Pomena Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Pomena and Mljet Island gay guide to where to stay, things to do, and Croatia gay sailing trips.
The Gay Travel Experience: Pomena, Croatia
Many travelers love Pomena for the nature walks and exploring the bays. While the Croatian islands are not exactly flooded with gay men, they can certainly be found here. Pomena has a huge national park, so you may be able to find some fun outdoorsy guys!
One of my fondest Pomena trip memories is of a brief rain shower just after sunset that filled the air with the smell of wet pavement. Sitting at a long table right in the harbor itself, I fell in love with how peaceful Pomena is.
One other touching experience was when a little Croatian girl popped open her umbrella as the rain began and ran from the restaurant door toward her father across the way. When she reached him, they just sat in silence, staring into the darkness of the sea. My heart melted.
Pomena Travel Experiences
Before exploring Pomena, make a dinner reservation at Konoma Adio Mare, a restaurant directly in the port area. It was so convenient that we could walk literally ten steps from our boat to the dinner table.
Konoma Adio Mare can be a bit expensive, depending on what you order; the lobster dish for instance is more than USD $120. There are many cheaper things on the menu though! Having dinner right on the port was nice because we could watch the sunset.
Mljet National Park is a top place to visit while in Pomena. Pomena is the westernmost portion of Mljet island. You can reach the park by bicycle or by a 25-minute walk.
The main road closest to the Pomena port will lead you to some small trails which connect to the park. Roadway signs will point toward the lakes.
Mali Most is an area with a small bridge where tourists congregate to swim in clear bay water.
There are a couple of man-made footbridges with a canal underneath that you can swim in at Mali Most. Kayaks and bicycles are also available for rental nearby.
Saint Mary’s Island, Mljet
The tickets to enter Mljet National Park include a ferry ride to St. Mary’s Island. The island is a small historical area that includes a church, a small restaurant, and a few stands selling drinks.
It takes less than 30 minutes to walk the island’s entire perimeter. You can check the return schedule on the display board where you disembark the ferry.
If you are going directly back to Mali Most from St. Mary’s island, then make sure you get on the same boat you took when arriving. Other boats will take you to different locations. Don’t get confused!
Is Croatia Safe for Gay Travelers?
Gay travelers in Croatia should exercise caution while touring the country for a number of reasons. Although Croatia is part of the European Union and is a popular gay travel destination, there is still a formidable anti-LGBT sentiment among some local Croatians.
Even though tourists flood the Croatian islands each summer, locals still live and work on these bits of paradise. The Croatians are not used to seeing overt gay public displays of affection. So, two men kissing in a bar or restaurant in Pomena may warrant some unwanted attention.
I encountered a few homophobic scenarios while on gay sailing trips to Croatia’s other islands with a group of gay friends. A few gay couples joined our trip. After showing some affection in a couple of restaurants and bars, there were some uncomfortable situations.
In short, one restaurant told our friends that two men could not kiss each other while sitting and having dinner. One other instance involved a group of young local men throwing a lighter at a group of us while in a local bar. Both situations were handled, but it was very disheartening to experience.
In my opinion, this information should not deter you from visiting Croatia. Firstly, isolated incidents like these could have happened anywhere. Many locals do support homosexuality and equal rights for LGBT individuals.
Homophobic comments can be made in any country, but gay travelers in Croatia should still make sure they are in a safe environment before displaying any affection.
Pomena Gay Travel Tips
Looking for Nightlife?
Croatia Isn’t Cheap
Croatia is so popular with European, Australian, and American tourists, that prices are no longer considered “cheap.” Prices at most restaurants throughout the Croatian islands rival those of big expensive world cities.
Cheap food is hard to come by, but there are still some pizzerias where you can get a medium-sized personal pizza for the equivalent of ten Euros.
Gay Life in Croatia & LGBT Rights
Croatia provides a wealth of protections to the LGBT community, however gay life in Croatia for locals is not exactly easy. Most local Croatians keep their sexuality hidden from the public eye out of fear of discrimination. They do not usually express their identity openly.
Hate speech has been on the rise against LGBT individuals and Serbs prior to 2017, according to reports compiled that year on the issue.
Croatia does defend all citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The country allows gays, lesbians, and bisexual individuals to serve in the military. Changing legal gender is also legal.
A major downfall is that the Croatian constitution bans same-sex marriage. The country revised the constitution to define marriage as a union solely between a man and woman. A 2017 Pew Research Study found that more than 60% of Croatians oppose same-sex marriage.
Gay rights gained more of a foothold in 2014 when Croatia passed the Life Partnership Act. The Life Partnership Act allows gay couples to receive the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples for just about everything except adoption rights.
On the positive end of the spectrum, a 2016 ILGA poll found that 75% of Croatians would have no issue with an LGBT neighbor. 10% of people responded they would be very uncomfortable with an LGBT neighbor.
Most anti-LGBT sentiment can be found in the northwest portion of Croatia. The rest of the country is not so fiercely opposed. Large centers like Dubrovnik and Zagreb advertise themselves as gay-friendly tourist destinations, however, this does not exactly mean discrimination by locals does not occur.
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