In the words of a beloved TV character, the one and only Samantha of “Sex and the City” fame, “first come the girls, then the gays, then the industry”! In the case of Mykonos, there was only one girl, but quite a girl it was: Jackie Kennedy-Onassis fell in love with the island from the first time she set her foot there, back in 1961. During the years to come, she frequented Mykonos’ shores and stores and was soon followed by her rather exclusive entourage, mostly consisting of artists and moviemakers.
Despite being rather old-fashioned and reverent believers of the Christian Orthodox religion, as most people in Greek province are, the Mykonians historically welcomed all visitors on their island with open hearts and minds. It didn’t hurt that said visitors had more than a few bucks to spend as well… Enter the industry! And to be more precise, the tourist industry, which started flourishing on this small Cycladic island as early as the late ‘60s!
The roaring ‘70s and crazy ‘80s were definitely the peak of Mykonos’, gay-welcoming craze, with a number of exclusively gay resorts operating in most parts of the island. After a relative decline in the ‘90s and ‘00s, Mykonos has come back strong in the gay-friendly map, keeping the same open-mindedness, but less of the ‘labeling’. Everything here invites you to relax and enjoy, no matter how you wish to spend your time. With no sign of homophobia anywhere to be seen, all establishments are predominantly gay-friendly, everyone is welcome to the party and it is perfectly OK to be quiet and intimate too.
Still, Mykonos remains a LGBT favorite and there is even a festival to prove it! XLSIOR was initially launched in 2009, as a fun and luxurious getaway event, no boundaries and no questions asked. 10.000 people joined in the fun that very first year, to enjoy a complete holiday experience with the best beats, beautiful faces and mind-blowing settings on the island. Mykonos’ best clubs, beach bars and DJs co- operate in the production of the festival, making it one of the most exclusive international Summer Gay Festivals that grows bigger every year. A staggering 30.000 crowd participated in the festivities last year, all connected by the universal language of music and love. XLSIOR 2016 will take place from 17 th until 26 th of August.
All areas, beaches and bars included, are gay-friendly zones in Mykonos, with Elia, Paradise, Super Paradise and Paranga beaches deserving an honorable mention for sporting impromptu solid gay regions.