No need to worry, this article is completely safe-for-work. No photos of an embarrassing uncle who is all too comfortable in his own skin either (although you may want to send him this link once done reading). We North Americans may not be as accepting to the nude trend (at least we’re told not to be) but that is not how it works in the rest of the world. There are certainly a few in South America, but for the most part, Europe is where the “action” is.
Spanning the globe looking for a place to sport your birthday suit can be an intimidating task as most people may not want to ask “Where’s the closest nude beach?” Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to avoid that embarrassing question, but then again, nude beaches aren’t for the timid so ask that question anyway. We’ve got the answers, here are the top 10 places in Europe to strip off that last layer and be young, wild and free. Or something like that.
10. Wenningstedt-Braderup -Sylt, Germany
Off the northwest coast of Germany (near Denmark) is the island of Sylt. Among the plethora of family-friendly beaches, beaches for dogs/animals, there is of course nudist beaches tucked into this little known region of Germany, and Wenningstedt-Braderup is one of the latter. Wide and spacious, this beach is a forerunner in Germany’s “free body culture” movement also referred to as the FKK. Bare it all next to the North Sea in northern Europe. It might be a little colder due to its location on the top side of the country, but the sand and water are as remarkable as the freedom to let it all fly at this large open space. Among the nude beach however, the town of just over 1,400 has garnered over 1 million overnight stays, and is the fifth-largest tourist resort in the area. So, there is bound to be some company out near the water as well.
9. Playa de Ses Illetes -Formentera, Spain
Playa de Ses Illetes is a stone’s throw south of the party-crazy Ibiza, Spain. If in Ibiza to go wild, maybe a trip to the local nude beach will seem like a better idea to those who normally wouldn’t be so adventurous. It is such a small place; there is no way to get there through the air. Ferry, bus or cabs are the only available methods of transport in order to reach this location. Spectacular beaches with crystal-clear water will smack tourists in the face (figuratively speaking of course), and almost all of them are nude-friendly. A much more accepted social construct than over here. Playa de Ses Illetes is one of the most popular nude beaches in the area as the white sand and sparkling waters make it incredibly appealing to the eye even if the passersby are not. Be forewarned that July and August are peak months and are likely to be very busy.
8. Ilha Deserta -Olhao, Portugal
Where number nine on the list is a much more populous area due to its closeness to Ibiza, Ilha Deserta may offer a more tranquil experience given the fact the area is uninhabited. Just one restaurant exists there, leaving travelers alone to ponder their weird, naked thoughts. A 30-minute water-taxi ride is the way to get to the island whose name translates to “Desert Island”. While there is only one restaurant in the southern-most part of Portugal, that doesn’t mean there is nothing fun to do. Jamanta party boats can be rented for your friends, carrying up to 200 people. There are also nature tours and regular boat tours that are a bit more toned down. Portugal is a tolerant place with one of the most reformed criminal justice systems in the world, so it’s no wonder they are so free spirited when it comes to nude policy.
7. Filaki Beach -Crete, Greece
Crete is known for its incredibly picturesque beaches and beautiful sunsets with Filaki being one of those that stand out among a tough crowd. It is secluded enough to be private; at the end of a long, winding road and partially hidden by an overhanging cliff. It comes with plenty of sun beds, umbrellas and of course a snack bar. Filaki prides itself on being the only “Official” nude beach of Crete. Nudity is actually so accepted in the area that just down the road is the nudist friendly Hotel Vritomartis. While it is a fine beach, it is conveniently located close to a number of other nude-friendly beaches. Need more nude? A local tavern is noted as having almost completely nude clientele, some of which simply walk direct to and from the beach, to their cars and back without getting dressed. A nudist’s paradise, Filaki Beach in Greece is a standout on the list.
6. Guvano Beach -Corniglia, Italy
In order to get to Guvano Beach one must walk through an abandoned railway tunnel that has both entrance and exit visible at all times (a good safety feature if naked). It is not unlike others on the list in that it’s hidden away from the touristy spots, with a backdrop of cliffs and a secluded entrance way along the railroad tracks. It’s roomy out there, and the water is just as accommodating. Seeing is better than believing, as this remote Italian town is built on top of a cliff surrounded by beautiful forests and steep hills. It is recommended to stay overnight to explore all the region has to offer, and book a ferry or boat tour while there. Guvano Beach has less of a resort feel than other beaches on the list do, and more of a private secluded getaway feel, made for a secret agent or celebrity.
5. Plage de Tahiti -St. Tropez, France
France has several nude beaches and Plage de Tahiti is a shining example. Sitting on the French Riviera’s Mediterranean shoreline it’s simply an astonishing site. Picture-perfect sand and waves await visitors, and it’s said to be a favourite of some celebrities, so no cameras please. Lonely Planet describes it simply as a “magnificent sandy beach” but that doesn’t really do it justice. There’s a peer, several bars, restaurants and enough umbrellas to find one for your own. Nearby hotels make for a great vacation spot although, the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean can get a little bit pricey. Unless the chequing account agrees, don’t plan on staying long without putting a dent in the bank account as mentioned before, this is a popular area for celebs (especially around the time of the Cannes Film Festival) and the prices are very likely to reflect that.
4. Agesta Beach -Stockholm, Sweden
The official nude beach of Stockholm, family, friends and couples all hang out in this area at Agesta. This is where one is likely to be neck-deep in nudist culture. Play areas (whatever that means), picnic tables and barbecue areas are all available for groups to have a great time and enjoy themselves. While the country is more likely known for its love of hockey and cheap furniture, nudity is rather widely accepted in Sweden, and is certainly encouraged as a nudist destination for anyone visiting the capital city. This also means there’s no need to be embarrassed! It’s simply a part of life there. The beach is owned and operated by the government and is likely unknown (and rather unexpected for that matter) to foreign nationals. Stockholm buses reach the beach or you may even drive from the city and simply follow the signs or naked people to get to the correct destination. Stockholm can get cold, so bring appropriate clothing along, too.
3. Playa de los Muertos -Almeria, Spain
Hold onto your hats because Playa de los Muertos translates to “Beach of the Dead”. However, the Walking Dead isn’t filming here and the name doesn’t really have anything to do with it. This pebble beach has sparkling deep turquoise waters that give the feeling of tranquility at first glance. There aren’t many facilities on site, but this helps to keep the beach less busy in peak months; of course nudists will be there all year round. It’s a bit of a trek to reach the beach from the volcanic cliffs, but it is well worth it. In fact, many tourists advise bringing some snacks and drinks to ensure enough energy for the journey back! The downward adventure is not advised for children, the elderly or in flip-flops/sandals. It can get a bit slippery and it is harder to traverse on the way back up than it is on the way down.
2. Valalta -Rovinj, Croatia
Technically referred to as a “naturist campsite”, Valalta takes on nudity full bore. There exists a swim-up bar, a waterslide into a pool, and beer tasting at the on-site brewery. This is essentially an inclusive vacation resort… just with nudity! Thousands of nudists are present at any given time; however the facility is large and spacious enough to accommodate everyone. Different types of beaches including stone and sand make up this pleasant village with plenty of pools, restaurants and even a market for fresh food. Expect to make friends if planning to return, many of the guests have been visiting for generations and make it a yearly ritual to return with their families. So if that’s your thing, invite grandma, grandpa, even your brother and sister along for the family vacay. Croatia is a beautiful country and this resort is no exception.
1. Plage de Pampelonne -St. Tropez, France
As with most of the beaches near the beautiful backdrop that is the Mediterranean Sea, Plage de Pampelonne attracts the rich, famous and the nude. Nude or non-nude guests are welcome to reserve a beach bed or parasol to be both comfy and covered from the sun. It is also a bit of a legend that once the sun goes down, the beaches aren’t the only places that allow nudity but nearby clubs as well. Plush greenery and picturesque trails lead to and from the beach that make walking anywhere a delight. Several beachside restaurants give a resort feel, and there are cabins to rent in the area should one wish. The view is certainly spectacular as yachts float about adding to the glitz and glamour the water already provides, and to the many reasons this beach is number one on the list. Class, elegance and fun are at the forefront at Plage de Pampelonne, where nudity is simply accepted rather than a requirement or overbearing necessity.