'Gaycations': A Guide to LGBT+ Vacations in Greece

Melina Thalassinou
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Key Takeaways

  • Greece has made legal advancements to protect LGBT+ rights, including the recognition of same-sex partnerships, making gay Greece travel that much more welcoming.
  • Major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as popular tourist destinations, tend to be more LGBT+-friendly and accepting. 
  • Certain Greek islands have become renowned for their LGBT+-friendly atmosphere. Mykonos, in particular, is well-known for its vibrant gay scene, alongside Santorini and Crete.
  • While there are no exclusively LGBT+ beaches, several beaches in Greece have become popular among the LGBT+ community, such as Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos and Elia Beach in Crete.

Love is love. It is an indisputable fact that love, in every shape or form, is a blessing.

Anyone who sees it differently is required to take all their negativity and bad vibes away from the rest of us that want to celebrate love with all of our might!

Greece is one of the top gay destinations for the LGBTQ+ traveling public, a fact to which the friendly and open-minded culture of the Greeks contributes significantly.

Here is a gay Greece travel guide (our other Greece travel guide wasn't cutting the mustard) to enjoy our exotic country free and proud! 

What Are The Best Places to Visit on Your Gay Greece Travel Adventure?

Mykonos island

Lgbt bars, Mykonos, gay holidays, Greece - credits: mykonostraveller. com

The famous Mykonos, the queen of the Cyclades, apart from the crowds of celebrities of the international jet set, also attracts a huge number of members of the LGBTQ community.

From Mykonos Town, the gay capital and the gayest city in Greece, to the many striking beaches that host day and night-long parties, the gay community on the island can live life to the fullest!

After all, it is no coincidence that those who visit one of the most beautiful Greek islands are used to saying that ‘what happens in Mykonos stays in Mykonos.’ Take that, Las Vegas.

During the day, the dozens of beautiful Mykonos beachess promise the ultimate experience that only the Greek summer can offer.

Blue skies, clear blue waters, a refreshing sea breeze, wonderful scents of coconut sunscreen mixed with the aromas of freshly squeezed juices, cocktails, and traditional dishes of Greek food.

The top gay beaches in Mykonos are definitely those of Agrari, Super Paradise, and Elia.

When the sun goes down, the fun climbs up to unprecedented levels. Every corner of Mykonos has at least one bar or club, where the fun never stops.

Super Paradise, Cinderella Gay Club, Cavo Paradiso, Jackie O ’, Babylon, and Lola, are just a few of the dozens of LGBTQ hangouts you will come across on the island.

Party until you can no more, and dance until dawn. Mykonos is justifiably the top gay summer destination; LGBT Greece knows how to party!


Gay couple in Athens admiring ancient ruins - credits: twobadtourists. com

Athens is a liberal city that, of course, brings together the national gay community.

Gay-friendly establishments are concentrated in the Gazi area, but you need to know where they are in order to locate them, as they’re not as "loud" as one would expect. 

There are some of the most popular LGBTQ+ bars, to enjoy in Athens by night, such as Sodade2, one of the first gay bars in Athens, and Samone, with drag queen shows and theme nights.

In Athens, it is common for the LGBTQ+ community to go to Rostor, a cafe extremely popular in the gay community of locals and expatriates.

It is located in Agias Irinis Square, and it is perfect for a beer and a bite. All kinds of people get together in Rostor; it does not matter if you are gay or straight, everyone is welcome!

For same-sex couples in Athens, the capital city of Greece, there are many day-friendly accommodation options or even gay hotels exclusively designed for the LGBTQ+ community.

For example, Elegant Hotel, near Gazi, with a unique bar and restaurant on site, is a perfect choice for LGBTQ+ travelers.

What’s more, the Central Athens Hotel, in the old town of Plaka, and Electra Palace Athens, also in the historic center, with a terrace, a spa, and a gym, welcome LGBTQ+ people on a daily basis.


Partying in Ios island, gay resorts, Greece - credits: itinari. com

One of the most lovable Greek islands with a fairly strong gay audience from Greece and around the world.

Despite the lack of gay clubs and bars, Ios will definitely fascinate you with its stunning beauty and free spirit!


Santorini island for Greece LGBT travel- credits: greeka. com

Santorini is still at the top of the list of destinations that are ideal for gay vacations when you visit Greece.

It is a super romantic island with a caldera that seems to merge with the sky at sunset and volcanic soil that gives the island its fair share of local produce, including its wine.

Santorini's wonderful assyrtiko wine and spectacular scenery have made the Cyclades islands famous across the world.

Thira has many gay-friendly bars and beaches and can be identified as a particularly inviting Greek gay destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Santorini Sunset Wine Experience: Wineries Visit & Wine Tasting

Santorini, apart from its characteristic blue church domes, has beaches with black sand due to its volcanic past.

Regardless, you can find the red and white beaches, which are both equally stunning and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ crowds.

Kamari, Agios, Kokkini Paralia, Perissa, and Vlychada beach are also excellent for your swimming endeavors in the Aegean sea.

Don't leave the island without indulging in a wine-tasting tour that will give you insight into Santorini's wines and will leave nothing to be desired!


Crete - credits: el.hotels. com

Crete may not be an established gay-friendly destination, such as Mykonos and Santorini, but it has a lot to offer its gay visitors.

From its archeological finds that narrate Greek history to its beaches, it will enchant you and

If you are cruising the Greek islands, it is very likely that you will pass through Crete, specifically from Heraklion.

Don’t skip a visit to the archeological site of Knossos Palace and the museum, which are some of the top things to do in Heraklion.

During a tour of the city, the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, the architectural diamonds in the alleys of the city, and a cup of coffee in one of the traditional coffee shops of the area will help you fall in love with the city and its rich history.

A gay couple - credits: thevidaconsultancy. com

Malia is the cosmopolitan center of the island, while Hersonissos is the center of the LGBTQ+ community's night entertainment.

In Hersonissos, it is recommended to visit the gay bar Roze Maandag in the port and La Brasserie in Heraklion.

A tour of the villages of the south is suggested, such as Koutouloufari, Piskopiano, and Ano Hersonissos, with their traditional taverns, the slow rhythms of life, and the low prices.

In addition to the Sarandari nudist beach, a visit to Vai Beach and Balos, Matala, or Komos Beach is recommended.


Gay-friendly beach in Skiathos - credits: greeka. com

Skiathos is a beautiful Greek island that many consider the "next big thing" in relation to gay Greece travel. A gay Greek island in the making, if you will.

Apart from the beautiful beaches and the amazing hotels, Skiathos also offers a lively gay nightlife that will keep you in excellent spirits for countless nights. 

Skiathos has 50 beaches to explore, but the most popular for gay tourists are Big Banana and Small Banana.

For stunning sunsets full of romance, there is Agia Eleni Beach, as well as the fine sand beaches of Lalaria and Koukounaries. 

Things to Do on Your Gay Greece Travel

1. Explore the Gay-friendly Beaches in Greece

Gay couple on a Greek beach - credits: ibizaontdekker. nl

Although in Greece there are no purely gay beaches, except in Mykonos, it is common for the gay public to choose more alternative and private beaches as a reference point for their holidays.

Some of the best beaches have been found in Crete, which is considered a popular tourist destination for the LGBTQ+ public in Greece.

2. Book Luxury Villas for Social Events and Groups of Friends

Friends having fun on a luxury villa - credits: mili-lo. com

With the clear increase in social events, such as gay weddings and receptions, the gay public more and more often chooses luxury villas for their parallel holidays in Greece.

Larger villas seem to attract the interest of the public, as they can meet the needs of more guests to a greater extent. 

3. Try the Alternative Greek Islands

Gay couple on the beach - credits: fatsoma. com

As island hopping is a common way for LGBTQ+ people to travel, more and more alternative islands are being added to the holiday program.

Although famous islands such as Mykonos and Santorini remain firmly on the list of top options, many alternatives in the form of unknown Greek islands, such as Karpathos and Alonissos, are dynamically entering travelers' exploration options.

Of course, no matter which Greek island you visit, a gay sailing trip is a must!

4. Participate in Gay Events and Athens and Thessaloniki Pride

Thessaloniki pride - credits: epoa.eu. com 

Every year, both Athens Pride and Thessaloniki Pride attract many visitors who come to participate in the LGBTQ+ celebrations, with the Pride parade as the main attraction, as well as a variety of events, parties, and activities throughout the city. 

Gay-friendly/Gay Bars and Establishments for your Gay Greece Travel

Gay club - credits: theguardian. com

Sodade2 Club

The timeless LGBTQ+ club of Athens is still a reference point for many fun nights. Divided into three stages, Sodade2 is for all musical tastes.

The main stage plays mainstream, and Greek music, the backstage Deep n Tech House, to the rhythm of Dj Fo, and the courtyard connects the two music worlds offering refreshing cocktails.

Brasil Cafe / Bar

This friendly "hangout" on a quiet pedestrian street overlooking 'Pedion tou Areos,' awaits you to experience aromas and flavors from distant Brazil.

It has a wide variety of drinks for every taste and several genuine cocktail recipes from Latin America. Do not forget to try the Brazilian delicacies they prepare every day.


The most well-known gay beach in Athens. A 30-minute drive out of the city. Crystal clear waters, hot men, and a very cruisy attitude - especially during the steamy summer months.

It is a rocky nudist beach with plenty of hidden caves, and everything you might need should be brought by you, as there are no shops nearby.

Prosopa restaurant

The evening meeting point is for all people who live or visit Athens. With an excellent balance of price and quality of food.

Mediterranean aromas and flavors, but also selected dishes from international and Greek cuisine.

During the summer months, enjoy your meal or cocktail under the moon on a quiet and romantic sidewalk.

Shamonette Cafe / Bar

Located in the city center, close to Syntagma Square, this colorful and cozy corner is intended to be a weekday after-work meeting point.

That is thanks to its delicious rainbow project cocktails, a variety of greek and vegetarian finger food, and uplifting Dj beats.

Frequently hosting famous (greek) drag queen shows and themed parties.

Bequeer Club

If you are looking to find the heart of queer entertainment in Athens, you are in the right place.

Here voguing is a way of life, and with the help of drag queens, you can integrate it into your daily life. Be queer is a club in the center of Athens with DJ, themed events, and drag shows.

Alexander Sauna

One of the cleanest saunas in Europe, with over four floors hosting dark rooms, steam rooms, massage rooms, mazes, private cabins, sauna, jacuzzi, and themed playrooms.

There is also a bar and garden space to relax for drinks and snacks.

Shamone Club

A wonderful place that is reminiscent of a living room with the most fabulous drag shows and other live events entertaining its guests. Outside you will find people enjoying wonderful cocktails and throwing all those necessary glances.

Artcore Cafe / Bar

A collective multicultural space, operating since 2013, and became known by word of mouth.

It is open daily for coffee/drink in a beautiful and warm environment that, from time to time, also hosts artistic events.

It accommodates live music events, art performances and exhibitions, and a cozy all-day cafe lounge.

Play Thessaloniki

A unique multi-purpose space of 300 sqm. with private themed rooms, dark rooms, glory holes, labyrinths, slings, and all this on three atmospheric levels.

Play also has the most up-to-date sex shop in the city that meets all the requirements, with a wealthy variety of products.

Enola Club

For over ten years, Enola has been holding the scepter of LGBTQ + night entertainment in Thessaloniki.

It is open every night, and it is waiting for you to have fun and dance to a mix of music choices that will keep you up until the morning.

Little Big House Cafe / Bar

The Little Big House is, in addition to a welcoming space that offers spontaneous meetings, endless conversations, and exquisite flavors, a “bridge” of communication for unique people. Homemade cakes, brunch, and cocktails on the colorful terrace and patio all year round.

De Facto Bar

The only LGBTQ+ bar in Skiathos has been operating since 1998. The perfect place to meet people, talk, relax and have all the fun in the world during your summer vacations.

Seminario Break & Brunch

A Greek restaurant that managed to be awarded by TripAdvisor as the best in Ermoupolis. It stands out for the quality and quantity of Greek food but also for its vegetarian and vegan options.

In the alley with the bougainvillea, LGBTQ+ people will find a safe place to enjoy a beautiful meal.

Elysium Sunset Bar

The best view to see the sunset on the island of Mykonos is at the bar of the famous gay hotel Elysium.

For over two decades, it has been established as the favorite meeting point of the island. Daily shows by Gloria Darling and Dj Kappa Nee.

Porta Bar

The oldest gay bar in Mykonos. You will find it in a picturesque alley with a great selection of unbeatable cocktails, eclectic music that will keep your toes tapping, a chic crowd and an

extravagantly stylish decor. 

Practical Tips for your Gay Greece Travel

LGBTQ+ Rights in Greece

LGBTQ+ protests in Athens - credits: amazonaws. com

In Greece, same-sex sex has been legal since 1951.

  • In 2005, a law was passed that protects homosexuals from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.

Nevertheless, the Greek constitution nowhere mentions sexual discrimination. In the same year, anti-discrimination laws based on a person's sexual orientation in the workplace came into force.

  • In 2010, law 3896/2010 was passed, which prohibits any discrimination against transgender people based on their gender.

At the same time, transgender people are now entitled to change their gender and name on their birth certificate simply by applying to the local Single-Member Court of First Instance.

  • In 2015, Greece went one step further by legalizing the cohabitation agreement for LGBTQ+ couples.

As far as marriage is concerned, the Greek constitution does not provide a definition that concerns it. Typically, some legal margin is left for same-sex marriage.

The LGBTQ+ community is active without fear in the capital of Greece, Athens, and specifically in Gazi. The same happens in the Greek islands as well as in Thessaloniki. Also, the gay scene of Mykonos is now well-known worldwide.

At the same time, four gay pride festivals in Greece take place every year in the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, and Heraklion.

In general, homosexuality is gradually becoming more and more accepted by the Greek population, especially in the big cities.

In fact, according to the ILGA-Europe report in 2016, which deals with assessments related to LGBTQ+ rights in European countries, Greece that year was ranked fifteenth out of a total of 49 European countries.

In particular, it showed the largest percentage change annually compared to other European countries in terms of the degree of improvement of LGBTQ+ rights compared to 2015.

LGBTQ+  Safety in Greece

Woman wrapped in a pride flag - credits: BBC. com

Is Greece LGBT-friendly? Yes! Thankfully, The fight against homophobia and transphobia is no longer considered a luxury item in economically developed societies, nor is it part of the agenda of a small group of people.

The National Committee for Equality of LGBTQ+ under the chairmanship of the former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Alexandros Sisilianos, with the participation of representatives of three LGBTQ+ organizations, is certainly a reason why people of this community are safe in Greece.

At the moment, Greece, after bills for the Cohabitation Agreement and the recognition of the gender identity of the previous government, is ranked among the European countries that -institutionally- recognize and welcome the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many gay-friendly destinations in Greece you can include in your Greece vacation packages or your Greece itineraries. Hopefully, over time there will be more or more, and the time will come when the ‘gay-friendly’ label will no longer be necessary.

In tourism, there are no barriers, neither in the country of origin of travelers, nor in the financial ability to spend, nor in sexual preferences. Follow our guide to LGBTQ+ vacations in Greece and ensure a "colorful" stay in Greece!

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Greece LGBTQ+ friendly?

Are there LGBTQ+ events or festivals in Greece?

Are there LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations?

What's the social scene like for LGBTQ+ travelers?

Are there any safety concerns for LGBTQ+ travelers in Greece?

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