Category Archives: Spain

Summer Fun with Gay Pride in Barcelona Spain

For the fifth year running, Barcelona is well into the preparations
to welcome you to the most important LGBT pride festival in the
Mediterranean – Pride Barcelona’13. The main celebrations will be on the
weekend of the 28th, 29th and 30th of June , but entire festival
includes a program that runs from the 20th to the 30th of June!

30 charitable associations,
many local businesses and the entire LBGT community have again united
to organise a new pride for the city – offering ten days of culture,
sport, debate, entertainment and parties. Pride Barcelona is a major
free not-for-profit event that both celebrates the best of the Catalan
capital.

Spain is a shining example of LGBT Rights, and is already on the
global map for pride celebrations in Madrid and Maspalomas – always
reaffirming our open, respectful and tolerant character. Barcelona is
now firmly placed on that map – growing bigger and better every year.

Come and experience Pride Barcelona 2013. See for yourself why this
new event is now among the greatest pride celebrations in the world!

Pride Barcelona

2nd Annual Gay Ski Week in ANDORRA! Just Weeks Away!


2nd  ANNUAL 
GAY  SKI  WEEK


in  ANDORRA – March 21-28, 2010


Want a real exciting custom gay ski getaway?
THIS IS THE PLACE!
It’s a little tricky to get to, but worth it.

Andorra is a small country nestled  between  Spain and France. ANDORRA is NOT the mother witch from Bewitched!    That’s Endorra!  

If you have never heard of Andorra  it is an old,  small, beautiful  landlocked country in western Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Just a 2 hour drive from Barcelona airport, or  slightly less if you drive in from the Toulouse airport in France.



Andorra truly has some breathtaking mountains!  We stood in awe at the Grand Valira ski resort/station, from the base of the mountains, looking towards the top, which must have stretched 2+ miles…skiers looked like ants moving down the hills!  Equally as beautiful, but much smaller was the Vallnord resort/station.

Due to its location in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, Andorra consists predominantly of rugged mountains of an average height of 1,996 metres (6,549 ft) with the highest being the Coma Pedrosa at 2,946 metres (9,665 ft).
 
These are dissected by three narrow valleys in a Y shape that combine into one as the main stream, the Valira river, leaves the country for Spain (at Andorra’s lowest point of 870 m/2,854 ft). Andorra’s total surface area is only 468 square kilometres (181 sq mi).



Skiing is very big there, as you can imagine, surrounded by all the amazing mountains. I am NOT a skier, and found  lots to do and see in Andorra…both in the snow and out of the snow. 

They have things like ski bikes, snow mobiles and Husky sleigh rides/dog sleds for non-skiers. And being up in the mountains surrounded by all the majestic beauty, is breathtaking!

This past ski season Andorra really raised the bar to compete in the skiing market. In addition to the inclusion of an ice hotel, Andorra hotels and resorts have made more than 20 million euros worth of upgrades to existing ski areas. Improvements and additions include low-cost helicopter sight-seeing flights, tubing slopes, new ice rinks and a snowmobile circuit.



 


 
And after all that skiing – who wouldn’t LOVE A DAY AT A SPA?    Caldea is one of the most luxe spas with dozens of pools, I have ever seen! 

  CALDEA SPA.  is AMAZING! It’s like something out of a Busby Berkeley movie!

Designed by the architect Jean-Michel Ruols – is fruit of the will of the community (town council) of Escaldes-Engordany to make use of the richness of the territory’s thermal water, with a philosophy different to that of traditional health resorts: thermoludism. The concept was entirely innovative and avoids use of the therapeutic properties of thermal water. Thermoludism is the use of the properties and benefits of thermal water to rest, recuperate vitality and well-being. The water at different temperatures procures authentic gymnastic toning for the body, and the thermal water help psychic rebalance.




There is a huge indoor lagoon with several different baths and bubbles to enjoy. Cascading steps take you into a large pool and a   “river” which you can follow to even more pools outside! An entire world of aquatic areas, aerobaths and hydromassage.

There is an Islandic bath, AquaMassage area, Sirocco hot air bath, Sauna’s, Hammam with vaporisation, Infrared relaxing areas, Grapfruit pool and even swim up bars for refreshments. You pay one fee, which is about 30 euros and you can use all of these areas for about 4 hours.

So what are you waiting for?!

You book a plane to Barcelona and ORIGINAL ANDORRA GAY TRAVEL SPECIALISTS will customize your gay week in Andorra!



This years host hotel is is the Hotel Rutllan. Other choices available as well. It will be a wonderful week, and very reasonably priced!




New Gay Travel Guide

 

CIRCUIT FESTIVAL Returns to Gay Barcelona August 1 – 9



Circuit Festival is back and here to stay. Powered by Matinée Group, Europe’s hottest Gay & Lesbian event will take place in Barcelona from August 1st to 9th, ready to make a difference on the scene. Nightly, the best names in the gay circuit ready to dish out the best rhythms. But it doesn’t end with the clubbing.


 


During the day, an incredible set of tempting activities and venues will surely get you out of bed: specially our very own Gay & Lesbian Day at the Water Park – a field trip including steamy parties and refreshing water rides. Still need more facts? Take note: more than 30.000 people from over 30 different countries partying wildly for 9 days in a row. The best Dj’s (over 30!)  and performers from all over the world lined up for you partygoers delight.

 


And to top it off: sunny Barcelona and its beaches to make your stay one to remember.

One summer week… Are you gonna miss it?


 



12 Years strong! Barcelona’s  MATINEE GROUP is bigger than ever overseas! The group now hosts some of the biggest parties in the world! Everywhere from Spain to London to Italy. – And CIRCUIT is their crown jewel!


For the first time in Europe, Circuit Festival brings you the biggest gay party of NYC. Its star Djs, Peter Rauhofer and Offer Nissim, will offer you the best worldwide clubber sound of the planet. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to life the session if this truly stars at the decks playing at their most international party.

The Gay Day at the Waterpark is one of the most popular parties. And this year, you get 2 parties in one!

Wednesday 5th you will enjoy again the sun, the music and the best company in a fun, different and – above all – very refreshing environment. From 10 am  you  will enjoy a very special day at a water park open only us, with amazing rides, themed areas, sunbathing and relaxing spaces and – of course – the most innovative rides around. Starting at 15:00 get ready because the park will become an outdoor club where you will be able to dance in and outside the water to the sound of Matinée’s best Dj’s: J.Louis, Taito Tikaro, André Vincenzzo, Enrico Arghentini and Lydia Sanz.




Then, from the closing of the Water Park until 5am, get the strengths because the night party will begin: Bravo, the most spectacular party of Madrid, arrives to the disco of Isla Fantasia with all the power of its mega animation and production…

the Djs Francesco Belais, Danny Verde and Nano will make you dance the night away. Of course, during all day and night there will be available restaurants, chill areas and dressing rooms so you will have the chance to rest, change clothes and enjoy a revitalizing meal.

I am going to need  a  LOT OF COFFEE, or something, to make it through that week!

I will need a week in SITGES to rest afterwards!  See you there!




If you don’t know who Matinee Group is , check out their MySpace page and watch the video.

Watch some highlight videos from last years Circuit Festival, on their site! 

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Gay Sitges – Gay Paradise – The St. Tropez of Spain! Part 2

 


When the Roman’s first visited Spain over two thousand year’s ago they built a town called Subur. Sitges now stands on that very same spot. We all know how the Roman centurions liked to party and that tradition continues to this very day. Welcome to Sitges, a party-town like no other.

Traveling to Sitges is easy, accommodations plentiful, the climate perfectly Mediterranean, the people relaxed, the beaches long and sandy, the food and drink easy to come by and full of regional variety.

Sitges is often called the St. Tropez of Spain and the Crown Jewel of the Mediterranean. In ways, I found the lay of the land similar to Puerto Vallarta and the village is very old and full of charm.


Last week we gave you an overview of this great gay village by sea, this week we’ll take a little closer look at a few of many, many, MANY stores and bars in this small village.



First…WHERE TO STAY?

We highly recommend  PARROTS HOTEL. In the heart of Sitges, just one block from the glittering Mediterranean Sea and the beach. A gay urban oasis!  The rooms are modern, confortable, clean with all the amenities you would expect. Room safe, flat screen TV, big beds and many rooms have balconies or terraces. Free wi-fi in the lobby. Plus a friendly, helpful staff!

The laid-back ambiance and gracious staff of the Parrots prove ideal to the casual traveller who´s looking for a place where anything goes. No worries, no attitude, just fun times.

The staff has extensive local knowledge and is willing to answer questions or source tourist information to ensure or source tourist information to ensure your stay is a memorable one – challenge them and be surprised!


A generous continental style buffet-breakfast is included in the price of your stay. This can be enjoyed in our spacious breakfast room, in the shade of the patio terrace, or under the blue morning skies on our large sun terrace.


The upper sun terrace is the place to be for those who have an aversion to sand, while the elegant lobby and bar becomes a cool retreat on balmy summer nights.



Parrots  also owns a gay sauna (located right inside the building) plus a restaurant, offering a delicious set menu and a full a la carte option, Parrots Restaurant also boasts an excellent wine list. The outside terrace is especially popular. Reservations are recommended.


And they have a great VIP Program. When you stay with them you get VIP access and exclusive discounts to all of their properties, including free entrance to  the on site Sauna, as well as some deals around town with participarting merchants.






 


If you would rather “get away” from the bustling village, just a stones throw up in the mountains is a modern Country villa guesthouse with 6 large private en-suite guestrooms! 

We highly recommend  CASA ROSA SITGES , it is situated  just 15 minutes by car from Sitges and it´s beautiful beaches,  in the beautiful & romantic hills of the wine region Penedés. And they offer a shuttle service down to Sitges or can help arrange for a rental car if you really want to explore the area. 

Your hosts Thomas and Bjorn, make you feel welcomed and right at home. It is a wonderful personal touch that often you do not get when staying at large hotels. It’s very relaxing here with lots of space, more laid back than staying right in the heart of the action, but just minutes away from the fun, so it easy to go back and fourth.



Casa Rosa is the ideal getaway for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday on the quiet hillside of Olivella.

Whether you want to enjoy nature, walking, mountainbiking, hot air ballooning, sun and relax by the pool or to discover the local culture just around the corner. You will find it all here!



SHOPPING!  I  found  AMAZING  deals  here!  And very cool European clothing by many designers that  you just can’t find in the US. And I love this village because everything is SO CLOSE.  Everything is within a 3-7 minute walk.




Some of my favorite shops  for men’s clothes included …

  Boyzone  – Bonaventura, 18         Very cool, fabulous cutting edge styles.  
  Dive    – Gaudenci, 12                   Mid market clothing.  Great collection of  casual styles.
  Dive Outlet   – Joan Tarrida, 3     Clearance store. Love a sale! 
  Ovlas   – Francesc, 22                  Mid market clothing. 
  Oscar  – Marques Montroig, 2     Awesome underwear and jean collections. 
                                                            D&G, Cavalli, Armani, Alexander McQueen and more.
  Replay  – Francesc, 36               Casual popular euro company.
   ZAK – Sant Francesc, 1           Very nice! Unique/boutique designs and beautifully tailored. And affordable.

There are also many home design and furnishing shops as well as  art shops.

 



This is  a  party town, especially in the summer!  Atlántida disco GBP held every Tuesday in the high season. A large open air disco right on the sea front. There is a free bus from in front of the Calipolis Hotel (Where the gay beach is), on the sea front. As you can see from the video, it gets packed and the talent is out of this world!  MATINEE Group is just one of the big names here you will see.

There are also 2 big parties geared more towards Lesbians (and their friends). Marypili, a bar right next door to Parrots Hotel, organizes Fiesta Lola in April  and the  Legends Party in August (on the 10th), which draws over 2000  people! There are events and parties all year in Sitges, but especially May through September. So you may want to look at the online guides we have listed or check in with Parrots, as you may want to plan your trip around one of the events. Lesbian events, Bear Parties, Carnaval, Fiesta Mayor and endless dance and beach parties, all with themes!

The first gay disco in Spain opened in Sitges 25 years ago. It is still going stronger than ever. Trailer’s foam parties on Sunday night are world renowned. (Angel Vidal, 36)Hands get frisky as the foam level rises. This is a big disco – and Organic is the other big disco. (Bonaire, 10). Both of these are a later night crowd.


There are dozens of smaller clubs and cafes to pick from – Marypili and El Horno, are just steps outside the door of Parrot’s. And Parrot’s has a Pub, a Terrace, and  a restaurant, as well as the hotel and sauna. Everything is close by, just minutes from each other, so it is very easy to jump from place to place.   While we were there we also enjoyed  B-Side, Man Bar, XXL, Le Male Bar  and Organic. Many of the stores and Cafes have gay pocket maps available. 


The village is full of cafes and restaurants!  People watching is a favorite sport here in the summer, visitors like to sit at the outdoor cafés hoping either to be seen or to see some one else!  There are SO MANY to choose from. It just depends what you are looking for.

Crepes at El Capricho, Italian at Vesuvio, International cuisine at Monroe’s – the list is endless. While shopping one evening we stopped into a tiny place called  Road Cafe, Parrelledes 13. And we had one of the best thin crust pizza’s  and HUGE  glasses of wine, it was very good.

The entire beachfront is dotted with outdoor cafes. Being the Italian lovers we are, we went to Ristorante Pizzeria Claudius and sat on the patio watching people, sipping on wine and snacking on Calamari.





Sitges is very international. Almost 35% of the ca. 26,000 inhabitants are from the Netherlands, Great Britain, France and Scandinavia.  And tourists come from all over the world.

 



 Many tourists fall in love with it and decide to move here! The property prices  here are approaching those of the most expensive European cities, the main reason for this being the beautiful setting by the sea and the surrounding Parc Natural del Garraf. – However, if you are from the US, you won’t be sticker-shocked by the prices. It is not outrageous.


Sitges has to be one of the easiest gay destinations to visit. It is just 20 minutes train journey from Barcelona. And the resort is the perfect base for exploring the other parts of Cataluna. Universal Studios theme park is nearby at Port Aventura, and the ancient monastery of Montserrat  is in the mountains to the north.

 



SITGES….a gem in the Mediterranean!  We were told it is the prefect day or two trip getaway from Barcelona. I could come back here for a week! But be prepared to fall in love and perhaps spend the rest of your life in this quaint, unique little town!



Helpful links & Resources for Sitges:

PARROTS                    CASA ROSA guesthouse     Gay Beach Parties      Gay Sitges Videos


The Gay Paradise – Sitges        Gay Sitges Guide         Gay Sitges Online     Gay Life Sitges



BEST GAY CITIES   and  the  NEW GAY TRAVEL GUIDE