First Naturist Club
The history of naturism can be traced back to the end of the nineteenth century, with a naturist club being founded in what might be regarded as a very unlikely place; India. At the time the British ruled India and the club was an example of how powerful colonial dignitaries could indulge in pretty much whatever they wanted. The club seems to have allowed single sex only (male) membership, so its existence was not quite as far removed from the realities of Victorian body consciousness and prudishness as would at first appear.
FKK or Freikörperkultur movement.
As well as being about social nudity, naturism can also find in its history, strong links with healthy physique and body culture. Nowhere was this more the case than in the foundations of German Naturism in the early twentieth century. Even today the German word for naturism, ‘Freikörperkultur’ meaning ‘Free Body Culture’ is shortened to FKK, a very popular acronym used today not only by German but also by many British, American and naturists from all over the world. It was the FKK development of naturism which inspired British interest. In the 1920s and 30s naturist clubs and were formed in southern England. These were soon followed by national associations and the British naturist publication ‘Health & Efficiency’ still published and widely distributed today.
Nudism in the U.S.A.
American naturism, or nudism as it tends to be called there, can also be traced back to this time but it was not until the late 50’s and 60’s that it really began to establish itself in the form of nudist beaches and ‘colonies’. In fact the very phrase ‘nudist colony’ seems to have originated in the U.S.A. around this time. In the 1970’s a series of historic struggles with the establishment resulted in the opening of several nude beaches and an increasing public awareness that helped social nudity to lose its sexual taint at last. There were still setbacks and battles with authorities who persisted in treating nudism as some kind of sexual perversion but progress continued and within two decades, nude resorts, nudist travel agents and a nudist tourist industry estimated to be worth nearly a billion dollars a year had been created.
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Naturist places – resorts, clubs and beaches
The three main outlets for people to enjoy nude leisure are;
naturists resorts, naturist clubs and on naturists beaches. This article looks at all three and also introduces a few other, less popular outlets.
Naturist places outdoors and indoors.
Although naturism is most popular in places where warmth and sunshine can be found there are plenty of naturist places to be found elsewhere. Naturist clubs all over northern Europe stay open all the year around and can be much more about social nudity than sunbathing. Even outdoors, there are places that attract naturists who are not in the least put off by less than sympathetic weather conditions. However, the majority of naturists tend to be people who dislike the idea of stripping off unless it’s warm and sunny and only go naked indoors to cool off for a while or take refreshments.
Naturist Holiday Resorts
Naturist resorts are holiday resorts that have been specifically designed and promoted with naturist visitors in mind. Most allow guests to remain nude 24/7 with few, if any, areas or facilities requiring you to ‘cover up’.
In Europe, naturist resorts make it mandatory for guests to be nude in and around bathing areas and generally expect people to be nude in all other outdoor areas during daylight hours. Some make it compulsory throughout the whole resort. Fortunately such rules rarely need enforcing because the vast majority of guests are fully committed naturists.
Some resorts in the U.S.A., Mexico and the Caribbean describe themselves as ‘Clothing optional resorts ‘ but in reality their guests are just as likely to remain fully nude throughout the day as they do in the European naturist resorts. Most are happy for guests to remain naked at night for dining and evening activities. Despite this, it is usually only a minority of naturists that remain naked in the evenings, and many prefer to wear Sarongs or dress up in exotic costumes or lingerie for dinner, dancing and general evening activities. Some of the resorts describe themselves as nudist rather than clothing optional or naturist. This may sometimes imply that the resort caters for swinger lifestyle activities, although not necessarily so. To be sure, you only need to read further on into the resort description, where it is usually very clearly stated what sort of behaviour is tolerated and what isn’t.
Not every naturist joins a club. As with most other interests, some people don’t feel any need or desire to associate themselves with formal groups. For those that do however, there is a very active club scene in Britain and most other countries where naturism flourishes. You will find that most naturist clubs are affiliated to national associations.
In Britain, 130 clubs are members of British Naturism. In Germany where at one time the FKK clubs represented the overwhelming majority of naturists, the very success of naturism threatens to reduce their existence to representing just a small minority. However, even in a country where naturism is widespread and perfectly legal in city parks and other public places, there will always remain many naturists who prefer to get naked only in the company of other naturists within the organised structure of a club.
Naturist beaches where nude bathing is commonly accepted tend to be classified as either; ‘official’ or ‘unofficial’. The distinction isn’t always a straightforward legal one however.
For example; In Greece the ‘official’ designation should mean that dispensation has been adopted locally to override Greek national law that forbids public nudity.
In Spain where no law against public nudity exists, the ‘official’ designation simply guarantees that no one is going to have any objection to people exercising their right to be naked in that area.
In Britain, an ‘official’ beach similarly protects naturists from objectors. However unlike the situation in Spain, no constitutional right to be naked exists in British law and plenty of other legislation exists that can and does get used to prevent naturism being practiced outside of the officially designated areas.
Other Naturist Places
While beaches are by far the most popular public areas for nude leisure, many naturists enjoy nude walking in the countryside, naturism around the shores of lakes for example, and even in city parks, as referred to above. Information about all of these ‘alternative’ naturist places is included on other pages and in articles on this web site.
Nudist Beaches are rarely legal in the ‘Land of the Free’
USA nudist beaches Sadly the U.S.A. does not have many beaches where nude bathing may be enjoyed legally. Even topless bathing is illegal on most beaches. It would seem that the nation which styles itself as an international defender of freedom and democracy is more interested in enforcing conservative values on those who use its many glorious beaches. Nevertheless there are a few nudist beaches to found in the land of the free and here are a few of them:
Hawaii – a nudist tolerant state
Although nude bathing is illegal in Hawaii no one has attempted to enforce the law for a very long time now.
Little Beach, Hawaii
This naturist or ‘clothing optional beach’ is located on the Island of Maui.
Red Sand Beach – Hana
Little Makena Beach Rock
Quarry Beach – Kauai
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California Nudist Beaches
Red,White, and Blue Beach – Santa Cruz.
This beach is privately owned and therefore nudity is legal. It is located about five miles north of Santa Cruz, California. The privately owned section includes the car park, so you can undress in your car and walk naked from it to the beach.
Black Beach – San Diego.
Although some parts of this wild surfing beach near San Diego prohibit nudity there are several good spots where it can be safely enjoyed.
Baker Beach – San Francisco County
College Cove – Marin county
San Luis Obispo County
Guadalupe Dunes, Southwest of Pismo Beach
pristine and deserted
Has very few visitors
Pirate’s Cove (Avila Beach)
San Mateo County -Grey Whale Cove
A beautifully clean beach
San Gregorio Beach
Privately owned, popular
Florida Nudist Beaches
Haulover Beach – Miami.
Probably the most well known nudist beach in the U.S.A. It is very popular and easy to find to the north of Miami
Apollo Beach – Canaveral National Seashore
Beware, the county ordinance against nudity is occasionally enforced.
Jupiter Island Martin County
Blind Creek Beach
Hutchinson Island – Martin County
St Lucie State Reserve – Palm Beach County
New Jersey Nude Beach
A very popular and legal U.S. clothes optional beach. It is located at Sandy Hook, New Jersey and can attract ten thousand people during a warm, summer weekend.
The clothing optional area at Asseteague. To reach it, walk north for about 35 minutes, past the fenced dune.
Massachusetts Nudist Beaches
A private nude beach that is both clean and safe
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown Massachusetts
The nudist area is a twenty minute walk from the textile area but beware, nudity is still illegal and it wise to cover up if a ranger decides to come by.
Spaghetti Strip, Provincetown Massachusetts
This is a legal nude beach
Truro Beach Massachusetts
Miles of white sand beach where nudity is possible
New York Count has nude beaches on Fire Island
Legal Nudist Beach in Texas
Lake Travis – Austin Texas
A legal nudist beach on a lake
Naturist Beaches in the Greek Islands
Official and unofficial nudist beaches in the Greek islands
Whilst there still remains both legal and social opposition to naturism throughout Greece, there is also a great deal of tolerance shown, especially on the islands. Many naturists holiday in the Greek islands specifically to enjoy nude leisure where it is possible on the more remote beaches. Not only are many of these almost exclusively occupied by naturists for most of the time but they are often very beautiful places in idyllic settings.
A few of these beaches are designated as Official Naturist Beaches but the majority are unofficial and can therefore occasionally change from beaches where nearly everyone goes nude to places where No Nude Bathing signs are suddenly erected and naturism is no longer tolerated. Because of this, any guide to Greek island naturist beaches may contain some out-of-date information as to the current status of any of the beaches it lists. The following list should be read with that in mind and any reader with recent personal experience of visiting any Greek island naturist beach is most welcome to contribute an article with up to date information.
Naturism in the Cyclades Islands
Delavoyas beach is a short walk out of town from the popular resort of Batsi. It is a mixture of pebble and sand in a lovely rocky bay. When we last visited in 1999 the beach was always very well populated with naturists.
Nudism has always been widely practiced on Mykonos but the popular Super Paradise beach can be overcrowded these days and mainly populated by gay males.
The long stretch of golden sand on Plaka beach is always popular with naturists. It is easily reached by bus or taxi from Naxos town.
Paros and Anti Paros One of Greeces officially designated nudist beaches can be found on the charming little island of Anti Paros. On Paros itself there are two regularly used unofficial beaches but they do tend to get flooded with textile sunbathers from time to time.
Other naturist islands in the Cyclades
Most islands in this group are fairly tolerant of naturists and beaches can be found if you are prepared to walk a bit and keep away from main village / town beaches.
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Naturist beaches in the Sporades Islands
One of the most famous nude beaches in Europe is Banana beach on the island of Skiathos. It is an organized Nudist Club of Greece beach and is easily reached from the main road bus stop on the thirty minute, direct route to and from Skiathos town.
This is the island where Mamma Mia was filmed and naturism is widely practiced on Velanio beach which is easily reached from the main resorts.
Naturist tolerant Dodecanese islands
Although you can find some lovely unofficial nude beaches on several islands in this group, it is probably true to say that there less tolerance towards naturism in the Dodecanese than in the other island groups.
Naturism in the Ionian Islands
Whilst all of the islands in this group still have beaches where naturism is practiced, the mass commercialism of Corfu and Zante (Zakynthos) make it increasingly difficult on these islands to find anywhere sufficiently remote.
Naturist Islands of the Saronic Gulf
These small but scenically appealing islands have few beaches of any sort. Despite this there is an attractive naturist beach composed of large white pebble at Halikiada on Agistri and a smaller, shingle one frequented by naturists at the far end of Paraskevi beach on the island of Spetes.
North East Aegean Islands
Greeces third biggest island has several beaches where naturism is popular and there is an officially recognised naturist beach at Skala Eressos. It is long stretch of nearly black volcanic sand popular with lesbians who choose to holiday there because it was the birthplace of Sapho
Paradise beach is a very popular naturist beach on the island of Thassos. It is about 23 kilometres from Thassos town and easily reached from there and the other main holiday resorts of Thassos.
Is a large and relatively unspoilt island. It has two or three unofficial naturist beaches that can usually be relied upon to have a majority of nude occupants at most times.
Naturist beaches on Crete, the largest Greek island
As well as the naturist resort at Vritomartis and its nearby naturist beaches, Crete has several unofficial nudist beaches to offer. One of the best is the enormous stretch of golden sand at Plakias Bay. Naturism is widely practiced at the far end of the beach which is screened from the main road by an area of dunes.
Cypress Grove Clothes Optional Resort – Florida
Located in the heart of Florida on the shores of a fifty acre lake, Cypress Grove is one of the world’s most popular 24/7 clothes optional resorts.
Altogether the site covers some, 300 acres with around 20 acres of developed land for the resort accommodation and facilities and the rest being unspoilt countryside that includes protected wetlands.
The nude resort takes its name from the enormous cypress trees that grow abundantly in the area and along with equally beautiful oak trees, provide shade from the all-the-year-around sunlight.
The setting is one of peace and tranquillity but seamlessly interwoven with natural beauty, beautifully created pools and other modern facilities, ensure that a naturist vacation here is of the luxurious creature comfort variety and most certainly not a camp and rough it holiday.
Activities for Naturists
For guests who enjoy some sporting activity, Cypress Grove offers six tennis courts where games can be played with or without clothes. For more leisurely sporting activities, petanque and golf facilities are provided.
A well equipped gym is also included.
In the evenings there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy, ranging from Karaoke to organised games nights
Naturist families welcome
The resort is ideal for families with children of all ages and provides family based activities. These include bike and go-cart rental.
Being only a short drive to Disney World, it is easy to create the perfect naturist family holiday by combining nude leisure with the ultimate in kids’ entertainment. Universal Studios and Sea World are also only a 30-minute drive away and the Kennedy Space Centre takes just over an hour to drive to.
Breakfast, lunches and dinners can be enjoyed at the spectacularly situated, Lakeside Restaurant
An alternative for lunches, snacks and dinners can be found at the poolside grill
There is also a lounge bar serving cocktails, beers and a selection of wines.
Cypress Grove provides a good choice of types of accommodation:
Villa Hotel Rooms
These spacious rooms are furnished with two queen beds, a table and four chairs and mini-fridge. They have an ensuite, private bathroom.
Villa Parlour Rooms
Vila Parlour rooms are a variation of the standard hotel room, having a sofa and one bed instead of the two beds. Otherwise the rest of the furnishing and facilities are the same.
These provide naturists with a luxurious self catering alternative. They consist of a spacious living area and a kitchen that has a full-size refrigerator and cooking facilities in the form of a microwave. The dining and sitting areas include dining table, sofa, armchairs and coffee table. There are two queen size beds in the bedroom.
Legality of Nudism and naturism
The question, is it legal to be nude in a public place, has different answers in different countries and even then it can rarely be answered with a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Here we list guidance regarding the legality of nudism or naturism in the main countries where it is commonly practiced.
Nudism / naturism laws in the U.S.A.
In the U.S.A. each state has its own laws about nudism and public nudity. Rather surprisingly, a state such has Florida can have strictly defined legislation against nudism whilst providing some of the world’s most popular clothing optional beaches and nudist resorts. You can view any individual state’s nudism laws here.
Nudism / naturism laws in the U.K.
Technically Britain has no law against naturism or nudism. It is however, important to understand how easy other laws, most of which are classified under the sexual offences heading, can be used against naturists who go naked outside of officially designated areas.
Nudism / naturism laws in Croatia
Croatia has many areas of nudism and naturist resorts with around fifteen percent of the country’s tourists being naturists who holiday there mainly for this reason. The precise legal position of nudism in Croatia is unclear but with such a long history of tolerance and liberalism towards public nudity there is no need to fear any legal consequences from being naked on Croatian beaches or in the nearby countryside.
Nudism / naturism laws in France
French law does make nudism technically illegal but modern interpretation of the law which is really aimed at exhibitionism with indecent intent, practically rules out the chances of a successful prosecution resulting against a genuine naturist. With plenty of official resorts and areas available, there seems little point in straying beyond the bounds of accepted French nudism and testing the degree to which this liberal interpretation of French law can be stretched.
Nudism / naturism laws in Germany
In Germany the law provides a fundamental human right for anyone to be naked if they so wish. This is taken to the ultimate expression by some naturists who have bathed naked in city centre fountains or walked naked through crowds of shoppers in Berlin.
Despite this basic human right however, German police and local authorities certainly can and do use other legislation to make arrests in such circumstances so once again the best advice is to practice nudism only in the appropriate places.
Nudism / naturism laws in Greece
Greek law expressly forbids nudism or naturism but Greece offers naturist tourists many havens of ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ nude beach areas as well as nudist resorts. It does this by allowing local mayors enough discretion to effectively grant dispensations for nudism to take place in designated areas. Although most beaches, whether officially designated or ‘unofficial’ by custom and practice, can be considered generally safe from police interference, it is always wise to check out the up-to-date situation before stripping off.
Nudism / naturism laws in Italy
Whilst there have been several naturist beaches in Italy for many years, Italian law has only recently got around to officially recognising them, Now that it has, you will find signs with ‘Inizio area riservata alla practica del naturismo’ printed on them. The signs are erected at the beginning and end of the areas officially designated as naturist and translate into English as: ‘This is the beginning of an area reserved for the practice of naturism.’ Going naked elsewhere in Italy could land you in trouble.
Nudism / naturism laws in Spain
Spain is like Germany and Scandinavia in having a very specific human rights provision about nudism. It is your fundamental right to dress or not dress as you please. As is the case with Germany, some people have tested this right to the core by walking naked through city centres etc.
Nudism / naturism laws in Mexico and the Caribbean
Mexico and the Caribbean countries outlaw nudism in all public places.
That doesn’t prevent them having some of the world’s best nudist and clothing optional resorts because these are on private property. Finding a few beaches where naturism is tolerated outside of the resorts is possible however and we feature some on this web site. Always use common sense and discretion on such beaches and you are unlikely to encounter any problems,
Nudism / naturism laws in other countries
Naturists should always use common sense and avoid practicing naturism / nudism in inappropriate places and in countries where it is obvious that cultural / religious values are unlikely to tolerate it. Provided you do so, there is little risk of getting arrested under whatever laws may exist. Discovering the exact situation regarding nudism laws in other countries is not easy and your help by contributing relevant articles to this web site is most welcome.