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The LGBTQ-friendly holiday destinations you need to know!

Seaside or poolside? Island or mainland? Chilled-out hideaway or culture-packed city break? Whatever your holiday style, Thomas Cook is the place to book an amazing escape, welcoming travellers of every stripe.

We’ve been creating unforgettable holidays for over 180 years, taking you to the most vibrant resorts in the world. Here are a few of our favourite LGBTQ-friendly hotspots, but there are many more fantastic destinations to explore, from Barcelona to Ibiza.

So, whether you want to flop on the beach, celebrate Pride, or just know you’ll be safe on your travels, check out these top destinations, ranking high on the Rainbow Index*.


Malta

Go your own way in Malta | Score: 92

This shimmering gem in the Med is one of the most progressive countries in the world, topping the Rainbow Index for the sixth year in a row. And the locals are open-minded and super friendly.

You’ve got soft sandy beaches, chic harbours, and UNESCO-stamped towns, perfect for a cultural getaway. The turquoise sea is also teaming with aquatic life, so it’s well worth packing a snorkel.

After dark: Malta also has a vibrant party scene, with many LGBTQ bars in Paceville, aka Partyville.

Where to stay:

Seeking a romantic getaway? Check into The Phoenicia Malta, and you’ll be blessed with harbour views from the luxurious infinity pool.

Save the date: Malta Pride, 2-11 September 2022

Sitges

Soak up the glamour in Sitges | Score: 92

Coming in hot on the Rainbow Index is Sitges. The vivacious city encapsulates the spirit of its forward-thinking nation. Spain is also home to one of the biggest LGBTQ boroughs in Europe, Gaixample, and cosmopolitan Chueca in Madrid.

What to do: Glitzy Sitges is the Saint-Tropez of Spain, boasting pristine beaches, quaint cafes and a luxurious harbour. Follow your taste buds around the waterfront eateries, explore sights in the Old Town and find your spot on the sands of Platja la Bassa Ronda.

After dark: When the sun sets, watch one of the larger-than-life drag acts at El Piano bar or bask in the soul-stirring vistas from MIM’s Skybar.

Where to stay: Looking for the ultimate beach pad? Book into Calipolis, and you’ll be in a prime spot, right where Sitges Pride kicks off!

Save the date: Sitges Pride, 14-18 June 2023

NYC

Celebrate in New York City | Score: 92

If you want bright lights, make a break for New York. The city is bursting with diversity, open-mindedness and big LGBTQ energy. From West Village to Hell’s Kitchen, there are so many culturally significant neighbourhoods to explore.

What to do: A trip to NYC would be incomplete without ticking off the famous sights. While away a few hours relaxing in Central Park, explore the trendy shops in Williamsburg and walk the mile-long stretch over Brooklyn Bridge.

After dark: To catch the world’s finest drag acts and DJs, check out Hardware or Barracuda Lounge. Make your way to The Townhouse or POSH Bar for a more intimate affair.

Where to stay: The perfect springboard for exploring the city, a stay at Pod Brooklyn will place you in the heart of the action.

Save the date: NYC Pride, 25 June 2023

PV
Live it up in Puerto Vallarta, Score: 92

If you’re dreaming of the coconut white beaches of Mexico, it doesn’t get more LGBTQ-friendly than Puerto Vallarta. This tropical paradise was the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approval Badge.

What to do: Set on the edge of the Pacific Coast, it’s perfectly pitched for a boat trip to see the wild dolphins and sea turtles on the Marieta Islands. Foodies should visit the Malecon boardwalk to uncover the mouthwatering food stalls.

After dark: Puerto Vallarta has a glittering nightlife, from its lively cocktail bars in Zona Romantica to the enviable calendar of LGBTQ festivals.

Where to stay: If you want to indulge in an adult-only swim-up room, you won’t do better than Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta.

Save the date: Vallarta Pride, 22-29 May 2023

Mykonos

Kick-back in Mykonos | Score: 90

Looking for that step- away-from-everything feeling? This rocky archipelago offers some of the most wow-worthy vistas in Europe, from the iconic windmills to the secluded shores. It’s also renowned for its welcoming nature, ranking high on the Rainbow Index.

What to do: Shop till you drop on the famous pebbled streets, snap a selfie outside Panagia Paraportiani, and sample local delicacies in the traditional taverns. After a day about town, flop on the sands of Elia.

After dark: Mykonos is Greece’s answer to Ibiza, from the open-air clubs on Paradise beach to packed-out LGBTQ terraces near Little Venice.

Where to stay: Seeking out breathtaking sunsets? Book into Kouros Hotel & Suites for panoramic views.

Save the date: XLsior Mykonos Pride, 17-24 August 2022


Top destinations on the Rainbow Index

*This annual Rainbow Index Europe report scores 49 countries based on LGBTQ rights and equality. Rainbowindex.com ranks over 125 LGBTQ cities worldwide.

Malta | Score: 92

Malta is one of five countries in the world to make LGBTQ rights equal at a constitutional level, with gender-based discrimination banned in 2004.

Sitges, Spain | Score: 92

Spain has always been home to diverse cultures, resulting in an open-minded society. A trailblazer for LGBTQ rights, Spain set anti-discrimination laws in 1995.

New York, USA | Score: 92

A bedrock of tolerance, New York made waves for LGBTQ rights in 1969. The Hate Crimes Act was introduced in 2000, extending to gender identity and expression in 2019.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico | Score: 92

Tolerance of sexual diversity in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is widespread. Discrimination protections have been nationwide since 2003, extending to sexual orientation in 2011.

Mykonos, Greece | Score: 90

Greece introduced legislation on gender identity, placed a ban on anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and adopted rigid laws around hate speech.


Thomas Cook

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