It's important to know a little bit about your destination before you travel, especially to find out how liberal the locals are towards gay relationships. Many countries are now much more tolerant of gay and lesbian couples, so there should be few problems when booking gay-friendly apartments or villas. You can also find local areas and suburbs that cater more for the LGBT community.


Hailed as a forward thinking haven of tolerance, Amsterdam is a fantastic, fun place for gay and lesbian couples to spend a few days. There are thriving gay districts here, filled with unique restaurants, bars and clubs. The best time to visit is during the city's two gay holidays, Queen's Day on 30h April, and Pride in August.


Considered to be one of the top gay-friendly travel destinations, Sweden has a much more welcoming attitude to gays and lesbians than other countries. Stockholm in particular has a thriving gay community, and there are many gay bars and restaurants here to enjoy. You'll find a particularly busy gay scene in the centre of Stockholm's Old Town.


If you're looking to rent gay-friendly holiday villas, then Spain is a great option. There's a whole host of popular locations to choose from, but the best choice is probably Barcelona. Visit the gay neighbourhood of L'Eixample to really experience the best gay nightlife. Another great destination is Madrid, which holds one of the biggest gay pride events in Europe every year.


The Algarve is a popular destination for gay travellers, who flock here to soak up the sun on the region’s many beaches, some of which are nudist and popular with gay men. There are many gay-friendly holiday villas available to rent for a week or two, making it easy to reach some of the Algarve's fine attractions.


Brighton certainly lives up to its name as the Gay Capital of England. Every year it holds one of the most popular gay pride festivals in the UK, and is also high on the list for civil ceremonies. The rest of the country is also relaxed, so you'll find a wealth of gay friendly accommodation to choose from.


You shouldn't have any problems finding gay-friendly holiday apartments in Ireland for a short break. The liveliest gay areas in Ireland are typically Dublin and Belfast. Dublin has the oldest gay bar, called The George, but also boasts an even bigger gay bar, The Dragon. Nights out here are fun and vibrant with a mixed crowd and relaxed attitudes.


For the ultimate in gay-friendly holiday homes visit Rome or Milan. Rome has a huge gay scene and is home to Gay Village, Europe's largest outdoor gay event. If you're keen to meet fashionable young people, spend a few days in Milan, a city noted for its vibrant nightlife and supreme shopping experience.


There are thriving gay and lesbian communities in most of Germany's major cities. In particular, try staying in one of Hamburg's gay-friendly apartments to experience the city's unique architecture and nightlife. Tom's Dancehall is the favourite gay club in the city, but there are plenty of other bars and clubs to discover.


Gay-friendly villas are widely available to rent in Greece, particularly in Mykonos and Lesvos, which are considered to be two of the best gay and lesbian destinations. With its beautiful little islands, Greece has the natural beauty that can make your holiday a romantic dream. Local people are mostly welcoming and tolerant towards gay people.


The South of France is a great location for gay and lesbian couples, as well as offering an authentic French holiday. There's plenty of time for romance in the stunningly beautiful areas of Provence and the French Riviera, while Cannes is a favourite gay hotspot, famous for its film festival and swanky bars. Alternatively, try staying in Nice for its relaxed and friendly nightlife.

Staying in a holiday home can give you the freedom and privacy you need to really relax and enjoy your holiday. Owners Direct offers a wide range of gay and lesbian-friendly accommodation, so that whichever destination you choose, you will always travel with confidence.