Nude beaches – you’ll also see them called naturist, clothing optional, “free” or “FKK” (from the German Freikörperkultur) beaches – offer the chance to get an all-over tan for sure, but they’re about more than that. It’s where those so inclined can bask in the sun in their most natural state.
Before you go, check out these do’s and don’ts. No gawking, no photography / filming and no lewd behaviour. Lots of nude beaches are divided into different areas – for families, couples, singles and gay. Find out which part of the beach you should be on. And finally, and most importantly, don’t forget your sun block!
Playa El Mago, Majorca
Playa El Mago, close to Magaluf, is Majorca’s first official nude beach. Surrounded by shady pines, its golden sand is punctuated by rocky outcrops and the small bay is lapped by crystal-clear waters. There is an open air bar here too. Playa El Mago is close to Portals Vells, a small village that’s popular with families.Return flights to Majorca from £41
Glyka Nera, Crete, Greece
Glyka Nera is also known as Sweetwater, taking its name from the springs of water that bubble under the stones at the back of the beach. It’s a pebble beach backed by a towering cliff and little shade – a fantastic sun-trap. A little taverna sells drinks and snacks and rents umbrellas. How to get there? Glyka Nera is about 25km (40 miles) from Chania and you could take a boat from Loutro (it takes about an hour) or walk from Sfakia. The walk takes about half an hour but get clear directions before setting out.Return flights to Crete from £78
Banana Beach, Skiathos, Greece
About 30 minutes from Skiathos, at the southwestern tip of the island are these three nude beaches. A crescent of sand and sparkling waters, the beach is shaded at the back. There’s a small taverna selling light snacks and there are umbrellas and loungers for hire. From the beach there are views of the Pelion and dolphins can often be seen frolicking in the waters. Big Banana is very popular but Little Banana Beach, also known as Spartacus Beach, has taken over as the main nudist spot.Return flights to Skiathos from £122
The island of Sylt is one of the Frisian Islands in the North Sea. Despite the North Sea’s reputation for chilliness, it is known as Germany’s St Tropez. In July and August, smart German visitors flock here to top up their tans, to see – and be seen. Sylt is connected to the mainland by a causeway and it’s a pretty island of red-and-white striped lighthouses, thatched-roof houses, and, on the beaches, Strandkörbe (the stripy shell-shaped sun loungers). The west coast of the island is given over to wide white-sand beaches and the most tolerant nude beach is Buhne 16.Return flights to Sylt from £328
On the Istrian peninsula, 8km (5 miles) from the city of Rovinj, Valalta has 3km (2 miles) of Blue Flag beaches and secluded coves. There is a naturist settlement nearby, established at the end of the 1960s, with a sea-water swimming pool and olive-tree and vine-lined green spaces.Return flights to Rovinj from £51
Haulover Beach, Miami
It’s just the north side of Haulover Beach, Miami, that is clothing optional, but this is where up to 85 per cent of the beach goers congregate. Located between the cities of Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles, the beach is not exactly wilderness. There are barbecue grills, food and drink stands and showers. For a break from sunbathing there are volleyball games and surfing contests.Return flights to Miami from £332
Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada
Take the steep sylvan steps down to the only clothing optional beach in Vancouver. Situated between Locarno Beach and the endowment lands of the University of British Columbia, Wreck Beach is a stretch – almost 8km (5 miles) – of pristine wilderness in the City of Glass. And a volunteer organisation ensures it stays that way. The beach goers are a mix of students, families and committed bare bathers. Beach vendors sell everything from sun block to buffalo burgers.Return flights to Vancouver from £355
Montalivet on the Atlantic Coast of France, has two nude beaches to the north and south of the main town. The northern beach is beside the Euronat resort while the southern beach is adjacent to the CHM Montalivet resort, the birthplace of the international naturist movement.Return flights to Bordeaux from £41
Samurai Beach, Australia
Samurai Beach is a 1km-stretch at Port Stephens in New South Wales. Situated in Tomaree National Park, the beach is protected by lush greenery and sand dunes and marked by rocky outcrops at either end. Dolphins swim off the coast in the sparkling blue waters. Don’t look for snack bars or toilets; this is a slice of natural Australia.Return flights to Sydney from £548
Fancy a drink on the beach? Check our “Top 10 Beach Bars” article for more inspiration.
*The prices we listed are good as of May – to get the latest prices launch a flight search now.