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Top nudist beaches

Joshua Crouthamel
Friday, March 18, 2011
Nudists
"Don't be surprised to see nana and grandad, happily enjoying a cuppa outside their campervan in all their pleated and wrinkled glory."
Joshua Crouthamel
Naturist holidays are not a new phenomenon, but they are taking the travel world by storm as more and more nudists take their clothes-free lifestyle to the road, leaving luggage behind to catch rays on their ... behinds.

PHOTOS: the world's top nudist spots

Though 'naturism' (the preferred term for the clothing-optional philosophy and way of life), has been documented since the time of Alexander the Great, it didn't take hold in the modern world outside saunas and bathhouses until the early 20th century. At that time what started as a health and fitness lifestyle in Germany spread to the UK, Canada and the US, where naturism clubs and nudist beaches and resorts began to take hold.

Beyond the baths
'Social nakedness' has long been prevalent in the saunas and bathhouses of Europe and Asia, but it took German doctors and philosophers who began to openly advocate out-and-about nudism to promote the activity.

Though the Nazis weren't too keen on a society gone starkers, they were not able to keep the phenomenon under wraps, and the idea of nudist beaches and naked retreats spread throughout Europe. While the Germans are still the world's best birthday-suit advocates, the notion of social nakedness has an extremely high following throughout the Western world, and the market for clothing-free tourism is attracting millions of travellers annually.

Naked town
Europe has had clothing-optional beaches for years, but it is only in the past two decades that specialised resorts have accommodated nude travellers. The Caribbean, Mexico, North America and even Australia are now home to thousands of properties that cater solely to those in the buff.

Take, for example, the town of Cap d'Agde in France — known as Naked Town, Cap d'Agde is the world's capital of naturism. Whether you care to lie on the beach, stroll the town's high street or even nip into the shops for some meat and potatoes, in Cap d'Agde you will do it starkers. The town's summer population of 40,000 pride themselves on how little luggage they need, and how they are dressed for any occasion — without a thread.

No hanky panky
Nudists are not to be confused with sex tourists — they are staunchly different. Though clubs such as the popular Hedonism III in Jamaica are well-known for attracting swingers, your typical naturist hot-spot is more likely to be a family-owned caravan park where nana and grandad air ... theirs.

This type of family-friendly holiday naturalist retreat can be found across Australia, and it is reported that more than 40 million people worldwide take nude holidays each year.

Less cheek
A simple Internet search can put you in touch with hundreds of specialised travel agents that exclusively book naturist holidays for punters without pants, and thousands of accommodation and resort options have their own sites listed.

Be warned that these portals of information often include image galleries — don't be surprised if nana and grandad appear on the screen in front of you, happily enjoying a cuppa outside their campervan in all their pleated and wrinkled glory. And for the serious, ahem, enthusiast, there are dozens of accredited clubs and organisations across the country.

So if you never know what to pack when heading off on holiday, feel free to let it all hang out. Just ensure you've arrived at the correct location before donning the birthday suit and strutting your stuff.

Be sure to check out our photo gallery of the world's top nudist spots.

Have you or would you ever take a nudist holiday?

User comments
I trust the people sitting one the tree stumps didnt get any nasty splinters in any awkward places ,One would be quite embarrsed having a splinter removed , the guy holding the Guitar looks quite happy with himself plcking and twanging His guitar string there !!!
Sadly, so many comments on the subject of nudity reflect a lack of appreciation that we are naturally hedonistic. I have just returned from Cap d'Agde and enjoyed a truly unique and liberating experience. The visitors and residents of this amazing community share the opportunity to be open and natural and it takes a very short time to adjust to the almost total nudity and varity of shapes, ages and sizes. You really start to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the human body and also recognise that perfection not only doesn't really exist, but if it does, then it is subjective and personal. It seems very healthy to me that this community thrives and operates with remarkable normality and a great deal of inherent tolerence. Being naked really does make us all equal. Without doubt Cap d'Agde and other resorts do attract people who enjoy a 'libertine' lifestyle but this generally occurs without impacting upon others. It is simply adults making the choice to explore their natural sensuality
One of the many advantages of a Nudist Wedding, is that everyone knows who the Best Man is !
why do you constantly mention nudism on this site , single men are totally discriminated against everywhere in NZ nudist circles, but single woman are not and don't fool your self this is where all the swingers hang out , but the club mouthpieces who spout this rubbish "Oh no not in our club, we are all very proper here, we don't look at each other, they are fools Seeing the opposite sex with clothes off is a turn on for all men ,don't listen to the rubbish or there is something wrong
The negatives quickly melt away to be replaced with a wonderful feeling of acceptance of yourself and others.
When visiting a different place, we look at the overall package ... culture, history, nature, and so on. Availability of naturist options is important. It's amazing how many vacation spots tout nature but have no place for naturists. It's like touting the food but having nothing good to offer those who don't eat meat. A naturist wants to experience sun, wind, water and even sand without have to constantly dress up in a costume that spoils the fun and is not as healthy for us or the environment. We appreciate having naturist options. It's nice to be thought of.
Nudist (Naturist) vacations are the best. There are no pretenses. Everyone is equal when they are nude. We have met some of the nicest people on nude vacations - and these are long term friendships. Nudity does not equate with sexuality. Despite the comment above, the number of genuine naturists (nudists) far out weigh the number of swingers on nude vacations. In fact, most resorts actively dissuade sexual activity. It is about enjoying nature and life in the most natural way possible. We have visited many locations in and around North America, (5 or 6 resorts in Ontario, Canada, one on Prince Edward Island, Canada and one in BC, Canada, 2 in Florida, USA, one in Michigan USA, two in California, USA, and two in Jamaica) as well as public nude beaches across Canada and a couple in the USA. In every almost every case, the people we met were wonderful, accepting and among the least judgmental people we have met. If you have a chance to enjoy a nudist vacation - go for it!
discrimination of single males in resorts and club , what about that ?? Swingers abound in these places, dont fool yourself , from a club member here in auckland
We love to take nudist vacations and holidays, for those of you that have not tried, you don't know what your missing. Most all nudist are very friendly and acceptive of any one. It may be hard to disrobe to start, but the really hard part is putting you clothes back on. I only did one thing wrong, that was I did not try it 40 years ago.
Overall a very good article. I own a naturist resort in Palm Springs, California called the Terra Cotta Inn sunnyfun.com so I know the naturist business. I agree that the nude vacation industry is growing very fast. For instance we have many Kiwi and Aussie guests stay at our resort. America has great nudist resorts and some nice nude beaches. If you go to aanr.com The American Association for Nude Recreation's site, you will learn all about fun places to vacation in the States. One thing I do disagree with you though, nude recreation is not just for grandparents. People of ALL AGES enjoy nudism from their 20's to 70's. For instance our manager, Patty is in her 20's. And there are nudist clubs geared to college age and 20 something nudists in the US. Once you have vacationed at a nudist resort, you'll never want funny tan lines again!

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