Don’t get me wrong, I love pride. I like a parade as much as the next gay, but I wouldn’t always want to plan my year of travel around it.© EpicStockMedia Depositphotos
There are plenty of locations around the world that are looking to celebrate everything that is wonderful about being gay, without the onslaught of rainbows, banners, political undertone, and crowds so large that you’re about as likely to get to the bar as you are to score a wristie from Russell Tovey (ps if anyone knows how to do the latter, please get in touch IMMEDIATELY!).
So if you’re thinking about a gay vacay but don’t fancy packing your rainbow flag, here are a few fabulous festivals that you can book right now.
1. Pink Week Festival, Slovenia – 24th to 28th May
Slovenia is probably not one of the first places you’d think about when you consider gay festivals, and while Mykonos and Tel Aviv have plenty of obvious draw, Slovenia definitely has its own appeal. Slovenia boasts being one of the greenest countries in Europe, with breathtaking backdrops and lush green countrysides that put ours to shame. And while it’s a relatively small country, that could, in fact, be a big part of its appeal.
Now in its 4th year, Pink Week is an event that aims to combine cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences with a healthy mix of events and parties for both visiting and local LGBT communities.
Pink Week, organised by local couple Matej and Mattej (matching names, totes adorbs), offers a variety of different packages that you can buy in advance, depending on the type of gay holiday you’re looking for. Have a browse and pick from highlights such as guided tours of the capital Ljubljana, gourmet dinners, a visit to Tiffany GAY Club, an afternoon of luxury at Lake Bled, and a champagne boat ride on river Ljubljanica.
Head on over to pinkweek.eu to find out more!
2. Pink Lake Festival, Austria – 24th to 27th August
Another Pink-themed gay festival in Europe, hopefully featuring this guy wandering around handing out drinks … or weird pink hovering balls.
Set, as the name suggests, around a lake in the Wörthersee Region of Austria, Pink Lake is an LGBT celebration that revels in its small town charm. With so many big-scale LGBT events across Europe, Pink Lake’s appeal is it’s “off the beaten track” nature. No big city backdrop, no parades, no international celebrities, Pink Lake is more of an international get-together for all LGBT travellers. All taking place in a beautiful town in a magical countryside that’s straight out of a gay fairytale.
Find out more about this at pinklake.at
3. Aspen Summer Holiday, USA – August 24-26
Hosted by men’s wedding magazine Men’s Vows, the Aspen Summer Holiday is the complement to its more established winter counterpart, Aspen Gay Ski Week. For its first year, Aspen Summer holiday has paired with notable charities such as the National LGBT Task Force and The Generation project to turn some well-earned fun into a good cause for the whole community.
The event is focused on all the amazing activities you can do outdoors in Colorado, giving gay men the chance to meet other people and bond while hiking, horse riding and river rafting. There are fashion shows, pool parties and event CrossFit sessions planned, so it looks to be a community event with a difference.
If you favour the idea of fresh air, exercise, and outdoor activities that don’t include underwear parades and dogging, then visit www.aspensummerholiday.com
Travel is such a huge part of modern life, and having grown up overseas and lived as a digital nomad no one gets that more than me.
As the world gets smaller we’re constantly looking for new and exciting places to visit that are safe and welcoming to the LGBT+ community.