The Ultimate LGBT Travel Guide to Mykonos
For those in search of an oasis for LBGT tourism, Mykonos definitely waves from the top of the lists. Along with Ibiza, Sitges, and Gran Canaria, the Island of the Winds is one of the so-called Big Four gay tourist destinations in Europe for summer vacations. What is not to love about this place? The warm sun? The sandy beaches? The cobalt waters? The utterly vibrant night scene? The endless parties? The plenty of gay bars, shores, and hotels? The natural beauty?
The truth is that Mykonos owes its reputation as an LGBT-favourite spot in the Mediterranean to the fab Jackie Onasis, who set the trend back in the 1970s. And, although Greece holds conservative traditions, being a Christina Orthodox country, the people in Mykonos have adopted more liberated and open-minded views about one’s sexual orientation. In fact, they are a welcoming and friendly community that embraces its lesbian and gay visitors fully.
With that being said, if you are thinking about holiday-making to Mykonos, here are LGBT-friendly options you could consider:
Beaches to visit
Among the most popular gay beaches is Elia Beach, which features the longest stretch of sand on the island. You will find a plethora of amenities, including sunbeds, bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities. If you fancy windsurfing, paraskiing, and water-skiing, this is your go-to beach. To access Elia, you can take the bus (it regularly runs during the summertime) or go by car or water taxi. It is around 20-30 minutes far from Mykonos Town (by car).
Other shores for the gay crowd in Mykonos are:
- Super Paradise Beach – The ultimate party beach where nobody rests, and everybody has fun from day to night and vice versa. From early in the afternoon, Super Paradise turns into a beach party hub with thousands of participants. Before that, you can treat yourself to delicious cocktails, food by the pool, and tasty snacks at the infamous Jackie O’ beach club. You can come here by car or take the shuttle bus from Fabrika bus station in Mykonos Town.
- Paraga Beach – This is the place to go if you prefer a more laid back and quieter atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy the cobalt sea and the calm waters while also pampering yourself with snacks and beach items, which you can buy from the nearby mini-market. Although not as organised as Elia, you will still find sunbeds and a beach bar to quench your thirst with delicious cocktails. You can access the beach from Mykonos Town by bus or have your chauffeur drive you there (if you don’t like driving around the island yourself). If your accommodation option also provides concierge services, you will most likely have the chance to ask for a private driver.
Interesting note: Although some beaches are clearly gay shores, it is worth noting that every single beach on Mykonos features a “more gay” side. So, most of the time, one side is for straight vacationers while the other is regarded as more LGBT!
The Mykonos Nightlife
Everybody knows of the vivid Mykonos night scene. Expect lots and lots of gar bars and clubs to party till the early morning hours. The heart of the island is also the location that hosts the most and best gay bars on the island. Although the recent COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the face of tourism dramatically, which means that there is no way to know for sure which bars and clubs will still be open after this pandemic is over, the most popular ones at this time are:
- @54 Bar & Sunset Terrace
- Porta Bar
- Lola Bar
- Elysium Bar
- Katerina’s Bar & Restaurant
- Kastro’s Bar
They all impress with their chic interiors, delicious cocktails, wide range of events and performances, upbeat tunes, quirky décor, Go-go dancers, drag shows, themed nights, unique ambience, and even panoramic views of Mykonos at sunset. You could also be served mouth-watering seafood and traditional Greek dishes!
Festivals to attend
Of course, we are talking about the world-famous Xlsior Festival that has become a tradition in the LGBT community since 2009. It is one of the best gay dance festivals in Europe for more than 20 years and gathers over 30,000 gay attendees every August. The event hosts international DJs and infamous gay artists. The opening party is usually held at the Elysium Hotel, followed by a series of non-stop parties at Cavo Paradiso.