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The most romantic LGBTQ destinations

Just got hitched and looking for somewhere to celebrate your honeymoon? Or maybe you’re seeking a romantic retreat where you can reignite that spark over candlelit dinners and sunset strolls? To help you narrow down your search, here are some of the world’s most romantic LGBTQ destinations, courtesy of the travel experts at Thomas Cook.

1. Mykonos, Greek Islands

Greece is full of gay-friendly islands, but Mykonos should be at the top of your romantic bucket list.

From stunning blue balconies to pink bougainvillaea flowers, it’s crammed with Instagrammable spots.

While you’re there, don’t forget to sprawl out on the breathtaking coastline. There’s no shortage of stunning beaches to relax on! Sunbathers seeking seclusion will love Agios Ioannis, while keen partiers should hit Super Paradise, where barefoot dancing is always acceptable.

Why here? Mykonos welcomes the LGBTQ community with open arms, making it a must-visit for gay travellers. And it’s been that way ever since the 1970s when it opened its first LGBTQ-friendly bar, Pierro’s. It’s safe to say you’ll feel right at home on this fun, free-spirited island.

Romantic things to do:

Enjoy a sundowner overlooking the Aegean in Little Venice

Steal a kiss under those iconic white windmills

Plan a private dinner on the beach at Hippie Fish

2. Paris, France

We couldn’t make a list of romantic destinations without mentioning the City of Love itself! And it just happens to be one of Europe’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities.

Paris embraces public displays of affection. Whether that’s cosying up in a streetside bistro, walking hand-in-hand along the Seine, or getting down on one knee in front of the Eiffel Tower. Even if you don’t visit all of its magical spots, those picture-perfect Parisian streets are sure to get you in the mood for love.

Why here? As one of the first countries in the world to decriminalise homosexuality, with same-sex marriage being legalised in 2013, Paris continues to fight for gay rights. From neighbourhoods like Les Marais to Les Halles and Pigalle (home of the Moulin Rouge) all celebrating the LGBTQ community, there’s no wonder gay travellers flock here each year.

Romantic things to do:

Savour a French kiss under the sparkling Eiffel Tower

Enjoy a candlelit dinner in a Parisian cafe

Visit The Wall of Love in Montmartre

3. Mexico

Fancy a taste of the exotic? Then you can’t go far wrong with Mexico. Go from the sun-drenched shallows of the Caribbean one minute to the tropics of the jungle the next. Now throw in some Mayan ruins – and you’ve got a country that ticks all the romantic boxes.

From hotels to beaches, Mexico flies the rainbow flag for far-flung destinations. Plus, there’s something for everyone too. Puerto Vallarta has 40-plus LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs, while Tulum’s laid-back charms are perfect for those who want to relax in a carefree environment. Then there’s Cancun of course! Find a wealth of luxury resorts alongside a fantastic gay scene in its Old Town (El Centro).

Why here? Just like its people, Mexico is relaxed when it comes to same-sex relationships, with anti-discrimination laws based on gender, ethnicity and age. You’ll also find its largest Pride celebrations in Mexico City, closely followed by Puerto Vallarta.

 Romantic things to do:

Go for a romantic dip in a Cenote

Plan a private beach dinner with a mariachi band on hand to serenade you

Splash out on a fancy suite (ideally with a hot tub)

4. Rome, Italy

You don’t have to walk far to stumble upon a proposal spot in Rome, from the Trevi Fountain to The Colosseum and Spanish Steps – the city is littered with places to pop the question. But you don’t have to get down on one knee to make your trip magical. Whether it’s strolling through a pretty piazza or dining with a view in one of its intimate cafes, this Italian capital will make your heart skip a beat.

And gay-friendly holidays to Rome are no different. As one of the best cities for LGBTQ travel, there is no shortage of LGBTQ events here, like Gay Village. Running since 2001 from June to September, tourists can join in on a series of weekly events all aimed at combatting homophobia and violence.

Why here? Rome continues to pave the way for LGBTQ travel. Not only does it have an area dedicated to same-sex couples, aptly named ‘Gay Street’, but did you know the city is full of gay art? If you visit the Sistine Chapel it’s thought that Michelangelo expressed his homosexuality through his work. Interesting, right?

Romantic things to do:

Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain

See the city from the seat of a Vespa

Pack a picnic and take in sunset views from Aventine Hill

 5. Florida, USA

As one of the USA’s most gay-friendly states, who can think of a better place for a romantic getaway than Florida? For island life at its finest, imagine cosying up next to your other half on the cotton-coloured sands of Key West.

Not bothered by beaches? Maybe you’d prefer to experience the Disney magic in Orlando. Nothing is more romantic than watching the fireworks over Cinderella Castle. Or if you want to treat your partner to something extra special, an evening safari at Animal Kingdom is sure to impress.

Why here? Florida is big on diversity with same-sex marriage being legalised in 2013. Home to a whole host of inclusive cities including Key West, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and more, don’t be surprised if you see rainbow events all year. We’re talking everything from Gay Days in Orlando to Pridefest in Key West, and that’s just a few of the amazing LGBTQ celebrations. 

Romantic things to do:

A sunset kayaking trip in the Florida Keys

Snap yourself kissing in front of Cinderella Castle in Orlando

Dine on the waterfront in Tampa

So what are you waiting for? Discover your romantic side at www.thomascook.com

Thomas Cook

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