From Mexico to Mykonos, the world’s best gay beaches

Man on a beach

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to get out and catch that summer Vitamin D before the leaves start to fall. We’ve dusted the sand off our list of the best gay beaches both for eye candy and waves so you can check out the views…

Playa Los Muertos, Puerto Vallarta

VIP Lounge at Mantamar Beach Club
VIP Lounge at Mantamar Beach Club | Photo via

Playa Los Muertos is the epicenter of Puerto Vallarta. Situated just south of the Malecon and the Cuale River in the Romantic Zone (or “Old Vallarta”), the beach draws locals, traveling sun-seekers, and adventurers alike. Rafael Zamarripa’s iconic sculpture, “Caballero del Mar,” or “The Seahorse” stands strong at the end of the beach, just off of the popular Mantamar Beach Club. Mantamar boasts a truly adults-only beach experience with a sexy pool scene, delicious cocktails, and plenty of eye candy.

Not in the mood for a beach club? Grab a spot on the chairs in front of Blue Chairs Resort and soak up the sun. Architect Jesus Torres Vega designed the new Los Muertos Pier, which opened in the winter of 2013. Stroll along the pier towards the Malecon and take in the sculptures, sites, and sounds of the new(ish) Puerto Vallarta.

Elia Beach, Mykonos

Man on a beach

For decades, Mykonos has been luring gay boys to its golden sandy beaches and transparent waters. (Before Jackie O brought her entourage and drew her many chic followers to the island back in the 70s.) There are plenty of world-class DJs, water activities, and sites to see on the island but locals and tourists take their beach time extremely seriously on the island. Elia Beach is not only one of the island’s largest beaches, but it also has amazing restaurants and plenty of bungalows to snuggle into and create an ideal vacation. Ditch the trunks on the right-hand side of the beach and strut your stuff as you dive into the pristine water.

Clifton 3rd, Cape Town, South Africa

A crowd on a beach

Known as Cape Town’s St. Tropez, Clifton is one of Cape Town’s biggest gay draws. There are four beaches that makeup Clifton Beach, and Clifton’s 3rd is definitely the most “family-friendly.” Apply that SPF and soak up the rays while taking in the turquoise blue water before you. Definitely take in the sunset, the view from this side of the Twelve Apostles is extraordinary. Want to ditch the suit and let it all hang out? Hop on over to Sandy Beach, just be sure to get the sand out of your nooks and crannies before heading to happy hour.

Fire Island Pines, New York

Fire Island, the center of outer barrier islands just parallel to Long Island, is a longtime gay mecca and summer destination. Despite a few weather-related speed bumps, literal fires, and a pandemic Cherry Grove and The Pines are back up and running. The sprawling beach passes both communities on the island and they’re additionally linked by a notorious sandy, woodsy, and a cruisey section of the island affectionately known as “The Meat Rack.”

Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

A man on a sand dune

The cat’s out of the bag: Gran Canaria is a gay summer wonderland. The most popular of the Canary Islands, this paradise practically straddles the coast of Morocco. With over 100 pristine beaches surrounding the island, you’d never know who you’re going to run into in the alluring sand dunes. Maspalomas Beach has taken off over the past few years, especially in the Playa del Inglés region.

North Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Pink Sand beach in Australia

North Bondi is the ultimate beach destination for Aussi sun-seekers and the rule of thumb is “the more north you travel the gayer the beach (and the better the eye candy). Star performer Pam Ann has boasted in the past that “North Bondi is where all the gay show off their pecks and promenade to and from the water’s edge.” North Bondi is definitely a great place to swim and play in the waves. If you’re looking to let it all hang out, head on over to Lady Bay (yes, Lady Bay), one of Sydney’s original nude beaches.

Herring Cove, Provincetown

Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Herring Cove is Provincetown’s most popular beach. It’s definitely “over the river and through the woods,” but once you arrive you will spot plenty of handsome locals and day trippers enjoying this gorgeous unofficial nude beach. While it is technically illegal to disrobe here, the National Park Service is known to look the other way. The dunes are infamous for cruising and connecting, especially along the primrose path.

Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

picture of the bottom half of three men on a beach

Manuel Antonio, considered one of the gayest destinations in Central America, has an enormous public beach “La Playita.“. The beach has long been known as one of Costa Rica’s only nude beaches, but be careful! Skinny dippers have been slapped on the wrist by local police. Don’t worry, the dress code is still skimpy, skimpy, and more skimpy. Enjoy the view.

Platja de la Bassa Rodona & Playa De Las Balmins, Sitges

Bear Week is definitely one of the biggest events of the Sitges gay calendar, and local hotels book far in advance, but there’s plenty of sun and surf to explore during the full season (spring through early fall). Platja de la Bassa Rodona is the main gay beach in town. Situated directly across from Hotel Calipolis, between the lifeguard station and picnic restaurant. Bring plenty of sunscreen because it’ll be hard to leave once you set that towel down and take in the sweeping (and burly) views around you. Looking to strip down and show off? Swim over to Balmins and let it all hang out. You’ll surely get a lot of “woofs.”

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