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Best Nude Beaches in Europe

Bikini season is nigh, but this summer, ditch the expensive swimwear and show off those hard-won abs on a nude beach. For maximum seen-and-be-seen appeal, make sure it’s one of Europe’s top nude beaches, where the relaxed and tolerant attitude is as welcoming as the sparkling sunshine and warm waters. From Brigette Bardot’s former playground of St. Tropez to Croatia’s many nude options, Europe’s liberal beaches are a great way to work on that seamless tan while enjoying the all equally stunning landscapes.

Plage de Pampelonne, St. Tropez, France

Pile on the kohl eyeliner and sport your best Breton top, because it’s time to go to St. Tropez, which French bombshell Brigette Bardot put on the map in the 1950s and 60s. Today, St. Tropez is still a magnet for the rich and famous. Beachgoers are welcome to show off the latest runway swimwear or strip off, and they can rent beach beds and parasols for stylish lounging in between dips into the warm water. Nudity isn’t fully confined to the beach, either. After dark, head to the nearby clubs where hedonism and Champagne mix for an epic, glittering cocktail.

Playa de los Muertos, Almeria, Spain

The name, which translates to “Beach of the Dead,” may conjure up gloomy images, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The view from the top of the cliffs eases the effort of a steep walk down to the pebble beach, and the deep turquoise waters wash away stress. The lack of facilities and relative out of the way location keep numbers down, and nudists and textiles splash about in equal numbers outside the high season. Volcanic cliffs frame the picture-perfect scene.

Espalmador Island, Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain

Recover from the non-stop partying in Ibiza with a short trip south to the Balearic Islands. It seems like the entire place is a haven for nudists, as only one beach doesn’t cater to the less-is-more crowd. Get away from the day-trippers from Ibiza at white sand Playa Illetes, where nudists and textiles mingle happily. Nearby lies the privately owned Espalmador Island, whose beaches are open to the public. In low tide, beach-goers can wade to the island, although due to the undertow, the ferry is a safer alternative. Once on the island, many nudists get dressed up in mud from the mud baths that supposedly contain rejuvenating qualities.

Red Beach, Crete, Greece

A favorite of hippies in the 1960s and 70s, Red Beach has a long nudist history. Today, nudists mainly stick to the north side of the beach near the rocks, although there is a tolerant and accepting vibe throughout the beach. Getting there either requires a boat ride or a fairly steep walk, and watching the sunset from the top of the hill is an ideal way to finish off a perfect day. Limestone cliffs back the beach, and near the nudist section, a Belgian named Gerard has carved out Minoan and Egyptian sea creature sculptures from the rocks, adding to the offbeat vibe. Get there early for a chance to nab an umbrella, and be prepared to make the trek down to the beach with all the necessities needed for a day in the sun.

Island of Rab, Croatia

Get back to naturists’ roots in Lopar, where nudists have enjoyed all-over sunshine since the beginning of the 20th century. The island of Rab has three nudist beaches. First is Ciganka, on the north side of the island, where sunbathers can walk or drive to the beach and then explore the sand dunes before catching some rays on the sand or rocks. Sahara is only accessible by foot, and the shallow warm waters are a comforting welcome for first-time nudists. Stolac beach is surrounded by rocks for extra privacy, and visitors can walk through the clear water to a small islet for a family-friendly adventure.

Agesta Beach, Stockholm, Sweden

Agesta is Stockholm’s official nude beach, where families, friends and couples can hang out and enjoy the many amenities including restrooms play areas, picnic tables and barbeque areas. The government-owned and operated beach lies at the southern end of Lake Magelungen, and is easily accessible by bus, making it a quick escape from the city.

Plage Linguizzetta, Corsica

Nudists can romp over the four-kilometer beach of Plage Linguizzetta, the longest nude beach in Corsica. Outside the high season, the beach is a pocket of tranquillity, aided by clear waters and fine sand. The heart of the beach is the Bella Riva naturist resort that’s right on the beach and fully kitted out with amenities, including a few friendly llamas.

Guvano Beach, Corniglia, Italy

This gem requires a walk through a dark abandoned railway tunnel where visitors can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once back in sunlight, this little beach is a great escape from the tourists, and the unusual way of arrival and backdrop of cliffs add to the hideaway vibe. There’s room to spread out on the pebbly beach, and the crystalline waters require a dip.

Ilha Deserta, Olhao, Portugal

Uninhabited Ilha Deserta features just one restaurant and a whole lot of peace and quiet. Take a 30-minute water taxi ride and then it’s time to do nothing but relax in your birthday suit. It’s easy to find an area all to yourself on the clean beach, and the water is clear and warm. Literally meaning “Desert Island,” Ilha Deserta is the place to act out all those Lost fantasies with just the parts about being alone in a really beautiful place.

Wenningstedt-Braderup, Sylt, Germany

Germany’s island of Sylt packs in family friendly beaches, dog beaches and nudist beaches into its slim anchor shape. The nudist Wenningstedt-Braderup beach is wide and spacious, and as part of Germany’s FKK, or Free Body Culture, movement, extremely tolerant of one’s right to bare all. Set in the North Sea, the island’s temperatures are certainly cooler than other hot spots on this list, but the laidback attitude and glorious open spaces make it a must-see.