The Best Gay Beach Destinations in the World

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Sun, sea, surf and Speedos – our selection of the best gay beaches around the world will help the LGBT traveller find some fun in sun.

Hot spots such as Barcelona, Sydney and Miami spring straight to mind. With solid infrastructure catering for the gay holiday crowd there is everything from hotels to themed tours catering for those on gay-cation. But we have also gone the extra mile to find a handful of lesser known gems, away from the usual destinations.

Quite a few of the beaches in our list are also clothing-optional beaches. In years gone by nudist and gay beaches were one in the same – hidden away from prying eyes. Things have moved on since those days and many of the World' top gay-friendly beaches are front and center now.

Varied as they are, one thing the beaches on this list have in common is they are also among the world's best beaches too.

  • Bondi Beach // Australia

    Bondi Beach

    Bondi is possibly Australia's most famous beach and to many sums up the Australian way of life. This iconic Sydney beach is every bit as cosmopolitan as the city with a beach scene encompassing everything from surfing to cafe society to lively nightlife. As long as you know what to expect Bondi will not disappoint - it's busy, it's bold and it's brash, but most importantly Bondi is what you make it.

    read more »
  • Miami South Beach // USA

    Miami South Beach
    ©sborisov / 123RF

    South Beach is perhaps the ultimate urban beach. It has it all; history, style, quirkiness, class and as much partying as you want, not to mention a vast swathe of white sand beach bordering clear blue ocean. This is where the beautiful and rich come to play in the sunshine before hitting the nightlife of Ocean Drive after dark. South beach is brash, colorful and even a little crazy - but this is part of the attraction. One day it can be a Caribbean carnival, the next there's a polo… read more »

  • Clifton Beach // South Africa

    Clifton Beach
    ©Philip Massie

    Sitting right next door to Cape Town's other premiere beach (Camps Bay) is Clifton beach. The backdrop here is equally stunning with one of Cape Town's best known mountains, Lion's Head, rising up directly behind and the Twelve Apostles looming to the south. The sugar-white sand that forms Clifton is dived up into four, just about distinct, beaches. These are rather imaginatively named 1st to 4th beaches and are basically the same beach with a few granite boulders separating each of them. 4th beach is closest to Camps Bay and… read more »

  • Maspalomas Beach // Spain

    Maspalomas Beach
    ©Tono Balaguer

    Set on the southern tip of the island of Gran Canaria is a little slice of the Sahara Desert. Over the centuries the fine golden sand here has been sculpted into an extensive network of dunes extending several hundred metres back from the beach. With a landscape like this you won't be surprised to know it hardly ever rains and the temperature rarely dips below a balmy 20°C (68°F). And just to really ram home the point about the desert-like dunes you can take a camel ride.

    OK, so there's… read more »

  • Praia da Galheta // Brazil

    Praia da Galheta
    ©Papa Pic

    The arched white sands of Praia da Galheta can be found roughly 20 kilometres from the centre of Florianopolis on Santa Catarina island. Hidden from the road by a ridge of steep hills covered in foliage and wild orchids, its fine sands are accessed via a short trail that leads from the northern end of Praia Mole.

    One of the areas more natural beaches, without restaurants or other facilities, Praia da Galheta is approximately one kilometre in length. Its gentle shoreline waves are popular with naturists, although nudism is not… read more »

  • Swanbourne Beach // Australia

    Swanbourne Beach
    ©Mark Pegrum

    Located roughly 20 minutes from Perth by road, Swanbourne North Beach is part of a long ribbon of soft white sand which stretches for 12 kilometres.

    One of only two officially-recognised nudist beaches in the Perth area, this clothing-optional section of the larger Swanbourne Beach can be found around 300 m north of the car park, where dunes 10-20 m high begin to form. The dunes are fenced off to protect the local flora and fauna. The start of the clothing-optional area is well-signposted.

    Also known as "no man's land", Swanbourne North… read more »

  • Jacob Riis Park Beach // USA

    Jacob Riis Park Beach
    ©Steven Pisano

    Jacob Riis Park Beach makes up the westernmost part of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Named after the social journalist who urged the city authorities to purchase the land to create a public park and beach, its long length of sand is dotted with original art deco structures from the 1920s and 30s, including the bathhouse (bath pavilion).

    The beach's northern end is paralleled by a 140 foot wide concrete boardwalk where the historic Wise Clock stands. Its length is subdivided into a series of bays distinguished by breakwaters of wood,… read more »

  • Shell Bay, Studland // UK

    Shell Bay, Studland

    Shell Bay is at the very end of the beautiful, unspoilt stretch of golden sand that forms Studland beach. Despite being on the edge of the busy Poole harbour and opposite the super exclusive developments at Sanbanks, Shell Bay retains a feel of the wilderness. This is partly due to being owned by the National Trust with the extensive sand dunes and heathland to the rear of the beach being a protected nature reserve.

    The area at the southern end of the Shell Bay is a designated naturist beach. Attracting a… read more »

  • Bellevue Strand // Denmark

    Bellevue Strand
    ©Guillaume Baviere

    Summer holidays are a big part of the way of life in Denmark – literally. Holiday time has been mandated by the Danish government since the 1930s, and since then Bellevue Strand has been one of the most popular beaches in the country. That is due in no small part to the fact it is located within a stone's throw of the capital, Copenhagen.

    Danish architect Arne Jacobsen was responsible for the iconic striped blue watchtowers that line the way near the sea. He also designed the adjacent Bellevue Theatre which… read more »

  • Obelisk Beach // Australia

    Obelisk Beach
    ©Ernest McGray, Jr. / CC BY

    Situated within the greenery of Sydney Harbour National Park is a secluded, pretty little sandy cove. Obelisk Beach is tucked away behind Middle Head, only a stone's throw from Mosman and neighbouring Balmoral Beach. However, this hidden beach feels a world apart being sufficiently off the beaten track to rarely attract a crowd.

    Getting to Obelisk beach involves at least some walking including a long set of steps. It is probably because of its relative obscurity that the the cove is one only a handful of legal naturist beaches in… read more »

  • Middle Bay Beach // Hong Kong

    Middle Bay Beach

    Located on a small bay next to the popular Repulse Bay Beach, you will find Middle Bay Beach, the most popular (unofficial) gay/LGBT beach in Hong Kong for tourists as well as locals. This is a fairly small and cosy stretch of sand with tree covered cliffs sheltering the cove. This is a place to relax and offers more privacy than some of the busier beaches nearby.

    There are plenty of facilities here including showers, food stands, barbeque pits, toilets, and paddleboard rentals. Despite its proximity to some of Hong Kong's… read more »

  • Hilton Beach // Israel

    Hilton Beach
    ©Deror avi

    As you might have guessed Tel Aviv's Hilton Beach gets its name from the Hilton Hotel which overlooks the beach. But this isn't a private hotel beach. Far from it this is one of the most bustling, diverse beaches in Tel Aviv.

    Popular with both locals and tourists alike this central beach is a series of well-manicured sandy crescents separated by rocky breakwaters. Not only do the breakwaters help keep the sand in place and protect the beach from the Mediterranean waves; they also rather conveniently divide the beach into three… read more »

  • Little Beach // USA

    Little Beach

    Little Beach is so called, not only because it is fairly small, but because it is next door to the longest beach on Maui's south coast - Big Beach. Both are beautiful stretches of golden sand backed by the near-pristine tropical greenery of Makena State Park, it's just the scale is different... well mostly that.

    Perhaps what Little Beach is most famous for is the fact it is Maui's best-known clothes optional beach. But, I hear you say, public nudity is still illegal in Hawaii. This is true, but no… read more »

  • San Gregorio State Beach // USA

    San Gregorio State Beach
    ©Nathan Siemers

    Close to Silicon Valley in the South Bay Area, San Gregorio State Beach is a popular beach with a large car park and good amenities. Located on a wild stretch of the California coast this is a great place for picnics, birdwatching, beach activities, walking, hunting for fossils and exploring the trails.

    Accessed from La Honda Road and Cabrillo Hwy, you will find restrooms, picnic tables and barbecues. There is a fee for parking and dogs are not permitted on the beach.

    The beach is divided by the San Gregorio Creek as… read more »

  • Eagle beach // The Caribbean

    Eagle beach
    ©David Smith / 123RF

    Eagle beach is not only one of the best beaches on Aruba, it is the longest. A wide expanse of pristine soft white sand lapped by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Despite being a well known resort Eagle beach is relatively unspoilt and the wildlife here is testimony to that; every year several species of turtle make their nests on the beach. Eagle beach is also home to two iconic fofoti (or divi-divi) trees which are almost a national symbol of the island.

    Some guides state that nudism is permitted… read more »