Meet the Bears of Sitges

last update: July 2023

Group of men at Bears Sitges Week
(Photo: @monkeyribz | Instagram)

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.

Bears Sitges Week
(Photo: @ibanpt | Instagram)

The event now attracts around 5,000 men from around the globe – with many increasingly making the journey 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.

Couple smiling at the beach
(Photo: @txbeef86 | Instagram)

Besides the super-popular nudist zone on Balmins Beach, a stretch of the paseo (seafront) 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.”

Group of men at Bears Sitges 2019
(Photo: @Plexis79 | 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.”

Man looking at the camera with a group of men behind him
(Photo: @oneparame | 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.”

Mr Bear Sitges 2019
The Mr Sitges Bear Week winner! (Photo: @sebbears | Instagram)

Check out more images below. And put next year’s event in your calendar now – it returns in 2023 from September 1-10.

Two men at Pop Air Party Bear Village
At the @PopAirParty in the Bear Village (Photo: @beartiger11 | Instagram)
Two men shirtless in swim trunks on grass
(Photo: @expect.the.best | Instagram)
large group of men in front of El Horno Bar
(Photo: @runway4 | Instagram)
two men with beards and topless smiling
(Photo: @robear_beef | Instagram)
Group of men smiling together on the beach
(Photo: @tony_cools | Instagram)
Man in Speedo with sunglasses and hat in the water
(Photo: @bbwaterbuffalo | Instagram)