Nobody does au naturel quite like the French: with a multitude of nudist beaches, vast established resorts and even dedicated shopping centers. France has a long record of naturism and the resorts are stylish and accredited by the French Federation of Naturism.
Cap d’Agde, Languedoc-Roussillon region
If you dream of shopping, dining and partying naked, then head to the Mediterranean coast region for the most famous nudist resort in France, Cap d'Agde. Located within the Quartier Naturiste, aka Nudist Quarter, has a superb sandy beach, many swimming pools and also shops designated for naturists! In fact visitors can shop in 180 stores, have dinner, go nightclubbing and even do their laundry – all without ever getting dressed! In fact, naturism is obligatory!
Conditions in the Languedoc-Roussillon Med region are perfect for sunbathing and swimming nearly all year round and the surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful. The Cap d'Agde resort has some 40,000 daily visitors during high season who camp as well as staying at the on-site hotels and apartments.
Tahiti Plage, St. Tropez
Whilst we’re on the subject, we can’t fail to mention the world-renowned Tahiti Beach in luxury destination St Tropez. This particular beach became famous thanks to the 1956 film ‘And God Created Woman’ which catapulted Brigitte Bardot to fame. In the movie Bardot’s character wanders Tahiti Beach in a clothing-optional move that tested social beliefs of the time. That said, Brigitte Bardot also frequently holidayed in St Tropez with other big-name celebrities, arguably placing it firmly on the tourist trail.
CHM Montalivet, Vendays-Montalivet
Located on the Atlantic coast amidst fragrant pine trees and vast expanses of pristine sandy beaches is the CHM Montalivet resort. Meaning ‘center of sun and sea’, the resort has over 1,000 bungalows alongside around 1,000 camping spots. This was actually the very first naturist resort in the world, which prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere. The entire resort is designated as clothes-free and there are over 20 shops, so you never need wear any clothes for the duration of your stay. Activities include tennis, football and archery – although ‘wearing’ shin pads is highly recommended.
Plage du Layet, Cavalière
Just down the coast from Cannes is the small and very discreet Layet Beach. There are 12 beaches within the Le Lavandou region and Layet lies in a small cove down a steep path. This is a real get away from it all beach.
Île du Levant, Toulon
Le Levant is a curious little island just off the French Riviera Mediterranean coast, near to Toulon. Curious because 90% of the island is set aside as a military test site! That said naturism has ruled here since 1931 when the Héliopolis nudist village was established. There are several restaurants, clothes shops and guesthouses where the local dress code is "le minimum". Two local beaches require obligatory nudity – Plage des Grottes and the Bain de Dian. Just watch out for those rockets, ahem!
It’s worth noting that France recognises the political movement of ‘Topfreedom’, where females have as much right to go topless on the beaches as males do! As such, going bare-chested is a pretty common sight amongst both sexes across the country. Indeed similar cultural movements exist across the world, although I wonder who actually complained about this in the first place?!
Euronat, Côte d'Argent, Aquitaine
Located along the same stretch of coast as the CHM Montalivet (see above) is the Euronat Resort which is smaller and quieter than the other resorts. The Euronat colony has around forty activities on offer including French boules, badminton and yoga. The village is family friendly with a comprehensive programme of events and lifeguard patrolled swimming pools. Together with La Jenny, CHM Montalivet and Arnaoutchot, these are the 4 key naturist resorts on France’s Atlantic coast.
Image Credit; Appraiser