The new gay holiday trends in Greece in 2017
The new gay holiday trends in Greece in 2017
A useful guide to the lesser-known gay side of one of Europe’s warmest countries
All photos by Destsetters
A photo taken by the top hotel photographer Christos Drazos during a Destsetters project in Santorini
12 January 2017
Greece has been, without a doubt, one of the biggest trends in global gay travel for the past three years.
The mind-blowing beauty of the country, in combination with welcoming Greek hospitality, has made Greece a beloved destination for the global LGBTI community. Not only for its mainstream destinations, but for its alternative choices as well.
Here, Destsetters, in collaboration with Gay Star News, gives exclusive advice for your most memorable gay holidays in Greece.
Unofficial gay beaches are the top attraction
Beach and sun are by far the main characteristics of Greece that spring to mind for all travelers — and naturally for gay men as well.
But what could be a better combination than an idyllic beach with sexy Greek men to flirt with?
All around Greece, you will find unique, local, unofficial gay beaches; these are usually unorganized beaches (mostly nudist) which have become gay hotspots for locals and tourists.
The island of Crete is without question the king of gay beaches in Greece. It features more than two or three in each one of its regions, giving you the chance to meet and flirt with more and more gay people.
We couldn’t miss mentioning, of course, the most crowded gay beaches in Greece. They continue to be Elia Beach in Mykonos and Limanakia Beach, very close to Athens.
Villas become the luxury accommodation trend in Greece
Greek hotels are generally known for their high quality and service, as well as their modern design and comfortable spaces.
However, a rising trend in Greece, especially for groups of gay friends and gay couples, have been the numerous luxury villas. They’re scattered around Greece and its islands, offering a unique staying experience combined with privacy and personalized, luxurious service.
Villas are known for their special design, based on the local architecture of the area they are located in. They are ideal choices for civil partnership ceremonies (legalized in Greece in 2015).
It is worth mentioning that in many parts of Greece, you can find impressive, spacious villas. Many can host more than 10 people, in the most comfortable and enjoyable way.
You will find some truly spectacular villas in popular destinations, like Villa Alegria in Mykonos, It is one of the biggest and most luxurious villas on the island.
But alternative and less popular destinations have also got great villas to offer. Such as Villa Faros in Lesvos, which could be considered a destination by itself. And BluEros Luxury Villa in Syros, where you will feel like the real King of the Cyclades!
Island-hopping around undiscovered gems of Greece
Island-hopping is common in Greece, as travelers want to discover more and of Europe’s top summer destination.
But besides the mainstream destinations, you can find several smaller, less popular islands. These are true hidden gems for gay travelers who seek privacy, calm and relaxation during their holidays.
Take, for example, the emblematic island of Karpathos between Crete and Rhodes. Over the past few years, it has hosted more and more gay travelers who choose it for its picturesque scenery and beautiful villages.
The best place to stay in Karpathos is the brand new Arpathea Villas, which offers the top view of the island!
The small island of Alonissos, a well known shelter for the monk seal Monachus Monachus, is a paradise on earth! Unique small hotels, like Anemolia Villas, complete the feeling of total peace and tranquility, highlighting the local beauty within bright, chic architecture.
Santorini is not only for couples but for singles as well
Even though the island of Santorini is ranked among the most romantic destinations in the world, it also features a vivid day and nightlife. It provides numerous fun and entertainment choices for every traveler.
While it remains a top recommendation for gay couples, with its breathtaking-view hotels offering the best setting to celebrate your love, it’s popularity among single gay travelers is increasing. They choose it because:
1 Even without gay bars, gay travelers in Santorini have settled their standard meeting points around the island. Like the gay part of Vlychada Beach as well as specific bars, like ‘Tropical’ in Fira, making it quite easy to spot the handsome men on the island.
2 Activities like wine tasting tours and catamaran Caldera cruises allow you to meet and socialize with new and interesting people.
3 Dating apps like Grindr and Scruff are quite popular on the island. As the distances are really small, potential dates and hookups become much easier.
Mykonos, the top hit for gay couples
Mykonos is definitely the place in Greece with the highest ranking in gay acceptance, which makes the island one of the top choices for gay couples in love, as they can safely express their feelings to each other. Being one of the top gay destinations in the world, Mykonos offers the ideal setting for couples who want to spend some relaxing moments under the hot Greek sun, but also discover the vibrant gay nightlife of the island. Three facts that make Mykonos perfect for couples include:
1 Mykonos having a fully organized and vivid gay scene, which isn’t similar to any other place in the world. Its high quality and luxurious ambiance make it an ideal choice for gay couples.
2 While in Mykonos, you don’t need to find a gay place to feel comfortable with your partner, since everywhere you go, the true gay acceptance will allow you to feel relaxed and enjoy every moment of your holidays.
3 The island features some of the top hotels in the country, where you and your partner can relax, enjoy the luxurious premises and service and live the most romantic holidays of your life.
Halkidiki: the place with the most exotic beaches (and men) in Greece!
A well-kept secret among travelers in Greece is the beautiful peninsula of Halkidiki. It’s a real paradise on earth, located in the northern part of Greece, very close to the city of Thessaloniki. While everybody speaks about the Greek islands, locals choose to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Halkidiki on the hundreds of exotic beaches that stretch across the coast. Here are some useful tips that will help you discover this hidden Greek nirvana:
1 The beaches of Halkidiki are just a few kilometers away from the city of Thessaloniki, where you will find a vivid gay nightlife and explore one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Greece.
2 Halkidiki does not feature an organized gay life. However you will be able to meet handsome Greeks in gay spots on the several nudist beaches around the peninsula.
3 For a more crowded and ‘cosmopolitan’ environment, choose the southern ‘leg’ of Halkidiki, the so called ‘Kassandra’. If you are more into nature and peaceful sceneries, go for the middle ‘leg’, Sithonia.
Peloponnese, the next best thing for men into luxury and love
If you want to live a pure Greek experience and love driving, Peloponnese is the place to be! Here, you will experience some of the most emblematic landscapes in Greece. There are many cultural and entertainment choices as well.
Peloponnese does not feature any organized gay life, however you will have the chance to meet hot, local Greeks. Especially if you are using popular dating apps! Keep in mind that:
2 A road trip around Peloponnese is highly recommended to discover the natural beauty of the area. Plus to see fascinating historic cities like Nafplio and Patra.
3 Make sure to pay a visit to some of the top archaeological sites in Greece, which are located in Peloponnese. Such as the pre-historic acropolis of Mycenae, Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the imposing theatre of Epidaurus.
Ios, Zakynthos and Rhodes climb up the interest of repeating gay travelers in Greece
One time in Greece in never enough! Every traveler makes a promise to return back to this beautiful country, and most gay travelers in Europe include at least one stop in Greece in their annual summer holidays itinerary. These are some amazing places to discover, after you have visited the most popular and crowded destinations:
1 Hosting one of the most iconic beaches in the world, Navagio, the island of Zakynthoswelcomes more and more gay travelers every year, who want to enjoy the lifetime experience that this beach offers.
2 Ios is the preferred island for younger people — and recently the upcoming island for luxury holidays! Featuring almost everything that Mykonos has to offer, like amazing beaches and picturesque Cycladic architecture, Ios rises in the must-visit list of gay travelers in Greece.
3 Rhodes preserves a unique royal ambiance. Also, it is a top choice for more and more gay travelers every year. What’s more, the Medieval castle town of Rhodes is full of beautiful alleys and traditional houses. It makes the island a real attraction for couples and singles.
Let’s don’t forget about Athens!
Athens, the never-sleeping capital of Greece, remains an excellent stopover destination, where more and more gay travelers choose to spend at least three days during their every visit to Greece. Furthermore, the city has literally everything to offer. From intense gay life to amazing beaches, and, of course, some of the most handsome men in the world! Don’t you agree?
For more information about Gay Greece, visit www.destsetters.com.
Destsetters is a client of Gay Star News
Haemophilia centres and contact details in Greece
For further travelling information please look at the Tips for Travellers page: