1. Leucate Plage, France
Mediterranean coast, north of Perpignan
This superb bare beach has 1 km of fine golden sand, the classic Mediterranean beach. The water is normally calm and the shore shelves gently into the sea making it popular with families. Three naturist resorts share the coastline but the beach is open to all and there’s plenty of space for first-time skinny-dippers and lifelong nudists alike.
Go north from Perpignan on the main N9 and turn right on to the D83, signposted Port Bacares. After 9 kms turn left on to the D627, drive through Port Leucate and the bare beach is on the right. Park on the road - easy public access between Aphrodite Village and Club Oasis, the naturist resorts.
Majorca South Coast
This wonderful little bare bay has a perfect crescent of fine yellow sand, washed by a sea so transparent it looks more like the Caribbean. There are no beach bars so bring your picnic and drinks. It’s the jewel in the crown of the popular Es Trenc beach area.
The route to the beach is a pleasant 15 minute walk along the shore, heading north from the resort town of Colonia Sant Jordi. Start at the Hotel Marques Del Palmer, and it’s the third bay along. The fourth bay, if you walk further, also happens to be a bare beach, part of the much larger Es Trenc beach.
Go ahead and dive in, wearing only your birthday suit!
Sunny Isles, north Miami
Situated in the south of the ‘Sunshine State’, this bare sandy beach has a huge following of visitors from across the globe. With glorious weather for most of the year and the vibrant city of Miami on the doorstep, it’s not difficult to see why. The bare area is more than 800 yards long and has its own lifeguards and unobtrusive police patrols. Refreshments, sunbeds and umbrellas are available.
The beach is at Haulover Beach Miami-Dade county regional park, on Collins Avenue (A1A), just north of fashionable Bal Harbour. There is a large car park ($5) right by the beach.
This is Spain’s capital of bare bathing. The long wide sandy beach is popular in summer and has a big choice of naturist accommodation. Beach bars, sunbeds, pedalos and yes, if you really want to try the naturist cliché, beach volleyball are all available. Almeria has the hottest and driest climate in the country, so the beach season is almost year-round. Most European nationalities park their bottoms here, giving it a cosmopolitan and friendly atmosphere.
Take the coast road north from Garrucha, through Puerto Rey, and Vera Playa is well signposted after a further 1.5 kms.
Skiathos, near Koukounaries, on the south-west coast
Banana beach is the collective name for three lovely sandy bays well loved by nude bathers. Before you ask, the name refers to the fact the beaches are yellow and curved. View photos of sunbathers at this beach here.
During peak season bare bathers mainly use Little Banana, one of the smaller coves, as clothed holidaymakers descend on the main beach. Little Banana is often called the best bare beach in Greece, although there is plenty of competition for the accolade. There is a bus terminus and car park at the end of the Koukounaries road, coming from Skiathos town. The footpath to Banana takes 15 mins through olive groves.
A pebbly nude beach in Spain.
Istria, near Rovinj
If you feel the need for a truly naked de-stress, Valalta is everything you could wish for. It’s so good the nudist campsite here was voted the best in Croatia last year - among all sites, not just bare ones. With two miles of sand and rock beaches, including secluded coves, lined by olive trees and vineyards, this nude beach and village are well loved by bare beach connoisseurs.
The beach is on the Istrian peninsula, 60 miles south of Trieste and five miles from Rovinj. You can visit for the day (€2 entry) or book holidays through UK nude beach specialist Peng Travel (0845 345 8345) or www.valalta.hr
Near Playa del Ingles, southern Gran Canaria
Hundreds of acres of sand dunes, looking just like the Sahara, frame the beautiful beach between Maspalomas and the popular resort of Playa del Ingles. It’s 3 kms from one end to the other and over 1 km deep. The bare areas, like the swimsuited ones, have sunbeds and umbrellas for hire. For a quieter spot, walk into the vast expanse of dunes, but be careful not to get lost!
You can walk to the bare beach areas from either end, although the walk from Maspalomas town is slightly shorter.
Atlantic coast, north-west of Bordeaux
The south-west coast of France is almost one vast nude beach, stretching over 100 miles from Biarritz to the Gironde. Among stiff competition, the nude resort beach of Euronat stands out for its clean golden sand, supervised swimming and friendly atmosphere. Thousands of happy families gather here, and the beach is open to both nudist campers and day visitors alike. Other highly regarded resort beaches heading south are Montalivet CHM, La Jenny and Arnaoutchot.
From the seaside town of Montalivet-les-Bains, drive north on the D102 coast road. After 3 kms the road turns sharply right inland. Park and walk on to the beach - the main bare area is to the right.
9. Plakias Beach, Greece
Plakias town, south-west Crete
A fabulous setting of cliffs, mountains and a huge sweep of golden sand make this beach a wonderful place for all-over tanning and fine snorkelling. The sea shelves gently, making it suitable for families, and there are showers available. Refreshments are brought to the beach in season, and umbrellas are available.
The nude area is the last section of the beach, to the left as you face the sea, and unsurprisingly it is often the most popular part of the whole bay.
Ile du Levant, Mediterranean
This gem of a beach on the magical island of Levant is reached by an easy coastal footpath 10 mins walk from the quayside. A small natural cove of white sand slides gently into the turquoise sea, providing excellent swimming and snorkelling. The easiest way to get here is by ferry from Le Lavandou, between St Tropez and Toulon.
Seventy years ago Ile du Levant was the birthplace of nude leisure in France. Today, there is a tiny resident community and lots of holiday accommodation. Minimal clothing is normally worn in the village of Heliopolis, but the rest can be enjoyed as nature intended.