) during pride events they turn into daily beach parties and have a great vibe!
There is a lot of fun to be had at gay beaches and they are particularly popular around Europe.
Typically, you will find that most top gay destinations in Europe will have an official gay beach marked on google maps or if not, an ‘unofficial’ gay beach known widely to locals and posted on gay travel blogs like ours.
Each time we visit a new and exciting beach destination in Europe, we always make sure to have a quick check to see if there are any local gay beaches to hang out at, let’s take a look at some of the most popular:
Gay Nudist Beaches/Gay Beaches in Europe
Elia Gay Beach Mykonos (Greece)
Elia is the most popular gay beach in Mykonos easily distinguished by its rainbow flag upon arrival.
Like most gay beaches, it has a nudist area which can be found by facing the sea, head to the right and continue walking up over the rocks.
There are fairly clear paths to clamber over and once you are up on the rocks you will see a small cove. This small cove is the gay nude beach sunbathing area – enjoy!
Given Mykonos is such a popular gay destination check out this full list of gay beaches in Mykonos.
Kiosk #7 Maspalomas Gay Beach, Gran Canaria (Spain)
The biggest, busiest and somewhat craziest gay beach we have been to (many times) has to be Kiosk #7 Gay Beach in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria.
After taking a trek through the Maspalomas sand dunes you will arrive at the huge expanse of beach at Kiosk #7 and have no doubt that you have found the gay beach (the crowd gives it away!).
Always busy and exceptionally so during pride events, this gay beach is usually fully set up with a sun lounger, a small bar/café and restrooms.
Again, (no shock) it is a gay nudist beach so it you want to get comfortable in your own skin, feel free to strip down. Equally if that’s not for you that is no problem whatsoever and you will find that there is a real mix of people.
Given it is quite a walk to get here, people usually come prepped for the day with food and plenty to drink, after a long day drinking we have seen the parties start and people really lose their inhibitions – use your imagination…..
For full directions and details for our favourite gay beach in Europe click below:
Mar Bella Gay Beach, Barcelona (Spain)
Mar Bella is known as THE gay beach of Barcelona and is most definitely the go-to choice of both the local LGBTQ+ community and visitors.
Mar Bella gay beach is also home to the well-known gay beach-bar Chiringuito BeGay. This is a very popular meeting point and hangout for locals and is a great place to have lunch whilst at the beach aswell as working your way through their cocktail menu!
Being a nudist beach is probably why it has also become the popular gay beach too!
And as is quite common on gay beaches, Mar Bella has a reputation as a little bit of a cruising ground, among the bushes that separate the beach from the path. Who needs Grindr, right?
Check out our full list of gay beaches in Barcelona here.
La Playa De La Bossa Rodona Gay Beach, Sitges (Spain)
Sitges is one of our favorite places in Spain (see Gay Guide to Sitges: Our favorite Gay Spanish Town).
The main and most popular gay beach in Sitges is La Playa De La Bossa Rodona.
One of the reasons we love this gay beach is because it is very easy to find and is minutes to walk to from the town centre (unlike some other gay beaches in Europe where you have to trek quite far!).
You can find La Playa De La Bossa Rodona in front of the Picnic Restaurant opposite Hotel Calipolis.
While all beaches are open to everyone, you can easily tell this is the gay beach during peak season by the clear divide between one half of the beach having families and the other half having a majority of guys parading around in tiny speedos.
There are 3 gay beaches in Sitges, La Playa De La Bossa Rodona near the centre, Playa De Las Balmins 10 minutes to walk to from the centre and Playa Del Muerto a little further out.
To find out more about these gay beaches, check out our full guide to gay beaches in Sitges.
Gay Beach Torremolinos (Spain)
We had to include the gay beach in Torremolinos in our list as it is the only one to sit in front of two gay beach clubs!
You can’t miss either beach club because they are both proudly flying rainbow flags next to each other: Eden Beach Club and Paraiso Beach Club.
The gay scene is surprisingly huge in Torremolinos so it is not shock that the gay beach can get very busy during the peak of summer.
For directions and more details on this gay beach, click below:
Raco del Conill Gay Beach, Benidorm (Spain)
This is an example of an ‘unofficial gay beach’ and is considered to be the closest thing to a gay beach and that is likely due to the fact it is a nudist beach. It is 6km away from the town centre so a bit more of a journey than some!
Kasjuni Gay Beach Split (Croatia)
During our annual group gay sailing trip we sailed right up to the gay beach in Split, stripped off, jumped in and swam to shore.
Like pretty much every gay beach in Europe, it is a clothing optional beach which is denoted on the map as FKK.
The beach area is called Kasjuni and you can get a taxi or bus from the old town (10-20 minutes).
To get to the nudist gay beach section you need to walk as far as possible past the beach cafe up and over the rocks.
It was apparent to us that we were at the gay beach given the crowd so depending on how busy it is, it should be obvious you have reached your destination.
The guys here were friendly and happy to chat to our group.
Check out our full Gay Travel Guide to Split, Croatia.
Lokrum Gay Beach Dubrovnik (Croatia)
After we found the gay beach in Split and were told by our captain that there is also a gay nudist beach in Dubrovnik.
You need to get the boat to Lokrum and on arrival turn left heading along the coast to the nude beach (denoted as an FKK beach which translates from German as ‘Free body culture’).
Once at the nude beach continue a couple of hundred metres further to find the gay area. Depending how busy it is, this should become obvious!
Dubrovnik itself is stunning, read our full Gay Travel Guide to Dubrovnik for more.
Limanakia Athens (Greece)
Heading to the capital of Greece and another one of the top gay destinations in Greece, we have Limanakia nudist gay beach near to the capital city of Athens.
Like most of the coast here, the beach is rocky but as a result you are granted beautiful clear waters to swim in which may be welcome after spending time in the hot city itself!
The beach is a 30-minute drive from the city centre or you can attempt getting a local bus (or Uber). It known for being hot, busy and naughty during the summer. Full directions to get to Limanakia Nudist beach here.
Find out more about what Gay Athens has to offer here.
Kärsön Gay Beach Stockholm (Sweden)
Whilst not an all-out sandy gay beach, we had to include Stockholm.
It is one of the most welcoming, open and progressive countries we have ever visited.
Whilst it may not be a beach destination, in summer, the closest thing you will find to a gay beach in Stockholm can be found nearby on Kärsön.
This is a small island with a beautiful beach to the west of Stockholm. During summer, this can become a gay hotspot and known as Stockholms ‘gay beach’.
Read more about this beautiful city in our Gay Guide to Stockholm.
Strandbad Wannsee Berlin (Germany)
Whilst Germany may be land locked, we could not have a list of gay beaches in Europe without having some German representation given as a culture they are much more comfortable with their nude bodies than others (us Brits included!).
For the equivalent to a gay beach in Berlin, head to the lake shore swimming area Strandbad Wannsee.
The northern part of the beach is a nudist area and unsurprisingly, attracts a lot of gays.
Other gay sunbathing and nudist areas in Berlin (not beaches) include the nudist areas Müggelsee in East Berlin and Tiergarten Park in the centre.
Find out everything you need to know about Gay Berlin here.
Il Buco Rome (Italy)
Finally, perhaps the longest journey from a city of all is the gay nude beach of Il Buco 30km south of Rome.
This gay beach can be found within the Capocotta Nature Reserve so it’s somewhat secluded and does not have many facilities. No matter, it is still very popular and as long as you pack all you need for the day it will be a welcome escape from city life, Rome is scorching in summer!
For more on Rome:
We will keep exploring and adding to our list, let us know if you come across any unexpected gay beaches during your travels in Europe!
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