10 Gay Friendly Spanish Destinations – Two Bad Tourists

gay friendly Spanish destinations - Canary Islands - Deposit Photos

10 Places You Should Visit in Spain Beyond Madrid & Barcelona

Spain has so many famous landmarks and there are so many parts of the country that are worth going to. Barcelona and Madrid are undoubtedly at the top of many people’s wish list. Both cities are known for incredible history, warm weather and welcoming and open-minded locals. In fact, the country as a whole is considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe and Spain is well known for being very gay-friendly. But once you’ve checked them off, where to next? Here are some other gay friendly Spanish destinations – the best places you should visit in Spain after seeing its two biggest cities.

The Canary Islands

This might seem to be a very traditional destination for many people and indeed it appears that there are plenty of places that are overrun by tourism in the Canary Islands, but there is an equal number of places untouched by it. The islands of La Gomera and El Hierro in particular are good contenders in this regard. The other islands are also extremely diverse. From Gran Canaria with its old walled capital, beautiful beaches and natural diversity, giving it the nickname of ‘the mini continent’ to the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote and the endless, desert-like sand dunes of Fuerteventura. This group of islands off the coast of Morocco, but which are very much culturally and politically part of Spain, has a lot to offer including a year-round temperate climate. Gran Canaria in particular is a gay haven and Maspalomas is famous for its gay nightlight, clothing optional guest houses and popular drag culture. 

Galicia

Spain is not all arid farmland and olive groves, but also lush, green forests and harsh, pebbly beaches that make you think more of Scotland than Spain. Galicia may be one of the wettest and coldest parts of Spain due to two Atlantic coasts, but the rich verdant landscapes that result are what pull you in to experience more of this region in the extreme north-west of the country.

Valencia

If you’re a city person, Valencia is a great option after Madrid and Barcelona. This Mediterranean city offers quirky and unique architecture, café culture, and a creative spirit. Being right on the Mediterranean coast and having some excellent street art doesn’t hurt either. Valencia is 3rd largest city in Spain so there is quite a decent gay scene including bars, clubs and a gay sauna. Although a bit farther out from the city center, Valencia does have long stretches of beaches which are nice for relaxing during the summer months or strolling the boardwalk during the cooler months. 

Tenerife

Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, is the largest of the seven as well as the most visited by tourists and therefore deserves its own spot on the list. It’s the most populated of all Spain’s islands as well. One of the things you can look forward to doing is visiting Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide. The spectacular views and strange volcanic rock formations are the attractions here. For a beach day, you can head to Playa de las Vistas. This popular beach is kept clean, has plenty of space and soft sand, and there’s no shortage of restaurants and cafes for a tasty treat.

Córdoba

There are many reasons to visit this beautiful city in southern Spain. The gardens at Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Palace of the Christian Monarchs), a 14th century castle, are a great place to start especially if you enjoy gardens. There’s also the Light of Cultures, a water, light and sound show within the gardens during the evening. Then there’s the Mezquita, a sort of religious crossbreed between a mosque and a cathedral. It was constructed in 785 AD as mosque, but when the Spanish reconquered Córdoba it became a Christian Cathedral. 

Granada

Granada is one of the first destinations people visit in Andalucia. Though there are palaces and cathedrals that are certainly worth the visit in Granada, you should also experience the different neighborhoods that make up the city. Albayzín is the old Moorish quarter with historic buildings and winding cobblestone paths that create an atmosphere in which you know that just being there is the activity for the day. Views of the Sierra Nevada and Alhambra (a palace) can be enjoyed from the Mirador San Nicolás. Sacromonte is somewhat of a gypsy (gitano) quarter in Granada. The cave homes, flamenco shows, and views of the Sierra Nevada are what make it worth a visit.

Costa Brava

Many parts of Costa Brava have been specifically developed to promote tourism so this is generally a more packaged vacation destination, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. From a rough coastline to sandy beaches, Costa Brava has quite a few options for experiencing its shorelines. The Camí de Ronda is a footpath with marvelous views that connect some of the coves and tourist beaches along the coast. One of the recommended beaches from this path is Platja Sa Conca, a gorgeous and quiet spot. It’s perfect for a daytime stroll or hike and hopefully just the beach you’re looking for. Perhaps you’ll have to just see where the Camí de Ronda takes you. 

La Rioja

You should not miss a vineyard opportunity while in Spain and La Rioja is one of the most popular wine regions in Spain. In addition to touring the vineyards and museums, check out a couple of their annual events, like La Batalla del Vino and La Fiesta de San Mateo. La Batalla del Vino occurs June 29th of every year in the town of Haro. People throw and squirt wine at one another in a tradition that originates from a land dispute with Miranda De Ebro. La Fiesta de San Mateo is a week long harvest festival in Logroño that begins the Saturday before September 21st.

Eastern Andalucia

Most travellers to Andalucia visit Seville, Granada as well as Córdoba and Cádiz on the coast, but never get any further east. It’s worth seeing what gay friendly Spanish destinations this part of Spain’s largest region has to offer, like Jaén or the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada National Park, which boasts a large variety of unique flora and fauna. Also, because much of the park is at high altitude, it is often covered in snow, giving it a remarkably different appearance to the rest of this region of Spain. Beachside resorts like Fuengirola near Malaga and small costal towns like Almuñécar in Costa Tropical make for great stops on a road trip of Spain’s southern coast.

Toledo

Taking an escalator into a city center may be one of the more unique ways to make an entrance. Located at the top of a steep hill just 70 kilometers south of Madrid, Toledo makes for an easy day trip from the capital. It’s well connected to Madrid via a 45 minute bus ride or a 30 minute train ride. If you enter the historic center from Puerta de Alfonso VI, there’s an escalator that allows the steep walk to be avoided. It was once the capital of Spain until the 16th century when this status was moved to its current city of Madrid. Toledo is a perfect representation of the many religions that have influenced Spanish history over the years of power shifting between cultures. At its height, the city maintained a relatively amicable cohabitation of Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. Though this was short lived when the reconquest of Spain turned on the Jews and Muslims. Today the remaining mosques, synagogues, and cathedrals echo what was once a diverse multi-religious, thriving capital.

Have you been to any of these places? What other gay friendly Spanish destinations would you recommend visiting in Spain? 

Best of Gay Spain – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Spain - The Globetrotter Guys

As a gay couple, Spain is our number one country in the world to travel to. We have visited and lived in gay Spain and the level of comfort as a same-sex couple has consistently been incredible. We have never felt discriminated against, never felt uncomfortable and never had to second guess ourselves no matter where we have travelled to – for us, this is a priceless feeling.

In 2018 we lived in Madrid, Barcelona was one of our very first holidays together 10 years ago, Sitges is one of the best prides we have been to and we have been to Gran Canaria more than 7 times – this country has a special place in our hearts. There is an inherent feeling of safety, acceptance and normality when it comes to being gay here.

In our ‘Best of Gay Spain Guide’ we want to celebrate all the amazing destinations we have travelled to and share our best recommendations with you. First, let’s take a quick look at gay rights for some context:

Gay Spain: Rights and Culture

When it comes to LGBTQ rights in Spain, these are all very positive. Same-sex intercourse has been legal here since 1979, unsurprisingly this happened the year after democracy came to this country and they said good riddance to their dictator Franco. It was also the third country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2005 and discrimination protections run nationwide.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Spain Travel Resources

Gay Spain – The Best Things to See and Do – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Spain - The Globetrotter Guys

As a gay couple, Spain is our number one country in the world to travel to. We have visited and lived in Gay Spain and the level of comfort has consistently been incredible. We have never felt discriminated against, never felt uncomfortable and never had to second guess ourselves no matter where we have travelled to – for us, this is a priceless feeling.

In 2018 we lived in Madrid, Barcelona was one of our very first holidays together 10 years ago, Sitges is one of the best prides we have been to and we have been to Gran Canaria more than 7 times – this place has a special place in our hearts. There is an inherent feeling of safety, acceptance and normality when it comes to being yourself in this friendly country.

In our ‘Best of Gay Spain Guide’ we want to celebrate all the amazing destinations we have travelled to and share our best recommendations with you. First, let’s take a quick look at gay rights in Spain for some context:

Gay Spain: Rights and Culture

When it comes to gay rights, these are all very positive. Same-sex intercourse has been legal since 1979, unsurprisingly this happened the year after democracy came to Spain and they said good riddance to their dictator Franco.

Spain was also the third country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2005 and discrimination protections run nationwide. The laws here are also reflected in the culture of the people. In most destinations we felt that no one even noticed we were a gay couple – it was simply by the by.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Spain Travel Resources

Gay Friendly Madrid Hotels – The Globetrotter Guys

Axel Hotel Madrid - The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid is well known for being a beautiful and open city and you will easily find gay friendly Madrid hotels. It’s a bit odd to need to talk about being gay friendly in Madrid and we would use the term quite loosely here.

The city is so open and such a safe haven for gay travellers that we can say with confidence that pretty much all hotels will welcome all types of traveller without batting an eyelid.

It feels like asking the question ‘is your hotel gay friendly‘ is a bit redundant in Madrid and you would probably get some quizzical looks for asking – it feels ingrained in the culture here.

However, there are always hotels that are naturally more popular with the gay community, whether because of their brand or by their proximity to the gay area of Madrid.

We have focused on hotels that are in close proximity to the city centre and Chueca (the gay district). Here is our shortlist of gay friendly and gay hotels in Madrid to book for your next trip:

Axel Hotel Madrid – Adults Only

If you are looking for a hotel that falls in the category of ‘gay hotel’ then look no further. Having stayed at Axel Hotels in Berlin and Gran Canaria this would be our first choice, especially since it is specifically aimed at gay travellers and brands itself as ‘hetero-friendly’. The rooms are stylishly decorated, insta-worthy and come with the very cheeky ‘do disturb’ signs if you want to hang them on your doors!

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Gay Madrid – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay madrid - Checa - The Globetrotter Guys

The main gay area in Madrid is called Chueca and is named after Federico Chueca who could be considered Madrid’s first gay icon.

The area spans about 1km north of Gran Via (one of the main streets) and east to west between Calle Hortaleza and Paseo de Recoletos. The main bulk of gay bars in Chueca are found within ten minutes walking distance of Plaza De Chueca – where the metro station is found.

Chueca is walkable from the ‘city centre’ (Plaza Del Sol) or just a couple of metro stops. It is obvious you have arrived in the gay area given that the walls of the metro station in Chueca are painted floor to ceiling in rainbows!

Related: Madrid Gay Bars

What will you find in Chueca?

Being the main gay area in Madrid, Chueca is home to the majority of the gay bars and clubs(20+), many gay oriented shops, coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, gay saunas and cruising clubs. There is plenty to do to keep you busy!

It is also where you will find one of the many main stages and performance areas during Madrid Pride as Chueca becomes the focal point of the city and a vibrant hub of activity during this time.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Gay Maspalomas, Canary Islands – wolfyy

gay maspalomas

The Canary Islands are a fantastic destination for gay travelers, especially once the bustling summer tourism season slows down in mainland Europe. Maspalomas is known for being a completely gay resort town in Gran Canaria, the largest of the Canary Islands. Full of outgoing, friendly guys, you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time.

What’s so special about the Canary Islands? Well, other than breathtaking landscapes (check out the Maspalomas Dunes), summer never really ends here in the Canaries. Spain’s southernmost territory, they’re just off Africa’s Western Sahara coast! With so much warm weather to spare, Maspalomas actually hosts two gay pride festivals every year.

Before summer even begins, Maspalomas hosts their first pride of the year, typically in May. As November rolls around, travelers ditch the cold weather up north for sunny dance parties at Maspalomas Winter Pride. I had an absolute blast dancing at the enormous Yumbo Centre. I made dozens of international friends through the week, many of whom I’ve planned more travel with!

gay maspalomas winter pride

Maspalomas Gay Events & Hotels

Gran Canaria has way more to offer than just gay pride weeks. There’s a bunch of other gay event weeks to choose from. Summer Fiesta, Bear Carnival and Festish Week Maspalomas are just a few. What makes these events even more special though, is how conveniently close most Maspalomas hotels are to the main events. It’s easy to find a hotel or resort in the center of the action. Having everything within arm’s reach makes a party-filled vacation so much more relaxing.

Gay hotels in Maspalomas are pretty easy to find, but there are definitely a few crowd favorites. Especially if you want to have convenient access to the main event locations on foot, you might want to consider booking in a certain part of town. I’ll give you all the details about where to stay based on your personal preferences and preferred vibe!

Full Maspalomas Gay Travel Guide on wolfyy – by Louis Lafata

Gay Canary Islands Resources

Madrid Gay Shopping – The Globetrotter Guys

Addicted & ES Madrid

When it comes to gay shops in Madrid, the majority are focused on clothing and apparel showcasing some of the best gay clothing brands around such as Addicted and ES Collection.

Madrid’s gay scene is unapologetically sexualised, so it’s no surprise that these shops reflect that scene. The list gay shops in Madrid below focuses on shops found in the gay area of Madrid, Chueca. This is also where you will find the majority of the gay bars and clubs in Madrid.

It is definitely worth checking out these gay shops and picking up some new gear when visiting Madrid, we don’t have many of these shops on offer at home in the UK!

Gay Shops in Madrid

One of our favourite brands for swimwear, Addicted and ES Collection are both high quality Spanish brands. The shops sells everything from underwear, to swimwear, t-shirts, vests/tanks, shorts, jeans, sports gear and Addicted now also has a fetish collection.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Gay Spain – The Best Gay Cities – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Gay Spain - The Best Gay Cities - The Nomadic Boys

Madrid Pride…Barcelona Circuit…Sitges gay nude beaches…Gran Canaria Yumbo Centre…a mere humble sprinkling of gay highlights happening across Spain each year!

We’ve been coming to Spain religiously every year since we came out as baby gays. We love it here. Not only is it one of the most gay friendly countries in the world, but there is always a fantastic party taking place across all the major cities and islands. Spain also has some of the world’s most famous gay parties like Madrid Pride (one of the largest Pride events in the world) and Barcelona’s Circuit Party (the biggest international gay festival in the world).

Whilst Spain hosts some of the best mega parties on our planet, what we also love about the country is the variety of different events on offer. So whilst the muscle boys will thrive at the Circuit parties, bear gays and their fans are also spoilt for choice in Spain. The country has some of the biggest and best bear events, in particular, the Bear Carnival in Gran Canaria every March, and the Sitges Bear Week every September.

In short, the Spanish know how to throw a decent party…especially a gay party! These are some of the best places in Spain to check out for gay events and parties:

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 not only one of the best Pride events in the world but also one of the largest. Every year, around 3-4 million people descent on the Spanish capital from all around the world. 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.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Gaixmple Gay Hostels in Barcelona – The Nomadic Boys

Gaixmple Gay Hostels in Barcelona - The Nomadic Boys

For a lively city like Barcelona, it can be easy to get tangled up with all the different options for hostels to stay. Should you go cheap and single? Splurge and treat yourself? Go central? Find a remote hideout on the fringes? Do you want to be close to clubs? Or maybe by one of the fabulous gay beaches…

We’re no strangers to the city. After all, it is one of the friendliest gay cities in the world, so we feel we know it as well as we know our hometowns. Whenever we visit we like to base ourselves near the Gaixample area – a fabulous neighbourhood in the Eixample district. There are so many gay clubs, shops, LGBTQ-themed and owned businesses to explore that you feel super comfortable engaging in PDA. It even rivals the likes of Greenwich Village in New York City, Soho in London, and well, all of Amsterdam!

The busiest months tend to be the summer. Not only do you have the sun, beach parties and bars staying open later in the evenings, but you also have a little thing called… Pride! Plus, Barcelona doesn’t just have regular Pride, but a beach Pride party in Sitges as well. These factors mean that bookings can be filled months in advance. So we strongly recommend booking your hostels ahead of time to avoid any disappointment!

Gaixmple Gay Hostels

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best Gaixmple gay hostels in Barcelona for all travel group sizes. Each one has a unique style and offers a completely different experience. So if you’re travelling to Barcelona on a budget, or you simply enjoy the camaraderie a hostel provides, then keep on reading! And if you prefer the comforts of a hotel, make sure you also check out our guide to the best gay hotels in Barcelona.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Gran Canaria Gay Bars -The Globetrotter Guys

Gran Canaria Gay bars -The Globetrotter Guys

If you are looking for Gran Canaria gay bars, then look no further!

We have been to Gran Canaria over 8 times now and for good reason. It is one of the most welcoming and gay friendly destinations we have ever travelled to and has some incredible gay nightlife.

The majority of the gay bars in Gran Canaria can be found in the Yumbo Centre in Maspalomas. The Yumbo centre is a large multi level outdoor shopping centre by day and gay nightlife hub by night.

On our last visit we counted that there were over 30 gay bars in the Yumbo Centre alone ranging from drag bars, to casual bars, clubs and cruising bars.

We are always completely spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a gay bar in Gran Canaria which is why we have put together a shortlist of our personal favorites.

The idea (or challenge) is to follow this list in order for the perfect big gay night out in the Yumbo Centre!

Lets get started!

Our Top 6 Gran Canaria Gay Bars

1. Sparkles

Sparkles is one of the best show bars in the Yumbo centre and the perfect start to our gay bars in Gran Canaria guide.

We went for the first time in 2019 and wished we had gone sooner. We haven’t laughed so much in years.

The show lasts up to 5 hours and we were thoroughly entertained and kept in hysterics for the entire time.

These queens can dance, sing live, lip sync for their lives and seriously get the crowd going and up on their feet. In my case quite literally as towards the end of the evening I ended up in a lip sync competition myself as Nicki Minaj – it was scary but so much fun!

By Sion & Ben – Full Story at the Globtrotter Guys

Canary Islands Gay Travel Resources