What can I say about this wonderful Gay Mecca? Apart from the fact that it is absolutely awesome! The men, the food, the weather…did I mention the MEN?!? Honestly, my eyes were practically diabetic after being exposed to so much eye-candy. Not to mention the stunning views to be had as the sun set – by which I mean the skimpily clad and rather buff men huffing and puffing away, in all their glistening glory, as they jogged along the boulevard…
Now I had heard rumours about this steamy beachside gem for many a year, with tales of hot friendly locals and a general sense of gay abandon. It’s reputation for being the most relaxed and welcoming of the Israeli cities is well deserved. Notably their customer service is far more hospitable than the passive / aggressive style of nearby Jerusalem.
First off you need to love the heat, and by heat I mean the feeling that you are constantly walking around in a gigantic outdoor Hammam – both in terms of the temperature and propensity for seeing uninhibited half-naked men about the place. Luckily my Australian heritage had well prepared me for such moist climes and I thrived in the warmth.
There are many attractions to be found in this delightful ville but strangely we seemed to be drawn back to Hilton Beach on a regular basis. Nothing at all to do with the fact that it’s the gay beach and is absolutely packed with stunning examples of manhood everywhere you look. I swear I nearly went blind just trying to process all the tantalising displays of toned and bronzed flesh on offer. It didn’t help that there were always boys playing Matkot – an exceedingly popular bat and ball game – which saw them getting all rather hot and sweaty as they showed off their sporting prowess. Funnily enough, this most wonderful of beaches is right next door to the uber religious one – Nordau – which even has different bathing days for men and women. Not that I’ve ever had problems with all male events mind you.
Speaking of religious fervour, one really can’t miss the Na Nach Breslover Hasid the Hassidic Jews that dance to techno music on street corners as a means of showing their faith. But that is Israel all over really – a modern blend of devout religion and 21st century life.
When you finally leave the beach I heartily recommend trying one of the cities amazing restaurants. For my money the winner is Benedict. Admittedly, I am slightly biased, as I love breakfast at any time of the day or night and this is exactly what it offers – the white chocolate and espresso pancakes are simply divine.
For the nightlife there are quite a few venues that cater to gentlemen of a certain persuasion – from those seeking a spot of dancing right through to those offering a more intimate encounter with the locals….sometimes all in the one place. Believe me, they do love the tourists, with fresh international meat always a welcome meal for this insatiable lot.
That being said I’ve heard that during Gay Pride in June there is an even more insane party vibe and debauchery to be had. So what are you waiting for, book your tickets today!!!