Sometimes, it’s just so hot out that we want nothing more than to strip every inch of clothing off and jump in the ocean—especially on your honeymoon! While that may be a fine idea at our private home pool, it’s not really allowed at a public beach—unless, of course, you find yourself at a nude beach. It's your honeymoon, after all, so, you know, clothing-optional.
It’s an incredible fantasy, absolutely, but we need to be realistic: while some people are completely comfortable at nude beaches or “clothing optional” resorts, others are a little more reserved. And even if you are open to nude beaches, they are most certainly not created equal. We’ve probably all stumbled upon those that are decidedly sketchy, but others are downright beautiful.
Expedia recently released its annual Flip Flop Report, a global survey of trends in travel, and the topic of nude beaches came up. The results showed that worldwide, 14 percent of those who responded have gone nude at the beach, and 37 percent were anxious about seeing someone nude or topless while they were relaxing in the sun.
So, while the majority of us are not taking advantage of nude beaches, enough of us are that there need to be some good options out there. Another study, via Trip.com, found 28.4 percent of people are somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of getting naked for an activity this summer, but 29.5 percent said if they were to get naked, it would be for skinny dipping. The interest is definitely out there.
So, if you are going to go nude on the beach, where should you be going? There’s actually plenty of pretty amazing options out there. Here, we round up 11 beaches where clothing or not is up to you.
Es Trenc beach on the Spanish island of Mallorca is gorgeous. If there were just a couple of palm trees here, you might think you were somewhere in the Caribbean. Es Trench is one of the prettiest beaches in Europe, and also a favorite spot for nudists from around the world. “The entire beach is not solely for nudists; you feel very comfortable at the beach and I can attest to that since it was my first time. In fact, my girlfriend and I kept coming back here over the next few days,” says Avichai Ben Tzur of X Days In Y, a website focusing on in-depth travel guides for independent travelers.
Miami has a long-standing reputation as a fantastic destination for couples looking for a little love. Dress down—or in nothing at all—and head over to Haulover Beach, Florida’s only legally recognized nude beach. “Spend the afternoon enjoying the sand dunes while you work on getting rid of those tan lines,” says Jessica Bisesto, senior editor at TravelPirates.com.
Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver is Wreck Beach. “This is North America's largest naturist beach, offering nearly five miles of well-preserved beach and clothing-optional heaven,” says Bisesto. Couples can check out one of the beach’s many events throughout the year, including an annual international nude art show and a monthly nude night swim.
If you want to check out a true nude metropolis, head to the south of France. “Strip down at the nude beach in Cap d'Agde for a once-in-a-lifetime experience," advises Bisesto. "This beautiful beach offers one mile of sprawling white sand, multiple restaurants, and nearby shops. Ironically enough, the most common shops sell clothing.”
Ladies Beach in Ulcinj, Montenegro is worth a visit. “As you probably assumed from the [name], only women are allowed to bathe here, naked or not, during summer months,” says Lola Méndez, a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista. The water here is high in sulfur so locals believe it has powers to increase fertility. “It's inspiring to see the typically completely covered Muslim women free themselves from their headscarves and lay bare to the sun. I was invited in on card games, girl chat, and shared fruit with locals, and never once felt self-conscious about my body,” says Mendez. Cell phones aren't allowed and if you don't feel comfortable nude you're more than welcome to bathe in your full suit, or topless.
On the shores of Lake Travis, Hippie Hollow Park is the only legally sanctioned clothing-optional public park in the state of Texas (as a whole, a rather conservative state) and is a great spot whether you are into nude swimming, sun-bathing, or just a casual picnic.
João Pessoa, Brazil
Tambaba, Brazil's oldest nude beach, offers you and your partner privacy as well as stunning cliffs, creating a fantastic backdrop for your romantic escape. “You won't catch any Brazilian bikinis at this beach, as nudity is required in the main section," Bisesto says. "Once you’ve gotten your nude beach fix, head over to the bars by the beach’s parking area for a drink with your boo."
Nudity in Sweden is widely-accepted and Agesta beach is one of the best choices for those looking to strip down near Stockholm. “Easily accessible by bus or car, this beach is popular among tourists and locals and has picnic tables, public facilities, and a spacious stretch of sandy area," Bisesto says. "Couples looking to have a beachside picnic will find barbecue areas, but I recommend putting on pants before grilling."
San Mateo, California
Visit San Gregorio beach, the oldest nude beach in the United States, and you’ll find two miles of soft sand, sea caves, and driftwood. “Perfect for the couple who prefers to avoid crowds, San Gregorio Beach only gets about 50–200 visitors per day. The beach is very popular among gay men, but you’ll also find straight couples and families on any given day,” says Bisesto.
For couples looking to enjoy a risqué romance in a party paradise: “Head to Paradise beach on the Greek island of Mykonos for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Bisesto. Leave your clothes behind and dance the night away at a full moon party, or grab a sun chair and enjoy the Mediterranean views.
Close your eyes and picture two miles of pristine white-sand beaches, clear Caribbean water, and the sounds of samba or salsa playing from a nearby beach bar. Now imagine that this tropical oasis is clothing-optional. “Head straight to Club Orient in Sint-Maarten," says Bisesto. "This luxurious beach resort has plenty of activities to keep the most naturist couple entertained, including a world-class spa, kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling."