It’s hard to believe it’s almost summer—but within a few short weeks, sun worshippers will be flocking to sandy shores across the globe. Naturally, gay men have staked their towels on some of the best real estate in the world. Check out NewNowNext’s round-up of the world’s best gay beaches below!
North Bondi Beach
Sydney is a queer vacation mecca in its own right, with a half-dozen gay beaches, including the eminently popular North Bondi. Here, both queer boys and lesbians take in the sea, sights and skin–including lots of Speedos (a.k.a. “budgie smugglers”) and some nude sunbathers. Note: the water can be a choppy–which is great for surfing, not so hot for wading. If you need some last-minute pumping up, hit the outdoor workout area near the North Bondi Surf Club.
The creation of the Winter Music Conference in the 1980s helped solidify SoBe’s reputation as the place to be for music, men and endless summer sun. The gays congregate at 12th Street and Ocean (even the lifeguard stations have rainbow flags), with the less-inhibited shedding their suits at Haulover Beach.
Farme de Amoedo
People know the girl from Ipanema, but this part of the neighborhood is all about the “Barbies”–Rio’s famed muscle men, who strut and pose on the sand. “Farme Gay,” as it’s nicknamed, is also home to Rio’s Carnaval, a legendary celebration that sees millions of half-naked revelers dancing in the streets. Tranquil, it’s not.
South of Rehoboth’s boardwalk, this stretch of sand has been a gay magnet since at least the 1930s and ’40s. No one’s quite sure how it got its unique name, though rumor has it some confirmed bachelors used to pull up to the beach in their big Cadillac convertible with two adorable pooches in tow. Others say its because the boys strut along the shore all coiffed and groomed like prize poodles. (We’ll leave it to you to decide which is true.)
Speaking of coifs, if you come over Labor Day you can catch the all-day drag volleyball tournament.
There are three main gay beaches in Mykanos—Paradise, Super Paradise and Elia–but we chose the latter because it’s less cruise-y and crowded. (It’s also a stone’s throw from the Watermania water park.) Tucked away in a small cove, the tree-lined beach offers a variety of super-casual restaurants and bars, which transform into open-air nightclubs when the sun goes down.
Playa De La Bassa Rodona
The proximity to Barcelona means urban boys flock to Playa De la Bassa Rodona in spring and summer. (Year-round, actually: Sitges Gay Carnival in February is one of the most popular LGBT celebrations in Europe.)
Like many gay beaches, Rodona is becoming increasingly popular with straight folk. To find your tribe, just start along the white-washed facade of Hotel Calipolis and look for a sea of muscular Spaniards.
Fire Island Pines
Fire Island, New York
Fire Island’s two gay enclaves–the Pines and Cherry Grove–are divided by a no man’s land loving referred to as the Meat Rack. (Guess why.) Both offer great sun and sand, but as Cherry Grove is more developed, it attracts more crowds and kids. On weekdays in summer, though, the sparsely inhabited beach at Fire Island Pines can make you feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Only, y’know, without the volleyball head and threat of starvation.
Playa Los Muertos
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Despite it’s creepy name (which translates to “beach of the dead”), Playa Los Muertos offers a beautiful and pristine shoreline just a few steps from Zona Romantica, Puerta Vallarta’s gayborhood. You know you’ve hit the right spot when you see dozens of telltale blue deck chairs, where gay tourists and sun-kissed locals flirt shamelessly.
If it all gets to be a bit much, wander over to Old Town, the city’s historic district, and check out the galleries, shops and restaurants that line its quaint cobblestone streets.
Cape Town, South Africa
One of four beaches in the affluent Cape Town neighborhood of Clifton, this is the one favored by gay beachcombers. Large granite boulders provide an interesting backdrop, and protect the beach from the strong winds that can whip around the city even in summer.
Time your visit right (around 8pm in summer) and you’ll catch some of the most stunning sunsets on Earth. That is, if you can tear your eyeballs away from the bevy of beautiful boys.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Named for the Hilton Hotel that borders it, this beach is a gay gem in the not-so-gay-friendly Middle East. And it’s been that way almost since Israel was founded. (Nearby Independence Park has been a popular cruising spot since the 1950s.) You’ll find the boys congregating just north of the hotel, opposite the eagle statue on the top of the cliff.
Note: We’ve been told Israeli guys are pretty direct: If they like you (or don’t) they’re not afraid to say so. Sounds like a gay oasis to us.