Are these the best gay beach vacations in the world?

Destinations that are worth adding to your vision-board.

Are these the best gay beach vacations in the world?

For many of us, the epitome of a great vacation is to be able to head somewhere warm, sit on the beach and watch the waves roll in.

There’s something incredibly soothing and relaxing about having the sand between your toes, the sun on your skin, and the water close by.

If it’s a gay beach, then it’s at the top of our wish list. Bonus points if it’s a clothing-optional beach.

This is by no means a definitive list, but here’s our list of some the best gay beach vacations in the world.

Mykonos, Greece

The Greek islands are a bit of a mixed bag — some are super quiet and romantic, some are over-developed and touristy. The island of Mykonos somehow strikes just the right balance.

This is one of the most popular Greek islands, and it has the reputation of being a bit of a party island. It’s a reputation that’s well deserved, but there’s a lot more to this sunny destination than just drinking and dancing.

The most famous beaches on Mykonos are probably Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach, but our favourite is Elia Beach. It’s a long beach lined with sun lounges, where you can base yourself for the day and the local waiters keep you plied with food and drink. The swimming here is perfect — deep clear water in which you can float and paddle and socialise.

Plus, the old town is a lot of fun just to wander through, deciding where to eat or where to get a drink. Mykonos is a total Mediterranean dream.

Turtle Cove, Australia

Just near Port Douglas, up in the tropical far north of the state of Queensland in Australia, Turtle Cove is an idyllic tropical beach paradise.

Access to the beach is through the Turtle Cove resort, but it is a public beach so you don’t need to be staying at the resort to access it.

Lined with palm trees, and awash with warm golden sand, this is a clothing-optional beach where you can work on your all-over tan while admiring the dazzling blue water that stretches out to the Great Barrier Reef.

The downside of this part of the coast is that you have to watch out for crocodiles and stinging jellyfish, but somehow that doesn’t spoil the appeal of this beautiful destination.

Sitges, Spain

While the beach in Barcelona is pretty spectacular, just a short distance away is the little beach-side community of Sitges.

Sitges has a great stretch of beautiful sandy beach that offers some of the best people-watching in the world.

This is true beach-side living, with cafes lining the promenade so that you can always keep an eye on the comings and goings of the world.

BearWeek is definitely one of the biggest events of the Sitges gay calendar, and local hotels book far in advance, but there’s plenty of sun and surf to explore during the full season (spring through early fall).

Platja de la Bassa Rodona is the gay bit of the main beach in town - this is easy to access, situated directly across from Hotel Calipolis.

But if you want to work on your all-over tan, Balmins beach is at the northern end of town and is easily accessible.

The other clothing-optional beach is Platja de l'Home Mort - it's at the southern end of Sitges and takes a bit more of an effort to get to but it's worth it for a bit more of a sexier vibe.

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza may technically be part of Spain, but this small Balearic island really is in a little world of its own.

When you say you are going to Ibiza for vacation, people automatically assume that you’re heading for a crazy all-night rave scene that will leave your body destroyed by the end of the trip.

While Ibiza does have some great clubs, there’s a lot more to this beautiful island than just dance music.

Our favourite beach is Las Salinas — a bit of a walk to get to from the car park (or you can take a boat across from the old town) but it’s worth the effort. It has a great beach bar that serves amazing grilled squid, and the music gets progressively louder and more upbeat throughout the day.

Beach 19, Lisbon

Within a protected nature reserve, this isn’t the easiest place to get to but definitely worth making the effort.

Playa de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a hugely popular destination for gay travellers looking for a bit of sun. With its vast expanse of dunes and beach, there are endless opportunities for getting naked and cruising for some action.

Playa Mar Bella, Barcelona

You can’t really go wrong anywhere along Barcelona’s beach, but the Playa Mar Bella section is where you want to be – you can sunbathe nude, it’s gay-friendly, and there’s plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you going during the day.

Studland, Dorset

A huge expanse of sand and dunes, this is probably the best gay beach in the UK. Depending on where you park, you'll probably need to trek through the family-friendly section to get to the clothing-optional area, which is helpfully signed. Unfortunately, the UK has a habit of dumping raw sewage onto its coastlines, so algal blooms can kill the vibe a bit.

Rooster Rock, Oregon

Enzo Mthethwa is a man who sets the standard when it comes to getting naked.

On a recent episode of the podcast Naked Men Talking, Enzo reports from Portland, Oregon and his visit to Rooster Rock, which he describes as the best naked gay beach in the world.

In the conversation, we talk Radical Faeries, being a pioneer when it comes to getting naked, CMNM fantasies, nude beach culture, and why he is kink-adjacent.

Listen to the episode.

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