Gay travel tours: LGBTQ-friendly adventures for 2021
2020 wasn’t the year for an epic adventure – but late 2021 or 2022 brings new hope. If you’re looking for spectacular gay travel tours to blow your proverbial socks off, these are some of our favourites. Although not solely for the LGBTQ+ community, these have been handpicked because of their gay-friendly destinations and astounding experiences.
Retreat to the land of fire and ice – 4 days in Iceland
A land fit for every superlative you can think of, Iceland is stunning. The volcanic isle sits in the Norwegian Sea and is closer to Greenland than mainland Europe. With mountains, geothermal pools and a craggy, dramatic coastline, it’s a breath-taking destination.
On this four-day itinerary you’ll explore the Golden Circle, Iceland’s most popular road tripping route, plus take in extra highlights in Reykjavik and along the coast. Bring your camera for top photo opportunities at the Strokkur geyser, which shoots a spurt of water up into the air every five to 10 minutes; and stand in awe at the Gullfoss waterfall, where water plunges over a 32-metre-high drop.
During the tour, you’ll stay on a working farm to learn more about Iceland’s agriculture, enjoying farm-to-fork meals and gorgeous countryside views. There are opportunities for quad biking, cave exploration and, of course, soaks in the country’s steamy natural hot springs. It will be a gay travel tour to remember.
Take to the lakes by bike – 4 days in Cumbria, UK
England’s Lake District has been attracting visitors for centuries. The glassy lakes, rolling hills and gorgeous, picture-perfect villages scattered in between have inspired poets and writers to create some of our great works. So why not hop on the saddle and see it for yourself on a four-day trip from Keswick?
You’ll see stunning rural landscapes from the comfort of your saddle, visit ancient stone circles that have been standing for 5000 years, and enjoy the vistas over Derwentwater and Buttermere – two of the finest lakes in the area. Challenge yourself with a ride up Honister Pass, which reaches up to 356 metres above sea level, and enjoy the sweeping valley views as you look back on your achievement.
This adventure concludes at the Keswick Brewing Company, where you can sample the local tipple – try a Third Quencher pale ale or classic chestnut bitter – and learn about the beer-making process.
Adventure in the Andes and Inca territory – 12 days in Peru
Ever wanted to walk among ancient ruins, seek out unique wildlife in the jungle and hike some of the most spectacular mountains in the world? You can do all of this in just 12 days on our Peru adventure. Starting in the cosmopolitan capital, Lima, where top restaurants serve up favourites from ceviche to chicharron, you’ll go on to Cusco to start your adventure in the Andes.
Take a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site city as you get used to the altitude, then strike out into the Sacred Valley to visit the world-famous Machu Picchu – home of the Inca civilisation. Hikers will love tackling the Inca Trail, while those after a more sedate experience can take the mountain railway to the ancient wonder.
In the Amazon, you’ll trek along rainforest trails meeting monkeys and spotting medicinal plants, all the while looking out for colourful parrots in the treetops. If you’re lucky, you might see a sloth or a jaguar – one of the few big cats that inhabit this region. At night, you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle in your rainforest lodge and wake to a dawn chorus of insects and animals.
Get a taste of Southeast Asia – 18 days in Cambodia and Vietnam
This gay-friendly tour of Cambodia and Vietnam takes in some of the most incredible landscapes, dynamic cities and spectacular experiences in the region. Over 18 days you’ll get to see unique karst rock formations jutting out of the ocean like a scene from Avatar, visit one of the world’s most famous and oldest temple complexes, and take one of Vietnam’s famous night trains.
Starting in Bangkok, the perfect place to begin gay travel tours, you can shop incredible night markets and get to explore the shimmering Grand Palace. Travelling overland to Cambodia, watch the city slip away and be replaced by rice paddies and beautiful countryside before you join a family home for the night to experience rural living in this small but beautiful county.
There’s opportunity to tour Angkor Wat and get a history lesson at the moving Killing Fields; and you can explore the winding Mekong Delta with its floating markets in southern Vietnam. You’ll then fly up to Hoi An where the streets are lined with tailors touting custom suits and pretty paper lanterns dance on the water at night. Sample seafood dinners in Halong Bay, visit temples in Hanoi and an ancient citadel in Hue.
See the wonders of Asia’s biggest powerhouse – 12 days in China
China is a land steeped in legend, with ancient dynasties and vast, unique landscapes. The country is most famous for its visible-from-space wall, but there’s so much more to see and on this 12-day adventure, you’ll discover a world of wonder. Homosexuality is legal in China, so this should be the gay-friendly tour of a lifetime.
Starting in Shanghai, you’ll get an introduction to Chinese city life and some of the country’s most spectacular architecture before heading out by high-speed train into the rural regions. Visit the famous Shaolin Monastery – home of kung fu – and see a martial arts performance, then take lunch in a nearby temple to experience Chinese hospitality at its best.
You can visit the vast Longmen Grottoes, where 100,000 Buddha statues lord over a cave system, and stop in Tibetan Xiahe, where the mountain views are glorious.
A must-see is the famous Terracotta Warriors, before having lunch with a local family and exploring Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Plus, all throughout the trip, the flavours of China’s varied cuisine – from noodles to Peking duck – will delight the foodie in you.
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All maps provided by Intrepid Travel.