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.
Here’s a quick guide to seven of the best destinations for a bit of gay beach time:
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 my 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 jut to wander through, deciding where to eat or where to get a drink. Mykonos is a total Mediterranean dream.
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.
On the Atlantic coast of France, Biarritz is old school seaside glamour.
The surfing is good here and there is a loveable French-ness about the whole place.
Easy to get to on the train from Paris or you can fly. Hire a car to explore the region, or just spend your days enjoying the waves and learning how to surf.
While the beach in Barcelona is pretty spectacular, just a short distance away is the little beachside community of Sitges.
Sitges has a great stretch of beautiful sandy beach that offer some of the best people-watching in the world.
This is true beachside living, with cafes lining the promenade so that you can always keep an eye on the comings and goings of the world.
It is quite a journey to get to Smith’s Beach — it’s just near Margaret River which is a good three-hour drive south of Perth in the west of Australia.
Not only is the Margaret River area one of the world’s best wine regions in the world, but Smith’s Beach gives you great surfing and swimming.
The sun is usually baking so you can’t really do too much tanning here, and there have been a few shark attacks in this area so watch out for Great Whites and don’t go too far from the shore.
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.
My 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.
Not the easiest place to get to but definitely worth the effort, Boracay island is about an hour’s flight from the capital Manila (and then a short ferry ride).
This is a long, beautiful beach lined with bars and restaurants. The water here is so warm it’s hard to believe that you’re in the ocean. Take a catamaran around the island to find some of the best snorkelling spots.
Gran Canaria is a hugely popular destination for gay travellers looking for a bit of sun. With its vast expanse of dunes and beach, you’ll soon be making some new friends.
So many beaches, so little time. This is just a taste of some of the great beach vacations that we’ve experienced recently. As long as you’ve got some sand, some sun, and a cocktail then you can have a great beach vacation wherever you are in the world.
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