Puglia is officially Italy’s favourite gay summer destination.
It was voted the top summer 2021 destination in a recent poll of Italy’s LGBTQ+ community. In the same survey Gallipoli was voted Italy’s top LGBTQ+ friendly spot and Punta della Suina (by Gallipoli) Italy’s top LGBTQ+ friendly beach.
It is also the confirmed favourite of top gay and lifestyle travel influencers the Nomadic Boys (they rank Puglia as Europe’s 5th top gay destination for LGBT+ travellers after Sitges, Mykonos, Gran Canaria and Tel Aviv and Puglia’s D’Ayala beach in Campomarino as Italy’s top gay beach).
“Our gaydars have never been as confused as when we first hit the beaches of Puglia. Italian men (gay and straight) take good care of their bodies and have a lot of pride in what they wear. And we love them for it!”
The Nomadic Boys, The Best Gay Destinations in Europe for LGBTQ Travellers
With the longest coast of Italy’s mainland regions, spanning over 500 miles, Puglia sits between the Adriatic and Ionian with incredible beaches.
Italian men are style conscious and obsessed with waxing. Chest, abs, arms, legs…even sculpted eyebrows. Speedo style swimming briefs are the rule rather than the exception.
Puglia’s best gay beach | a matter of taste
When it comes to ranking Italy’s best gay beach the Nomadic Boys list Puglia’s D’Ayala beach as number 1. They are in good company - it is also our favourite of Puglia’s gay beaches!
D’Ayala dripping with handsome boys who come for sun, sea and - very openly - something else. A must-visit if you want to experience Puglia’s finest.
But according to the 2021 survey of Italy’s LGBTQ+ community Italy’s top gay beach is elsewhere on Puglia’s Ionian coast. Punta della Suina, also the top choice of locals and visitors surveyed in our own Best of Gay Puglia 2020 survey.
The dilemma that isn’t
This difference of opinion provides an opportunity rather than a dilemma. Visit both and you can decide…
Don’t be afraid of missing out. Most gay visitors visit both as well as our other gay beaches!
To help you you plan, here are some of our #WeAreInPuglia travel tips to discover the best of Puglia’s gay and naturist beaches.
Gallipoli Gay Beaches
The gay and nudist beaches are found in between Punta della Suina and Spiaggia degli Innamorati. Comprising a stretch of rocky shelves and coves, you’ll need proper footwear, so bring some durable water shoes. It’s not the most comfortable of spots, but the water is amazing.
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Access the Gallipoli gay beach area from the Punta della Suina car park. Walk through the pine wood toward the sea and follow the coast back up towards Baia Verde and Gallipoli. Go for about 10 minutes to find the nude and gay section. You will definitely know when you get there.
It costs 5 euro for parking in the Punta della Suina car park.
We recommend to ignore the flashy white and gold of G-Beach Club. Historically this was one of the most popular gay friendly beach clubs in Puglia. You might still find gay guides recommending it.
But following a change of management a few years back, they decided that while LGBT individuals were welcome to spend money there, this welcome ended if they wanted to display any public affection.
Same sex couples were asked to leave on at least two separate occasions for kissing at G-Beach Club. We were also contacted by their PR who asked us to remove tags to them on our social media because they did not want to be identified as a “gay” beach club.
Bring plenty of water. There are no beach facilities apart from those of the lido beach clubs toward the north and south ends of the shoreline.
Spiaggia d’Ayala, Campomarino
Spiaggia d’Ayala is our favorite gay and nudist beach in Puglia. It is by far the easiest to get to, sitting on a long stretch of golden sand. Convenient pine wood trees behind the beach offer some necessary shade, too.
Sometimes there is a concession stand or bar further down the beach closer to Campomarino. Otherwise, there are no facilities. The nearest are found in the town of Campomarino, which is a little over a mile away via the main road. The walk there along the beach though is shorter.
Torre Guaceto, Brindisi
Torre Guaceto on the Adriatic coast is especially popular with locals. But it’s difficult to reach. Torre Guaceto is in a protected nature reserve where vehicles are restricted. Once you park your car nearby, the gay section of the nude beach is still at least a 30-minute walk away.
Get there from the south side of the Torre Guaceto watchtower. Don’t pay attention to guides that take you from the north. This is even more cumbersome.
Our Torre Guaceto guide explains exactly how to get there from the main highway, with photographs of the road signs, routes and what to look out for along the way.
Pôr do Sol Lido Beach Club
Gay-owned and operated, Pôr do Sol is our favorite summer hangout. If you want a cool beach vibe, an LGBT friendly crowd, a fine sandy beach and beautiful crystalline water, you have to visit.
Pôr do Sol draws a mixed crowd in every respect. You’ll find Italians (locals and vacationers), international visitors, friends and couples, gay and straight individuals, and a diversity of ages among them.
The facilities include beach loungers and umbrellas, food, drinks, showers and toilets. A DJ set starts from mid-afternoon through sunset (which is amazing, by the way).
For more information read all about our working trip to Pôr do Sol. Hard work indeed!
More Gay Beaches in Puglia
There are spots up and down Puglia’s coast where nude bathing coincides with predominantly, but not exclusively, gay and gay-friendly locals.
Pietra Egea is a popular beach area, located between Cozze and Polignano a Mare. So is Torre Incina, located between Polignano and Monopoli. The Big Gay Puglia site offers a fantastic list of gay beaches with useful visitor tips, including directions and what to expect once you get there.
For a little variety, other favorite beach clubs of ours are located at Torre dell’Orso (the Bear Tower). While they’re not specifically gay beaches, we love this location. And in any event, there are plenty of straight guys for gay eyes.
Want even more gay beach recommendations? Discover more local spots, from Gargano to the Salento Maldives, as well as how to get to them, in the Big Gay Podcast from Puglia’s curated Puglia beach guide.