Category Archives: First Time
This August, I spent a fantastic fortnight in France. After deciding that Barcelona was too expensive for a 4 night break, I looked into alternative holiday destinations. Thankfully, with the help of a borrowed tent we were able to spend two glorious weeks in France!
Looking for a place to visit (somewhere warm, naturist and not too far from the Port) I delved into my back issues of H&E Magazine, consulted the Bare Beaches handbook and searched online, we chose Euronat.
Despite the longer than expected drive from Calais (with an overnight stop in Tours), Euronat is amazing!
The aforementioned Bare Beaches book describes Euronat as “large and modern, offering camping, caravanning and luxury self-catering chalets. There are shops, restaurants, a big indoor pool and a spa with sea-water treatments, all set in a pine forest. It’s a peaceful place much loved by visitors for it’s friendly atmosphere. A great place to try naked camping.”
Getting to Euronat is quite straight forward. Take the A10 South before heading into Royan. Here get the ferry across the Gironde (30 Euro per car one way) to Soulac-Sur-Mer. In Soulac, take the D101 towards Grayan-et-l’Hopital where you can then follow the signs for Euronat.
Checking-in was a breeze with staff fluent in English. They do ask for a passport photo of each guest at check in so visitors can have their identification card produced. If you forget, they have a passport booth on site. The card’s are used to get access to the indoor swimming pool as well as if you leave the site on bicycles (for your car, you are given a sticker for your windscreen).
Our first impression was how large the site was – it is massive! Following the signs to our pitch, we found where we were to spend the next fortnight. We had booked a pitch with electricity that was surrounded by pine trees, close to the sanitary blocks and waste disposal area. Perfect!
No BBQ’s are allowed on site so fortunately we made full use of our borrowed cooking equipment.
The commercial centre is where the bars, restaurants and shops are located. Here we hired bikes 7 days (highly recommended) for about 30 Euros each. Over the course of the fortnight we ate in 3 different restaurants on site:
* Bar-Restaurant L’Oree Des Pins (standard bar food including tasty pizzas, steaks and Grande Biers!)
* El Nino (spanish style tapas)
* Fish Restaurant (probably the best meal we had during the whole fortnight. A little over-priced but good quality)
We tended to use the on-site deli counter where you could buy cartons of couscous, greek salads, local sausages and good quality Steak Hache – this we took back to the tent and cooked under the stars.
There are 2 or 3 convenience style shops, a newsagents/tobacconist, internet cafe, hairdressers and shops selling beach towels and sarongs. Two shops worth noting though are the Boulangerie and the Cave. Open at 7.00am, the Boulangerie was always busy particularly first thing in the morning as visitors stocked up on baguettes, croissants and delicious patisseries. The Cave, is Euronat’s on site off-license which houses 3 enormous vats of wine where you can pick up a 2 litre bottle of vin for 2 Euros.
A word of warning though – the shops all tend to shut around 1.00pm – 3.00pm so make sure you’re better planned as we were as we got caught out on a couple of occasions!
At night, there was often a live band playing at L’Oree Des Pins or in the main square in a temporary outdoor stage.
Elsewhere on the site there is a Thalassotherapy centre where we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the spa, sauna and jacuzzi (15 Euros per person for 1/2 a day).
There is also a large indoor pool, tennis courts, mini-golf, sculpture classes, pottery, basketball courts. The list is endless and certainly provides more than enough to keep people entertained!
The jewel in the crown at Euronat is it’s beach. Bare Beaches describes it as a “glorious expanse of golden sand”. The beach is a 10 minute walk from the commercial centre of a 5 minute cycle ride. The beach is divided into 3 sections – North, Middle and South – all have lifeguards on duty but dogs are restricted to north beach.
Due to the favourable weather, the beach was always packed (particularly where the lifeguards and safe swimming zones located), although a short walk allowed everyone their own bit of space.
When the tide is out the shore-line was full of people flying kids, exploring warm pools and playing bat and ball. A word of warning though, the tide does come in very close to the sand dunes so I’d recommend you pitch up close to the back of the beach as you can.
The beach also has unusual concrete blocks that have been graffitied, but actually make a nice addition.
As with this part of the coast the waves can get quite big so it was no surprise that may visitors to the beach were enjoying the waves either body-boarding or taking part in one of the surf schools.
Also, this west-facing beach also allows visitors to witness the most amazing sunsets – we thoroughly recommend taking a patisserie and a bottle of wine down to the beach, sit back and watch one of nature’s wonders.
There is a fairly relaxed approach to nudity – it is only compulsory in the indoor swimming pool and the spa. There are signs at the beach although there was some teenagers and females wearing bikini bottoms. This issue has led to a petition being started by (I assume) regulars of chalet owners at Euronat to campaign to the owners to enforce strict full nudity across the whole site.
I’m not too sure that this is the way forward for Euronat – the place works because it is family friendly, relaxed and people feel comfortable. I think if nudity was made compulsory, many people would be put off, particularly those with teenagers children and partners who do not want to be naked all the time. In evening, 99.9% of visitors are fully clothed (it did get quite chilly at night) and to be honest I think that if you go out for a meal then clothes should be worn in the evening.
Overall, Euronat is a fantastic place to enjoy a naturist holiday. There is a wonderful atmosphere full of people of all ages and walks of life. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
If you have been to Euronat, we’d love to hear your thoughts as well as any views on whether nudity at Euronat should be made compulsory.
After taking part in the Manchester Naked Bike Ride last year (click here for blog article), I really wanted to take part in the big one – Brighton!
On Sunday 9th June, I joined 600 or so others and circled round the gorgeous city in a protest against oil dependency and car culture. WNBR’s take place around the world are a celebration of the bicycle as well as the power and individuality of the human body.
During the ride and immediately post ride, I have to say the whole experience was on the whole really good. However, upon reflection I have changed my mind about participating in further rides.
The main issue that I have is with the number of intrusive photographers that the ride attracts.
The event met at Preston Park whereby the organisers had created a tented area for participants to get changed/body-painted which offered some privacy. In addition, stewards walked around with placards asking for photographers to get permission before taking photos. Non-participants were told to stand around the perimeter of the participants circle. I acknowledge that the start of the ride is in the middle of a public park so making it fully private is very difficult but getting changed in front of onlookers and photographers was a little daunting.
I am mindful of my ‘day job’ and so have made sure to wear a mask at this and previous rides. As much as I enjoy the rides, there is the sense of fear afterwards that someone is going to recognise me!
I’m not opposed to people taking photos of the event either (capturing the moment, etc) it is the photographers who turn up with their tele-photo lenses taking close up photos of female participants. It was very noticeable that when a female participant arrived and started to undress, the photographers started twitching.
Whilst the thrill of cycling around Brighton fully naked is exhilarating, I really wouldn’t want to be a female participant – particularly if i wanted to do it as the WNBR states – ‘As Bare As You Dare’.
I am also mindful of a blog by a fellow naturist – The Naked Imp in which the author decided against participating in the 2013 Manchester Ride due to the number of close up photos of female participants that appear on porn-related websites. I think that this is a real shame that someone who wants to participate (either as a naturist or to support car-free cultures, or both) has decided against it due to the presence of intrusive photographers. With this in mind, I have decided to disguise all participants in the accompanying images.
After cycling down from Preston Park, we came to the first rest spot – Hove Lawns
Before heading back into Brighton to the second stop – Old Steine
It was here, that I felt the most uncomfortable to be honest. We were stood around for about 30 mins in amongst shoppers and photographers (see images above). I actually put my shorts back on due to feeling exposed. I didn’t see the need to stay at Old Seine for this length of time, especially as I was stood next to an elderly Brightonian who repeatedly asked me “if there were many ladies participating this year”. I changed the subject to being from Manchester and was then asked whether there were any mixed-sex saunas in Manchester, and randomly, what the architecture was like! In addition, the PA was too quiet to listen to any of the speeches.
I was glad then, to leave the 2nd stop and head towards Kemp Town and the naturist beach
Finishing the ride, I spent half an hour of so drinking a few celebratory beers. However, the breeze got up so I decided to leave.
I was also put out by again, the number of photographers who were lined up along the beach taking photos of participants. I know that participants know what they are signing up to, and the importance that the media can play in raising awareness of the cause, however, when there is a bank of photographers stood at the beach taking close-up photos, I think things are going too far.
What did amuse me (after the initial shock) was a guy post-ride sunbathing next to me who was sporting an erection who was asked if he could have his photo taken. The guy replied no which, given the exhibitionist nature with which he was lying, I thought was a bit bizarre!
On the whole, the event was enjoyable and the response from people in the streets, stood outside bars was fantastic. The sheer number of participants also made the event amazing and much better than Manchester. The organisation was great with fantastic stewards and Policing. However, if you are a female reading this, I’d think carefully about taking part given the number of voyeurs it attracts.
The Brighton WNBR Facebook page is requesting feedback for future events. A few that spring to mind for me are:
* Increase size of changing area in Preston Park
* Scrap use of Old Steine as a rest stop – Hove Lawns was fine but think some photographers just walked down from Preston Park for another photo opportunity – maybe Old Steine was too far for them to walk to?
* Review use of PA system and location for speeches
* Liaise with Police to ensure the there is some kind of presence at the end of the ride at the beach. What would happen if a group of photographers started to take photos at the beach on any other day? What makes it ok just because people have participated in the WNBR?
Some of you may have my post about my first trip to Waterworld back in November 2011, well after missing out for a year (they only take place three times per year), I managed to attend the session on Saturday 9th March. If you missed the first post, click here.
The session is organised by Wirral Naturists and is a fantastic experience for anyone looking to enjoy the spills and thrills of the ‘UK’s No.1 Indoor Tropical Aqua Park’ in the nude!
I attended the session on my own after a friend who was due to attend pulled out at the last minute. This would have been their first public nude experience and after changing their mind throughout the day, decided that it was too much. I thought that this was a real shame as the reason behind it was due to a lack of body confidence. If anything can help with improving your own body confidence, then naturism surely is one of them. Naturism is a great leveller, and although it can be nerve wracking the first time, the joy of being naked, in company, or on your own is a fantastic feeling.
Once parked up, I was greeted at reception by volunteers from Wirral Naturists which is also the location of the licensed bar area (fully naturist). Wirral Naturist Club had organised a tombola, whilst British Naturist Society were selling various books, DVDs and car stickers.
Once inside the pool area, there is a wide choice of facilities available including:
* Children’s Aqua Splash Jungle House
* Wild Water Rapids
* Bubble Pool
* Super Flumes
* Space Bowl
* Aqua Assault Course
* Wave Pool
* Poolside Café
At my previous visit, I estimated that there was around 300 – 400 people in attendance. I think this event there was probably around 200 or so. Again there was a good mix of genders and ages.
Although a fairly confident person, I do struggle with approaching people to talk to so other than a few nods and smiles, I spent the evening on my own. In an attempt to meet people, I thought I’d have a drink at the pool side cafe. However, upon sitting down at a free table and placing down my hot cup of tea, the table came crashing down around me! With an almighty crash, I was surrounded by bits a plastic, the remains of my tea and the focus of a load of bemused/concerned onlookers. To be honest, the table incident actually helped as an icebreaker and I was soon chatting to those on the next table!
The Waterworld sessions are great and I thoroughly recommend them to anyone. If you are interested, click here for the Wirral Naturists website.
FYI – the next one’s in November. Hope to go again, but this time I’ll be more careful where I put down my drink!
After the excess of Burning Man, we were ready for a few days rest before ending our holiday in San Francisco, so we stayed two nights at the gorgeous Lake Tahoe, home of our third and final naked adventure.
We stayed at Zephyr Cove RV Campground in South Lake Tahoe. It is a lovely spot, just across the road from the lake itself, with good shower/toilet facilities. We did feel a little under-equiped as we parked up alongside 35 foot RVs (especially one covered in Playa Dust!). At using the showers, we had a meal in the restaurant next to the campground before falling asleep listening out for bears in the woods!
After a good nights sleep (we were so, so tired!), it was time to check out the local nudist beach.
Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe
I’d spent a bit of time researching where the exact location of this beach is but too be honest none could help me locate the exact spot. I think that the name of the cove changes depending on which website you read (some call it Secret Beach, some Secret Cove, some Paradise Cove, etc). What I can say is that it is definitely called Secret Cove and it is gorgeous!
In terms of directions, we took the Interstate 50 north from Zephyr Cove, then turned north up the Interstate 28 towards North Lake Tahoe. About 5km along this road, you’ll come to a line a cars parked on the left hand side before arriving at Chimney Beach Parking Lot on the left (with a small overspill on the right). I knew that Chimney Beach was too far north, so we turned round here and parked up with the others cars that we had just past. Here we spotted a path going down towards the Lake. Taking a right (North) we picked a more well-trodden path and soon came across a sign for Secret Cove.
After following the path for a further 10 minutes or so we were greeted by the view of the cove. I don’t think that the pictures can do it justice – it is amazing. Crystal-clear waters, soft sand/shingle beach, pine trees – everything about this place was picturesque.
The actual beach is quite small, meaning that the 50 or so people there are quite close together. Some may find this a bit uncomfortable – especially given American’s way of constantly talking to you – it certainly was different to the more quieter beaches we’ve experienced in Portugal and Spain.
There was a good mix of people on the beach – mostly couples and families, some older single men, people relaxing after Burning Man, small group of gay men (located further south along the beach) as well as a small group of young girls (who seemed to be trying naturism for the first-time. They actually commented that this was their Burning Man – if only they knew!). Everyone was really friendly – we were offered some melon from a fellow beach goer.
The water was really refreshing, given the heat of the mid-day sun and it was really nice not to feel all salty after you normally feel after a day at the beach.
I think this is my favourite beach I’ve ever been to – certainly a 10/10.
If any of you have been here, we’d love to hear from you!
The following places are suggested in the Bare Beaches book as the best places to go “if you prefer to strip but your loved ones won’t bare it”. These beaches have been highlighted due to them having a mix of clothed and unclothed bathers.
1. Playa Mitjorn, Formentera
The Bare Beach book describes this beach as “six miles are largely undeveloped sandy bays with rocky areas for snorkelling [that] have tempted many people into their first experience of bare bathing. The beach is big enough for everyone and there are beach bars scattered along much of the length.”
The Nakedplaces.net states that, “stretching about 5 kilometers, Playa Mitjorn is the longest beach of Formentera’s southern coast, and there are pockets of nudist and textile use along its entire length.”
2. La Grand Plage, Ile d’Oleron, France
The Bare Beaches book describes this beach as “a fabulous open white-sand beach with acres of space and a completely relaxed atmosphere – swimsuited and bare bathers enjoy the peaceful setting in harmony.”
Nakedplaces.net describes the beach as “one of three established nude beaches on Ile d’Oleron, this beach at the southwestern corner of the island has a huge zone where nudity is possible”.
3. Playa Cabopino, Calahonda, Costa del Sol, Spain
The Bare Beaches book describes this beach as “a super biscuit-coloured sand beach, backed by extensive dune and pine trees. The shore is clothes-optional for up to 700 metres.”
Nakedplaces.net describes this beach as, “known by the name Artola and Cabopino, the beach east of Marbella is backed by a vast field of sand dunes. Its the most popular nude beach in Málaga and has a notable gay presence.”
4. Corralejo, Fuerteventura
The Bare Beaches book states “the dunes provide a spectacular backdrop to a line of yellow sandy beaches with great views across the bay. Although popular, there is plenty of space for that away-from-it-all feeling. You will find a relaxed mix os swimsuited and bare bathers.”
Nakedplaces.net adds “just south of the town of Corralejo in the far northeast of Fuerteventura, Playa de Corralejo is a Saharan landscape of immense sand dunes. The dunes extend about 8 kilometers. With the exception of the immediate vicinities of the only two beachfront resorts on the beach, nudity can be practiced anywhere, with most nudists congregating a bit south of the two resorts. This is the most popular beach with nudists of the four locations in the north.”
5. Paradise and Super Paradise, Mykonos
Located near Platis Yialos on the south coast of the island, the Bare Beaches book states “these are two of the most famous bare beaches in the Aegean and even the Mediterranean. They traditionally attract a lively cosmopolitan crowd. Perhaps more fairly described as clothing-optional these days, beacuse there’s likely to be a relaxed mix of dressed and undressed visitors. Super Paradise is also very popular with gay holiday makers.”
Nakedplaces.net adds that “several decades ago when Mykonos first began to gain notoriety for bare bathing, Paradise Beach was the straight nude beach and Super Paradise Beach was the gay nude beach, and to a certain extent those reputations remain, even though the demographics started to shift as far back as the 80’s. Paradise Beach evolved into a mostly textile party beach. Nudity never vanished altogether, but nudists have long been a rather small minority. Super Paradise has likewise changed, and while one end of the beach is still mostly gay, other segments of the beach are attended by straight nudists and textiles. Elia Beach, the most distant of the five beaches, did not gain prominence until the 90’s, when nudists began to seek a less crowded alternative to Paradise and Super Paradise, but as more and more tourists have continued to flock to Mykonos, Elia did not remain a quiet alternative for long. At one end of Elia, nudists and textiles mingle among the thatched beach umbrellas, and there is also a tiny, separate micro-cove just around the bend that is more or less an all-gay nudist haunt.”
The fantastic Cap n Barefoot adds that “Mykonos was once a nudists’ paradise. It is now chancy to say the least. It’s a lively island, well known for many years as a meeting place for the gay community. The inflow of more and more textiles means that if naturism is your priority it is hard to recommend Mykonos these days, particularly in high season”
If any of you have been to one of these beaches please get in tough and let us know what you think. If any of you have stayed in any nudist friendly properties that are close to these beaches we would particularly love to hear from you!
I came across this article on another first-time experience, this time to El Portus.
Accompanying a friend, Jane Cornwall shares with us her experience of going naked for the first at the wonderful Camping Naturista El Portus. Click here for the full article.
It is good to know that Jane was willing to give naturism a try and I particularly like the contrast between these two sentences:
“As I sit there, conspicuous in my bikini bottoms, I realise they are simply that – bodies. There is nothing erotic or pervy about it. The atmosphere is laid-back, friendly and overwhelmingly democratic”
“A week in, I sit on our porch and watch our new neighbours arrive. ‘Hola!’ I say, liberated from clothes and inhibitions. ‘How’s that for a view?’”
Click here for my review of this perfect place – Spain May 2010.
If any of you have stayed here, we’d love to hear you thoughts.
Good article here about one couple’s first time experience of going naked on a beach.
See article here.
The beach in question is Barinatxe Beach, Sopelana, Spain. However, it is also known as Playa de Salvaje.
According to nakedplaces.net, this beach draws a large crowd of both clad and unclad visitors. Nudists tend to use one end of the beach, but even on crowded days there are often a few nudists interspersed among the textiles on the central part of the beach. Of all the nude beaches near Bilbao, this one is the most popular.
The beach is located to the north of Bilbao, close to Sopelana.
The beach is also the location of the annual 5000km nude race. See here for more information. It doesn’t look like the website is updated that much!
If any of you have been to this beach or even participated in the nude race, we’d love to here from you.
If any of you have stayed in nudist friendly property in this area, please let us know!