By Namu Ju
Although customary in some places, going bare has become an increasingly accepted practice worldwide. What’s not to like about walking down the street or jumping into the sea in nothing but your birthday suit?
Whether a first-timer or seasoned naturist, here’s a list of five great spots to enjoy nature, au naturel.
With enough horror stories to have you googling for hours, Cap-d’Agde may be the most (in)famous naturist spot worldwide. A seaside village on France’s Mediterranean coast, it has a section—a village within a village—called the ‘naturist village.’ Cap is the world’s biggest naturist village and is considered a destination for naturists, swingers, and travellers alike.
With a sizeable yearly tourist population, tension has arisen between ethical naturists, recreationally nude swingers and the village’s plethora of sex shops which reflect the strong tourist atmosphere. Entry into the nudist zone requires government identification and costs €8 EUR. The huge naturist village features its own beach and marina, multiple bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, and hotels.
Cap-d’Agde is particularly famous for the world’s largest naturist campsite René Oltra. Here you can walk around naked, drive your car naked, go grocery shopping naked, and patron restaurants and bars naked!
With its year-round sunny weather, the southern beaches of Florida have visitors from around the world ready to bare themselves. Complete nudity is allowed only at one beach in Miami: Haulover Beach. Just north of Miami, family-friendly Haulover Beach is regularly ranked as one of the top naturist beaches worldwide.
The beach is a mile-and-a-half long, but nudity is officially legal on the northernmost half-mile of the pristine stretch. Monitored by lifeguards, it offers concession stands, picnic facilities, chair rentals, and sand dunes. While topless sunbathing is common on nearly every beach in Miami, Haulover Beach is the only beach that allows full nudity. However, because it is ‘clothing-optional,’ beachgoers who prefer to keep themselves clothed are also welcome.
Vera Playa, Spain
Vera Playa of Andalusia, Spain is an excellent spot for any first time naturist hoping to air their bits. With perfect beach weather about 322 days of the year, this naturist zone is welcoming for people from all walks of life regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. The naturist zone of Vera Playa includes public streets, the promenade, and two kilometres of sandy naturist beach.
Vera Playa is also home to Spain’s first and only naturist hotel, the Vera Playa Club Hotel. The guests of the hotel broke a Guinness World Record in 2013—with 729 people in the nude, they gathered the most skinny dippers in one location.
Little Beach, Hawaii
Little Beach, also known as Onouli Beach or Pu’u Ola’i Beach, is the most well-known clothing-optional beach in Maui. Located in a secluded cove, the little sibling of the more popular Big Beach sits comfortably between two lava outcrops. Both beaches are part of Makena State Park, but, as Little Beach is just past the State Park boundary, nudity is technically allowed.
While there are no legal nude beaches on any of the islands in Hawaii, non-lewd and non-sexual beach nudity is permitted outside of state park beaches. The gentle shore break, beautiful views, and ideal snorkelling conditions give visitors more reasons than nudity to flock to this spot—not that many more reasons are needed.
While there may not be many naturist beaches in Brazil, the ones that do exist are well worth the trip. A particularly notable one is Praia da Galheta in Florianopolis. While the city of ‘Floripa,’ as the locals call it, is a natural and cultural gem in itself, Praia da Galheta allows for an unusually close experience of nature. There are no restaurants, homes, or commercial establishments on this beach and it is only reachable by a 300-metre trail that begins at the northern end of Praia Mole. Praia da Galheta is approximately one kilometre of white sand lapped by clear, gentle, and temperate waves.
The beach is surrounded by steep hills covered with orchids and other wildflowers. Even the drinking water is provided by a natural freshwater spring! Bliss! As a popular naturist spot since the ‘70s, the isolated Praia da Galheta offers a retreat closely reflecting original naturist philosophy.
Stepping into a nude social space for the first time is inevitably shocking, so it’s essential to keep in mind some rules of etiquette. Firstly, don’t stare! Gawking is highly frowned upon and interrupts the relaxed atmosphere of the space. And while each state and country has their own photography laws, general respect calls for participants to refrain from photographing or sharing on social media other people’s bodies. Other than that, peel off those clothes! And don’t forget the sunscreen.