Spain has incredible annual events that draw many visitors to places all over the peninsular country and its islands. Of course being one of the most gay-friendly nations in Europe and the world, it’s no surprise that the country has plenty of year round events to offer the LGBT community. Here are some of the top ones not to be missed for LGBT travelers.
Gay Pride in Madrid is easily one of the biggest and best “straight-friendly” events in Spain with six days of great concerts, activities and parties. It’s the largest gay pride celebration in Europe bringing in over 2 million attendees. Some of the more unique events that week include the high-heel race, water fight, Mr Gay España contest, kids events and tours of Chueca (the local gayborhood). The whole city plays venue to the wide range of activities during the week and the Pride parade in Madrid is arguably one of the best in Europe. It starts off quite low key, but slowly builds up to be a large, crazy and wet celebration in the streets. – First weekend of July
Circuit Festival is the largest and probably the most well known gay festival in the world. Started in Barcelona, the festival attracts 70,000 gays from different countries to this 12 day event. Circuit has also expanded to Ibiza and most recently Maspalomas. At Circuit you can expect thousands of guys, a full 24 hours at one of the best (and gay!) water parks in Europe, top of the line DJs, musicians and awesome parties. – May & August 2016
Torremolinos started as a popular gay destination back in the 60s and manages to maintain its gay-friendly image today attracting many LGBT travelers to its warm climate with its annual events. Wonder Beach Festival takes place in early July and hosts parties by some of the most well known names in Spain including WE Party, My Pleasure, Papa Party and Que Trabaje Rita. Events also include concerts, art exhibitions, great DJs, pool parties and a film festival. – July 5 – 10, 2016
This gay festival is one of the largest gay events in Andalusia. Only in its second year, BEFREE guarantees great daytime beach and pool parties as well as nighttime parties. Including all the celebrations and amazing DJs, the three day event focuses on cultural, social and leisure activities. Their aim is to open up the LGBT market to the gorgeous city of Marbella. – September 1st-4th, 2016.
Maspalomas is definitely the most well-known gay hotspot for travelers in the Canary Islands. With its year round subtropical climate, you can go to the beach in the middle of February, or better yet, make a visit to the new “Winter Gay Pride Maspalomas” which takes place in November. It’s probably one of the larger off season pride events you’ll find and with warm weather, great beaches, sexy people and a big party, what’s not to like? – November 7th–13th, 2016
This event located in Sitges, Spain is in its sixth year and features awesome parties and activities in one of the best gay beach cities in Europe. Just a brief sample of the carryings-on: a drag queen and best bum contest, barbecue, pool party, Grindr party and appearances by numerous gay-lebrities. With warm weather, beautiful beaches and an energetic gay nightlife scene that rivals major cities 100 times its size – Sitges is the perfect place to party for spring break. – Early May
Started in 2015, the Magico Festival returns again to the beautiful (and party crazy!) island of Ibiza. Each summer, thousands of gays from around the world visit Ibiza and this event is a great excuse to plan your trip around. The event features 5 days of various day and night time parties at some of the best venues in Ibiza. – August 11th-15th, 2016
The most unique thing about Los Palomas is its origin, inspired by the negative statements of the then mayor of Badajoz. He stated that there were no gays in Badajoz referring to them negatively as “palomos cojos” or “lame pigeons” which is a derogatory expression for gays. After social media did its job in spreading the word and a popular TV presenter joked about creating such a gathering, Los Palomos was born. Now thousands of LGBT people come from all over to enjoy live music, drinks and food at this gay event in Badajoz. – Annually in May
This is Spain’s only gay ski week event and will soon be going into its fourth year. The event is hosted by Rainbow Barcelona Tours and the Boí Taüll Resort which is just a two hour drive from Barcelona. Guests stay at the four-star Augusta Hotel or the three-star Hotel Boí Taüll Resort. The package includes hotel, meals, ski pass, spa, ice skating rink and ticket entrance to a private nightclub, which will feature special DJs from Barcelona’s popular gay nightlife scene. The weekend is filled with great activities and is a must attend event for all ski and snowboard enthusiasts. – February 10 – 12, 2017
Special Offer – you can save 35€ on your booking by using the code “SNOW35” through December 15th.
The WE Party brand is the most well known producer of gay parties in Madrid. The massive and over-the-top parties attract thousands of people to their monthly events in the city. Each January for New Year’s Eve, the WE Party Festival takes place with a week long of different themed parties in various locations and venues. If you’re looking for New Years plans for next year, it’s never too early to start planning your trip for the biggest, most surprising gay event of the winter in Madrid! This years events featuring mega party producers including XLSIOR, Forever Tel Aviv, Matinee and Macho plus a amazing line of 12 world renowned DJ’s. Tickets usually start at 20€ for a single party and all-access bracelets start at 150€ – Dec 27th, 2016 to Jan 1st, 2017
LGBT events in Spain aren’t all about gay men as the women have their share of the fun too. Ella Festival has been going on for four years now in Mallorca and brings ladies from all over to the island to enjoy culture, music, art and sports. The sun, sand and sea make for an excellent location for an all lesbian event in Spain. Fun parties are also part of the program with beach and themed events along with great DJs. – May/June
Velvet is a wild women-only party taking place at an all inclusive resort in Ibiza. The four day event includes parties, speed dating, yoga, live music, DJs, beach volleyball and an excursion into Ibiza Town. A golden wristband gets you into all the fun events and activities which is included when you book your bungalow. – Early June
Which Spanish event would you most like to attend? Let us know in the comments below!
Note: This article was sponsored by Visit Gay Spain, however rest assured all opinions are 100% our own and we would never sacrifice our integrity for a sponsorship. In fact, anyone that knows us well can attest to our love for Spain – a destination we would recommend to anyone. Featured image via Canary Island Photos / CC BY.