As one of the most popular gay destinations in Europe, Sitges is situated along the Mediterranean coast in Catalonia, Spain, and sheltered by the Garraf Mountains. Not too far from Barcelona, Sitges enjoys a warm microclimate that offers over 300 days of sunshine a year.
It’s a feature that motivates gay men to flock to its beaches — more than 20 on which to bask — three of which are gay, with two of those clothing-optional. With that many beaches, you can imagine that the area becomes a cruising sandbox.
Here’s a run-down of gay beaches in Sitges that are ideal for cruising, or just enjoying a sun-filled day by the water. Regardless of the hour, there’s something — or someone — for everybody.
Playa de las Balmins
This is a clothing-optional beach favoured by the furry, the free and the mature. Located on the east side of the city, nudity is encouraged so you may feel out of place in your “on point” speedo. Still, as in all of Sitges, everybody is truly welcome.
Unlike the other beaches in town, Playa de las Balmins has a natural, rustic feel, surrounded by cliffs — and it’s situated far enough from the main street so there’s no reason to be shy because of curious tourists.
On warm summer days, however, this beach sees quite a bit of traffic so there isn’t much privacy. This can be good or bad, depending on how liberated you feel. Eyes do wander — below the belt line.
To get there, follow the coast east, past Parròquia de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, and head up the hill. You’ll see many nude men bathing in the sea and sun. You’ll need to climb down a small cliff to get there.
Though it’s secluded, there are no bushes — and therefore, no daytime cruising sex.
Playa de la Bassa Rodona
At Playa de la Bassa Rodona, you’ll find Sitges’ fit, smooth and muscled boys (and those that worship them), in speedos, socializing and sipping mojitos with circuit music playing in the distance. This beach lacks the peace and tranquility that some may seek, but being loud and boisterous are sometimes necessary on a beach vacation. However, it’s not too far from the main strip so it doesn’t afford much privacy from tourists. Beach hawks are also constantly pushing refreshments or massages — a holiday hazard that can get on your nerves if you’re expecting a quiet time.
On the plus side, it’s easy to make new friends that will last an entire afternoon, evening or sometimes, even a week. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers on the beach or in the water — everybody is up for a chat, it seems.
Playa de la Bassa Rodona is located directly in front of Hotel Calipolis, just below Restaurant Pic Nic in the city centre. There is no daytime cruising sex to speak of, but with some persistence you should be able to secure a hookup for sundown.
Playa del Muerto
You’ll find all sorts at Playa del Muerto looking for a quiet escape from Sitges’ summer bustle. On foot, it’s about an hour from the city centre, making it a great day trip option that can feel like you’re in true wilderness.
With its pebble beach and small patches of sand, it’s less popular than the other two gay beaches and the hike deters many. Once you’re there, it’s heaven — especially if you favour the sound of the sea over the latest pop remix. It’s not too social either, so bring a book, a buddy or a mickey of booze. Clothing is optional, but everything is accepted.
To get to Playa del Muerto, go to the now defunct L’Atlàntida disco. There’s a small trail behind the old club that leads uphill and through untouched wilderness. Once you get to the top of the hill, you’ll see the beach in the distance with a gay flag. You have arrived, probably with an appetite; grab a seat at the onsite bar, loaded with food and refreshments.
From early afternoon to sundown, the forested area behind the beach on the other side of the train tracks is a busy cruising ground. There’s a narrow tunnel from the beach that takes you underneath the rails to a clearing in the forest. You’ll then see a narrow trail to your right that leads uphill into the bushes. Follow the trail along the tracks, or through the forest, north. (Warning: It’s quite vast and easy to get lost in there. Still, don’t leave a stone unturned — there’s a lot of action in this wide-open area.)
A note on sex on the beach
After 1am, part of the beach, west of the city centre, becomes a cruising den that’s active well into the morning. You’ll find all types of men there looking for action after the bars.
If you walk west along Passeig Marítim to Platja de l’Estanyol, take the stairs down to the sand — that’s where the magic happens. Weekends have a lot more activity.
Whichever beach you end up at in Sitges, you can be sure that all your needs will be met — platonically or otherwise.