Europe's lesbian festivals draw large and faithful crowds who year after year come to enjoy convivial female company and the unique spaces created when hundreds to thousands of women come together. Programs are filled with music, art, sport, relaxation, workshops and of course parties that showcase top lesbian DJ talent and live performance. Take your pick: tent-filled fields in the English countryside, a springtime indoor festival by the Baltic, wild summer pool parties just off the beaches of Spain.
Barcelona, Spain - Aug 14 to 19
As the largest lesbian summer party in Europe, the Barcelona Girlie Circuit puts on nearly a week's worth of festivities, celebrations and cultural, art, music and sport activities. It overlaps in part with the Circuit Festival.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - August *
The ELLA International Lesbian Festival summer edition draws over 2,000 women to Palma de Mallorca, Spain for a week of talks, food, games, excursions, beach, dinners and parties made by and for women.
Skala Eressos, Greece - September *
The long-running International Women's Festival is the highlight of the season for the lesbian community of Skala Eressos. Taking place over two weeks in early September, the festival promotes local lesbian-owned businesses and provides a wide array of events including live concerts, parties, art exhibitions, excursions, a triathlon and a fashion show. Hotels will book up early so plan to reserve at least three months out.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - Dec 28 to Jan 2, 2016
The ELLA International Lesbian Festival in Palma de Mallorca, Spain is a long weekend of celebration over new year's with over 2,000 women. Activities include excursions, inspirational talks, workshops, art, meditation, yoga, sports, ladies nights and a big new year's eve bash.
Hamburg, Germany - Apr 11 to 13, 2018
Founded in 2010 and billed as Europe's Biggest Women's Indoor Festival, L-Beach draws over 4,000 women - gay, heterosexual, bisexual, trans - to a beachside town on the Baltic Sea (1.5 hours from Hamburg) for a weekend of partying, live acts, readings, wellness, sports and workshops. Update: The last festival was held in 2017, but the organizers continue to organized events through L-Beach Reloaded.
Ibiza, Spain - Apr 26 to 30
Billed as the Wildest Women-only Weekend, Velvet Ibiza has been bringing the wild to Ibiza since 2015. The five sun-filled days and four fun-packed nights are mostly centered around parties, poolside or in the clubs and backed by some of Europe's best DJs, but there are also a few sport and relaxation activities thrown in for good measure.
Costa Blanca, Spain - Jun 1 to 8
The L Fest crew organizes a weeklong holiday in Spain to supplement their main UK summer L Fest. The Costa Blanca edition has been known to include a volleyball championship, full moon beach party, sandcastle building championship, a sunset cocktail party, meditation, movie night, sports day, quiz night, boat party, karaoke night and lots of music.
Loughborough, England - July *
L Fest is the UK's only lesbian music, arts and comedy festival, now held in the fields of Prestwold Hall Estate in Loughborough. Onsite accommodations include free camping options, galloping yurts, onsite caravan club or local hotels. The festival celebrates women but is open to the entire LGBTQ community and straight allies. Nursery and babysitting services available.