June 29, 2012

IconTop 10 lesbian holiday destinations

Another penalty shootout exit, another torrential downpour… yet again, the UK is proving to be a rather miserable place to be this summer.

If you’re feeling the pain then why not take yourself off to one of Lesbilicious’s top ten lesbian holiday destinations? All of the below are fabulous places to visit while also being safe havens where your sexuality is unlikely to be an issue.

1. Greek Island hopping

This is fantastic fun and suited to adventure-lovers who embrace spontaneity. From the Greek port of Piraeus you can travel between the islands by ferry which is safe, easy and fairly cheap. Don’t worry about booking accommodation in advance as there are plenty of touts at the larger ferry ports to take you to a hotel or campsite.  Particularly recommended islands are:

Lesbos – naturally!

Also known as Mytiline or Lesvos, Lesbos is the island from where the word “lesbian” is originally derived, due to it being the birth place of the poet Sappho who wrote many a powerful poem about love between women.

The beach resort of Skala Erresos is a tranquil women’s haven, many of whom are peacefully going about their meditation or practising their yoga. Accommodation is fairly basic and it is not a huge party place but there are some lovely places to eat and you can openly kiss and cuddle without feeling at all self-conscious.

Sappho Travel is a friendly travel agency with plenty of accommodation options.

 

Mykonos

A lively party island, with a brilliant but male orientated gay-scene. Definitely worth staying a few nights.

Santorini

Hire quad bikes, visit the outdoor cinema (showing films in English) and then watch the sunset from the stunningly romantic Oia. This island is a little more on the expensive side but absolutely worth it.

 

Santorini's outdoor cinema

 

2. Thailand

Lesbilicious writer Carrie J Lyell was lucky enough to travel around Thailand for her honeymoon, particularly recommending Seaflower Bungalows on Kho Phangan and the Silvadee resort in Koh Samui.

She said, “We got all the same perks as a straight couple and there wasn’t a raised eyebrow in sight.”

You can read about the couple’s honeymoon adventure on Carrie’s blog.

 

3. Amsterdam

Famously liberal, Amsterdam has always had a thriving gay scene and can provide a wonderfully diverse holiday destination.

Whether you are up for a sobering visit to Anne Frank’s house, famous Van Gogh paintings, trips to the infamous coffee shops or even a live sex show, Amsterdam can provide it all with a cheap bicycle rental and lovely canal-side setting to do it all in.

If you can afford it, eat at the flagship Supperclub which is delightfully camp and also serves exquisite food while providing great entertainment – all from the comfort of a bed. The vibe is much better (and gayer!) than the one in London.

Amsterdam Supperclub

Amsterdam’s red light district is certainly not for the faint hearted. Prostitution is legal and the sight of scantily dressed women posing in brothel windows is a dark and intriguing tourist attraction that may be upsetting for some. The red light district is, however, a good place to stock up on sex toys if you don’t blush when your bag gets searched at customs.

Hostel boats are a quirky way of staying in Central Amsterdam on a budget, but be warned the cabins are tiny and rather claustrophobic.

 

4. Goa

A stunningly beautiful part of India with an easy vibe where you can enjoy a Tandoori red snapper fresh from the ocean on a beautiful balmy evening.

Particularly recommended is Agonda beach, a gorgeous stretch of unspoilt sand where you can stay in wooden huts that open out directly onto the beach. Ask any of the locals and they will help you arrange a boat ride where you can go dolphin spotting or visit the nearby secluded butterfly beach.

Simrose Beach resort is well-ordered paradise and serves delicious breakfasts or My Place offers a more rustic, Robinson Crusoe experience. Party-lovers can head to the livelier areas of Palolem or Kerala.

Simrose resort at Agonda beach

Read about my recent trip to Goa on my blog.

 

5. California

The most gay-friendly state in the US, California legally recognised gay relationships from 1999 and has a number of gay villages such as the Castro District in San Francisco, Hillcrest in San Diego, and West Hollywood, not to mention being the setting for that little-known lesbian drama The L Word.

As with most gay scenes, the lesbian bars are a little less obvious than the male ones but are well worth the trip. Try the Lexington Club in San Francisco to experience London’s Candy Bar, but bigger.

California is a huge place, so if you have time hire an open top car and do a road trip, Thelma and Louise style.

 

7. Brighton

Okay so Brighton is in the UK but it has a beach and lots of LGTB people so it has to make the top ten.

Legends Hotel and Bar, overlooking the main pier, is a large, friendly gay hotel and provides very reasonable accommodation which includes breakfast.

The bars and clubs of Kemp Town are great fun and the Laines are fantastic for shopping meaning you get all the perks of a cosmopolitan city along with the fun of a beach resort. Just don’t count on the sun shining!

 

8. Ibiza

Anything goes, and unless you spend your time in the West End of San Antonio then kissing your girlfriend in any of the bars or clubs in Ibiza is unlikely to attract undue attention.

Ibiza Town has plenty of gay bars, though they are completely dead in the daytime and evening, the best time to visit being after midnight.

Ibiza is home to some very fine restaurants. Splash out on a meal at KM5 or if you are feeling romantic you can eat while watching the sunset at Kumharas, a chilled hippy restaurant by San Antonio bay that used to serve vegan stews but has surprisingly switched to posh, carnivore fusion. Ox fillet anyone?

Cafe Del Mar sunset

Other great places to watch the sunset include the cliff opposite the island of Es Vedra, a peaceful and romantic destination or you can opt for Café Del Mar or Café Mambo on the more commercial sunset strip in San Antonio.

 

9. New York

The birth place of of Harvey Milk, the Scissor Sisters and, ahem, Lindsey Lohan, New York is cool and classy with a substantial splash of camp.

The newest gay resort is The Out Hotel, a shiny 90s style place with very welcoming staff. The lesbian night Henrietta Hudson is great fun and the Fette Sau restaurant in Brooklyn has delicious food served by LGBT staff to predominantly LGBT clientele.

 

10. Gran Canaria

An enjoyable, gay-male orientated gay scene is to be found at Yumbo Commercial Center but Gran Canaria also offers year round sunshine and beautiful volcanic walks if you feel so inclined.

Rambling in Gran Canaria


Ramblers Holidays
do an all-inclusive LGBT-friendly walking holiday where it is perfectly acceptable to bunk off and sunbathe for the day if you don’t fancy a ramble.

 

Is there anywhere I have missed?

Have you had a great LGBT-friendly holiday experience you would like to share?

Please comment with your suggestions and recommendations.

 

6 Responses to Top 10 lesbian holiday destinations

  1. Dawn says:

    You are so well informed and obviously well travelled. What is your best destination of all?

    dawn

    • Rosie Hayes Rosie Hayes says:

      Thanks Dawn! Goa is my favourite destination – takes a long time to get there but definitely worth it.

  2. Sophia says:

    Lesbos definitely deserves to be at Number 1 – it is gorgeous and you can be yourself. Just don’t be confused by the bird watchers all over the island. They may look like traditional older lesbians but they are not!

  3. ashley edmead says:

    Would like to no more

  4. Jimbles says:

    Santorini gets my vote, I went there in 2010 with my girlfriend. We had a wonderful experience getting pulled up the hill by a knackered old donkey. I was totally frazzled by the extreme heat and was no way I could have got up to the nice restaurant with out the assistance of the good old donkey,, i felt so so so sorry for it, i’m sure his leg was quivering under the strain. lol.

    We had a wonderful meal at one of the highest points. The little village of Oia seemed to be calved into the cliff face itself, what breath taking view’s :-) . Watching the sun go down in such a picturesque setting created a memory I shall never forget….

    Calling all Lesbo’s, go to the Greek islands they rock :-)

  5. tracy says:

    Gran Canaria is awesome, went there on honeymoon, and keep going back. roll on next may, 10th anni so GC it is.

Rosie Hayes

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