Traveling through France on a jaunt across Europe, or as your only destination for gay vacations for singles or couples, France is a trip that everyone should experience at least once. With snowcapped alps, the magnificent French Riviera, world famous art collections, pristine beaches, pastoral landscapes dotted with medieval castles, villages and ruins that tell the story of Frances diverse history, and the truly exquisite cosmopolitan city of Paris, travelers are sure to find exactly what they are looking for when visiting this unique country.
While visitors on gay vacations tend to stay around Paris to enjoy the accepting atmosphere that Paris is known for, while experiencing the heart of Frances LGBT culture and visiting the citys famous cultural and historical landmarks, travelers will find that Paris accepting atmosphere extends across the country and there are plenty of LGBT establishments and things to see and do no matter where you travel in France. For over 200 years, Frances community has enjoyed life without anti-sodomy laws, and civil unions have been commonplace for the last decade. With both the law and the laissez-faire attitude common among the French on their side, LGBT travelers will find France an enjoyable place and offers many wonderful gay tours.
Numerous community events take place across the country throughout the year, including several pride festivals and a very well-attended pride parade and festival and gay and lesbian film festival in Paris. Some unique establishments to check out while in Paris on a gay vacation include the Marais district LGBT-owned bakery, Legay Choc; the ArtMenParis exhibit of all-male images; and Madame Arthur, LArtishow and Chez Michou, three cabarets with female impersonators and drag shows. Paris nightlife is lively, with bars open from afternoon until 2am and clubs opening at midnight, and often staying open until noon.
For men in search of the bawdier side of gay vacations in Paris, sex clubs, bars with backrooms and popular cruising spots are readily available. There are also plenty of saunas (bathhouses) to choose from; however, French saunas operate differently than what some travelers might be accustomed to in Canada or America. In France, saunas have relaxation cubicles rather than private rooms for rent and visiting saunas is largely an afternoon activity, with Sunday afternoons being the most popular time.
While most gay vacation tour destinations cater largely to men, women will find that Paris has a lively lesbian scene that includes everything from a lesbian walking group to a sex shop just for the girls. The Marais district is the center of LGBT life in Paris, and women will find a distinct Sapphic presence there, with bars and clubs that are located mostly at the south end. Ladies will also find several venues sprinkled throughout other neighborhoods, such as the Halles-Beaubourg, Palais Royal, Grands Boulevards and Saint Germain des Pres districts. There is also a bookshop in the Bastille-Republique district and one of the oldest lesbian bars in the city is located in the Palais Royal area.
Although Paris might be the most visited gay vacation destination in France, many other options are available throughout the country, including Avignon in Provence, Montpellier and Nice on the Mediterranian coast, Annecy in the Alps, Nantes in Brittany and the nude community beaches of Camargue. For those who hope to rub elbows with the rich and famous, Saint Tropez on the French Riviera should not be missed, while those looking for a romantic retreat might opt for an LGBT-owned B … B outside of Bourdeaux. With so many gay vacations in 2010 to choose from, France is truly an ideal setting for gay romance travel.