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The 21 Best Gay Beaches Around The World To Add To Your Bucket List!

The 21 Best Gay Beaches Around The World To Add To Your Bucket List!

In theory, beaches are not segregated according to sexual orientation, but in practice, there are several places gay people know not to go to if they don’t want to get harassed or hate-crimed.

On the other hand, there are a few places where gay people know they can go to have the time of their life. The issue, of course, is how to tell which is which – the difference between a safe beach for gays, or the best gay beaches in the world!

You could give it a try, and see if anybody points fingers and stares or calls you the f-word, but would you truly like to put yourself through that much stress when you could simply look it up somewhere and find out which places are actually safe for you to go?

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You’ll find that it’s much easier to look up countries’ policies toward gay people, but if you go by only this, you’ll likely feel dejected. It seems like so few legal protections exist for gay people in many countries around the world, and most of the affordable vacation destinations usually have their laws in a grey area that leaves room for both positive and negative interpretations.

But you’ll be pleased to find out that even countries that are not so friendly towards gay people have hidden oases, places where gay natives and even tourists are free to be who they are without fear of arrest or prosecution. And while we know clubs and bars exist, there’s just something about the freedom and sense of boundlessness that beaches possess that makes them such great places to let your hair down.

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Beaches are also some of the cheapest sources of pleasure out there. If you bring your own equipment and walk there, you can end up having a great day without paying a dime. Seriously, gay beaches are awesome, and everyone should have one they can go to without fear. So if you’re gay and you’re in the market for that, then I present to you, for your perusal, a list of the best gay beaches from around the world.

Some are clothing-optional, and several are not, but all of them guarantee sun, sand and fun. Next time you’re on a vacation, and you want to hit the beach, it just might turn out that you’re near one of the places on this list, and then you can cross ‘chill out on a gay beach’ off your bucket list.

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Black’s Beach (La Jolla, California)

Don’t worry, the sand on this beach is white (get it? Black’s Beach? White sand?) This legendary gay bench has been called the only proper gay beach in San Diego, and for good reason. At any given time, it’s absolutely packed with hot gay men. Black’s Beach is a legendary surf spot and a fantastic place to meet new people and make friends. It is also a great spot for cruising

To get there, you have to slog down the steep path from Torrey Pines Glider Port, and you’ll probably be exhausted before you get there. But after cooling down for a few minutes, it’ll be time to hit the waves and soak up some golden California son among your own people.

The north side is where the gay activity is most concentrated, but the whole beach is basically one big pride parade. And speaking of pride, we have it on good authority that the Pride Weekend celebrations are not to be missed. The only downside is once you’re done with the fun, you have to make the hike back, and this time it’s uphill.

Gay Blacks Beach  - Black's Beach (La Jolla, California)

Elia Beach (Mykonos, Greece)

Greece has always been a dream vacation destination, and it’s only fair that the gays have a place there too as well. Elia Beach, along with Super Paradise and Panormos beaches, are the beaches on the fabulously queer island of Mykonos, known for pulling the biggest crowds of gay people.

Out of these three, Elia Beach is still the place to be for gay people, as even Super Paradise is being overrun by the straights. Gay men come from all corners of the globe to lounge in front of the clear, warm waters. There are even waterfront bars that become lively clubs on summer nights. There are gay-friendly hotels all over the island, so your adventure doesn’t have to end once you leave the beach.

Elia Beach (Mykonos, Greece) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World

Playitas Beach (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

You find the best gems in the most obscure places. This tiny, immaculate beach northwest of Espadilla Beach has a reputation as the gathering spot for gays and lesbians in Manuel Antonio. Espadilla Beach, or Playa Espadilla is the main beach at the end of Calles Principal, but just around the cove from it is Playitas Beach. This seclusion is what makes it such a great spot for gay people.

It was once a nude beach, but even though you have to wear clothes now, you can still rent a surfboard and enlist the help of some locals to teach you how to ride the waves – that is, if you don’t already know. It’s uncrowded, and the view is great. Some straight people also use it, but everyone generally minds their business.

And if you’re still itching to take your clothes off, the nearby Macha beach is clothing-optional…

Playitas Beach (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

Hippie Hollow (Austin, Texas)

I’m sure you’d understand our reluctance to include this in our list, but it’s a gay beach right in the middle of Texas. It’s too good a chance to pass up. Hippie Hollow is a legally clothing-optional area that’s located west of Austin, on the rocky sloped of Lake Travis.

Memorial Day, Labour Day weekends and a holiday known as Splash Day are just some days on which gay people flock to the beach in boats and on foot. It’s not a very accessible place, especially if you want to walk, but there are a lot of activities, including fishing, windsurfing and scuba diving. There’s a bar there, though it’s called an A-list bar, so it’ll probably be a bit of a snooze.

Skip it and hang out on the beach instead. Just be careful not to go too far; it’s still Texas, after all.

Hippie Hollow (Austin, Texas) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World

Ipanema Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Chances are you’ve probably heard of this beach, but had no idea it was for the gays. Well, here’s the good news: it is! This sandy, white stretch of paradise sits in between two wealthy neighborhoods in Rio De Janeiro, and you know how rich gays like a party.

Unlike some other beaches, Ipanema Beach has no shortage of places to go, so if you’re in Brazil and you like your beach to come with a full itinerary, head to Ipanema Beach. From Cafeina to Via Farme to Bar Bofoetida, there’s a near-endless list of places to eat, drink and dance your sorrows away. There’s swimming if you’re experienced (watch the waves!) and Frescobol if you don’t want to take a chance with the water.

If you’re looking to make rich, gay friends who spend money like it’s their last day, you’ll find them on Ipanema Beach, and if you don’t, at least you’ll get a fun experience out of it.

Ipanema Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
“Copacabana beach” flickr photo by alobos life shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Playa de Las Balmins (Sitges, Spain)

This magnificent beach is just a few minutes from the heart of the gay-friendly destination of Sitges, so you can have fun on the beach and then retire to a town where you’re sure you’ll be treated with respect, intact, Playa de Las Balmins is just a few minutes away from the iconic Parrots Hotel.

It is officially a nude beach, but you find that some people prefer to put on bathing suits. It’s got lifeguards, just in case you run into a bit of trouble, and there are also showers. There are some great rock coves, in case you want some privacy. There’s not much by way of shops, but there’s a neat little bistro there.

Playa de Las Balmins (Sitges, Spain) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World

Platja Des Cavallet (Ibiza, Spain)

We can bet that once you hear the name ‘Ibiza,’ you immediately think of raves, euphoric music festivals and drugs that make you see everything in neon rainbow colors. Well, we’re not here to tell you you’re wrong. Any gay who’s interested in all these things should have as much right to partake in them as a straight person.

In between taking psychedelic mushrooms and pumping your fists to loud EDM, you might also want to find a beach to get that mandatory vacation tan. If you also want one that all the gays go to, check out Es Cavallet. Located on the south side of the Spanish Island, it’s the popping spot for all the gays, and since you can sunbathe in the nude, it’s so much more interesting than all the other beaches.

You can also try to practice your cruising skills, but make sure anyone you’re taking home is sober and can consent…

Platja Des Cavallet (Ibiza, Spain)

Orient Beach (St Martin, French Caribbean)

This beach is found on the French side, i.e., Saint Martin, not Sint Maarten. It is one of the most famous beaches on that side of the small, Caribbean island, and it is also the only beach with an official, nude section. It also plays host to the famous Club Orient, a nudist club and hotel. A nude beach and hotel together in the same place? It sounds too good to be true, but it actually is as the resort was destroyed in September 2017 by Hurricane Irma – but is hoping to reopen at some future date.

Every water activity you can think of is available here, as are restaurants and bars, but you’re probably not reading this list for the food and drink. Not to worry, all the hottest gays congregate in the nude-only section, so much so that it is sometimes called Gay Beach.

They take their nudist rules very seriously, so don’t attempt to remain clothed once you enter the nude area.

Orient Beach (St Martin, French Caribbean) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World
“Orient Bay – Waikiki Beach” flickr photo by Ger and Audrey shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Clifton Third Beach (Cape Town, South Africa)

South Africa gives us hope that one day the whole of Africa will recognize the full humanity of gay people. Until then, we all have to snatch joy whenever and wherever we can find it. And for South African gays, the ‘wherever’ part of it is Clifton’s third beach, which is a favorite for all the gays in Cape Town.

It is the busiest, gay-friendly beach in Cape Town. Although there are others, this particular one (which, incidentally, is the third beach out of the five Clifton beaches) is definitely the most well-attended. The snowy-white, boulder-dotted landscape surrounded by luxurious bungalows makes for a gorgeous view, but the main sight to see is the mass of sexy, oiled-up bodies with very little on except sexy gay swimwear.

The beach does get a little crowded at times, but if you’re a people person, you shouldn’t really mind. From beach three, you can also explore beaches one, two, four and five, if you’re looking to fit a lot of activities into your day.

Clifton Third Beach (Cape Town, South Africa)

Mi Cayito (Havana, Cuba)

Mi Cayito is sometimes called Havana’s unofficial gay beach. It is located about 40 minutes east of Havana by car, and there’s even a local bus you can take for little money. There’s also a queer-friendly car service called My Cuban Taxi that takes passengers to the beach. Once you get to the beach, you’re met with a white stretch of beach that overlooks the warm, cobalt waters of the Caribbean.

The water is calm and perfect for swimming since there are usually no waves. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, and there’s also a small snack bar that sells food and drinks. It has developed something of a reputation for being queer-friendly, and dozens of rainbow-colored flags fly there every given day. You can find both local and tourist visitors lounging around in the nude and eyeing each other up.

Mi Cayito (Havana, Cuba) - best gay nude beaches

Batu Belig Beach (Bali, Indonesia)

The meteoric rise of Bali as a prime vacation spot has been fascinating to watch. Each year, millions of people flock there to experience the breathtaking beauty of the island.

We’re pretty sure a lot of those tourists are gay, and will, of course, need entertainment that’s tailored to their tastes. Because Indonesia is relatively conservative, that might not be so easy to find. But if you’re gay in Indonesia and your want to see Bali through rainbow-tinted glasses, visit Batu Belig.

It’s Bali’s only ‘gay-popular’ beach and is located just a short drive from Seminyak, between Canggu and Berewa. It is quieter than most of the other beaches in Bali, but with enough sun-bathing hunks to make the trip worth it. Grab a beer, lay back, and enjoy the scenery. All of it. 

Batu Belig Beach (Bali, Indonesia)
“Außenbereich mit Stühlen, Tischen und Sonnenschirm im Sound of Silence Cafe mit Blick auf das Meer am An Bang Strand in Hoi An, Vietnam” flickr photo by wuestenigel shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Mont Rose Beach (Marseilles, France)

Mont Rose Beach, which is located around the Marseille area, specifically at the entrance of Le Parc des Calanques, is a picturesque expanse of rock and woods where gay and bi people go to relax and sunbathe in the nude. It is located adjacent to the fishing village of La Madrague de Montredon and counts snorkeling as one of the many pleasures you can enjoy there.

It is one of France’s oldest gay beaches and has a long history as a nude hangout. Cruising usually starts up as the sun goes down, and if you hang around a little, you’ll find local gays, as well as gay tourists, coming out to have some fun. There’s a lot of space, and the rocky landscape means that you can find a corner if things get really hot and steamy.

Or you can just enjoy a nude soak on the rocks and then head home. Your choice.

Mont Rose Beach (Marseilles, France) - gay nude beach

North Bondi Beach (Sydney, Australia)

Australia is not known enough for its beaches, and that is a crying shame. Miles and miles of pristine beach provide places for hard-working Australians to go when they want to relax. Tourists are also welcome. Although the sun is not scarce in Australia, there’s something relaxing about going on a beach vacation that just can’t be beaten.

Bondi Beach in Sydney is a vast stretch of beach, but the gay side is North Bondi. That’s where all the boys go to strip down and show off all the work they put in to get that summer body. But you don’t need to feel intimidated if you didn’t spend your winter getting jacked up.

Small bodies matter too, and are very welcome at Bondi. Asides from ogling the hot men, there are so many other activities you can get up to. Try surfing, and take a stroll around the cafes and shops.

North Bondi Beach (Sydney, Australia)

Playa Chihuahua (Punta Del Este, Uruguay)

You probably read the name of the country twice and shook your head skeptically, but we assure you that Uruguay is far more advanced than some of its neighbors when it comes to gay rights. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal with an equal age of consent since 1934, sexual orientation and identity protections have existed since 2004, and same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013. So rest assured, you won’t be breaking any laws holding hands with your partner in the street or anything like that.

Now on to the real issues: can you find gay beaches in Uruguay? Playa Chihuahua or Chihuahua beach says yes, you absolutely can. One of the many beaches on the outskirts of Montevideo, Chihuahua beach has gained a reputation as a prime spot for gay people – and sometimes even bisexual partners – to cruise for couples. 

It’s slightly dangerous – so what’s fun without some danger – so it’s advised that you stick close to your car when you’re alone. In addition, avoid large groups of young people in the afternoon. On weekends though, you’re likely to find many gay people. If you’re trying to snag a partner, people say you should strip off, sit near your person of interest, and walk to and from the water, making sure to show off your body as you go. Chances are you’ll be successful.

Playa Chihuahua (Punta Del Este, Uruguay) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World
“Chihuahua nudist beach” flickr photo by alobos life shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Hilton Beach (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Hilton Beach, named after the iconic Hilton Hotel that overlooks it, is the center of Tel Aviv’s gay scene (literally, as it’s located in the center of the city). It is also the location of the massive Tel Aviv Pride Festival that happens every June. Cafés and bars are plentiful, and you can find delicious cocktails and snacks everywhere you turn.

The water is clear and calm, giving you the chance to try watersports like Stand Up Paddleboarding, a unique sport that’s traditional in Tel Aviv. Not a big fan of sports? Grab a cocktail from Hilton Bay, a chic spot right on the beach, relax and feast your eyes on the parade of muscled gay men.

You’ll find no shortage of those here, as both locals and tourists take advantage of the gay-friendly vibes on this beach to mingle, check each other out and find a potential catch.

Hilton Beach (Tel Aviv, Israel)
“2019.06.13 Hilton Beach at Tel Aviv Pride, Tel Aviv Israel 1640010” flickr photo by tedeytan shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Praia 19 (Lisbon, Portugal)

With dunes rising from the sea and protected sandstone cliffs in the distance, Praia 19 has sometimes been called Europe’s largest and most beautiful gay beach – and is conveniently located close to Gay Lisbon. It also has quite a history: it has been attracting gay men since the 1980s when nude bathing became acceptable there.

Since the 1990s, it has been known as a ‘gay beach’, and in 1995, it was officially designated a nude beach. The beach is peaceful and secluded, but the price you pay for that peace is the complete absence of modern amenities of any kind.

Finding bathrooms or something to eat means a 20-minute work to the north or south. Because the area is protected, there’s a limit to the type of building you construct. You’ll find no extravagant clubs or bars here. Instead, you will get both serenity and beauty. 

Praia 19 (Lisbon, Portugal)

Saline Beach (Saint Barthélemy, French Caribbean)

St Barthelemy, also known as St Bart’s, has come to be known as a vacation destination for only the rich and powerful. Going on a vacation to St Bart’s is a status symbol, and rightly so. This picturesque island in the Caribbean is packed with bars, clubs, shops and cafés, with so many things to see and do.

There’s a lot for gay people as well. A short hike from a parking lot takes you to Saline beach, and you’re immediately greeted with a view of topless sunbathers. But right in the center of the beach is for everyone. If you’re really looking for where the action is, walk a considerable distance to the left or right, and you’ll start to see gay people, most of them sunbathing in the nude.

After looking and getting the lay of the land, you can discreetly approach whoever catches your eye. You can also step off and swim in the clear, sparkling waters. The beach is pleasant and hardly crowded at all. The hike to and from the beach can be stressful, but it’s worth it.

Saline Beach (Saint Barthélemy, French Caribbean)

Hanlan’s Point Beach (Toronto, Canada)

We love gay history. For so long, the community was forced to exist in secret, so every bit of information from the past should be treasured. Hanlan’s Point Beach is a piece of gay – and nudist – history. The nudist community has long been welcoming and open to different marginalized communities – knowing themselves the pain of being stereotyped and discriminated against. They have been known to welcome people of different sexual orientations and gender expressions. 

Hanlan’s Point is actually a one-kilometer stretch of a much larger beach, set on the shores of Lake Ontario. You get a bonus view of the Toronto skyline, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful sight. 

Today, both gays and nudists co-exist happily on the beach, and it has even come to be known – but not officially designated – as the city’s gay beach.

Hanlan's Point Beach (Toronto, Canada)
“Manitou Beach on Toronto Centre Island” flickr photo by UnTapping The World shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Lokrum Island Beach (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

Eastern Europe is hardly known as a gay haven, but the smaller countries have shown that they are much more tolerant than the larger ones. Take Lokrum island, a small, peaceful, pine-dotted island, a fifteen-minute boat ride away from Dubrovnik, a small town in Croatia.

The island has a number of interesting locations, like the monastery or museum, but if you’re gay and you make the journey, the chances are you’re looking for one thing: the nude beach located on the coastal rock edges. Just below the stone steps is the nudist area. Walk a few hundred meters to the right, and you’ll see the gay area. This distance provides seclusion, as you’ll find that not all locals and even tourists are gay-friendly.

In between making out with your partner – or wistfully watching others make out with theirs – you can take a dive off the rocks into the cool waters. They get colder towards the end of the year, and by September, they are the perfect temperature. Before you start the journey back home, you should take a freshwater shower to wash the salt off, so you can end your day on a high note.

Lokrum Island Beach (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
“The lsland” flickr photo by photojenni shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The Grove and The Pines (Fire Island, USA)

Every inch of New York seems to play host to something iconic. Even the woods and island coves are not left out. Take Fire Island, a long, thin island that has pretty much everything: private beaches, secluded spots, and a wild party scene. And in the midst of all that, you find Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines (often called The Grove and The Pines), two small vacation communities that have been havens for hay people since the 60s.

They are separated by a third mile of forest, and in theory, the two locations – including the forest – are pretty much-ungoverned territory when it comes to nudity and other activities of a similar nature. Sadly, as the island has become more popular, the proximity of settlements to some corners of the grove and the pines means that it’s no longer popular to get nude there. Move towards the remote stretches of beach west of the Grove and east of the Pines, or even head toward the coastal area near the forest, and you’ll have ample space to strip down to your birthday suit and enjoy the wonders of nature.

The forest also provides cover if you want to get more intimate, and it has even been given names like ‘Meat Rack’ and ‘Petting Zoo’ to allude to what goes on there. America, for all its issues, is advanced on the issues of LGBTQ rights, so the worst you have to fear is a public nudity/indecency charge, and even that is not very likely. Fire Island by itself is an unforgettable experience, and a visit to The Grove and The Pines can just be the icing on your vacation cake.

The Grove and The Pines (Fire Island, USA) -Best Gay Beaches Around The World

Sebastian Street Beach (Fort Lauderdale, USA)

Who knew that one of the most iconic gay beaches in the U.S. would be in Florida? But this list is full of surprises. Fort Lauderdale itself is a gay Mecca, so you’ll have no shortage of things to do if you visit.

Make some time out to visit Sebastian Street Beach, the most popular beach destination for gay tourists. It’s the place gay guys go when they want to announce their availability to the community, as well as scout for a juicy catch – the beach is a few minutes away from the Ritz Carlton, as well as the Silver Sea Club Resort.

The beach is about a block long, but it’s within walking distance of a really cheap parking lot. The men there are a little older, mostly thirty-plus, but you know what they say about wine getting better with age. It’s also not a nude beach, but the hot, rich men should be compensating enough.

Sebastian Street Beach (Fort Lauderdale, USA)
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