The World’s 10 Best Gay Beaches

shirtless men on the beach

Just in time, we’ve compiled our list of the world’s top gay beaches.

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…

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro

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.

Fire Island, New York

The Pines Beach

Best beach to sip a cocktail on Bay Walk · Fire Island, NY


One of the world’s first gay beach meccas is still one of its best, New York’s incomparable Fire Island. Despite a couple of tough hits from Mother Nature in the past few years (a fire swept through one of its most popular clubs at the end of 2011, then Hurricane Sandy struck a year later), New York City’s queer beach is back in business and fully ready for the usual summer onslaught of gayness. The hub of the party action is at The Pines, though some prefer the more mixed and eclectic (and more nudity-friendly) Cherry Grove.

Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Maspalomas Dunes

Dunes and gay beach Carretera el Puerto de Santa María, Km 1.5 · Biville 11380
(956) 385-647

It may not be well known to many gay Americans, 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 filled with gays from across the continent.

North Bondi Beach, Sydney

Bondi Beach

Favorite spot for surfing, sunning and sexy fun Bondi Road · Sydney, NSW 2010


Far more peaceful than the raucous main beach at Bondi, North Bondi is also where the gays go – the further north one heads, the gayer it gets here, especially around the outdoor workout area by the North Bondi Surf Club. No booze is allowed on the white sands, but plenty of pubs line the beach and fill with bronzed bodies toward the end of the day. Gay Sydney nudists often prefer the more secluded Lady Jane or Obelisk Beaches.

Sebastian Beach, Fort Lauderdale

Sebastian Street Beach

Fort Lauderdale’s most popular gay beach North Fort Lauderdale Beach Drive · Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316


Fort Lauderdale’s strong gay populace means that pretty much all of its beaches are at least a little homo-fied, but this lovely strip at the end of Sebastian Street is gay sand ground zero. Most of Lauderdale’s gay resorts are within blocks, and both local gays and visitors from around the country flock to Sebastian, especially on Sundays.

Elia Beach, Mykonos

Elia Nudist Beach

Big beach with gay section and cruising Elia · Mykonos, GR 84600
(228) 9 0-7120

Greece’s enchanting island of Mykonos has been luring gays for decades, and when they’re not strolling the quaint alleyways of Mykonos Town, they’re 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, and you’ll find lots of cruising on the rocks.

Herring Cove, Provincetown

Herring Cove Beach

Gorgeous and popular queer beach Province Lands Rd · Provincetown, MA 02657


Lying at the very tail end of Cape Cod, Provincetown’s Herring Cove is the area’s most popular beach, drawing straights, lesbians, and gay men, who largely keep to their own kinds in different sections here. From the parking lot, head left and pass the lesbians to find the guys, and go even farther for the nudist area (though be warned, it’s not legal, and tickets are not uncommon). In the nearby dunes happens everything one would expect to happen in gay beach-adjacent dunes.

Hilton Beach, Tel Aviv

Hilton Beach

Loads of eye candy Hilton Beach · Tel Aviv, Israel 6801294


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.

Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica


Local gay beach Manuel Antonio


Manuel Antonio has long been one of the gayest areas of Costa Rica and all of Central America, and its huge public beach has its own unofficial gay section – known locally as La Playita – at the northwest end, beyond the rocks (just don’t make the journey at high tide). Though the nearby opening of a luxury hotel a few years back mostly put the kibosh on naturism, Playita’s beauty still draws gays from across the world.

Clifton 3rd, Cape Town

Clifton 3rd

Where the beautiful boys hang out Victoria Rd. · Cape Town


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.

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