Spain’s popularity with gay and lesbian travelers keeps growing. A gay-friendly destination with an open mind and no prejudice, the country has been dedicated to promoting equal rights for all citizens through a marriage equality law passed in 2005. Each year, Spain holds a number of prominent LGBT events including festivals, parades, trade shows, and celebrations. In 2014, Madrid is set to host the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention. From special events to permanent landmarks, Spain will wow you with its renowned art and architecture, celebrated cuisine and wine, sophisticated accommodations, and vibrant nightlife.
SPAIN’S LGBT DESTINATIONS
A true art lover’s paradise, Madrid is home to the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – all within 10 minutes away from one another. The city is also booming with new boutique hotel offerings complete with cutting-edge design and the latest technological amenities. From June 22nd – July 1st, Madrid hosts its annual Gay Pride week – Europe’s largest pride celebration with nearly 2 million attendees. A part of that is Madrid’s Infinita Gay Week from June 27th to July 1st – a series of sizzling parties with the best of music, DJs, and costumes. Film buffs and beyond will enjoy one of the largest LGBT film events worldwide. Madrid LGBT Film Festival runs from November 1st through November 11th, and showcases works by gay and lesbian filmmakers, as well as films dedicated to LGBT subjects.
The country’s most popular destination for gays and lesbians, Barcelona’s art legacy boasts connections to Dalí, Gaudí, and Picasso. Explore the Roman ruins, Medieval districts, and the city’s award-winning Modernist architecture. From June 22nd to July 1st, check out Barcelona Pride, – the best known LGBT pride festival in the Mediterranean – for 10 days of culture, sport, debate, entertainment, and parties. Barcelona Pride is an event that celebrates the best of the Catalan capital, and also promotes inclusion and equality. Just 20 miles outside of Barcelona, in Sitges, you can enjoy Sitges Pride from July 5th through 9th. This charming beach town is one of Europe’s most popular LGBT resort destinations. From August 2nd to 12th, join the hottest international LGBT party – Barcelona Circuit Festival – for its 5th anniversary celebration. The ‘girlie’ version of the event kicks off on August 3rd and runs through August 13th.
The second largest of the Canary Islands boasts a nearly perfect beach climate and miles of white sandy dunes. The popular LGBT destination is home to dozens of gay bars, restaurants, shops, and clubs situated side-by-side in two large commercial centers in Playa del Inglés, as well as in the town of Maspalomas. From June 28th to July 2nd, Gay Pride will kick off in Las Palmas, promising a vibrant array of parties and celebrations. Later in the summer, from August 14th through 19th, Gran Canaria welcomes its annual Dunas Festival – a gay socio-cultural festival complete with a week of celebrations, theme nights, pool parties, shows, boat cruises, exhibitions, and excursions.
The birthplace of flamenco, tapas, and sherry, Andalusia boasts mild temperatures, monumental Moorish cities, and charming pueblos blancos. A 10-minute train ride from Málaga Airport will take you to Torremolinos, one of the most popular LGBT resorts in Spain. Conveniently located to Andalusia’s most renowned destinations – Seville, Cordoba, and Granada, Torremolinos offers beachside activities and relaxation, as well as a wide range of gay and lesbian bars and clubs. In October, Torremolinos will host Expo Gays 2012 – an LGBT travel and tourism trade show. In December, the International LGBT Tourism Meeting will take place in Granada.
The party jewel of the Balearic Islands and all of Europe, Ibiza’s ambience is a blend of beach glamour and ultimate relaxation. The long-established LGBT scene has a unique historic feel to it, as most of the gay and lesbian bars and clubs are located in Dalt Villa, the Old Town of Ibiza. Sassy and cosmopolitan, Ibiza will provide a stunning backdrop of pristine beaches, UNESCO-designated biodiversity, and medieval architecture to your vacation.