Travel
1 min

Europe and beyond: Best bear events for 2016

Woofy annual gatherings from Reykjavik to Beirut

chrisbradshaw/iStock/Thinkstock

From Reykjavik to Madrid, some of Europe’s queerest destinations are packed with friendly and furry events for bears and their admirers. Whether you’re looking to experience the city for the first time, or simply dance and make new friends (either for life, or an hour or two), these are Europe’s bear essentials.

Bears on Ice

Reykjavik, Iceland

Sept 1–4, 2016

Iceland has been a hot tourist ticket for several years now. Now recovered from its financial woes, it’s not that cheap anymore, but don’t let that stop you — especially not during Bears on Ice, a terrific showcase of Iceland’s most memorable experiences, including the chance to recharge with the Bears in Iceland’s thermal springs. An active party calendar makes the most of Reykjavik’s famous nightlife.

International Bears Week

Sitges, Spain

Sept 2–11, 2016

Sitges can often feel like it’s all about the gays, but through the first week of September, it’s also all about the fur. This packed ten-day festival is one of the world’s top bear events, taking over the famous gay resort town, and crowning Mr Bear Sitges.

Mad.Bear: Beirut Edition

Karantina, Beirut

Friday, Oct 28, 2016

For the first time, Mad.Bear Madrid is heading to Beirut as part of its Middle Eastern Festival Tour, hosted at the famous POSH club. Resident DJ of Mad.Bear Madrid, DJ Neixom, will spin tracks all night.

Courtesy Mad.Bear

Bear Pride Cologne

Cologne, Germany

Late November (2016 dates TBA)

Leaving the lion’s share of tourists to Berlin and Munich, Cologne quietly holds its title as the gay capital of western Germany — and possibly of the entire country. Cologne will celebrate  Germany’s biggest bear gathering this November after just hosting Bear May Day on May 1, 2016.

Mad.Bear

Madrid, Spain

Dec 5–12, 2016

Famously playful Madrid will host the 16th annual international meeting of bears, big men and admirers from Spain and abroad. This year’s Mad.Bear falls on Spain’s biggest public holidays of the year, so be sure to get your tickets in advance!

Rome Bears Week

Rome, Italy

End of December to early January (2016-2017 dates TBA)

Rome’s bear calendar gets off to a spectacular start with a New Year party, followed by a sexy, week-long celebration of all things husky. Sauna afternoons are a fixture, along with bear parties late into the evenings.