C. Papachristou

LGBTQ+ friendly Greece

Destinations, Events and Activities

From glamorous luxury holidays to gorgeously authentic indie adventures, Greece is every traveller’s dream come true. It is known across the world for its warm, friendly people, fantastic cultural and culinary heritage, natural beauty, and one-of-a-kind historical attractions. Not least, Greece is known as one of the world’s most popular LGBTQ+ holiday destinations: safe, welcoming, and full of great places to go and things to do for LGBTQ+ travellers.

Places to Go
With some of the most progressive views in the region, Greece is a natural choice for LGBTQ+ vacations, whether you’re looking for loud-and-proud beach parties or quiet gay-friendly getaways.

Mykonos is, without a doubt, the top-of-mind destination—a sun-drenched gay mecca known far and wide for its glamorous lifestyle, luxury hospitality, and legendary parties. But Mykonos isn’t the only LGBTQ+ friendly Greek destination to explore.

Island favourites include Lesvos, the birthplace of the poet Sappho, which has long been popular with lesbian tourists; Milos, with its distinctive white rock beaches and reputation as an island for lovers; Santorini, cosmopolitan and enchanting; Skiathos, the laid-back jewel that hosted the first International Gay Cultural Festival in 2012; and Astypalaia, which is ideal for low-key getaways with off-the-beaten-path vibes. Crete, the country’s largest island, also offers plenty of LGBTQ+ friendly options, particularly in larger towns such as Chania and Heraklion, while to the west, the Ionian Islands—including Corfu, with its regal air, and Zakynthos, with its white-sand beaches—offer idyllic, verdant settings for relaxing holidays.

Athens and Thessaloniki, the Greek capital and the country’s second-largest city respectively, make for fantastic city breaks, combining world-class attractions, great weather, excellent culinary scenes, sensational nightlife, and vibrant LGBTQ+ communities.

Festivals to Check Out
When it comes to cultural goings on that are LGBTQ+ friendly and fun, you’ll have plenty to choose from your next trip to Greece.

The Greek islands come alive with festivals during the summer: There’s Animasyros, an international animation festival held annually on the island of Syros, which includes Animapride, a dedicated competition section for LGBTQI+ films. There’s the International Eressos Women’s Festival, held annually in September on the island of Lesvos. There’s the delightfully indie Saristra, a queer-friendly music and art festival held annually in the ruins of an abandoned traditional village in Kefalonia, and Little Islands Festival, held annually on the island of Sikinos and proclaiming itself as a celebration of the audiovisual arts and an open space for creative interaction. And then of course there’s Xlsior, a music festival cum dance party that’s held in Mykonos each August and is considered one of the greatest gay summer festivals in the world.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous music, art and film festivals held throughout Greece every year that embrace and celebrate LGBTQ+ identities. Notably, this year’s Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival (7-17 March 2024), was held under the theme “Citizen Queer”, paying tribute to the queer narratives in world cinema and the LGBTQ+ community’s journey through the lens of documentary filmmaking.

Things to Do
From soaking up the Greek sun and cruising in the Aegean islands to exploring Greece’s fascinating queer history and art, there’s something to satisfy every mood and fancy.
  •  If you’re riding the summer vibes, there are plenty of sun, sea and sand options with a distinctively LGBTQ+ flavour, including dedicated gay beaches on most popular islands and gay cruises and yacht holidays in both the Aegean and Ionian Seas, as well as in the Saronic Gulf near Athens.
  •  If you’re feeling cerebral, why not explore the country’s queer history, from the homoerotic themes in ancient myths and legends to the LGBTQ-interest exhibits in the country’s excellent archaeological museums and the world’s possibly oldest gay graffiti, a 5th-century BCE rock carving on the Aegean Island of Astypalaia.
  •  If you’re planning a city trip, Athens and Thessaloniki are both home to large and active LGBTQ+ communities and boast many queer venues and events as well as gay bars and clubs. Here, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to get a taste of real Greek LGBTQ+ nightlife and delve into the country’s contemporary queer culture; look out for exhibitions and events featuring LGBTQ+ artists and authors, from established household names to underground creative collectives.

Get Inspired


LGBTQ+ Travellers in Thessaloniki

Different people and cultures define Thessaloniki’s history, so embracing the diversity of the queer community is a no-brainer. While Greece as a whole works hard to spread awareness and inclusivity, Thessaloniki stands out as a very open-minded city. It’s sure to delight you with its warm and lively character. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best time possible.

LGBTQ+ Journeying to Athens

Over the years Athens has become a LGBTQ+ hub. Travellers can enjoy a warm and open-minded atmosphere while discovering fun events and venues. Here are some benefits to visiting Athens as a member of the queer community.


What’s better than a weekend? A greekend. In just a few hours from home, why not make your next weekend, a greekend*!