Updated from 2015…
Sitges Bears Week is a Haven For Bears and Admirers in the Jewel of the Mediterranean
By Steve O’Donnell
The splended Sitges Bears Week reached its climax with the Mr. Bear Sitges competition on the stage of the Bear Village on the promenade (Paseo de la Ribera).
This was my third visit to Bears Week and the event has grown every year from a modest affair of a few bears and friends having a party to an international event attracting in excess of 5,000 visitors to the town during the first week in September making it one of the biggest Bear festivals in Europe.
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Sitges with its miles of sandy beaches sloping gently into the warm Mediterranean Sea, Bears Week is now one of the most popular events in the town’s calendar. The friendly restaurants, bars, clubs, beach parties, exhibitions, shows, DJs and special events all come together to make this a week of nonstop fun.
Sitges is well deserving of its reputation as the most cosmopolitan town on the Mediterranean coastline and during the first week in September the ‘Jewel of the Mediterranean’ plays host to thousands of sexy bears, cubs, otters, daddies and admirers of all ages and types from all over Europe and further afield.
Many of the guys spend their days at Balmins Beach, a nudist beach and perfect sun trap for that all-over tan then cooling off with a swim in the calm waters of the Mediterranean. The section on the town beach in front of Picnic Snack Bar is also very popular with gay men if you don’t fancy the 10-15 minute walk out to Balmins.
At night, whole sections of the town become nonstop party zones. Joan Tarrida is known as Bear Street and as the night goes on it becomes a chore (or a pleasure) to squeeze your way through the masses of men enjoying drinks on the street. It is also home to El Horno, XXL and Bukkake, three of the popular bars on the Bears Route.
Just round the corner in C. Bonaire are Sitges’ original ‘Bears Bar,’ Queenz Cabaret Bar and Privilege Pre-Club bar as well as Organic Club which hosts bear themed party nights every night until 6 a.m.
Accommodation can be difficult to find during Bears Week so early booking is definitely recommended. If you book early enough there is a variety of places on offer from hostels, 2- to 4-star hotels (local ratings) and apartments. Dates for Sitges International Bears Week are every September. See you there! You can find out more here.
Steve O’Donnell is UK Director of Serene Journeys, an independent travel company specializing in meeting the needs of LGBTI travelers to India. He is also a freelance travel writer and photographer. Contact Steve at [email protected]