It’s all of the little things about a holiday that make it just…perfect. Finding your new favourite drink at the beach bar, making friends with another set of parents by the pool, evenings with your mates that you’ll be laughing about forever. But there’s so much more to a holiday than the memories. We hop on a plane to head somewhere hot, where we can feel relaxed, happy and safe. And a holiday isn’t a holiday without these things.
Some may take these things for granted, but we know that this can be a real obstacle for LGBTQ+ holidaymakers. That’s why we’ve done our research and picked out the top 10 destinations for an LGBTQ+ friendly getaway. So whether you’re looking for a city break with your partner, an all-inclusive escape with the whole family, or even an adventure to somewhere cold with your best mates – we’ve got you covered. Take a look and see where your next vaycay could be…
Taking the top place for the 7th year running (yes, 7!) on the ILGA Rainbow Index for 2022 as the most LGBTQ+ friendly destination in Europe, Malta is a popular pick for an LGBTQ+ friendly holiday. Whether you’re a history buff, adventure seeker or a poolside chiller – Malta has something for everyone. Wander the medieval city of Mdina, dive off the coast of Gozo or live your best life after dark in the clubs of Paceville. The beautiful islands of Malta should be at the top of your travel list!
A favourite destination for holidaymakers across the globe, Spain has everything you need for a sunny escape with friends, family or a loved one. Not only this, but it’s known as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world! Party all night in Benidorm, explore the sun-soaked streets of Barcelona or enjoy the perfect mix of laid-back and lively in Torremolinos. From the top-rated restaurants to the soft, sandy beaches, there’s no wonder that sun-seekers return to Spain year after year – and that’s just the mainland…
Now, we know Belgium doesn’t scream ‘summer holiday’ but this beautiful country is one of the best in Europe for LGBTQ+ inclusivity, so why not? Home to some super-cool cities, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to explore, whether you jet off to Brussels, Antwerp or Liege. If you’re looking for a big night out, Le Demence in Brussels is a must-visit for an unforgettable club night. Of course, we’re all about the beaches, so if you do fancy a day or two by the seaside, try out Ostend beach, just a 30-minute train journey from Brussels. It’s a sandy beach with tons going on in the local area!
What’s not to love about Portugal? Effortlessly cool cities, top-notch grub and let’s not forget the sunshine centre – the Algarve! The country oozes laid-back vibes, so it’s no wonder they’re also known as a safe destination for LGBTQ+ travellers! If you’re seeking a short stop in a city, Lisbon and Porto are incredible. But, if you’re looking for a family getaway to somewhere warm and inclusive, there are plenty of beautiful and beachy resorts in the Algarve to choose from for some sunshine and relaxation.
Feeling adventurous? The Azores are a stunning archipelago that offers charming towns, volcanic landscapes, thermal pools and can even be a destination for some whale watching!
Gran Canaria alone is famous for its iconic Pride celebrations, Drag Queen Gala and thriving LGBTQ+ scene, but the Canary Islands as a whole are a favourite for LGBTQ+ holidays. First off, the Canaries are stunning, if you’ve not been yet…why not?! They have everything from sandy beaches to mountainous landscapes, incredible nightlife to quaint little towns – they really are the islands for everyone! Across the islands, there’s a wonderful range of LGBTQ+ exclusive, friendly and adult-only hotels, but you’ll also find that inclusivity is widespread wherever you stay.
This also applies to the beaches, while you can kick back and chill out on any stretch of shore, there are some specific beaches that are known for their LGBTQ+ atmosphere. If this is what you’re looking for, try out Montana de Arena and Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Cofete and Corralejo in Fuerteventura, Tejiya Beach in Tenerife and the nudist town of Charco del Palo in Lanzarote.
Oui, j’adore la France! It’s the country that’s known for its unique atmosphere, chic fashion and some of our favourite foods (no snails for me though, thanks). It’s also a destination that’s widely accepting of LGBTQ+ people, scoring 78 out of 100 on the Equaldex Equality Index. Across France there are some thriving gay-scenes, including Paris, Montpelier, Toulous, Lyon and Nice. So whether you’re seeking a romantic city escape or a sunny beach break with your family – France is a fantastic choice. Plus, if you love a little adventure and fancy a skiing trip, the French Alps are home to The European Gay Ski Week, a sports and music festival for the LGBTQI+ community and their friends and family.
Ibiza’s iconic nightlife. Majorca’s charming towns. Menorca’s serene beaches. The Balearic Islands tick all of the boxes when it comes to amazing holiday destinations. And as you can probably guess…they’re an LGBTQ+ friendly bunch, too! If you prefer to stay in a known LGBTQ+ friendly hotel, Ibiza and Majorca feature a variety of them. But outside of these, the islands are known for their inclusivity. So, whether you’re looking to get away for romance, a party or some family fun – it’s hard to beat the Balearics.
Not that we completely approve, but there might be a time that you fancy somewhere…cold. Honestly, I got shivers just thinking about it. But if you do want a switch-up from your regular sunny getaway, Iceland should be your go-to. Cool temperatures and cool vibes go hand in hand here, plus it scores a brilliant 90 out of 100 on the Equaldex scale. With glaciers, natural spas, waterfalls, whales and the possibility of seeing the northern lights, a couple’s holiday to Iceland is an adventure, to say the least!
The beaches. The history. The food. Greece is a favourite for a summer getaway. Some love it for its rich culture and history, and others… well, they just want to live out their Mamma Mia dreams. Greece as a whole has some work to do, scoring 38 out of 100 for Public Opinion on the Equaldex Equality Index. However, with over 200 islands in the country, there are some top Greek holiday destinations where LGBTQ+ inclusivity is celebrated and members of the community feel safe enjoying what Greece has to offer. Mykonos is known as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in the world and has a great variety of gay-friendly hotels and clubs on the island. There’s also Malia in Crete, Faliraki in Rhodes, Corfu island and Lesvos island – all of which are top picks for an LGBTQ+ friendly getaway.
When you think of Florida, you might think of Orlando. Disney World, Universal Studios, Harry Potter World – it’s a favourite for family holidays. But what you might not know is that Florida is also home to some of the top LGBTQ+ spots in the country. Key West was the first place in the country to elect an openly gay mayor, and is now a centre for LGBTQ+ vacations! Accepting and welcoming, the island is a must-visit for couples and friends wanting to experience the ultimate LGBTQ+ holiday. If Miami is a place that has always caught your eye, you’ll be pleased to know this famous beachfront city also has a massive LGBTQ+ presence. There’s a busy calendar of buzzing annual events and a fantastic LGBTQ+ family-friendly scene. If you’re searching for the heart of it all, look no further than South Beach, where you’ll find bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and a dedicated LGBT Visitor Centre!
Ready for your next getaway? It’s not too late to book your 2022 holiday!