Is Torremolinos about to become pride of LGBT tourism?

TORREMOLINOS looks set to fully embrace LGBT culture this summer.

LGBT tourists visiting Torremolinos have had a rough deal in recent years with a lack of activities, events, and infrastructure presenting a limited holiday experience based around the town centre’s aging bars and discos, leading many with little reason to return when far greater variety is on offer in Sitges (Barcelona) and Ibiza.

This may now be set to change with the new council recognising the promise of LGBT tourism, and this year will see a total of four large events in what promises to be the greatest summer in history for the local LGBT community.

Gay Pride LGBT2 takes place from June 2-5, with opening speeches by LGBT luminaries set to be followed by a parade and plenty of musical support, including free live performances and DJs.

From July 5-10 what is arguably Torremolinos’ biggest summer event, ‘Wonder Beach’, will bring artists including Fangoria and Monarchy, plus theatre and other shows, to the Palacio de los Congresos, supported by bars and discos in La Nogalera.

On July 11 ‘La Demence’, the largest LGBT boat cruise in Europe, hits Malaga City in what promises to be a historic day for LGBT tourism in the province. 

Around 2,500 visitors are expected to disembark in the port, and free coach transfer has been arranged to transport the revelers to Bajondillo beach in Torremolinos, where famous chiringuitos such as ‘Eden Beach’ have prepared a busy schedule of events.

Finally, around 1500 ‘bears’ will invade Torremolinos, from August 10-16 as the ‘Mad Bear Beach’ party comes to town in celebration of the LGBT subculture related to hair and beards.

Torremolinos Mayor Jose Ortiz says that in order to be a truly LGBT-friendly destination, it is also necessary to build links with local businesses who must say not to discrimination, as he recalled that the LGBT rainbow flag was hung from the main balcony of the town hall in “an historic event featuring 12,000 people.”


  1. LGB travellers don’t need ‘LGB activities’ or ‘gay/bi services’. We pick our destinations according to, firstly, safety (how many other LGBs out there have discovered months or years after a great holiday that you could have been one step away from arrest or worse?!?!?! Terrifying thought), and secondly, cultural acceptance. Can we hold hands with our partners in public, admit to being gay in conversation if it comes up (or introduce our partners as such), will our husbands (for men) and wives (for women) be accepted as such if necessary (for everything from hospital visits to being able to share a hotel room)? Single LGBs might be keen to see bars, cafés, etc catering to them exclusively (this isn’t segregation. We’re a minority and it’s hard to meet each other. After all, the U3A bars under-50s, doesn’t it, and isn’t considered discriminatory? No, because it’s a society for over-50s no longer in work to meet others in their situation and of their age. Ditto LGB bars). Couples aren’t bothered, unless they’re in an area where they have to keep their relationship very much under wraps for fear of reprisals or even prison.
    Happily, Spain doesn’t need to make too much effort there (for tourists. It’s crying out for a ‘scene’ for residents). It’s one of the most accepting, if not THE most, countries of LGBs and those of us living here are actually surprised if we encounter homophobia elsewhere – we’ve forgotten what it’s like! (After all, marriage has been legal for 11 years, longer than in the UK).

  2. You wouldn’t actually notice, Mike. LGBs look exactly the same as heterosexual people. And if they’re walking hand in hand, then they’re in a relationship which is private and doesn’t affect you.


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