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11 of Europe's Best Nude Beaches

Just one less thing to pack for your next beach holiday...


By Alyssa Giacobbe, Town & Country

Americans may be sort of scandalized by the prospect of a nude beach, but it’s nothing new in Europe, where topless—and full-on-nude—beaches are as common as the afternoon siesta (they in fact go hand in hand). Ready to disrobe? Here are 11 worth a look. As they say: When in the French Riviera…



1  

Plage de Tahiti, St. Tropez, France 


An “unofficial nudist beach,” like so many others along the Riviera, Tahiti Beach is popular with international celebs and “people who want to be seen,” like really seen, says Sarah Brook Williams at Atlanta-based boutique travel consultancy Currie & Co. Travels. There’s also super soft sand and gentle turquoise waves.

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2
Elia Beach, Mykonos, Greece


The island’s longest beach, about six miles from Mykonos town, is as beautiful as Paradise Beach, also on Mykonos, but far more understated (never mind those yachts anchored just offshore). Elia is also a gay-friendly hotspot—girls on the left side of the beach, boys on the right.



3 

Bellevue Beach, Klampenborg, Denmark 


About 10 minutes from downtown Copenhagen, and right off Strandvejen, the country’s famous coastal road, Bellevue is Denmark’s most popular destination for going topless (and one of the city’s most beautiful beaches besides). There’s white sand, volleyball nets, and, for a culture fix while you’re at it, a lifeguard tower designed by world-famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen.  
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4
Guvano Beach, Cinque Terre, Italy  


Getting to this secluded beach requires a short downhill hike, but a little exercise never hurt a would-be beachgoer, especially one about to get naked. Guvano’s history as a cosmopolitan hippie community in the ‘70s is likely just one story you’ll take away from your visit.  



5 

Patara Beach, Patara, Turkey



The longest beach on the often-underrated Turkish Riviera features soft sand and warm, shallow water. Catch up on a bit of ancient history, too: Patara is a mythical city known as “the chosen city” and founded by Patarus, son of the god Apollo.
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6  

Buhne 16, Kampen, Germany

  
Betty Jo Currie at Atlanta’s Currie & Co. Travels calls the German island of Sylt, off the country’s northernmost tip, the “Nantucket of Germany—really beautiful and not well known” outside Europe. Buhne 16, Germany’s oldest nude beach, dates to the 1920s and features spectacular dunes (to hide behind or not).



7  

Red Beach, Crete, Greece



Intimate and secluded—the walkable pathway to the beach can be rocky, or you can also take a boat from Matala Harbor—Red Beach takes its name from its rusty-red, coarse sand. When you arrive, find crystal clear waters, umbrellas to rent, a primitive concession stand, and an unlikely mojito bar.
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8  

Île du Levant, Hyeres, France


The remote island off the Cote d’Azur, about 45 minutes by ferry from Le Lavandou, is the legendary birthplace of French naturism and an “extremely chic place to go,” according to Kathleen Stahl of Stahl Travel. There’s something for every sort of buff buff: nude, semi-nude, or entirely bikini-clad. Everyone can agree on at least one thing: The sunsets are brilliant.  



9  

Adegas Beach, Odeceixe, Portugal



For the naked and slightly afraid, Adegas—one of Portugal’s seven official nude beaches—is relatively unexplored. You won’t find much of a scene, or many other tourists here; just a quiet stretch of sand surrounded by rocky cliffs, coves for exploring, and a powerful surf.

 

10  

Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

 
South of Ibiza, and accessible by ferry or taxi, the off-grid island of Formentera has breathtaking beaches, all of which are clothing-optional. Playa de Ses Illetes is nicknamed the “fashion beach,” more because it’s popular with day trippers from Ibiza than because of actual fashion, since no one’s wearing anything. Roll around in the powdery white sand, and then wash off in the Caribbean-esque blue-green sea.
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11

Silverstrand Beach, County Galway, Ireland


Silverstrand eludes most lists, and Ireland might not be the natural pick for a beach holiday. But in the summer months, this quiet beach about four miles away from Galway offers spectacular views of Galway Bay and a walkable promenade, and is ideal for those seeking something more mellow and unexpected.


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Travel Magazine: 11 of Europe's Best Nude Beaches
11 of Europe's Best Nude Beaches
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