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Content about Mediterranean

June 11, 2014

Able seaman Rod McKenzie, 27, shares his story of life in the UK’s Royal Navy and his proudest moment at sea

HMS Illustrious was in the Mediterranean north of the Suez Canal in early November last year when a message came through from the British government.

Typhoon Haiyan had just whipped through the Philippines, the deadliest on record, killing over 6,000 people.

They turned the ship around and steamed towards the South China Sea.

On board was an openly gay former make-up artist – once the least likely person to find on a Royal Navy ship – now a highly-trained sailor.

June 3, 2014

This weekend, I hope you enjoy my hometown’s impeccable weather, proximity to beaches, killer eateries and one hell of a gay scene

I envy every single person in LA this summer.

After living in London for over two years, I appreciate what London has that LA doesn’t, like proximity to Mediterranean beaches and an abundance of cider on tap.

That being said, we’re having trouble taking the LA out of the boy long after the boy has left LA.

Namely, we’re missing In-N-Out burgers, midnight drives to the beach and bars open past midnight.

May 8, 2014

Days before the island nation's first ever Gay Pride, lawmakers want to bring in a law that could see 'homophobic behavior' heavily punished

Homophobic behavior is to be punished in Cyprus with a new bill setting up fines and jail terms.

The House Legal Affairs Committee introduced the bill in order to bring in protections for LGBTI people similar to those that protect victims of racism and xenophobia.

Jail terms will go up to three years, while fines will go up to €5000 ($7000).

It comes as the Mediterranean country is about to host its first ever Gay Pride at the end of May. Northern Cyprus also recently became the last European country to decriminalize gay sex.

April 28, 2014

La Demence Cruise offers a sexy and intimate alternative to American gay super-cruises, taking half the number of people to European destinations unreached by larger ships

La Demence proves it is the size of the boat, not the motion of the ocean that really matters.

Their smaller Horizon and Zenith sister cruise ships, half the size of traditional gay ‘super-cruises’, can access the Mediterranean’s hidden gems larger ships can’t reach.

La Demence will take about 1,400 passengers through exclusive locations through France, Italy and the Mediterranean from 19 to 26 July.

April 8, 2014

Jacuzzis on balconies overlooking ancient volcanoes and dinner tables on the shores of crystal blue waters, these hotels on the Greek island of Santorini must be seen to be believed

The views of Santorini's caldera are so perfect, you’ll feel like you’re walking around in Photoshop.

The island, ‘Thira’ in Greek, was home to an ancient culture, lost when the island was blown apart by a colossal volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. This makes Santorini one of the top candidates for the mystical Atlantis.

The main towns of Santorini cling to the edge of the cliff-face, overlooking the caldera far below.

March 27, 2014

Ola Girls was cancelled days before tickets were to start selling. Organizers say the authorities are freezing out lesbian events in favor of gay men's parties

A Sitges government official has allegedly cancelled a lesbian party saying there’s no room for any more gay events in the LGBTI paradise.

The seaside town of Sitges, 22 miles southwest of Barcelona on the Spanish coast, was slated to host Ola Girls, a new Mediterranean-themed lesbian festival from 6 to 8 June 2014.

March 19, 2014

The Madeiran city of Funchal is not a typical capital: Cable cars and gay nightclubs mix with charming hotels and banana tree plantations in the middle of the city

I must admit I had never seen a papaya tree before.

So, a quick stop in Arco da Calheta, on the southern coast of this wonderful island surpassed years of press trips and adventures.

I've had plenty of memorable travel experiences but without a papaya tree. And when I saw it, my heart started to beat faster.

March 5, 2014

The island of Madeira comes alive during carnival season, an annual event celebrating the last days before Lent with typical drinks and dances that last for days on end 

I'm back to the British coldness after heating up with dancers at the Madeiran 'Carnaval'. I'm still reeling from the colors and the perfumes of one of the best carnivals in Europe, held on the quasi-tropical island of Madeira.

Vibrant flowers, fragrant papayas, bananas and mangos from the tallest trees I have ever seen took me on a Caribbean trip in the Mediterranean. Madeira is a piece of Europe in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a gentle land with a friendly people.

February 17, 2014

Founder of GayMadeira.com Tobi Hughes shares his favorite spots for enjoying this idyllic island

For a small island, Madeira has some major claims to fame.

The smallest of three islands off Portugal’s coast holds the record title for the world’s biggest fireworks show.

Madeira is also home to (arguably) the world’s most attractive football player: Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Atlantic island with a Mediterranean climate is a short hour and a half flight from Lisbon, and with a reputation for world-renowned wines and out of this world landscapes, Madeira has plenty to offer the LGBTI traveler.

February 6, 2014

After spending two and half years studying and working in Barcelona, Gay Star News intern Liam Johnson shares his tips for escaping tourist spots to find a new side to the beach city

I had planned to spend just a month in Barcelona but two years later I was still there and realized the Spanish city had become my second home.

My time spent there working and studying meant I grew to know a completely different side of Barcelona that remains hidden from the majority of tourists.

Popular as ever with LGBTI travellers, Barcelona is not only a great destination for those wanting their first taste of a Mediterranean city but also attracts returning visitors who can’t get enough of what it has to offer.

January 5, 2014

The country claiming one of the best gay cities in the world, Tel Aviv, is participating in London’s Gay Star Beach Party, a daytime event to celebrate, promote and educate on LGBTI tourism

The Israeli Tourism Board is bringing Mediterranean flair to London’s Gay Star Beach Party held 18 and 19 January.

A beach-themed daytime party at Heaven nightclub in Charing Cross, the Gay Star Beach Party + LGBTI Travel Show brings some of the world’s most gay-friendly destinations to the heart of London.

The free party gives guests direct access to holiday prizes, drink specials, a fashion show and the chance to mix and mingle with London’s LGBTI community and allies in support of LGBTI tourism.

December 19, 2013

These Preferred Hotel Group stays are more than hotels… they are homes away from home and represent the top in gay-friendly luxury

For some LGBTI people, checking into a hotel with their partner could be considered a luxury.

The most scandal one should face when arriving to a hotel is learning a 1800’s pyramid scheme helped pay for the room you are booking.

While LGBTI travellers may expect the money they are spending on accommodation will also include fair and appropriate treatment, the sad truth is not all hotels and staff are trained to ensure a flawless experience for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender guests from check-in to check-out.

December 11, 2013

The ultimate villa dinner party and a Michelin-star picnic are just a few of the social functions you can design for you and your friends at Cinq & Sept, a sumptuous gay guesthouse in the South of France

House-shares on Fire Island and the Hamptons have nothing on Cinq & Sept, an 1800s Italian-style villa reimagined by a British gay couple to create an attractive and convivial haven for the LGBTI community to truly feel at home.

As the opening credits to Golden Girls and Friends prove, sometimes, life is better with a group of your best mates around.

With Cinq & Sept you can book out a private home in the Mediterranean with your friends, or just book one of the six suites and mingle with a new group of people.

December 10, 2013

Cinq & Sept, in the traditional winemaking village of Roujan, is the ideal base to discover the local naturist beaches, oyster beds and traditional southern French cuisine

The south of France evokes images of sun-kissed vineyards, Mediterranean beaches and a charming isolation the rest of Europe travels hours to reach.

Less than a 30 minute drive from the warm waters of the Mediterranean sea and less than an hour away from the ‘San Francisco of France’, the region’s capital Montpellier, you will find the exclusively gay guesthouse Cinq & Sept.

November 29, 2013

Can an Eastern European economy dependent on tourism afford to annoy LGBTI travelers with a constitutional ban on gay and lesbian marriage?

A few years ago I spent a fantastic day exploring the truly amazing medieval city of Dubrovnik, one of the most stunning walled cities on the Mediterranean.

Along with 2,500 other gay people from an RSVP cruise liner I spent loads of money in the shops and restaurants and I even took a high speed boat ride into the bay to get the best possible view of the city.

October 23, 2013

Civil Unions Bill could sail through parliament by end of the month. Constitutional amendment to protect gay and trans people will follow

The island nation of Malta is set to be the next place to introduce gay civil unions and a bill is likely to be passed next week.

The legislation is speeding through the Parliament of Malta in Valletta and will give gay and lesbian couples same-sex marriage in all but name.

Meanwhile both parliamentary parties in the Mediterranean nation are backing a constitutional change to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination. And the government has said transgender protection should be folded into the same constitutional amendment.

October 21, 2013

A civil union bill on the Mediterranean island is likely to pass but has raised other issues, including whether gay and bi men should be automatically excluded from donating blood

Malta has reaffirmed it will keep the ban on sexually active gay men giving blood – but the island nation is moving towards same-sex civil unions.

The Mediterranean island archipelago is currently debating a form of ‘gay marriage’ – which could be passed within weeks.

But that has led to questions about other LGBT issues, including about the ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

And last week the Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia answered that question in a way that disappointed some and confused many.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

October 8, 2013

The Republic of Cyprus has moved to ban the vilification of people based on their sexuality or gender identity 9 years after it added its first anti-discrimination protections for gays

The Republic of Cyprus has banned the vilification of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, adding the protections to the Mediterranean island’s Criminal Code.

Cyprus already protected people from vilification on the grounds of their race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or descent and the new protections were added in line with recommendations from Cyprus’ Commissioner for Administration and Authority against Racism and Discrimination.

October 4, 2013

GSN Travel Editor Jean Paul Zapata celebrated his birthday with a hedonistic weekend soaking in sangria, post-modernist architecture and Barcelona’s nude beach

Barcelona has some of the Mediterranean’s most underrated beaches, one of which is the clothing-optional beach of Mar Bella.

There must be something about the open and accepting environment of a nude beach that prompts members of the LGBT community to gravitate to Mar Bella’s soft sand and warm waters.

Of course, seeing nude bodies basking in the sun as nature intended probably doesn’t hurt either.

August 2, 2013

From caviar facials to private ice grottos, LGBT travellers can indulge and relax in any corner of the world with the Preferred Pride destination spa hotels from Preferred Hotel Group

Best in service means a warm welcome and VIP treatment from beginning to end. With Preferred Pride hotels, LGBT travellers are treated to nothing but the best in service.

Preferred Hotel Group brings us a selection of gay-welcoming hotels around the world, and through a Preferred Pride booking, guests can enjoy any number of best-rate deals, offers and complimentary services including champagne brunches and massage treatments.

August 1, 2013

Local mayor ‘flabbergasted’ to find new village for over 50s is being targeted at gay people

A British man building a new village for gay people aged over 50 in France has told GSN they will be welcome despite the local mayor’s objections – and he may build more.

The Villages Group has created the 107 eco-friendly homes at Salleles-d’Aude but the local mayor, Yves Bastie, has said he was ‘flabbergasted’ to find they are being marketed to LGBT people.

Despite this Danny Silver, Villages Group managing director, told GSN he has been overwhelmed by inquiries since announcing he was turning the development gay.

July 20, 2013

Mykonos is not the only LGBT travel destination in Greece. Santorini is hot on its heels as the new romantic honeymoon destination for gay and lesbian couples

Some images are so simple and strong they imprint themselves on your memory hard drive. One of mine is eating a spinach and feta filo pastry (a Greek pie really) in brilliant sunshine looking out onto an azure sea from the deck of a Greek ferry en route to the island of Naxos after the longest winter.

July 14, 2013

Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon, anniversary or a hot couple’s getaway, the Rainbow Nation has some of the craziest, most unique and relaxing ideas for couples

With marriage equality laws moving forward all over the world (albeit at different paces), we have more reasons than ever to celebrate life with a civil partner, spouse or newly-found arm candy.

South Africa has breath-taking travel ideas to satisfy any couple, no matter what you’re into.

The first country in Africa, and the fifth country in the world, to legalize same-sex marriage, South Africa offers affordable excursions that are out of this world.