DNA Magazine - - TRAVEL -


Best for: Part­ners who en­joy dar­ing places that might be risky but are worth the ad­ven­ture.

At­trac­tions: There’s some­thing quite mag­i­cal, if not po­lit­i­cally stag­ger­ing, about the town of Ei­lat, rest­ing gin­gerly on the Is­raeli side of the Red Sea. Peer­ing across this sea­wa­ter in­let, the Gulf Of Aqaba, is the Arab coun­try of Jor­dan, while fur­ther along are Saudi Ara­bia and Egypt. Ei­lat is not just his­tory in the mak­ing, but made for his­tory buffs.

The other ap­peal of the Red Sea is its plethora of wa­ter sports (stop snig­ger­ing at the back!), duty free shop­ping, and year-round warm tem­per­a­tures. The Red Sea is named af­ter the daz­zling red sun­light dap­pled on the moun­tains sur­round­ing what is the world’s north­ern­most trop­i­cal sea. Dis­trac­tions: While Ei­lat it­self hasn’t been sub­ject to much in the way of ter­ror ac­tiv­ity com­pared to other parts of Is­rael, this is a volatile geo-po­lit­i­cal re­gion at the best of times. Al­ways check on the Mid­dle Eastern se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion lead­ing right up to your trip. That said, when you for­get about where you are, The Red Sea is awe-in­spir­ing.

Ro­mance Fac­tor: Swim­ming with dol­phins, scuba div­ing or snorkelling on coral reefs, amaz­ing break­fast buf­fets and thou­sands of years of his­tory star­ing you in the face… now there’s a Face­book bucket list photo al­bum to brag about.

Gay or nay? For all its trans­gres­sions, Is­rael is the only place in the Mid­dle East where be­ing gay is le­gal, and the only coun­try where we can safely walk around as gay men hold­ing hands to­gether. Toda.


Best for: Grooms who don’t plan on sleep­ing much or be­ing monog­a­mous. At­trac­tions: When it comes to towns with party rep­u­ta­tions, noth­ing, nichts, comes close to the Ger­man cap­i­tal. It’s not just the Euro­pean HQ of club­bing, it’s ar­guable the global epi­cen­tre of club cul­ture. While Berghain topped DNA’s poll a few years back as best dance venue in the world, there are so many oth­ers, and good ones at that. If you didn’t come to party, Ber­lin is a city with a unique his­tor­i­cal du­al­ity: cap­i­tal­ism and com­mu­nism, Weimar lib­er­al­ism and Nazi bru­tal­ity, East and West Ger­many. If you ven­ture out in day­light, visit the Glo­be­trot­ters Re­ich­stag, the Holo­caust Memo­rial, the Siegessäule loom­ing over the Tier­garten and the gor­geous Wannsee Lake. Dis­trac­tions: Since Ber­lin is where the world comes to dance, you may need to pace your­selves when it comes to par­ty­ing. Like Lon­don, NYC and Syd­ney, Ber­lin is deal­ing with the chronic af­ter­math of “PNP” cul­ture, with count­less chem sex ca­su­al­ties. Be safe, be good to your­self and make sure you know what you’re tak­ing if you’re tak­ing some­thing.

Ro­mance Fac­tor: While Ber­lin lacks the pic­turesque charm of Paris and the grandeur of Lon­don, it breeds a tough, bo­hemian at­ti­tude, much like the lo­cal men. This is truly a city that’s seen it all… and has in­vented quite a few new things, too.

Gay or nay? Ber­lin is so queer it eats slings, leather jock­straps and boots for früh­stück. Clas­sic West Ger­man gay life piv­ots around Nol­len­dorf­platz (home to night­club Ficken 3000, which trans­lates as Fuck­ing 3000), whereas Mitte in the East has a postre­uni­fi­ca­tion wild-child style. The word for gay in Ger­man in schwul. Ber­lin is über-schwul.


Best for: Rewrit­ing Shake­speare’s ro­man­tic tragedy as Romeo And Julius… with a happy end­ing.

At­trac­tions: What’s not to love about this belis­sima north­ern Ital­ian city, sand­wiched be­tween Venice and Mi­lan? It has man­aged to con­coct a tourism in­dus­try from its con­nec­tion to Shake­speare’s Romeo And Juliet. Not only can you visit the “real” Juliet’s bal­cony, but you can touch the nip­ple on a statue of Juliet that al­legedly casts a ro­man­tic spell upon your life. Ig­nore the fact that Romeo and Juliet were not real peo­ple, Shake­speare never went to Italy, and the young lovers’ “ro­mance” ends with them both dead!

Ex­tra at­trac­tion for wa­ter sports buffs: Verona boasts a huge, stylish wa­ter­park on its out­skirts called Caneva, that we rate as the best in the world. Bring your speedos! Dis­trac­tions: Yes, this is a very het­ero set­ting but bring some homo love to town by hold­ing hands in front of Juliet’s bal­cony. Wan­der this pic­turesque town full of de­li­cious views, food and men. If you’re in need there’s a quaint gay bar and, less quaint, a gay cruise bar, Liq­uid Club, spe­cial­is­ing in the sort of bawdy mis­chief the likes of which Will Shake­speare him­self would’ve ap­proved.

Ro­mance Fac­tor: While it’s big on het­ero ro­mance, add a gay twist by writ­ing your names on the wall to the en­trance of Juliet’s bal­cony to stake a queer claim on love. Gay or nay? Verona is a mere hour’s drive from Lake Garda which, for our money, might just be the most gor­geous lo­ca­tion on Earth. Then again, there is Venice an hour in the op­po­site di­rec­tion where you can snap the ul­ti­mate ro­man­tic selfie.


Best for: Avoid­ing the straight hon­ey­moon­ers swoon­ing around San­torini like they own this thing called love (and mar­riage).

At­trac­tions: Crete, which is the fifth big­gest is­land in Europe is also the largest and most pop­u­lated of all the Greek is­lands. Some well-in­formed folks be­lieve it was an­other isle, Mykonos, which saved Greece’s econ­omy. If you’ve re­cently vis­ited this over­priced Greek is­land, so favoured by the gays, you’d have un­doubt­edly ex­pe­ri­enced se­vere fi­nan­cial hard­ship, too! His­tor­i­cal hotspot Crete, by con­trast, is rea­son­ably priced, less crowed and less cruisy, which are all pos­i­tive things if you’re on a gay hon­ey­moon, right?! Dis­trac­tions: Okay, we need to talk se­ri­ously about this for a minute. The lo­cal Crete men, with their swarthy, smoul­der­ing com­plex­ions and steely-blue bed­room eyes, are not just a huge dis­trac­tion they may de­rail your hon­ey­moon al­to­gether.

While tourism is the main busi­ness here, the is­land also sup­ports it­self through agri­cul­ture – the only is­land in Greece to make such a claim. A few years back there was a de­ci­sion to build a huge con­tainer port on Crete but, mer­ci­fully, thanks to the dire Greek fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, that ap­pears to be on per­ma­nent hold.

Ro­mance Fac­tor: Gor­geous white sandy beaches? Check. Clear, warm turquoise wa­ter? Check. Hand­somely rugged ter­rain and gift-from-the-Gods’ an­cient ru­ins? Check. Since 2015 Greece has recog­nised same-sex civil part­ner­ships and hope­fully will soon go the same way as EU coun­ter­parts Ger­many and Ire­land with mar­riage equal­ity.

Gay or nay? This is the coun­try that in­vented Greek love! How much gayer do you need? Okay then, Lady Gaga and Ri­hanna both vis­ited here re­cently, though not on their hon­ey­moon!

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