What's it really like?
Ibiza is synonymous with partying. One of the Balearic Islands off Spain’s eastern coast, it has acquired an infamous reputation as a place of mega-parties hosted by superstar DJs, booze cruises, and happy hours on the beach. It makes sense, then, that party-loving gays have been flocking to Ibiza for years to make the most of the Mediterranean’s hottest nightlife spot.
Nowadays, Ibiza is as gay-friendly as other European beach party destinations like Sitges and Mykonos. The main difference is that, thanks to an anything-goes liberal attitude, gay and queer spaces tend to be significantly more mixed. Most gay bars are hetero-friendly, and most regular bars are gay-friendly.
Of course, some places are gayer than others. Most of the gay bars are grouped around Calle de la Virgen in Ibiza town, and you’ll find clothing-optional gay heaven at El Cavallet beach and its iconic gay bar Chiringay, a 20-minute taxi from Ibiza beach. There are also some amazing men-only gay hotels, such as The Purple Hotel, if you want a 100% gay experience. Gay hangouts range from chic cocktail bars filled with Instagram influencers to chilled-out terraces and friendly cafes where you can nurse your hangover the next day.
Once a year, gay Ibiza becomes even gayer during its fabulous Pride celebrations. If you really want to make the most of gay Ibiza, book your stay during the festivities in June. Just make sure you book your hotel well in advance, especially if you want to stay in a gay or gay-popular hotel. In fact, booking early is a good idea for anyone coming to Ibiza during the summer months- over 7 million tourists descend on the island during peak season.
The nightlife may be the main draw, but Ibiza has a lot more to offer. Outside of the highly developed resort areas, you will find stunning nature, centuries-old heritage, and some surprisingly quiet beaches. There is also a huge industry dedicated to curing the excesses of your nights out on the town, including fantastic spas, world-class restaurants and cafes, and some of the best poolside lounging in Europe.
Ibiza town is the main nightlife hub on the island and Figueretes, a stylish resort in the suburbs, is home to the closest large beach. Most visitors to Ibiza stay in one of these areas.
All of the hotels on this list are popular with gay visitors and most have outdoor swimming pools. There are stylish designer hotels and five-star suites for luxury lovers, cozy apartments and residences for those who like to feel at home, and friendly simple stays for budget travelers who haven’t come all this way to stay in their hotel room.
As a whole, Spain is a very tolerant country of homosexuality. In fact, a 2013 study found it to have the highest rate of homosexual acceptance (88%) of all countries polled. Despite having only recently emerged from a troubled history of fascism, the country developed progressive gender and sexuality laws very quickly and is now amongst the best in the world for LGBT rights.
As a world capital of party culture with an ever-growing gay scene, Ibiza is about as gay-friendly as you can get. Gay visitors are welcome throughout the island, and you’ll find increasingly more spaces labeling themselves as “hetero-friendly”.
The most convenient place to get tested on the island is at the Better2Know Sexual Health clinic in Ibiza town. Better2Know are a well-established chain of private clinics across Spain, with efficient and bilingual service. That said, as a private clinic, prices are relatively high. A 28-day HIV test costs €125 and a full STI screen €295.
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