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.

  • 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 -… read more »

  • 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… read more »

  • Middle Bay Beach // Hong Kong

    Middle Bay Beach
    ©T1NH0

    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… read more »

  • Hilton Beach // Israel

    Hilton Beach
    ©Ted Eytan

    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… read more »

  • Little Beach // USA

    Little Beach
    ©dronepicr

    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… 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… read more »

  • Playa de Llevant // Spain

    Playa de Llevant
    ©Michela Simoncini

    Towards the north of Formentera the land narrows into the Trucador peninsula. On the eastern coast, before you reach Ses Illetes, is the wide sandy Playa de Llevant.

    This beautiful stretch of white sand and clear blue sea has something of a wild feel. Sections of the beach are divided up into little "mini bays" by rocky outcrops which give a little bit of privacy. It is probably for… read more »

  • Sandy Bay // South Africa

    Sandy Bay
    ©Gary Bembridge / CC BY

    One of Cape Town's most inacessible beaches it is not entirely surprising that Sandy Bay is also Cape Town's only recognised naturist beach (although it is still unofficial). The beach is located just around the corner from upmarket Llandudno at the base of the rugged peaks of the Twelve Apostles mountains.

    Like neighbouring Llandudno, Sandy Bay is a pretty stretch of white sand strewn with huge slabs of granite. The… 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… read more »

  • Will Rogers State Beach // USA

    Will Rogers State Beach
    ©Don Ramey Logan

    Will Rogers sits between two illustrious neighbours, Malibu and Santa Monica, just to the north of Los Angeles. Stretching for nearly 3 miles this is a great option when the city beaches become too busy.

    The long sandy beach here is everything you would imagine of a South Californian beach. Surf from the deep blue pacific, permanent sunshine and a host of volleyball courts.It should be little surprise… read more »