Vibrant Gay Sitges, a jewel in the Mediterranean, is a party town, plain and simple, and this beach resort haven has been attracting a gay clientele since at least the 1960s. Located just a 40-minute drive down the coast from Barcelona in the province of Catalonia, Sitges, a former fishing village, offers more than 300 days of sunshine a year and unlike some summer hotspots that close down in autumn, Sitges is jumping 12 months a year. It offers Carnival festivities in February or March, the Fiesta Major celebration in August and an international film festival in October. If you can peel yourself away from the beach there are three great museums in Sitges: Cau Ferrat Museum, Maricel Museum, and Museu Romantic.
When in town, make sure to sample Xato, a Catalan dish of endive salad prepared with an enticing sauce of almonds, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Most the gay bars are in three areas – on Calle Dos de Mayo (known locally as Sin Street), in the older part of the city off Calle Mayor, and in the triangular area bounded by Calle Espalter, Calle San Francisco and the Parellades. There are 17 beaches in Sitges, three of them gay and most of them drawing a mixed crowd. Playa De la Bassa Rodona sits directly below the Picnic restaurant, about a five-minute walk from the town center. Playa De Las Balmins and Playa del Muerto, a little further outside the city, are the nudist or naturalist beaches. Many of the beaches can feel a bit cruisy.
Bears, take note: Sitges hosts two major events for bears and their partners—the annual International Bear Meeting BSC in April or May and Sitges International Bear Week in September; both are put together by Bears Sitges Club.
There are ranges of high-end and value-priced hotels in the city, including ones that are gay-operated. Check out our Sitges lodging list.