Nude Beaches - All the Skinny: 2004
Europeans are great sun-worshippers - and they seem to worship the sun best in their birthday suits. Nude and topless beaches and parks abound...so sooner or later you'll find yourself surrounded by naked Europeans. We'd love to hear your advice: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"...or maintain your American modesty? Where exactly do you put a moneybelt when you have nothing else on? And of course, we want to know where your favorite nude or topless beaches in Europe are!
Re: Too many tourists
I haven't been to nude beaches in France, but have been to nude beaches and resorts in Poland and Jamaica, and a few US states, including Texas.
About your concerns, my advice is don't worry about it. If you're going to be that concerned about people looking at you, you won't have fun and be able to enjoy the free feeling the experience gives. And unless you're really an exhibit in a zoo, people aren't going to pay attention to you anyway. You're just another person on the beach!
When people are very new to nude recreation, they think it's a big deal and that everyone will stare at them. In my experience, it doesn't happen. Sure, it's nice to look at people, just like one would do at a clothed beach. But it's a growth in awareness to walk around naked and find that few if any people look up at you.
And if someone wants an eyeful, well, whatever, as long as they don't get offensive about it. (Again, just like at a clothed beach.) Who knows, you might even enjoy the attention. I know I would. ;-) Go and enjoy yourself! You'll come back with a different outlook.
CA USA Thu 11/25/2004
Nude Beaches in Europe
WE just returned from a trip to southern Spain. Vera, Almeria Spain has perhaps the largest naturist beach with over 2 km of "nude only". The naturist beach was perhaps 10 tims more crowded than the "textile beaches". Another great spot is Costa Natura just 15 miles from Gilbrater.
Venice, FL USA Sun 11/21/2004
Taormina in Sicily
For a wonderful gay nude beach, go to Rocce Bianche in Taormina Sicily. It is so romantic. I ended up meeing four great guys there... there is even a little cave where you can "get it on" if you so desire. It never get's too crowded - I was there for a week and I never saw more than 15 people there at the same time.
Rome, Lazio Italy Fri 10/08/2004
Natural in the Netherlands
There is a comfortable place just north of the Belgian border called Galderse Meren. It is a man made lake and quite popular tough not over crowded. Bathroom and snack facilities are easily accessible.
Asheville, NC USA Mon 08/16/2004
Guvano (in the Cinque Terre) is pretty easily accessed for free (rather than the 5 Euro rail tunnel). Just hike from Corniglia to Vernazza and you'll see signs for the trail down (which is steeper than any part of the trail between the 5 towns but not the most dangerous thing in the world). Apart from the sandy (and ridiculously crowded) beach at Monterosso, Guvano probably the best beach in the 5Terre. You can't wade for very long since the surf will pound golfball sized pebbles against your ankles but the swimming is good. Surprisingly not that many people were actually naked - a few Italian hippies and old dudes, and a couple others, and that was it. There's a hose with fresh water, too.
Chicago, IL USA Thu 07/15/2004
Just do it! ;-)
I spent last summer doing a study abroad program in Montpelier, France, and we tended to gravitate toward the beaches of Languedoc and elsewhere on the weekends. There was much talk among my friends and I before our first voyage a la plage about which of us would drop the top. Within weeks, it wasn't even an issue anymore -- it's just such a natural thing to be topless there. It didn't take long to get sick of rolling down my one-piece suit, so I eventually bought myself a daring little monokini instead!
Three of us daredevils even spent a day top *and* bottomless at a beach near St. Tropez, but that's another story! Just remember, nobody there knows you, and you may never get a chance to bare it in public again (without being arrested!).
O'Fallon, MO USA Fri 07/09/2004
My limited experience in Croatia is that the FKK beaches are often the best ones on an island. Having said that, some tips:
1. Nudism is optional, and no one gets in your face about what you have on or not.
2. The beaches are more remote (accessible by hiking or boat) and without any facilities - so buy a sun parasol (60-100 kuna/ea); a small portable sitting chair (if you have back problems like me) also 60-100 kuna; and a light-weight styrofoam cooler with food and drinks packed for the day (i forgot the price); take a roll of TP and don't leave the used stuff behind (there are often recepticals).
3. You can often get a water taxi to take you there and avoid the 2-5 KM hike into the beach. The asking rate is usually around 80-100 kuna for a two-way trip. Or you can look at the hike in and out as a splendid way to see the Croatian nature.
Greece it is not, but beautiful it is.
Copenhagen, DK Tue 06/22/2004
Further information on Rome's beaches
I received a number of messages asking me for further information on integral suntanning spots around Rome. So, please note:
(1) toplessness is allowed in any suntanning spots (that is, all beaches);
(2) "decent" nudity is also allowed by law in all "uncrowded" spots, but the concepts of "decent" and "uncrowded" cannot be explained in a few words: so, do what you see italians do;
(3) Rome's naturist haven (Oasi Naturista) is at the nineth kilometer of the road linking the towns of Ostia and Torvaianica; to get there, from the m?tro station "Piramide" (blue line) get the city line "Roma-Lido" up to the last stop (called "C. Colombo"; it's a 35min. trip), and then the bus that everybody catch out of the station, which stops in front of all beach bars;
(4) in the rest of Italy, much information about naturist beaches can be provided by the local branches of the national gay federation, named Arcigay, for gay-favourite beaches and naturist ones are most often close to each other;
(5) young kids can be left naked on all beaches (as you'll see; it's considered healthy);
(6) for men: excessive body hair and (i'm bound to tell) circumcision are generally seen as rather/slightly "indecent"; you'll notice that most young men trim their body hair short. Always do as you see (us) italians do!
Roma\Rome, \ Italia\Italy Tue 06/15/2004
Cap d'Agde -- as naked as it gets!
My wife and I spent the better part of a day at Cap d'Agde in France last summer, which was quite an eye opener! All of Germany and significant parts of several other European nations seemed to have left their clothes and home and descended on this corner of the world. Though we'd been to beaches before where topless sunbathing was common, this was our first time to a VERY nude beach. My wife seemed very nonchalant about letting it all hang out, but I had a moment of hideous panic as I slid my shorts off in public for the first time (and a great deal of self-consciousness about applying sunscreen to...um...newly exposed areas). It wasn't long before I felt like I was the last one in the world to have figured out that naked was the Best Way To Go To The Beach.
Our time there was mostly confined to the beach, but if you'd like to experience firsthand that recurring dream you always have where you're naked at the grocery store or the shopping mall, there is a whole section of town where nudity is perfectly acceptable.
St. Louis, MO USA Wed 06/02/2004
I am a good Irish Catholic trying to forget every thing the priests told me about sex and nudity. My wife our, 12 year old son and myself went to a clothing optional beach in France. My wife went topless. My son and myself went nude. My son took no notice and it meant nothing to him. I found swimming more comfortable. I thought my body was in bad shape. That was until I saw other peoples bodies. I sunburn on my bottom.
Limerick Ireland, Ireland Thu 05/06/2004
My Topless Experience in Hanioti Greece, and My Philosophy on it.
I must confess, I was a little aprehensive at first...but after about a day at the topless (optional) beach and noticing there were people of all ages and sizes, (some maybe shouldn't have been) topless. I didn't go to a tourist-y beach, I figured the local men that were there had probably seen topless women there at the beach all their lives and they didn't seem preoccupied with it. I would assume if there were a bunch of American men they would be to busy starring and acting obnoxious. Once you realize no one cares its a little easier to relax. Important Tip: Wear sunscreen! Chances are your skin, in some areas, is not used to sun and will BURN! Be careful, have fun, and remember...if everyone else is doing it, what makes you think people will be starring directly at YOU...they won't be.
Tampa, Florida USA Mon 04/19/2004
Sitges Beach, Spain
I was in Europe in May/June 2003 (during the heatwave) and my friend's cousin in Barcelona reccommended Sitges beach. It's about a half hour outside Barcelona by train, and it's GORGEOUS! The beautiful Mediterranean was the only thing that saved us from the 45C 120F degree+ heat! There are lots of restaurants nearby, and we were not approached by any men (or women, for that matter) in the 7 or so hours we spent on the beach. We also rented a peddle boat and relaxed topless out in the water for a while. Can't wait to return!
Victoria, BC Canada Wed 03/31/2004
If you're in Paleohora (SW Crete)make the effort and either drive or take the ferry to Elafonissi. Then wade across the channel to the small island. You find a beautiful pink fringed beach(from the broken sea shells). There are sand dunes and little lagoons that are like being in a warm bath ! The sea and scenery are magnificent. Go further along to go fully nude as the main part is topless for females but not nude. Some people will wander past to "go for a walk" so best advice is to sunbathe in the sand dunes.I did so and was later joined by 2 beautiful young German women who obviously didn't mind the proximity of a lone male.Some locals do get offended by nudity but no-one was aggressive or abusive. Also on the same coast is Sougia (accessible by road and ferry). A stony beach which is officially non nude but has a high proportion of German/Brit nudists.
London, UK Thu 03/25/2004
Over the years I have visited many nude and clothing optional beaches, and on the whole the experiences have been great. As with all beaches there is the possibility of people encroaching on personal space, and this can feel more threatening when naked, especially if this is something new to you. Try not to let these individauls spoil your experience, and please do not assume that these people represent the majority of nude beach goers, who would also like to be rid of them. My favourate formal beach has been Correlejo, on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, however, there are great beaches to be found all over Greece, in Australia, Canada, Hawaii (although strictly it is illegal), Portugal, and the Caribbean.. Have fun...Stewart
Vancouver, BC Canada Tue 03/16/2004
Nude beaches Portugal
Southern Portugal, the Algarve, has many beautiful, secluded coves were nude bathing is accepted but local knowledge is important to avoid offense. The Quinta da Horta resort, near Ferragudo and Portimao, provides comfortable accomodation for "naturist" travellers. The British owners, David and Frances, will be pleased to direct you to some fantastic naturist beaches or they give details on their site at www.naturist-holidays-portugal.com
USA Sat 02/07/2004
Near the Algarves Western coast there are numerous "go as you please beaches" where you can get an all-over tan. A particularly nice one is at Raposiera on the N125, turn left at the traffic lights if you are heading West, and follow signs for Praia Zavial. When you arrive at the beach walk to your left, by the cliffs at the far end for an all-over. Beach is used by families couples etc, and also has a very good beach bar and restaurant.
Birmingham, USA Sun 02/01/2004
I hesitate to say, since I don't want too many others to know the best kept secret of the Mediterranean, but the island of Formentera (off the Spanish coast from Barcelona) is the most wonderfully free place to be unclothed, and not just the beaches. I have walked (for several hours each day) through the pine forests adjoining the beaches, full of the scent of pine and rosemary in the mornings, meeting only the occasional rambler or horserider. Don't go! Let me enjoy it unspoiled!
UK Sun 01/11/2004