Before jumping into the list of best nude beaches in the world, let’s have a quick look at the history of how this taboo yet spreading culture was born.
Nude beach, also known as clothing-optional or free beach, is actually an old idea from the Victorian era rather than a recent invention. In Europe, King Edward the VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson were attempting to flee. The couple decided to go on an Adriatic Sea cruise and stopped at the island of Rab. Wanting to go to the beach naked, they approached the local government for permission. The government gave them the go-ahead, and the world's first official nude beach was born.
Therefore, nude beaches are rather more common in Western cultures than Asian regions. However, the following list of top nude beaches around the world will offer you a number of different beaches to choose from on all your favourite continents when having a chance to let loose of yourself and get your body blended with nature.
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As the continent where nude beaches were first normalised and popularised, Europe harbours an astonishing number of famous and top-rated free beaches. Sprinkled across the region, from Spain to Croatia, are exceptional naked beaches to be truly and completely one with nature. Here are some of the best ones we’ve seen.
Buhne 16, Sylt, Germany
Sylt is an island at the edge of Northern Germany, known for its seclusion and status as a UNESCO nature reserve. As a result, it is extremely popular with European wealth and celebrities. The island is also known for its waves, oyster farms and cool, crystal clear waters throughout the year. You can get to Sylt from mainland Germany via railway or air.
Buhne 16 received its title as Germany’s first nudist beach in 1920. It’s home to a variety of tourism activities all through day and night. Beach activities like sunbathing, surfing, kiteboarding, as well as walks, are popular, while nightlife includes restaurants, bars, and hard parties. You’ll find a pristine landscape with snow white dunes, thatched roof houses and luxurious resorts here. Naturists, of course, are welcome on this long and open stretch of beach, and the lifestyle persists to Sylt’s main town, Kampen.
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Red Beach, Crete, Greece
One of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean and the largest one in Greece, Crete has been a go-to destination for those looking for an authentic Greek experience. The vibrant island is home to both naturally wild beaches and rich historic culture. You’re sure to spend more time than you expected to while gazing at the golden coastline and breathing in the exotic spirit of Greece.
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The Red Beach, also known as Kokkini Ammos, is slightly remote, as it can only be reached either by boat or a short but demanding hike from Matala. As the name implies, the dunes are crimson red, yet the water is amazingly clear. Naturists as well as traditional beachgoers are welcome, as the beach has areas for both. Anyone could feel at home here once you taste the freedom and peace of this award-winning hidden gem. If you’re an adventurer, you’ll also love its rock caves for canoeing or even swimming.
>> May be you also like: Best Beaches With Clear Water
Platja des Cavallet, Ibiza, Spain
The island of Ibiza is world-famous for its lively nightlife and enchanting beaches. You’ll never be bored while surrounded by exclusive resorts, adrenaline-filled water activities, and the biggest clubs in Spain. The country is also among the top 10 safest countries for LGBTQ+, according to the LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index.
Es Cavallet's pristine sand and crashing waves make it an incredibly gorgeous beach. It’s also in a fantastic position where on a clear day, you can get views of both Ibiza Town and Formentera, and the gorgeous drive across the salt flats adds to the experience. After that, you can find the primary (and official) nudist area in the centre of the beach, surrounded by sand dunes. Celebrities frequently visit the two restaurants at the north end of Es Cavellet. Moving south of this expansive beach, there is a vibrant gay community centered on a fantastic beach café.
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Cap d'Agde beach, France
Cap d’Agde village is France’s definitive destination for naturists worldwide. With fine sand beaches, basalt cliffs, rocky islets, and protected areas for walking and cycling, Cap d'Agde is a resort with unusually striking contrasts. But there's no denying that the 25km of gorgeous sandy beaches are what make this French Mediterranean coast especially popular for a getaway.
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Among Cap d’Agde’s 21 beaches is the Plage Naturiste. Many visitors swear by this beautiful naked beach as the best sunbathing spot in France, where you don’t have to worry about those dreaded tan lines. It’s good for more than just basking, though: cycling and walking are also great for taking in the view, and exploring the marina and town of Agde should also be on the list. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more stunning coast than France’s southern beaches.
Spiaggia di Guvano, Vernazza, Italy
Sitting neatly on northwest Italy’s rugged Ligurian Coast, Vernazza is one of the 5 centuries-old villages that make up the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trail runs through the region and lets tourists take in the unspoiled scenery, although caution must be taken before embarking on this hike.
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The Guvano Beach, unfortunately, as of 2022, is no longer reachable, as the trail and tunnel that leads there has been severely damaged. Landslides and collapses have indefinitely sealed off this little beach.
Valalta Beach, Croatia
Croatia’s Valalta Naturist Camp (Naturistički kamp Valalta) might just be the most specialised naturist destination of Europe. The camp is just north of Rovinj, and looks out to the north end of the Adriatic Sea. The 4.2 km long campsite shoreline, largely made up of magnificent pebble beaches, is ideal for families with children, who will have an enjoyable and relaxed family holiday at this campsite.
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Guests may stay in well furnished flats, bungalows with breakfast or half board, contemporary mobile homes, and big plots by the sea or in the woods. Apart from modern sanitary facilities like showers and laundromats, the site also has various sports amenities, for example football, bowling and basketball. Here, FKK culture (German for nudism) has been well advocated for since 1968. Now, Valalta is one of this tourism branch’s biggest staples.
Despite not being the pioneer in the clothing-optional beach space, North and South America were quick to pronounce their love for unity with nature and liberal leisure. The Americas’ nude beaches are just as popular as Europe’s, while maintaining their own unique beauty and flair. Keep reading to find your favourite and start your next trip right away.
Black’s Beach, California, USA
Located in fabulous SoCal right next to Mexico, San Diego features 112.65 kilometres of sublime coastline with picturesque Pacific waves and your choice of sandy or rocky beaches. The weather is great all year round, so there’s no limit to your vacation season. Unlike many of our picks on this list, San Diego is quite a big city, with big tourist attractions to match: museums, theme parks, historical reserves and of course, beaches.
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Black's Beach, stretching south of Torrey Pines State Beach, has some of San Diego's greatest waves. The beach got its name from the cliffs that previously housed the Black family’s horse farm. Black's is well-known among surfers for its large winter swells, but the rest of the world knows it as San Diego's nude beach. Although nudism is illegal in San Diego, it has survived at Black's for decades, likely thanks to the slightly strenuous hike to get there. Surfers and naturists are really the only ones to make the trek, so if you don’t feel like putting in the effort, La Jolla Shores is a great alternative.
Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada
Like San Diego, Vancouver is a bustling tourism city, with lots of famous museums, parks, and history. Vancouver is among the many cities in the world that allow naked protests, the most popular of them is the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). In fact, this is where the event began in 2004. The WNBR advocates for clean transportation and body positivity.
Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver’s amazing beaches for people who enjoy a cooler climate. It sits within the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, and is part of Pacific Spirit Regional Park. This wild and beautiful getaway stretches 7.8 kilometres and is North America’s largest free beach. It’s only 15 minutes away from Vancouver, although the steep flight of stairs down might be a little off-putting.
Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico
Down in southern Mexico, the valley town of Oaxaca is becoming increasingly popular as a heritage tourism spot with thousands of years of indigenous people. Oaxaca is a lively city with stunning rooftop cafés and bars, street art, old Spanish colonial churches, cobblestone streets, and picturesque parks. It is also one of Mexico's gourmet hotspots and a mezcal production centre in the country.
Beachgoers looking for a seaside getaway truly close to nature will love the hippie 1970s vibes of Playa Zipolite. As the sole legal naked beach of Mexico to date, Zipolite has arcadian huts and exotic street art spread throughout that are marvels on their own. The main beach in town is perfect for catching some rays and, for at least once in your trip, do absolutely nothing.
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Haulover Beach Park, Florida, USA
Miami is nothing new when it comes to the hottest events and the most tourist-filled beaches in the US. People come here from all over the country as well as the world to party, relax, or both. The city caters to all vacationers: you’ll find festivals, nightlife, adrenaline, tradition and everything in between.
Haulover Beach, famous across the world, has plenty of parking, toilets, concessions, and rentals, as well as a large sandy coastline to take in the Atlantic. But the major attraction of this family-friendly beach is that it’s clothing-optional. Most Floridian naturist beaches aren’t exactly very accessible. Haulover Beach, however, is located in Miami Beach and is Florida's best-known and oldest official public nudist beach. On top of that, it’s commonly said to be one of the top ten nudist beaches in the world.
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Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Not much introduction is needed when talking about Maui, Hawaii’s second largest island which boasts movie-famous waves and sceneries. The warm sun rays attract surfers, windsurfers, snorkelers as well as sunbathers. Washrooms, lifeguards and picnic areas are widely available to welcome beach lovers all throughout the year. One caveat might be the limited rental car supply, so you’ll want to book early.
Photo by Pierre Leclerc on FineArtAmerica
Little Beach is often overshadowed by its bigger brother, the aptly named Big Beach. The two are separated by a small rock wall that you’ll find once you park north of Big Beach. Compared to the latter, Little Beach is generally better for swimming, snorkelling, bodyboarding, the occasional flame dancers and of course, nude bathing. This is one of those beaches that are known by many names. You can call it Little Beach, Onouli Beach, or Little Makena Beach.
>> Check out: Best Beaches In Hawaii
Praia Massarandupió, Bahia, Brazil
This part of Bahia is quite a while off Brazil’s big cities, with the closest one being Salvador at 120 kilometres, and it shows. The small pedestrian streets lined with shops and vendors are like a breath of fresh air compared to the likes of Rio. Boasting the longest coastline in Brazil, stretching over 1,200 kilometres, as well as some of the most beautiful and nicest beaches, Bahia's beaches are filled with coconut trees, smooth sand, and warm water, and open to visitors all year.
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Massarandupió beach is one of Brazil’s eight beaches with existing regulations for naturism, though it also has an adaptation area, where nudism is optional. The area is actually part of an ecopark, EcoParque de Mata. All in all, if you love ecotourism, you’ll be able to escape the rush of daily life in this quiet Atlantic Forest reserve, with the right to bathe naked in springs, interact with tradition, stay in sustainable homes, and be truly close to nature.
As mentioned, the East has always had more distinctly conserved cultural characteristics - some countries haven’t even normalised bikinis up until these recent decades. It’s no surprise, then, to see very few beaches catering to nudists in Asia. In fact, there’s hardly any nude beaches at all. You may still hang out in your birthday suit if you happen to be in one of Israel’s Dead Sea beaches.
Neve Midbar, North Dead Sea, Israel
The beach in Neve Midbar is regarded as one of the most charming beaches on the Dead Sea. It’s known to be the lowest place on earth, and floating in the Dead Sea is an experience of its own. Every year, the beach welcomes and delights hundreds of thousands of people, including tourists from all over the world, Israeli families, and organised groups.
Neve Midbar Beach will easily charm you with a magnificent shoreline rich in mineral mud, swimming pools, expansive grounds, and an air-conditioned café overlooking the beach. Day or night, the beach is ideal for private and commercial luxury indulgences. Aside from the pools and the spacious restaurant with a view of the sea, there is a bar, lockers, and a variety of additional beach amenities for your convenience.
Photo by Erin (ekelly80) on Flickr
Oceania and others
If you’re not in any of the listed continents, there are still plenty more nude beaches on the world’s islands to explore. Despite being far off, these beaches are no less popular than the ones above, and you might just find your favourite destination here.
Lady Bay Beach, Sydney, Australia
Sydney is home to over 100 beautiful beaches, ranging from tranquil, protected bays and secluded coves to crowded surf beaches and tourist hotspots. Yet, many don’t know that this bustling seaside city is home to one of the best known nudist beaches of the world. Both Sydneysiders and international tourists have been going to Lady Bay Beach for weekend getaways without going out of the city.
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Lady Bay Beach is part of Sydney Harbour National Park, between South Head and Camp Cove, and hits the spot for many with its stunning vistas. Looking for a peaceful, clothing-free dip in the warm water? Just unroll your beach towel on some spectacular real estate and take in one of the world's most gorgeous harbours. Before eating into a nice picnic meal, take a refreshing plunge. If you feel like going for a stroll, take the South Head Heritage route for even more stunning views of North Head and the South Pacific Ocean. The nearby ancient Hornby Lighthouse is definitely worth a visit, with its unusual markings.
Are there any regulations at nude beaches? If yes, what are they?
Depending on which nude beach you are going to, there will be a variety of rules you should follow. The based ones might be as followed:
- Avoid staring at other nude bathers
- Never taking photos or videos of others without their permission
- Bring a towel to sit on when using the public seat
- Remember to cover up whenever you decide to leave the nude beach area
- Not to engage at any sexual activities
How many kinds of nude beaches are there?
There are several categories of nude beaches:
- Beaches where nudity is required, subject to weather conditions. This type of nude beach is common at dedicated naturist resorts.
- Beaches where nudity is encouraged, but not compulsory. This type of nude beach is common when the beach is part of a private resort or other private property. Bathers can choose to either wear swimsuits or not on this kind of beach.
- Beaches where nudity is permitted, but not compulsory (i.e. clothing-optional beaches). Most beaches in Denmark and some in Norway are clothing-optional. In America, one of the most popular clothing-optional beaches is Haulover Park in Bal Harbour, Florida, which has a clothing-optional section officially designated by Miami-Dade County.