Meet the Bears of Sitges

Bears Sitges Week first took place in 2006 and has consistently grown year after year. The 2019 festival was another hit at the Spanish seaside town, about a 20-minute train ride from Barcelona.

(Photo: @monkeyribz | Instagram)

The event now attracts around 5,000 men from all over the globe – with many increasingly making the journey over from the US. It’s little surprise the most desirable hotels and guesthouses are booked up months in advance.

Most guys spend their days by the beach or pool, before enjoying afternoon siestas and evening fun and frolics at the local bars and clubs.

(Photo: @ibanpt | Instagram)

Besides the super-popular nudist zone on Balmins Beach, a stretch of the paseo (sea front) of this quaint Spanish resort is designated as the ‘Bear Village’, and highlights included ‘Bear Crawls’ around the bars and the annual Mr Bear Sitges contest.

“Sitges is our happy place,” says Will McKinney-Raphelt, a returning visitor with his husband, Alex (@txbeef86 and @raphelt on IG – pictured below). “It’s such a beautiful place and during bear week it’s an amazing experience because you meet so many beautiful men from around the world.”

(Photo: @txbeef86 | Instagram)

“Some of us have been multiple times to bear week: this is my third year in a row,’ says Jimmy Cheng (@plexis79). “Love the atmosphere and vibe and everyone is so friendly and so many hot guys and bears around.”

(Photo: @Plexis79 | Instagram)

Ernesto Hombre (@oneparame), also visiting from the US, told Gay Cities that he loved Sitges Bear Week for its inclusiveness: “There is someone for everyone. I proudly recommend it to others and would definitely return.”

(Photo: @oneparame | Instagram)

Check out more images below. And put next years event in your calendar now – it returns in 2020 from September 4-13.

The Mr Sitges Bear Week winner! (Photo: @sebbears | Instagram)
At the @PopAirParty in the Bear Village (Photo: @beartiger11 | Instagram)
(Photo: | Instagram)
(Photo: @runway4 | Instagram)
(Photo: @robear_beef | Instagram)
(Photo: @tony_cools | Instagram)
(Photo: @bbwaterbuffalo | Instagram)