Mykonos is probably the best known gay destination in the world. The island is located in the Aegean Sea, in the far south of Europe. It’s part of the Cyclades archipelago, which includes more than 200 islands and islets, among which the island of Delos, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can actually visit this ancient Greek gem from Mykonos. Although Mykonos is a gay destination to party and enjoy the turquoise sea, ancient history lovers will love it, as the island is also the departure point for many excursions that will take you back to Greek mythology. Apollo, Dionysus and Heracles will have no more secrets for you!
An integral part of Greece, Mykonos is divided between legend and mythology. His name would come from the hero Mycon, grandson of Apollo. With its Mediterranean climate and postcard landscapes, the island really became a tourist destination during the 1950s. In 1970, it became the main destination for the gay clientele. Moreover, it’s also the favourite vacation spot of the famous fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, whom you can meet in the alleys of the city while shopping (personal anecdote of the author of these lines and I assure you that he has a very laid-back attitude). The population of Mykonos is just over 10,000, but its population increases fivefold during summer.
For some 50 years now, Mykonos has been unanimously recognized as a favourite destination for LGBTQ+ clientele. When gay-friendly destinations were still being counted on the fingers of one hand, Mykonos was already one of them. This shows just how welcoming the island has become to the community. We can even talk about a “straight-friendly” island.
There is still some work to do in terms of adoption (allowed only for one member of the couple, not both) and acceptance in the most secluded areas, but in the case of Mykonos, you have nothing to worry about. In Greece, since 2010, transgender people are protected by law and from any discrimination on the basis of their gender identity. Civil partnership exists since 2015. Gay marriage is being legalised, but at the moment, only foreign marriages are recognised in law.
The island of Mykonos is part of Greece, which is a member country of the European Union. The currency is the Euro.
For citizens of the European Union, Switzerland or a member country of the European Economic Area, a national identity card or passport is sufficient, as Greece is a member of the Schengen Area.
For travellers from Canada, the United States and Australia, there is an agreement with the EU that allows you to be exempt from visa requirements for stays of less than 90 days. However, please note that in 2022, you will have to obtain your ETIAS before your departure. This is an electronic travel authorisation that must be done online before the trip, which will cost €7 and will give access to the Schengen area. Here is the link for more information: ETIAS.
Elysium Sunset Bar @Elysium Hotel (right next to the School of Fine Arts). Very famous trendy bar of the gay Elysium Hotel. Open to non-hotel guests. Magnificent view of Mykonos and the sunset. There are shows of gogos, djs, etc… To get there, you have to go up the very steep hill from the centre of Mykonos towards the School of Fine Arts. To visit at least once during your stay just for the atmosphere and the view.
Babylon Bar (harbour area). Gay bar in Mykonos in the harbour area, great view, quiet and with excellent cocktails.
JackieO’. (harbour area). Right next to Babylon. Gay bar with also a very nice view and authentic brick decoration.
Lola (Zanni Pitaraki, 4). Longstanding gay bar with a very nice and welcoming staff. Go at least once during your stay.
Kastro’s (harbour area). It is a restaurant, but its ideal position in front of the sea makes it an ideal place to have a glass of wine or a cocktail.
Porta Bar (center). Famous gay bar-disco in Mykonos. Go after dinner to start, and why not finish your evening.
54 Cocktail Bar & Sunset Lounge (Manto Square) Lounge bar with excellent cocktails.
Montparnasse – the Piano Bar (harbour area). Announced as permanently closed (Covid-19). Checking.
Important note: in the case of Mykonos, the above list represents bars with a 100% gay history and reputation. This is a non-exhaustive listing, as Mykonos is a predominantly LGBTQ+ destination, all the bars on the island are deemed gay-friendly.
JackieO’ Beach Club @beach of Super Paradise. This club is located in the south of the island, on the gay beach of Super Paradise. You can get there by taxi or bus from the central bus station in Mykonos (there are regular rotations). Club atmosphere, swimming pool, music, djs, all in front of the sea. You can come during the day and in the evening.
XLSIOR Mykonos @any number of places. Very well known international gay festival. Next programming from 18 to 25 August 2021. See details on XLSIOR MYKONOS.
Cavo Paradiso Club (Paradise Beach). Well-known show nights and international djs. gay friendly.
This will become your routine every morning: take the scooter, the bus (from the central station in town), or a taxi to go to one of these beaches during your stay.
Elia Beach. In the south of the island, superb gay beach with naturist area. The sand is fine, the water is clear and there is music. Really nice spot.
Agrari Beach. Located just on the west side of Elia beach, walk a little past the naturist area. The deckchair rental is a little cheaper than on Elia.
Super Paradise Beach. Lively gay beach with beautiful crystal clear water, but very crowded. There’s the Super Paradise Beach Gay Club nearby.
You can also go to Paradise Beach (located right next to the well known Cavo Paradiso club) but don’t be mistaken between Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach if you have to join your friends in either place.
Kalafatis Beach. Located on the other side of the island, very beautiful beach of fine sand and crystal clear water.
Other beaches in Mykonos are also considered “gay friendly”.
Unlike many gay destinations in the world, there is no Gay Cruising Bar or Gay Sauna in Mykonos. Of course, some hotels have their own sauna and spa area.
Nevertheless, you can always try to take a walk around the Orthodox church of Paraportiani after dark… Who knows what you might find there.
August 18 to 25, 2021.
Awaiting final confirmation.
It’s an international event not to be missed in Mykonos. All Mykonos gay pride events take place during the XLSIOR Mykonos Festival: Beach Party, WE Party, Deep Party, Vicious Party and of course the parade.
Grindr and Romeo will be your best friends to meet new people in Greece. Even if during the peak season, almost all gay dating applications are used there as Mykonos is an international gay meeting point.
Video source: YouTube – A K Official (XLSIOR) – July 28, 2020. Photo credit: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: Sven Hansche.