With its classical past celebrating same-sex unions, it's no surprise that many places in Greece actively court the gay traveler. While Mykonos and Lesvos have long been known as destinations for the gay or lesbian traveler, there are many other places to go in Greece. Here are just a few of them.
La Piscine; used by permission
Focused around a beautiful swimming pool, La Piscine is one of the new "art" hotels which are gaining popularity in Greece. A type of "boutique" hotel, art hotels generally feature design-intense surroundings and display fine art throughout the public areas of the hotel, sometimes extending this to the rooms as well. La Piscine sometimes hosts art exhibitions as well; the atmosphere evokes the kind of over-romaticized images of the "Orientalists" school of art, and its easy to start peering around a potted palm looking for intrigue, or collapsing onto a pillow-covered divan. The on-site ppol side restaurant, "The Crazy Cow", brings the fantasy back to earth just a bit, with its menu featuring greens and vegetables grown at the hotel. Rates start around 90 Euros a night.
Evaggelistrias, 37002, Skiathos
Tel. +30 24270 21350
+30 24270 29231
+30 24270 29232
Fax. +30 24270 29233
The Plaza Art hotel in Thessaloniki is just a few minutes walk from the busy commercial port and provides an instant retreat. The hotel also offers several fairly unusual amenities for Greece - 24-hour room service, free wifi throughout the hotel, and the option to have breakfast in your room. Bathrooms in the suites include a Jacuzzi tub.
Plaza Art Hotel Paggaiou 5,
Ladadika 546 25 Thessaloniki
This small hotel in the hilly Oraiokastro area just north of Thessaloniki is recently renovated and some rooms offer full marble baths. It features art from local Greek artists and luxury amenities.
Galaxy Art Hotel
1 Merkouris street - p.c. 570 13 Oraiokastro
Τel. +30 2310 696142
Fax. +30 2310 697588
Sophisticated Santorini has many gay-friendly venues. The romantic Argo Restaurant is in the heart of the jewelry section of the main Fira (Thira) shopping street. It offers multiple levels, including a gorgeous rooftop dining area with a beautiful view of the caldera. Their seafood platters are exceptional
One of the first Greek islands to become famous, Mykonos began as a secret in-spot for gay travelers, a reputation it has never lost - except perhaps for the "secret" part. It's the home of what may be the longest-established gay bar in the Aegean, Pierro's, and many gay-friendly and often gay-owned hotels and other venues. The harbor side of Mykonos is busiest; the opposite side of the island offers a quieter experience.
The Greek island of Skiathos has enjoyed a boost in recent years because of its connection with the wildly successful move "Mamma Mia - The Movie" which was shot on the island. In 2012, it was also the lcoation for the first annual International Gay Culture Festival, an event which will be repeating in 2013.
Once upon a time, the Greek island of Lesvos (also spelled Lesbos) was not sure if it embraced the thousands of women who would come on a kind of pilgrimage to the birthplace of "The Tenth Muse" - the poetess and teacher Sappho who wrote of her love for women. But no longer. In recent years, the International Women's Festival
in Eressos, the legendary site of the birth of Sappho, has grown by leaps and bounds, attracing huge crowds of mainly gay women to the shores of Lesvos.
This gay-owned and gay-welcoming guesthouse on Crete also provides information on local gay nightclubs and other friendly destinations in the area. Prices start at about 45 Euro for a double room, with a discount for stays over four days.