You’re here, you’re queer, and you’re just itching to go on holidays… but where? Find out by reading GCN’s Top 10 Queer Travel Events to look forward to in 2017
This article was originally published in GCN’s February 2017 Issue (Issue 326) which is available to read in full here.
2017’s lineup of queer travel events is looking great and there are tonnes to choose from, so we’ve picked our top ten that you’ll want to mark in your calendar.
Fancy schlepping down the slopes with hundreds of hotties, and then partying with them après ski into the wee small hours? Look no further than European Gay Ski week, which attracts queers from across the continent for a week of high-octane, snowy fun and frolics. The whole thing takes place this year in the stunning resort of Les Menuires, in the Belleville valley of Les Trois Vallées between Saint-Martin- de-Belleville and Val Thorens, just hours from Geneva airport. Although the ski week consists mainly of gay men, there are always quite a few women in attendance too, with special programme of events catering for the ladies that ensures everyone is kept well-entertained
March 29 to April 2
Last year, Lady Gaga turned up at the 25th anniversary of The Dinah Shore Weekend, the largest queer female party and music festival in the world, which attracts 20,000 women from around the globe to Palm Springs, California every year. There may be A-list female performers and DJs, plus a film festival and all sorts of other things to sink your teeth into, but ‘The Dinah’ has become known over the years as a kind of circuit party, the lesbian equivalent of The White Party, a smorgasbord of skin, cocktails and dancing by pools in the sunshine. Unlike the White Party though, it’s not a body contest, and it attracts a hugely diverse range of girls of all ages who wanna have fun. What’s not to love?
May 5 to 8
The party that invented the circuit party, and brainchild of über gay promoter, Jeffery Sanker, this is one event that should be on your bucket- list if you’re a gay man who likes to work out at least six times a week. Featuring huge acts, huge DJ’s and huge pecs, it’s a week of non-stop sun-filled days and comfortably cool nights of sunning, swimming, stomping and sinning. This year’s central party, The White Party itself, has a military theme, while the usual closing party features a main act yet to be announced. Last year there was murder on the dancefloor when Sophie Ellis Bextor took to the stage.
Click below to keep reading our Top Ten Queer Travel Events of 2017 and to see which Summer events you’ll want to add to your diary.
August 23 to 30
Mykonos is a picturesque, text-book Greek island town with brilliant white walls and an endless warren of tiny streets, each featuring a plethora of superb dining options and boutique shops. It’s beaches are stunning, from the hip ‘n’ happening Super Paradise to the peaceful, chilled and occasionally nudist spots of Elia, the island has become a gay mecca. And every August approximately 30,000 gorgeous men in tiny speedos descend on this Greecian paradise for a five-day festival that packs in eight massive outdoor parties overlooking gorgeous views. But warning! If you plan to go, book your accommodation now. Otherwise you’ll be competing with 30,000 other queers for a bed.
August 31 to September 7
A cut above the regular queer festival, Ella on the Balearic island of Mallorca, brings together women from over 20 different countries for a quality roster of events which encompasses exursions, culture, gastronomy, sports activities, pool parties and entertainment. This year marks Ella’s fifth anniversary, and it’s growing to become the key European event on the lesbian calendar, attracting a mix of women of all ages and styles. The atmosphere is warm and fun, and there’s plenty of dancing in the wee small hours, and with Iberia/ Ryanair doing direct ights to the island at good prices, we think it’s a no brainer, girls.
June 14 to 18
What makes this four-day orgy of fetish and leather special is the vibe that comes from the combination of a wonderful city, the early summer sun (hopefully), and an amazing mix of hot parties with a personal touch. The programme covers a wide variety of fetishes. It starts with a rubber and sportswear party and includes both a BLUF hour and a naked party. The main events are two full fetish parties on Friday and Saturday nights, the first of which includes the Mr Fetish Austria contest. The nightly events are enriched by supporting activities such as a ride through the city in a chartered tram or a fetish brunch. All very civilised indeed!
June 23 to July 2
Madrid Pride is already the largest pride event in Europe and the second in the world, and it’s on track to be bigger and better than ever this year, with the city expecting upwards of three million LGBT people to attend World Pride. It’s kind of not surprising, given that Madrid is one of the gayest places on the planet, with a bar and club scene that has resolutely stayed intact despite the rise of dating app culture, and an atmosphere that positively encourages public displays of queer affection. Marking the 40th anniversary of the first Pride parade in Spain, this huge festival will flood the streets and squares of Madrid with music, dance, performing arts, visual arts, literature, sports competitions, conferences, children’s activities and much, much more. It’s the queer ticket of the year, folks!
Click below to keep reading our Top Ten Queer Travel Events of 2017 and to see which Autumn events you won’t want to miss this year.
May 30 to June 5
Us gays love our Disney, and nowhere is this more in evidence than during Gay Days at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida every year, where Mickey afficandos mix it up with theme park fun and some serious circuit partying. Now in its 27th year, Gay Days began with a one-day initiative, where LGBT visitors to the Magic Kingdom wore red so they could identify each other, and has evolved into a week-long, citywide celebration offering round-the-clock activities including multiple theme park visits, cocktail soirees, concerts,
and a host of internationally renowned parties, that attracts over 150,000 celebrants from across the around the globe, who still wear red t-shirts and have a gay old time.
September 1 to 11
There are so many bear festivals on the annual international calendar, we could do an entire feature about them alone, but the best by far, according to some of our furry friends, is the one in Sitges at the end of the summer season. A hop, skip and a jump from Dublin airport, it’s one of the most accessible for Irish bears. Because Sitges is a quaint seaside village that can be traverssed in an hour, it literally fills up with bears, admirers, chasers, muscle bears and more for a whole week of events and shifting. Again, Sitges is a small town, so booking your acommodation way in advance is essential. Make sure you get a double bed!
October 15 to 22
Affectionately known as ‘FanFair’, since 1975 Fantasia Fair has progressed from a holiday experience for the transgender community to a mix of practical, social, and educational opportunities designed to enhance the personal growth and awareness of one’s own gender expression. In some ways, the Fair has changed little over the decades, it’s still known for the levels of warmth and camaraderie to be found there. There are workshops, world-leading keynote speakers, formal banquets, fashion shows, cabarets, and other special events designed to keep you engaged and entertained for five fabulous gender-variant days.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.