Archive for December, 2012

Embarking on a Spanish Road Trip

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourist countries. It is also home to a huge expat community, which makes up over a tenth of the population. The problem is that holidaymakers have a tendency to go back to the same destinations every time they visit and expats usually stay in one location, meaning that few visitors to the nation get to experience the full extent of its beauty and diversity. Embarking upon a Spanish road trip is the perfect means of doing this. Spain is an ideal road trip destination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual travelers, as it is an increasingly progressive nation where gay marriage has been legal since 2005. It is also home to snow-capped mountaintops, fascinating sights of historical importance and beautiful sunny beaches, making it an exciting country to explore.

Getting a Set of Wheels

If you are one of the many people who have moved to Spain in search of warmer weather then you might already have your own vehicle. If you live in the country but have not got your own set of wheels then a road trip is the perfect excuse to get one. However, if you are travelling to the country for a holiday or if you would rather not do anything as drastic as splash out on buying a car for the sake of a road trip then renting will be your best option. Spain is home to many well-known car rental companies and some Spanish ones that you won’t have heard of. It is best to go with a company that is aimed at tourists in order to ensure that the staff will speak English and no misunderstandings can arise.

Barcelona

One of the best routes for road trips takes you from Barcelona to Malaga over the course of a fortnight. Barcelona is the perfect place to spend the first few days of your holiday, as it contains a plethora of different gay clubs and bars, including the Axel Sky Bar, which featured in Out magazine’s fifty greatest gay bars in the world. The downside to the city is the fact that it contains a lot of pickpockets, some of which specialise in stealing from tourists in the gay clubs. As with any other large city, it is important to be on the lookout for thieves.

 

 

 

 

Madrid and Valencia

From Barcelona, you can travel southwest to the capital city of Madrid, which is home to more gay friendly nightspots, along with a number of world-class museums, historic churches and theatres. Dance enthusiasts might also want to check out a flamenco performance whilst they are there. They take place at various different restaurants, bars and clubs. Once you have had your fill of the capital, it is time to head on to Valencia, which boasts luxurious beaches, palm trees and a sea so blue that you will hardly be able to take your eyes off it. It is the perfect place to unwind after partying it up during the first few days of your vacation.

 

 

A Ninth Century Castle, an Arabic Fortress and a Gay Safe Haven

From Valencia, turn down the Costa Blanca to Alicante and spend some time marvelling at the impressive Santa Barbara Castle, which dates back to the 9th Century and towers above the city. Next follow the sea through the relatively bland resort of Torrevieja and cut inland and up through the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains to reach the city of Granada, where you can explore an ancient Arabic fortress called Alhambra. After gazing in awe at the ornate architecture, continue west through the Andalusian countryside to Seville, which is reputed to be the most romantic city in Spain. Spend some time soaking up the atmosphere and then carry on to gay tourist hotspot Torremolinos. This town has played an important part in Spain’s gay history, as it has acted as a safe haven for LGBT individuals ever since the 1950s. Even during Franco’s regime when gay people were brutalised and persecuted elsewhere in Spain, the fact that gay holidaymakers brought so much money into Torremolinos made it somewhere that those who did not identify themselves as heterosexual were free to be themselves without fear of attack.

The Final Destination

Finally it is time to press on to Malaga, which is a popular tourist city containing a multitude of gay establishments. Here you can spend the day sipping cocktails on the beach before embarking upon the journey back to Barcelona. Spain is hardly an unusual country to visit but the majority of people who go on a vacation there only see a fraction of what it has to offer. Going on a road trip enables you to experience everything from the excitement of the big city to the exquisite scenery of the countryside and creates an air of adventure. Alongside cruising the Spanish coasts, it is the ideal way to explore and enjoy the delights this great nation has to offer.

Gay Skiathos

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The gods must have been smiling when they created Skiathos, gifting it with a dazzling number of beaches vastly out of proportion with its modest size. The island’s sheltered turquoise waters and abundant stretches of golden sand attract a large number of tourists each year, taking advantage of the hot, dry summer weather and opportunities for sunbathing, watersports, socialising and all-round relaxation.

Skiathos Island is one of the most gay friendly Greek islands, and this is obvious to anyone who visits. Last year the association of hotels and businesses arranged the 1st International Gay Culture Festival in order to officially open its ”doors” to the gay community and break with taboos. Next year the event is taking place  from 19-21 July as the Skiathos Seduction Festival.

When you visit Skiathos  you will find that a great part of the islands’s tourism is foreign with a large number coming from the U.K., Scandinavia, Cyprus, Italy and Germany. When arrive on the island of Skiathos come with an open mind, for this spectacular green island surpasses all descriptions.

Skiathos is the most cosmopolitan island in the Sporades. It has its own airport with international and local flights. With constant arrivals of domestic and international celebrities Skiathos Island has become one of the most loved destinations in Greece. The sense of hospitality (as well as in most Greek islands) is characteristic. The island is well- organized, clean and with all amenities and accommodations at very reasonable prices.

The main center of the island, also called Skiathos, is located on the eastern side of the island. The city is surrounded by the port which is the center of tourism throughout the summer. Here you will find many taverns, bars, restaurants, cafes and the shops which are open till late. The main street of Papadiamantis is famous for its strolling shoppers, and is a hub for tourists from all over the world.  The city center has many pictuersque narrow streets with photo opportunities round every corner! Coffee and ouzo can be enjoyed at one of of the many cafes or taverns, along with incredible harbor views. This island will certainly make you feel at home.

Skiathos is well served with roads but some transportation will be necessary if you want to enjoy the best of the island. Cars and bikes can be rented everywhere.  For  lovers of local cuisine, there are many picturesque taverns & restaurants even for the most demanding palates … In the Old or new port of the town, you will find the so-called ‘Bar Street’ where you will spend unforgettable moments  - guaranteed! Skiathos has some of the best clubs and bars in Europe, and many are British owned.  Whatever  your taste, you are likely to find it here. The island boasts some of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in the Aegean and in fact, seven of them have been awarded Blue Flags.  The “Little Banana” is a famous nudist and gay beach, and was recongnised as being one of the most  popular beaches in Greece by travelers in 2012.

If you visit Skiathos, be sure to post a review of your experience after your trip.