Ten Amazing Things to Do in Andalusia – DDG Retreat

Author: , June 15th, 2018

Ronda

The romance of flamenco, fun-filled fiestas, magnificent cities steeped in history, picture postcard white villages perched atop rocky crags, breath-taking countryside, panoramic views and the lure of the ocean – Andalusia has it all.

The folks at DDG Retreat have compiled a list of great places to see and things to do while you’re in the area:

RONDA

Straddling the deep El Tajo gorge, this historic town – only an hour away – is truly spectacular. Its dramatic views, fabulous Old Town and other historic attractions, a fine choice of restaurants and fabulous souvenir shopping make Ronda a must-visit. Ernest Hemingway and Orsen Welles both spent many summers there.

NerjaNERJA

Marvel at the world’s largest stalagmite – a staggering 32-metre high column – at the magnificent Nerja Caves. Also worth a visit are the nearby Detunda Botanical Gardens and the Balcon de Europe where you can enjoy one of the best panoramas over this part of the coast.

TARIFA

Love the ocean, kite-surfing or perhaps some whale or dolphin watching? Located on the Costa de la Luz at the southernmost tip of Spain and within almost touching distance of Morocco, Tarifa is a surfy coastal town with beautiful beaches. It also boasts an old town full of fascinating history.

BAELO CLAUDIA

Combine a trip to the coast with a visit to the Roman archaeological site of Baelo Claudia, one of Spain’s most important Roman excavations. Named after Emperor Claudius, the ruins are fascinating and provide one of the best examples of Roman urban architecture to be found anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula.

BOLONIA BEACH

Escape the crowds and discover the locals’ best kept secret. Next to the Baelo Claudia ruins you’ll find a golden beach that stretches for miles. Backed by a pine forest and ringed by an extensive range of sand dunes Ensenada de Bolonia enjoys crystal clear waters and was once voted a Trip Advisor top 25 Europe beach.

PUNTA CHULLERA

Closer to home is another of our favourite beaches, Punta Chullera, just 20 minutes away. Its translucent waters make it perfect for swimming, diving and fishing. With inlets and small cliffs, this cove is of great ecological value and scenic interest. There’s also the ruins of an old watchtower to explore.

CadizCADIZ

The ancient and bustling port of Cadiz boasts 100 watch towers. Once the richest city in Spain and one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, Cadiz is steeped in history. Christopher Colombus set sail to the New World from here; Sir Francis Drake led the British strike against the Spanish Armada in 1587 and Lord Byron lived in Cadiz.

CASARES

Looking out from our Retreat, you’ll see below you the sugar-cube white houses of the beautiful pueblo blanco of Casares. Walk through the narrow streets until you reach the old fortress at the top. Views are incredible as you’d expect from its majestic position 1400 feet above the sea.

MarbellaMARBELLA OLD TOWN

The ancient walled Old Town of Marbella, known as El Casco Antiguo, is quite charming. It’s full of churches, plazas and lovely boutiques. If you’re looking for souvenirs, you can find hand-made clothing, crafts and jewellery and later you can enjoy a Mediterranean meal at the Plaza de los Naranjos.

FIESTAS

Andalusia, a region rich in folklore and tradition, is famous for its festivals. The season begins in earnest in April with the most well-known of all being the Feria de Abril in Seville. Over the Summer months most towns have their own fiestas – many are religious celebrations, but they’re always fun-filled.

ABOUT DDG:

DDG Retreat

If your idea of the perfect holiday is a sunshine getaway that nourishes mind, body and soul all in one short super-break, head to the heart of beautiful Andalusia and combine a cultural city trip with a relaxing getaway. Our adults-only couples bolt-hole is a haven of calm and tranquillity, ideal for a restful few days of respite before you head off for the hustle and bustle of the Golden Triangle.

DDG Retreat

Or opt instead for the city life first and then rejuvenate afterwards in the peaceful ambience here as you immerse yourselves in our stunning woodland estate with its hilltop setting and breath-taking panoramic views. In total contrast to your city stay, at DDG Retreat you will truly be at one with nature.

DDG Retreat

And if you choose one of our two luxury Suites, as featured in this weekend’s Times newspaper Travel section, you can bask in a truly one-of-a-kind experience – our canvas suites come complete with marble floors, chandeliers, air conditioning, luxury furnishings and original artefacts, as well as plenty of private outdoor space and either a hot tub or plunge pool.

As travel writer Liz Bird says, glamping has hit a new level!

DDG retreat

Story provided by Daria at DDG Retreat

Andalusia Gay Travel Resources

 

The Nest – Boulder Lesbian Owned Cottage

Author: , June 14th, 2018

The Nest - Boulder Lesbian Owned Cottage

Nestled into the Front Range of Boulder, is our cottage, The Nest. It is a separate dwelling, behind our house, with its own access. Parking is on the street in front of our house, in our neighborhood. One will walk up our driveway and through a back door that leads to a beautiful array of plant life. There is a short walk through the gardens and a few stairs.

The Nest is a converted garage which at other times has been a pottery studio and a retreat space. It has pine floors, an attached bathroom with tiled shower and has a brand new dual heat and air conditioner. There is a petite patio which is just yours to enjoy. Festoon lighting with umbrella and chairs lends itself well to al fresco dining, perfect for morning coffee or dining with take out. We offer TV with Nettflix and free Wi-Fi in your room.

We are a smoke free property. We use fragrance free and plant based cleaning products. There are a couple appliances: a microwave and a small refrigerator . We offer organic coffee and teas, along with their accompanying sweeteners and creams.

There are restaurants 3 blocks away and it is a little over a mile to the Pearl Street Mall where renowned restaurants of the Farm to Table movement are in abundance. A few minutes away there are also grocery stores, pharmacies, laundry, banking, post office, bus routes, North Boulder Park and bike rentals.

See the Nest’s Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Boulder Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Queer Buenos Aires – Gay Star News

Author: , June 14th, 2018

Buenos Aires - pixabay

Considering a trip to South America? Although Rio De Janeiro’s famed carnival brings thousands to Brazil, it’s the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, that takes the honor of being the most visited city in South America. The Argentine capital has just become considerably more accessible for visitors from the UK. Norwegian Airlines opened up a new, direct route from London Gatwick to the Argentine capital in mid February. Prices start from £275 (one-way). The new route appears to have proved an instant hit. I took advantage of the Premium Economy section of its 787 Dreamliner. The flight duration is 14 hours, so I did appreciate the generous legroom and opportunity to recline and grab some sleep.

A couple of important recommendations when planning your trip. Argentina Pesos are a pretty rare currency in the UK – not available at most British airports or banks. If you like to exchange money in advance, either take US dollars (accepted by taxis), or make sure you change your currency well ahead of your flights. Secondly, Buenos Aires taxis at the airport have a reputation for ripping off tourists. Book yours in advance for a set price. Reputable firms include Taxi Ezeiza, Transfer Express and Tienda Leon. Taxi Ezeiza charges AR$895 from airport to city – which is around £32 ($44/€36)
With your transport and transfers covered, you can now set about enjoying what Buenos Aires has to offer.

By David Hudson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Rome’s Tiber Island – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 14th, 2018

Tiber Island - Keep Calm and Wander

The River Tiber is as ancient as the history of Rome, or maybe even older than it. As it snakes and twines around the city through multiple historical places, it seems as if it takes a small siesta on an ancient island named in honor of it – the Island Tiber.

Just as myths and peculiar stories are attached to every kind of historical and unexplained event, so has the Island Tiber a legend associated with its creation.

It is said that when the last king of Rome was overthrown in around 509 BC, his corpse was dumped in the River Tiber. However, it was so huge that the river could not either dissolve it or flow it away with itself. So, in the end, all of that culminated in the creation of the Tiber Island.

After a few years, they say that during a plague, a ship sent to Epidaurus arrived at Rome with a sacred snake of the God of Medicine Aesculapius. As the very ship was crossing the River Tiber, the snake jumped from the ship and settled on the island. This is why the base of the Temple of Aesculapius was built there followed by a magnificent temple.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

Five Gay Spanish Party Cities – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , June 13th, 2018

Five Gay Spanish Party Cities - The Nomadic Boys

Spain is famous for being very gay friendly and we absolutely love it!

As well as having some of the hottest men you’ll ever see, it also has some of the best gay parties we’ve been to, from the famous Madrid Pride, to Barcelona’s Circuit festivals. We’ve put together our 5 favourite gay cities in Spain to come and party like crazy.

Madrid

The Spanish capital is famous for being the best gay city for partying in Spain. We love visiting Madrid, whether it’s for Pride, or just an ad hoc weekend of partying. Either way, we know that a visit here is always going to be a lot of fun.

The Madrid Pride (“Orgullo Gay de Madrid”) takes place every year in June/July, and it is huge. It is famous for being one of the best and largest gay pride parades in the world with around 3-4 million people attending. We absolutely love it because as well as guaranteed beautiful weather (remember to pack plenty of sunblock cream!), the entire city gets involved and it becomes one giant rainbow street party. The focal point is around the gay neighbourhood in Chueca, where the bars spill out into the streets, and free outdoor concerts take place.

The annual WE Pride Festival in July is another huge party highlight in Madrid. It is 5 days of parties with the biggest brands and famous DJs.

During the winter months, there is another huge gay party: the We Party New Year Festival. This is the biggest gay winter event in Europe, with around 20,000 people attending to see in the New Year.

The gay clubs of Chueca always have a party taking places every weekend. The main ones are Boite, DLRO, MalaMala, Kluster and Baila Cariño. Just one word of advice, the Madrileños LOVE to party till the early hours of the next day – so fact in a disco nap before heading out!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Spain Gay Travel Resources

LESBIAN TRAVEL: Big Bend National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , June 13th, 2018

Big Bend National Park

About 7 hours West of Austin. Big Bend NP is a huge park that sits along the famous Rio Grande River.

Since the Eco Ranch was so close to the National Park we were able to visit it twice on our days off from work. Big Bend is a huge park! We felt like we mostly drove it. We didn’t even make it the eastern side of the park.

We also got to experience the park during a government shut down, which wasn’t a big deal for us. The Visitor Centers and restaurants were closed, but we didn’t need those.

The park is a combination of desert and mountains. It was unlike any park we’ve been to yet. It is a very dry place, but there are trees that manage to grow in the higher elevations.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Big Bend Country Gay Travel Resources

Hot BuOYS Sailing – Phuket, Thailand

Author: , June 9th, 2018

Hot BuOYS Sailing

Where is the best gay Thailand resort?

Captain: By the gay island with a gay nude beach.

You: I don’t believe you.

Captain: Then what do you call an island and beach with naked gay men?

You: I still don’t believe you.

Captain: To each his own. Enjoy Patong, Phuket or Pattaya.

You: Wait! I don’t like crowded straight beaches.

Captain: To travel there you need a boat.

You: Right like I can afford to buy a big yacht.

Captain: I already have one. Sharing is good.

You: Does this gay resort float?

Captain: Yes.

See the Hot BuOYS Sailing Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Thailand Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Verona’s Arena is Older Than the Colosseum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 9th, 2018

Verona's Arena is Older Than the Colosseum - Keep Calm and Wander

Standing in all its grandeur, this Arena in Verona has been around in the city for well over 2000 years. I have been to the Colosseum in Rome and although it is larger, unlike Verona Arena, it does not hold immense history in its folds. That is fact no. 1.

When I was in Verona I could sense the pink stained marbles still vibrating with the more than 30,000 cries of jubilation as the gladiators slaughtered each other. This thing happens to me, a kind of a time warp where I, for few seconds, get lost in the very imagination of what a historic place would have been like in its full swing.

This arena has hosted thousands of gladiator carnages in the past and, supposedly, that happened for almost 400 years until the emperor Honorius banned the practice in 404 AD.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Verona Gay Travel Resources

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , June 9th, 2018

crystal bridges front

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, who has created some of the most remarkable architectural structures in the world. Ms. Walton spent millions and millions and millions of dollars creating one of the finest Museums in the country. The Museum opened in 2011 and offers FREE ADMISSION!

Actually it is much more than just a Museum as it is really a “Museum Campus” with hiking trails and paths plus a sculptor garden outside. It has space for public functions as well as concerts. The Museum’s quality and it’s range and depth has placed it as one of the finest Museums of Art in the United States.

Examples of artists are: Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John LaFarge, Norman Rockwell, Mary McCleary, plus Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington in addition to many more. Sculptor works are all over both inside the Museum as well as outside.

They have special exhibits from time to time so if you live near the Museum one needs to go back often. We know people in the Midwest that drive several hundred miles to visit the Museum several times a year.

This is truly a remarkable Museum and you really need to spend the entire day there. On site is a fabulous restaurant with not only interesting cuisine but a view of the scenic beauty to die for. The restaurant is named Eleven since the Museum officially opened on 11/11/11.

crystal bridges flwA few years ago they purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the east coast and had it dismantled piece by piece and had it shipped to the Museum site and had it completely restored to perfection. It is of course on display for everyone to take a tour of. Truly incredible how that feat was accomplished but they did it. Taking a tour of the interior of a Frank Lloyd Wright house is something that one seldom gets to do.

Their website is https://crystalbridges.org/. Their hours are Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday: 11 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM. Their address is 600 Museum Way in Bentonville, Arkansas and you can call to get information at 479.418.5700. Over 3 Million visitors have been to the Museum since it opened and we can see why. People drive from all over the Midwest to visit this Museum as well as people flying in from coast to coast.

We want to thank Alice Walton for many things, but especially for creating this absolutely remarkable Museum and making it free to the public. We need more people like her in the world. We also want to thank Beth Bobbitt, Director of Public Relations for her generous and professional courtesy to us during our visit. In all of our travels from coast to coast we have never seen such hospitality, friendliness and professionalism as the staff and docents of this Museum.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Joshua Tree National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , June 8th, 2018

Free Wheel Drive

Due to the cold we drove all the way from Yosemite to Joshua Tree National Park in a day. It took us about eight and half hours to get there. This was both our first time being in the Southwest so just about every plant and animal was new to us. We found free camping about 10 minutes outside of the park, which gave us the chance to see a lot of the park.

This park is so cool! It has the famous Joshua Trees and so much more. It’s a hot spot for rock climbers and artists, and the sunsets are absolutely amazing.

Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

California Southern Deserts Gay Travel Resources