For anyone interested in taking a clothing optional holiday, rather than going to a fully naturist resort, you could do far worse than to visit the quite small but delightful island of Fomentera located just South of Ibiza and accessed via a fast ferry link from Ibiza port. Almost all the beaches around the island are naturist friendly and even if the textiles out-number the naturists, no-one should feel uncomfortable.
Formentera does not feature in very many tour operators’ brochures so probably the best way to get there would be to use a company called Astbury Formentera (Tel No 01642 21 01 63) who are, without doubt, the British specialists to the island and fully aware of the naturist opportunities. (They advertise in BN magazine!) They feature some really beautiful properties in top notch locations. Elaine, their resident representative will be able to sort any difficulties you may have with no fuss and will let you enjoy your holiday the way you want, with none of the usual selling of trips etc. This year, however, we went fully independent and, via the good old internet, found ourselves an apartment right on the sea-front in Es Pujols. The town is still quite small by Balearic standards but has some really good restaurants and bars. Our particular favourite is the Capri, which we first visited in 1982 and has always delivered the best food in a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The Chataubriand cannot be beaten.
It is probably true to say that the island has changed a bit since our first visit way back in another century, but not to the same extent as most other Spanish destinations and has retained its unique character. The main difference is that, during August especially, whereas previously you would hear German spoken all around you, Italian is now the predominant language. This has had some effect on the number of naturists around, as the Italians appear more interested in designer labels than an all over tan, but as they are also very gregarious, they tend to pack themselves into their own favourite spots. This leaves the rest of the beaches relatively un-crowded and peaceful, even in August!
Getting around the island can be achieved quite easily by bike, scooter, car or bus, but the location of our apartment enabled us to take a daily fifteen minute stroll northwards to the first part of the Levante (Llevant) beach. This section faces East, and is relatively small (about 200 metres long) but has a beach of fine sand and usually very calm sea. The swimming is superb here and if you take some bread out with you, you will be able to join in the daily ritual of feeding the fish. You will be quickly surrounded by dozens of them, some of which are over a foot long and will come right up to you to take the bread from your hand. A most unforgettable experience! The beach always has plenty of naturists and, although at most times of the day in the minority, there are never so few as to make you feel uncomfortable. The critical thing to note is the way that everyone, of all modes of dress and nationality, mix together randomly.
Levante beach continues northwards for about five km. towards the even smaller island of Espalmador and has some long stretches of sand interspersed with rocky outcrops, and you will find naturists all the way along it happily mixing with the less enlightened. We have never done it, but if the sea is calm, you can wade the 400 metres between Formentera and Espalmador where there is a mud pool that is supposed have beneficial effects for the complexion, but whether or not that is true, wallowing in mud is great fun anyway.
At this northern-most tip of the island, you turn South along the West facing beach towards Illetes and beyond to La Savina where the ferries dock. As the name suggests, Illetes beach looks out on numerous small islets and, during August is packed with young Italians and is probably one of the few places where being nude may not be so readily accepted. I understand that in early and late season however things are different but in any case it is well worth a visit because the beach is beautiful.
The beach on the South of the island is called Mitjorn stretching a total of about 8 km, once again with varying lengths of sandy bays interrupted with rocky outcrops. All along the beach you will find strategically placed bars where you can get a beer or a snack and sometimes a full meal. Generally the areas immediately in front of the bars tend to be textile and it would be frowned upon to try and get served without getting covered. Although this year on “our” beach, there wasn’t a bar, the German guy who rents out the loungers kept a cold box stuffed with beers and soft drinks, and he had no problem selling to customers nude or not.
At the easternmost and highest point of the island, you will find La Mola lighthouse and, from the winding road that leads up to it, you can look down on virtually the whole of Formentera, which is quite breathtaking. It is well worth trying to get up there at sunrise and sunset to catch the wonderful light. From here, back on the Northern side you will find Es Calo, a very small village where, from Astbury Formentera, you can rent one of the small bungalows built right on the beach, from which you can fall straight out of bed and into the sea for your morning skinny dip
So much for the geography lesson, what is it like to stay there? I can answer that in two words, totally relaxing. Unlike the Canary Islands, for instance, when you go out for the evening you will not be assailed by people trying to hustle you into their particular restaurant, the choice is yours. Food prices are reasonable and are quite consistent throughout the island, and the quality generally good. The bars close late, but although there will be people around and about throughout the night, it never gets rowdy. That’s one advantage of having so few Brits there I suppose. San Antonio it isn’t! There are relatively few teenagers and, in August, quite large majority of Italians in their 20’s. The next largest group appears to be middle aged Germans and then the Brits. These proportions change outside of August when most of the Italians stay at home.
As mentioned before, even in August, when we are forced to go, the beach dress code is wear as little or as much as you want, more or less where you want. We have been to Formentera about eleven times since 1982 and in recent times have met the same people on the beach each year, and we have forged some good friendships amongst the different nationalities.
Naturists are a really friendly bunch of people.
(For more pictures, refer to the photo pages on this site)
Sometimes, when you go on holiday, you might want to have the ability to swim and sunbathe nude but don’t want to either trek miles to the nearest naturist beach or to go to a naturist resort. One option available to you is a villa rental.
It doesn’t matter what where you want to go, there are many villas available that can offer the privacy to be able to relax in your own little naturist environment in an otherwise textile world.
We did this a couple of years ago at a villa that happened to be owned by a friend of a friend but was listed on the Owners Direct website too. There are many villas that fit the bill with varying degrees of privacy. Of course one place that you do want not to be overlooked by nosey neighbours is the pool and the villa we rented in the Algarve was fine for that. The villa was not promoted as naturist friendly, but we were able to spend the whole day in and around the pool in total peace. It is unfortunate that the villa is now off the rental market as far as I can tell following its sale.
One has to take a view on the attitudes of the maids who clean a couple of times a week, but we found that the lady we had was completely relaxed about the presence of naked people in the villa. I doubt that we were the first naturists to rent it.
The Villa option is ideal if you have a partner who is a little unsure of being nude amongst other people and they can take things at their own pace, deciding when and if they feel comfortable to take off the swimwear.
These photos were taken around the villa.
Lastly The Palm Beach Hotel... 4 star This Hotel is the farthest away from the main Benidorm beach and the naturist beach, But it runs a free bus service to Both beaches and the Old town, it is about the same price as the Benikaktus.
On the main beach, although not Naturist, you will find some interesting sand castles "Benidorm style".
We went to two beaches that are Naturist Friendly.
Firstly we went to Boadella Beach, which has a section exclusively for Naturist use wioth cold showers and restaurant serving cold beers and cooked food. This beach was very nice, clean with a good mix of families, couples and single men and women. It's quite a walk from Lloett de Mar/Fenals, so it is better to get a cab from either resort for 5 euros. Of the two resorts, Fenals is the better of the two as well as being the next bay to the beach of Boadella. See the plans of the area
Secondly we went to Calella Beach, which has a small area for Naturists behind some rocks at the far end of the beach just by the Calella sign in the photo attached to this review. This small area was packed, so we went back to the main beach and sunbathed nude by the sign end next to the sea. There were four other Naturists there, so we just fitted in with them. When they got up and left, others arrived, saw us and stripped off close by. Two lifeguards walked along the beach to where we were laying down, waked past us to check behind the rocks, walked past us again. They didn't say a word or even look at us, so being naked is allowed and accepted on this part of the beach. It is a very large beach. As you can see from the pictures, it turned cloudy after 3 hours so we left the beach and caught the train back to Malgratt de Mar
Of all the resorts mentioned, Calella has the most to offer in the way of nightlife, however Fenals was stunning, with a 20minute walk to Boadella Beach.
We would not go back to Malgratt as it is very quiet and we did hear of a report that the local police escorted a male Naturist back to his hotel.
We hope that this will be helpful to fellow club members going to the Costa Brava
Bob and Lesley
Looking for a very peaceful naturist resort not too far from the UK? Then Charco may just be the place. Stuck in a bit of a time warp from the 60’s, it does offer plenty of peace and quiet and long walks along the coast.
No hotels, just a collection of Villas and small apartment blocks (my small block also had its own pool), with a couple of restaurants, a bar also serving food, and a small supermarket (but with all you need), this is the ideal place if you don’t crave the nightlife, hustle and bustle, etc.
I visited the resort last year for a day’s Scuba diving whilst on the island, and it looked ideal for the type of naturist holiday I was looking for. Lanzarote is one of the quieter islands and with its good temperatures, but constant sea breeze, it never gets too hot (like the Greek islands) and there is no need for air conditioning.
Charco is on the north east coast and is pretty remote. Naturism is the name of the game and you can be so 24/7, though the restaurants and supermarket do require clothes. Elsewhere there are no restrictions and one can also walk either side of the resort along the coastline for miles (especially to the north) without the restriction of clothing. You will see fishermen but they don’t mind seeing naked people go by.
Although a typical volcanic island with a rocky coastline – no beaches in Charco – there are two tidal pools to swim in and plenty of rocky outcrops for swimming/diving.
There is also a naturist beach on the south of the island which is popular though you need to drive there. Charco may be better suited for adults, but there were some families there when I stayed and quite a few ‘locals families’ use it at weekends.
It is quiet but was ideal for the week’s break I was looking for. Car hire can be arranged for the week (pick up at the airport) and costs roughly the same price as the return taxi fare! There are other busier places on the island to visit, plus the usual tourist attractions.
Just over 3Hrs 30 mins from Gatwick and a 15 minute drive to Charco once at the airport, it’s all pretty straightforward. Worth a thought if not tried it before! I will definitely be going back, time and time again.
I stayed at the Gran Hotel Natura, Corralejo, www.granhotelnatura.comin the north of Furteventura from 7-14 March 2015. I booked through Chalfont Holidays (but I believe you can book direct). I travelled direct from Gatwick with Norwegian Airlines (a relatively new low cost airline which was fine).
The fully naturist hotel is fully screened from the outside and has two swimming pools The smaller square one is heated and they are currently constructing two boules/petanque courts alongside it. The larger circular pool is not heated but I measured the temperature at 20degC, bracing, but I got used to it. There is a bar/snack bar and whirlpool alongside it, and another whirlpool and (fairly small, say 6 max) sauna and gym open all day and evening, underneath the pool area.
The hotel was full, with a mixture of nationalities but it never felt overcrowded.
The hotel restaurant was reasonable and did a special meal on Fridays (barbeque, tapas or on the Friday I was there an Italian cooking demonstration). I had the buffet breakfast option which was the usual juices, cereals, fruit as well as cold meats, cheeses, scrambled eggs, sausages, baked beans etc (you could cook fried eggs yourself). My room was reasonably furnished and all of them had at least basic cooking facilities (but note no coffee sachets/tea bags provided). If (or when) I next go there I think I would prefer a first floor room (the ground floor ones sometimes get noise from people moving furniture around on the uncarpeted floors above).
There was a trust system shop and free second hand paperbacks. The nearest supermarket was for me about 15 minutes walk and in the same location there were coffee shops, a pizza place, a good restaurant and other shops. The village centre was another 5 or ten minutes walk.