It’s been an especially long winter this year, but those screams of “Keep those carbs away from me!” heard echoing from everywhere can mean only one thing: #Summer2014 is finally on its way!
Just in time, we’ve compiled our annual spring list of the world’s top gay beaches, complete with visuals sure to put you in your best sunny seaside mood. It’s a big world, so if your favorite gay beach didn’t make the cut, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Easily one of the most famous and beguiling gay beaches on earth, the Farme section of Rio’s Ipanema is home to the city’s “Barbie” set – that’s local lingo for the city’s seemingly endless supply of stunningly hot muscle men. Bears and trans gals prefer Copacabana’s Bolsa, but all are welcome at Farme, and the vibe is Rio-ifically relaxed and unabashedly gay. If you’re thirsty after the beach, hit Bar Bofetada on nearby Rua Farme de Amoedo.
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria (Spain)
It may not be well known to many gay Asians, but for Europeans, Gran Canaria is gay beach nirvana. Part of Spain but so far south that it actually straddles the bottom of Morocco’s coast, Gran Canaria is the most popular of the Canary Islands, and its biggest town of Maspalomas is gay central, especially in the Playa del Inglés area. The dunes at Maspalomas are famously gorgeous and cruisy, and the nearby golden sand beach – especially around Kiosk 7 – is very popular.
Greece’s enchanting island of Mykonos has been luring gays for decades, strolling the quaint alleyways of Mykonos Town and often here on the other side of the island at Elia Beach. (Super Paradise, the island’s former gay beach of choice, has straightened up in recent years.) As one of the island’s largest beaches, Elia boasts fine sand and shallow, clear waters, plus a great view of Naxos, the next island over. The gay (and partly nude) section is on the right.
Having had a bit of a gay presence for decades, Hilton Beach is now the best known and most popular gay beach in Tel Aviv, a city that’s seen a remarkable recent explosion onto the global gay travel radar. As one might guess, the beach is near the Tel Aviv Hilton, along the sea just north of it, directly across from Independence Park and the large cliff-top eagle statue. The vibe here is lively, friendly, rather cruisy, and Mediterranean-ishly sexy.
Clifton is one of Cape Town’s toniest suburbs, and it’s here that you’ll find its best and best known beaches, simply named Clifton 1st through Clifton 4th. The gays have long preferred Clifton 3rd, with its gorgeous west-facing setting making for incredible ocean sunsets. For the more cruise-minded and/or birthday suit-wearing, Sandy Beach is just a couple miles away.