When you think of gay destinations in Spain or in Europe I am sure both Madrid and Barcelona are the first to pop up in your head. Well I’d like to share with you what my Benidorm Pride experience was like. If you are like me I am sure you haven’t heard much about Benidorm aside from the fact that it’s a huge beach resort town where the drinks are cheap. Those times are changing because it’s now a bit more sophisticated than just that. It actually has a lot to offer and one of them is an amazing LGBT scene. As part of the #MyGayPride campaign I was invited to Benidorm for it’s 5th LGBT Pride Parade. I arrived with no expectations and was blown away.
—One of the many beautiful dancers at the white party.—
It’s a seven day affair leading up to the main event, the parade itself and after parties. Things really got going on Thursday night with the White Party hosted at the plaza of Mirador del Castillo in the Old Town with stunning views of Benidorm. The entire time I was there I just couldn’t believe the venue. Of all the parties I’ve been to this was hands down the best venue ever. The crowd was great with just about everyone dressed in white and amazing music to dance to all night long.
—Katy Perry impersonator at the Main Stage.—
We kicked off Friday night with a bang at the Main Stage PRIDE Arena at Auditorium Julio Iglesias. It was filled with special performances and even an amazing Katy Perry Tribute. She was on point! Shortly after we made our way to Benidorms “Gay Village” in the heart of the city the Old Town.
—The huge crowds on the streets in the Gay area of Benidorm.—
We arrived to the gay village that serves, LGBT locals, expats and tourist alike and were shocked at the massive crowds everywhere. Most of the clubs and bars are all located within walking distance from each other in the center of the Old Town which makes it easy to bar hop around and get a taste of everything. Also because of relaxed laws you can even drink outside so the street is turned into a bar itself with lots of cruising going on as well. It’s amazing the amount of gay establishments and the wide variety of bars that cater to the diversity within the gay community in Benidorm. They have drag show bars, exclusively male cruise bars with dark rooms and then your typical gay bars and disco clubs! It was a long night for me enjoying the gay scene that night.
The next day was Saturday and finally the main event had arrived. Benidorm’s pride is quite unique with the fact that it runs directly along the famous Levante beach and ends at the Main Stage PRIDE Arena at Auditorium Julio Iglesias. For me this was also a different experience from my past prides like Gay Pride Amsterdam or Gay Pride Stockholm because I was going to be on a float. That gave me a chance to experience a PRIDE parade from the other side and it was amazing.
Here some of my favorite photos from the parade.
The booze was flowing and the music was pumping from start to finish. It was amazing to see the crowds from above and wave to everyone. It was even more amazing to see the families that were out in full support of the LGBT community. I have been to many PRIDE parades but never had I seen one from this vantage point and I am glad I was able to experience that. It made me appreciate every single person standing in the crowds a lot more.
By the time the parade was done we were all buzzing from the million beers we drank on the float. We wanted to keep it going, but had reservations at Hotel Madeira Centro for dinner and am glad that was the case. It gave us time to sober up a bit and have a nice meal before the party continued. Best of all though we were able to witness a stunning sunset behind Benidorm’s stunning skyline.
—Sunset view over Benidorm from Hotel Madeira Centro.—
After dinner we were all excited to carry on. With food in our stomachs and now a bit more sober we were ready. What I don’t think we were ready for was the massive crowds at the Main Stage.
—Massive crowd at the Main Stage PRIDE Arena at Auditorium Julio Iglesias.—
People people everywhere. The booze kept flowing and we all had a great time celebrating who we are with no reservations. I sadly didn’t stay out that late because out of no where I felt sick so decided to call it a night. It may have been from the sheer exhaustion from all the partying I had done the previous nights. In the end though I wouldn’t change a thing.
Benidorm Pride really surprised me and my experience was a positive one. I loved how well organized everything was and the many events going on through out every night for everyones taste. I also loved the fact that everything was within walking distance of each other. I don’t think many people would include Benidorm as a top gay destination, but I would beg to differ. Even when it’s not PRIDE week this city has a lot to offer. It has a lively gay scene, great beaches, great food, great theme parks and lots of outdoor activities as well, but more about that later.
I was invited to Benidorm as part of the #MyGayPride summer campaign from TwoBadTourists.com. The campaign, supported by official media partner Gay Star News, has involved over 12 different bloggers visiting different pride festivals around Europe. Visit the official Visit Benidorm website here. I’d also like to thank AllDayInternet for allowing us to have WiFi all day on the go & Eurail for providing me with transportation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.