With DJs playing live even in the supermarket, you can dance, flirt and make new friends 24/7. In Gay Mykonos anything can, and indeed does, happen –though mercifully stays here!
With a signature mix of breathtaking beaches, award-winning restaurants, extravagant boutiques, iconic 5-star luxury hotels, white-glove services and dusk to dawn champagne-drenched parties, Mykonos has been the playground of the hedonistic-seeking jet-set since the 1970s. This is when the international gay community began to pour in too. Inspired by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, their quintessential style icon –and one of the island’s greatest fans, they were among the first to discover a taboo-less, safe haven, where no judgement was held, least of all on the basis of one’s sexuality.
Awe-inspiring scenery and open-minded populace aside, there was another critical lure: And it was no other than Mykonos’ one-of-a-kind, rose-gold light, which makes even the most hungover, sleepless and sunburnt among us look beautiful. Ask any local and they’ll tell you this is directly related to the neighbouring island of Delos –the sacred isle upon which divine twins Apollo and Artemis, along with light itself, were born.
Indeed, like the trademark Mykonian light, some things never change: Despite the burgeoning growth of tourism, much of the island’s landscape remains mercifully unscathed —the sugar-cube houses of Chora are just as photogenic as they were back in 1939, when the great Modernist master, Le Corbusier, concluded that no one could call themselves an architect without studying these one-room whitewashed structures. Humble of course they no longer are. Presently they house exceedingly chic establishments, as glitz and glamour rule the day. Be it in the beaches, bars, hotels or boutiques of Mykonos, pleasure takes many shapes and forms –both scenic and carnal– and it is no wonder the queer culture is freely celebrated here in all its diversity and glory.
Read on for all you need to know about gay Mykonos —including where to find the best bubbly on the beach, what are the top seafront balconies for cocktails and where to flirt and dance your nights away.
Gay Mykonos: XLSIOR Festival
One of the world’s hottest gay circuit events takes place in Mykonos every summer. Though its 2021 edition was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions, Xlsior Mykonos 2022 promises to be even bigger and better than ever: A week-long bacchanalian extravaganza of astonishing music, sexy dancers, mind-blowing shows and new, sizzling acquaintances, this huge festival is not one to miss. With more than 30,000 people from all over the planet descending on the island just for it, it’s best however to book your gay Mykonos hotel early.
Gay Mykonos: Beaches
Paradise, the original nudist-gay playground, remains clothing optional and draws the beautiful and the bronzed; while Super Paradise – reached by a small boat from its neighbour – is an anti-conformist, out-and-proud gay beach. Virtually void of hotels it is home to the Jackie O’ Beach club – a gay exclusive haunt named after the woman that started it all. It also hosts the fabled Super Paradise beach bar accommodating anyone who’s up for some serious fun under the sun – whether gay or straight, fully clothed, scantily clad, or not at all.
The much larger and less busy, sandy Elia beach moreover, caters to an eclectic crowd of hetero and homo sun worshippers. The organized part has sunbeds, umbrellas, waterbeds and various water sports. At the far end at the right side, head for the rainbow flag and you will eventually come to the gay part. Though about 50% of the crowd remains in their swimsuits, this poses no problem for the other half –everyone is just very relaxed and in tune with the anything-goes holiday mood.
Gay Mykonos by night
Though you’ll be having your fair share of fun on the beach, come sunset and it’s time to move your bronzed bodies into town. The quaint seafront neighbourhood of Little Venice is home to some of the island’s best bars and clubs –and right where all nighttime action peaks. Just like any self-respecting Mykonos aficionado –gay, straight and everything in between– you’ll want to start with sundowners at the emblematic Semeli the Bar, before joining the paparazzi snapped celebrities at Bao’s and then moving on to dance your worries away at the uber fashionable Toy Room.
All this non-stop merrymaking can take its toll though, even on the most seasoned of party animals. The good news is that your plush room or suite at the Semeli will be just a few minutes walk away, in a fairly central yet quiet corner of the town. With its handmade breakfast –thoughtfully served until noon– and superb food at the onsite Thioni and Krama restaurants, the best among 5-star Mykonos hotels, also sports a luxurious Spa offering an array of signature recovery packages and treatments. This means that you’ll enjoy head to toe rejuvenation and all senses pampering, so that’ll you be ready and primed for your next adventure in Mykonos!