If there’s one problem with nude beaches, it’s that you can’t control who actually takes off their clothes. Also, sand gets everywhere. Even so, they’re still better than regular beaches by virtue of one simple fact — theyhave naked people.
As we’ve already shared our favorite nude beaches in the US (and then, again, in the Bay Area) and outlined the rules of nudist resorts, here’s our list of the 15 most sizzling seaside spots around the globe to soak up the sun, au naturel.
Stay in This Treehouse Village That Gives You a Birdseye View of the Dominican Republic
Spiaggia di Guvano
This small shoreline’s a far cry from the Riviera’s tourist-packed beaches, but well worth the short trek through a pitch-black tunnel (don’t forget a flashlight) in the mountainous Cinque Terre region. You’ll be rewarded with an isolated beach populated by naked Italians. Is there anything better? Perk: You’ll probably be the only tourist there. Pit: You might fall to your death attempting to reach it.
While Red Beach gets its name from the rusty color of the sand, here’s a better fun fact: A naked Frenchman camped out here for five years in the ’90s — carving animals and faces into the limestone — until the locals expelled him for being a bit too creepy. The name of that Frenchman? That’s right, it was none other than President François Hollande. JK! That’d be crazy, no? Perk: There’s a refreshment bar that serves java and suds. Pit: The sand’s a little coarse in some spots, which could do some damage (wink, wink). Bring a towel.
When it comes to naked party beaches, nothing tops Paradise Beach in Mykonos — the rare kind of beach that’s just as fun when the sun goes down as when it’s up. There are not one but TWO bars. It’s one of the world’s most popular gay destinations, but everyone is always welcome. Perk: The monthly full moon party, which is just as outrageous and uninhibited as you’d expect from a nude beach in Mykonos. Pit: The drinks at those bars aren’t exactly dive bar prices. So pack your wallet… somewhere.
Plage de Tahiti
St. Tropez, France
The beaches of St. Tropez are famous for pioneering the topless sunbathing craze of the ’60s, and Plage de Tahiti’s no exception. It’s also a well-known celebrity haunt, so leave the camera at the hotel (but bring your iPhone) and keep your eyes peeled for some famous flesh. Perk: You might see Eva Green naked. Pit: You’ll probably see Gerard Depardieu naked.
Port Stephens, Australia
Along with the nearby One Mile Beach, Samurai’s located next to Tomaree National Park and is well-maintained year round. Unlike the family-friendly One Mile, however, Samurai is entirely clothing-optional. Perk: Making friends while playing naked beach volleyball is a distinct possibility. Pit: It’s also a distinct possibility that some of the park’s wildlife could kill you.
During the summer months, Bellevue Beach becomes a hotspot for local young (read: hot) people who come from nearby towns looking to party. One half’s strictly topless-optional, while the other welcomes fully nude revelers — it should be immediately clear which one’s the fun half. Both! Perk: Partying with attractive, young, naked coeds. Pit: The music can get loud if you’re not there to party, but rather to relax and secretly ogle naked coeds behind your sunglasses.
The soft sands of South Beach are what one might describe as “topless tolerant,” but if you want to strip all the way down in Miami, head north to Haulover. Europeans and South Americans mix with brave locals, as the beach has become an international tourist attraction for those headed to South Florida. Perk: It’s less than half an hour from South Beach, or anywhere else you’d want to go in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, so you can easily check it out if you’re in town. Pit: Though it’s well-marked, more than a few fully-clothed beach joggers find themselves running through here, so it’s not exactly private.
This secluded corner of Lake Travis has been Texas’ premiere nude beach for over 20 years, though it took some legal finagling in the 1970s to make it official. Since then it’s become a popular weekend spot where Texans drink beer under the sun while boaters cruise by and wave. And in a city bent on keeping itself weird in the face of a huge development boom, Hippie Hollow is a big help. Perk: Though open fires and glass are prohibited, alcohol and barbecuing on the beach are permitted and frequent. So day-long naked parties are the norm. Pit: If you’re a naturalist family, this beach is not for you. Only people 18 and over are allowed.
Since it’s technically part of an award-winning naturist campsite, Valalta’s almost two-mile beach has something most others lack: adequate shade to keep your chestnuts from roasting. There’s also a pool with an aqua-bar AND a water slide. Perk: The place has an onsite brewery, too. Seriously, Croatians just get it. Pit: If you’re lodging here, you’re likely to see more of the same faces (and dangly bits) than you care to.
The secret’s out on this one, and during the peak summer months you’re likely to find hoards of visitors along the white sandy shores of Es Trenc. Fortunately, the central area of the beach (the nude part) tends to be less choked than the rest, so you can enjoy the incredible beauty of the place in relative privacy. Perk: Motorized vehicles aren’t allowed on the beach, so you won’t be disturbed by Spanish bros revving their 4x4s. Pit: You’ll pay through the nose at the beach bars, as well as for nearby parking.
Praia do Pinho
Balneário Camboriú, Brazil
Located about 50 miles north of Florianopolis, 2013’s happiest city in the world, Praia do Pinho’s widely considered to be the first naturist beach in Brazil. Nudity’s mandatory here, so no taking off your shirt and then being all, like, “I’m totally going to get settled in first”. No, you’ll have to strip down if you partake in the fun. Perk: There’s an inn and cabins for rent with ocean views. Pit: Unaccompanied males are’tallowed on the beach, unless they’re members of the International Naturist Federation. As you are likely not, don’t forget a female friend.
Some might argue in favor of the black sand beach at Kehena, but our pick for the best clothing-optional beach in Hawaii is along the soft white sands of Maui in a hidden, woodsy cove with big Pacific waves breaking on a turquoise shoreline. It’s every bit the Hawaiian vacation fantasy, minus the bathing suits. Perk: Though technically nudity is illegal here, it’s tolerated by local law enforcement. So the nudity is kind of a secret (hence the nickname Secret Beach). Pit: Again, it’s not advertised as nude, so you may be a little shocked should you stumble upon it without warning. As happens from time to time.
San Diego, California
The best nude beach on the Pacific sits just north of San Diego near Torrey Pines, where Californians flock to get line-free tans. Because of the location, it draws California beach-types rather than hippies, and feels more like Endless Summer than a beachside Woodstock. Just remember it’s still the Pacific Ocean, so while being naked might be liberating, it can be a little chilly. Perk: Best surf breaks of any nude beach, anywhere. Pit: Nudity is only legal on the state-owned portion of the beach. The city outlawed it back in 1977, so make sure you walk up to that point before stripping down.
Located on the western end of Vancouver, Wreck’s the oldest and largest clothing-optional beach in North America — it was even nominated to be one of the “Seven Wonders of Canada.” It doesn’t get too packed (thanks to no road access), but there are vendors who wander the shore selling everything from booze to tie-dye T-shirts. The vendors, like everyone else, are semi-to-fully nude at all times. Consider this either a plus, or a minus. Perk: Much like your popular Bastille-Meets-Boxing Day bash, you can score jello shots with little difficulty. Pit: Let’s be honest, the climate isn’t exactly tropical; you are in Canada, after all.
Sandy Hook, New Jersey
The National Parks system is one of our great American treasures, and perhaps nowhere can we appreciate it more than here at the largest clothing-optional beach on the East Coast. This former Army testing site is now managed by the NPS, and therefore exempt from New Jersey’s state laws outlawing nudity on beaches. In addition to human scenery, it’s close enough to NYC to offer stunning views of Brooklyn and the Verrazano Bridge. Perk: Since it’s on federal land, alcohol is totally permitted on the beach. So drink up? Pit: With its proximity to NYC and location in an area where going to the beach is a seasonal activity, it can get mad crowded. Over 5,000 people a weekend visit during the summer, which is a lot of flesh with or without clothes.