Nude beaches can be found in many beach destinations. Perhaps better described as clothing-optional beaches, since going without a swimsuit is not required, these beaches draw people who want to get a perfect full-body tan or experience the beach and water in as natural a way as possible. The eight beaches below allow nude sunbathing, but are also beautiful stretches of sandy coastline that are worth visiting regardless of their swimsuit policy (or lack thereof).
Eight Popular Nude Beaches
1. Saline Beach, Saint Barts
This is where the world's jet-set come to get rid of their tan lines. Saint Barts is the vacation destination of choice for wealthy travelers, celebrities, and super-models. Saline has a very secluded feel, so shy first-timers don't have to feel worried about being ogled by passers-by. This beach has a decidedly French flair, with people frequently seen sipping classy wines, snacking on French specialties and even puffing on high-quality cigars imported from nearby Cuba.
2. Pinho Beach (Praia do Pinho), Brazil
Some of Brazil's most famous beaches allow topless sunbathing, but Praia do Pinho is one of the few completely clothing-optional stretches of seaside in Brazil. Despite the official clothing-optional rule, most visitors feel that hitting the sand in the buff is all-but-required for those who don't want to be frowned upon. This beach, located near the trendy town of Balneario Camboria in far southern Brazil, draws sunbathers from South America's other countries as well as domestic tourists and locals. Pinho's popularity is partially due to the fact that nude beach options are surprisingly sparse in this part of the world.
3. Couples Resort, Ochos Rios, Jamaica
Negril might be known as the Caribbean's capital of hedonism, but Ochos Rios is perfect for those who want a little more class with their suit-less sunbathing. The private all-inclusive Couples Resort allows nude sunbathing on a private island about 500 feet offshore. Aside from an idyllic beach, the resort features a pool and plenty of quiet corners for couples to lounge around in a clothing optional setting. While this section of the resort allows guests to lounge in the buff, nudity is not allowed in the other sections of the resort.
4. Plage de Tahiti, St. Tropez, France
This Cote d'Azur hotspot draws jet setters and celebrities from all around Europe. Plage de Tahiti, listed as the top pick of topless beaches by Complex.com, is definitely a place where scene-makers come to lounge and tan. However, since cameras are strictly disallowed, it is also a rather safe-feeling place for nude beach novices. Hotels in the area are expensive, as they are through most of the French Riviera. However, St. Tropez is as glamorous as it gets, and it's also a beautiful stretch of seaside, so many visitors consider the expensiveness a bearable side effect of a beach vacation centered around Plage de Tahiti.
5. Montalivet Beach, France
Montalivet Beach, on France's under-rated, under visited Atlantic coastline, is an option for people who are in search of a destination that is not necessarily focused on nude sunbathing, but on the naturist movement, where going to the beach without clothes is about experiencing nature, not avoiding tan lines or feeling the sea breezes. The area has campsites, rent-able bungalows, activities, classes, and plenty of pristine coastline. Surprisingly, this is actually a very family-friendly place with many naturist families from across Europe spending their vacations here.
6. Hanlan's Point Beach, Toronto, Canada
Nude beaches aren't just for the tropics. Canada's most cosmopolitan city has had nude sunbathers for decades. While technically illegal for many years, nude sunbathing was popular at Hanlan's Point. Regulars finally convinced the city to make a section of the beach officially clothing-optional in 2002. The beach draws lots of people, from curious tourists and sun-tanning locals to naturist groups. The beach can be reached easily from central Toronto on the Hanlan's Point Ferry.
7. Banana Beach, Southern Greece
Banana Beach, named because it appears banana-shaped when seen from above, is actually three different stretches of sand that sit side by side. The so-called Little Banana, adjacent to the Main Beach, is the preferred spot for nude sunbathers since the main area gets overcrowded with families during the summer high-season. This is probably one of the most pleasant beaches to get to, with most beach-goers choosing the stroll from the nearby town of Skiathos to the beach. The waking route passes through olive groves and takes a mere 15 minutes.
8. Playa Es Pregons Gran, Mallorca, Spain
No list of nude beaches would be complete without an entry from Spain's popular Balearic Islands. These Mediterranean destinations feature all kinds of different beach scenes. Nude sunbathing is not illegal in Spain, but one of the most scenic places to enjoy the sunshine in the buff is Playa Es Pregons Gran. This stretch of sand is rimmed by clear, bright blue waters. Unlike elsewhere on Mallorca and neighboring Ibiza, the party scene is largely absent from this beach. There are no bars or loud music. In fact, many visitors bring their own refreshments.
The World's Best Nude Beaches
When it comes to clothing optional beaches, everyone has their own tastes. Some people want to take care of their unsightly tan-lines while enjoying a cosmopolitan beach scene, while others are content to find a quiet place to enjoy the sea breezes and sun in as natural a way as possible. That said, its hard to go wrong with any of the clothing optional destinations listed above.