Cap d’Agde: A Day in the World’s Most Famous Nude Village

Cap d’Agde: A Day in the World’s Most Famous Nude Village

Cap d’Agde probably doesn’t need an introduction. Many have visited the huge naturist resort at least once in their lives. Even if you haven’t been there yet, the name probably does ring a bell. Or you’ve already heard some stories about the place. Those stories aren’t always very positive and that was the exact reason why we kept avoiding a visit to Cap d’Agde. Until now.

 

More and more we started to think that, as world traveling naturist bloggers, we couldn’t stay away from Cap d’Agde forever. One day we would have to find out if the stories are right. The timing couldn’t have been any better. High season had just started, we were in the region and we had something to celebrate. So on the day of our second “travelversary” we walked through the gates of the famous Cap d’Agde. It was time to see the myth and the legend with our own eyes.

 

How does Cap d’Agde work?

We had decided to forget everything we had ever read or heard about Cap d’Agde. Prejudices are not a good thing when you visit a place like this. And we didn’t do any preliminary research. This we already regretted even before we walked into the nude part of Cap d’Agde. We found ourselves at a ticket booth where we had to present our passports. Something we didn’t bring along. Because why would we need a passport to visit a village?

 

That’s the first misconception about Cap d’Agde. It is indeed a village, but you are not allowed to be nude everywhere you want to. Inside Cap d’Agde there’s a section which is called the “naturist village“. That’s where nudity is allowed everywhere. Or pretty much everywhere, but that’s something for later in this story. The naturist village is basically a huge part of town with its own marina, beach, bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, hotels and of course the world’s largest naturist camping: René Oltra.

 

To enter the “naturist village” you are required to register (hence the need for a passport) and to pay an entrance fee. At first we found it a bit disturbing that we had to pay 8 euros per person to enter a part of a town, but then again it’s probably the world’s cheapest day fee for a naturist resort.

 

TIP: You can actually avoid paying the day fee by parking your car Marseillan and following the beach to Cap d’Agde. But this means that you’ll pass by a specific part of beach which we’ll discuss further. Don’t take your kids via this route…

 

The Cap d’Agde naturist village

Although we feel that the term “village” gives a a false description about Cap d’Agde naturist village (it’s not like it has its own postal code or any business which isn’t in the tourism sector), we have to admit that it does have all the looks of a real town. The naturist village can be compared with Lloret de Mar in Spain, Fira in Santorini or Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Except that most people walk around nude. At Cap d’Agde you get the chance to experience what life would be like if clothes didn’t exist. You can drive your car nude, go to the shops nude, walk the streets nude, have a choice of nude restaurants and in the evening get a couple of drinks in a bar. All nude.

 

The other word in the term naturist village, “naturist”, didn’t seem 100 percent appropriate either. One of the first things we noticed when we entered the naturist village were large signs advertising sensual hotels, sexy experiences and swinger parties. The non-sexual idea behind naturism didn’t seem to have all that much value. But hey, we weren’t going to judge. Yet.

 

Cap d’Agde naturist beach

When we arrived at Cap during a hot afternoon in early July, the naturist village almost seemed abandoned. Except for the many parked cars, the streets were empty. The restaurants and bars were closed and the shop keepers were half sleeping behind their counters. During the first ten minutes or so we barely saw a handful of naturists. Just when we thought that this could have been the worst 8 euros ever spent, we arrived at the naturist beach.

 

We have to tell you, we’ve been to lots of naturist beaches before, but we’ve never seen anything like the naturist beach in Cap d’Agde. It’s a very large beach and it was PACKED. Thousands and thousands of naked people. And this wasn’t even the top of high season yet. The only way we could think of to get a decent impression of this amount of naturists was to go for a walk. Just like at any other nude beach in the world there was a large variety of sunbathers. Young, old, thick, thin, large, short, hairy, shaven, singles, couples, groups of friends, tattooed, pierced, you name it. Every type of person you can imagine was there. Except the clothed.

 

The naturist beach is mainly located right in front of the René Oltra camping. At the point where the camping stops are two bars and then the beach just continues with several thousands more nude people. By the time we arrived at the bar we figured that all those sex stories about this famous nude beach were quite exaggerated. The only activities we noticed were swimming, sunbathing, some ball throwing and generally having a good nude time. A nude beach as it’s supposed to be. We sat down for a while to enjoy a beer and the lounge music and then we continued our walk.

Cap d'Agde: A Day in the World's Most Famous Nude Village

Cap d’Agde not-so-naturist beach

We could immediately sense that the beach behind the bars had a bit of a different atmosphere. It was as packed as the first part but here we felt eyes on us when we walked by. People seemed to enjoy watching us and several times our friendly nod was answered with a couple of penis strokes. You can guess where this is going, right? The further we went, the more we saw visitors playing with themselves or with those around them. We’re talking about a whole different level of beach games here.

 

As genuine naturists, the right thing to do would have been to turn around and go back to the other side of the beach. But that’s not how we roll. These are the stories we had heard. The stories that made Cap d’Agde (in)famous. So we bought a beer from an ice cream vendor (this visit was also our celebration, remember) and sat down to see how many of the other stories would become reality. Then something weird happened. Suddenly a bunch of maybe 30 men gathered around a couple. What was going on? Did one of them get a stroke? Did they fall? Were they in need? Well, they must have been in some need. Out of the blue they had started having sex and the men just stood around them watching and masturbating.

 

It’s one of the strangest things we have ever seen. When the couple was finished, the men looked around and walked towards another couple who were just about to start their show. This happened several times in maybe half an hour. We were speechless. During a quiet moment the gay couple near us tried to drag some attention but the men did not seem to be interested in them. At that point we noticed who they were aiming for next… Some had already gathered near us and when one placed himself at about a meter away, smiling and masturbating, we knew that was our cue to walk back to the bar.

 

Cap d’Agde nude beach bar

Pretty disgusted of what had just happened, we walked into the Paralia Beach Club. The bar that’s right on the beach looking all exotic and fancy with deejays and cocktails and happy vibes. A bunch of friendly bouncers made sure that we didn’t bring our own booze or narcotics and kept an eye on the general atmosphere. If there’s one thing we can tell you about this bar, it’s that it was one of the best nude beach bars we’ve ever seen. And also one of the most expensive ones, but this is also what Cap d’Agde is famous for.

 

All of the pervert tension of the not-so-naturist beach was gone. This is a place where people enjoy themselves and are respectful towards the others. Even when a couple who could have been our parents showed interest in spending the night with us and we kindly turned them down, everything was greeted with smiles. Obviously there were others interested in something more but that was not going to happen inside the bar. And most of all, every opinion is respected. Just like that time when we visited the Desire Resorts in Mexico, also here we found that naturists can perfectly mingle with swingers without the whole thing becoming gross.

 

Cap d’Agde nightlife

Our time at the beach bar was legendary and we had the most of fun. This was our travelversary as we had wished it to be. Dancing, socialising and drinking beer. From what we know now, the best thing we could have done when the bar closed was to leave. But that’s not what we did. We wandered back into town and found those thousands of people who were previously on the nude beach enjoying their evening with dinners and drinks. With one big difference. Suddenly everyone was dressed. Suddenly we were the only nude people in Cap d’Agde. That doesn’t really matter to us. The evening was hot and we knew that we were so much more comfortable than all the others.

 

After dinner in a Thai restaurant (here’s a good tip: never order boeuf tartare at a Thai place) it was time to taste some of the nightlife. We found a street with bars and what immediately caught our eye was the dress code. Or better, the mix of dress codes. There was leather, see-through, latex, stuff that put breasts in a weird shape and lots of sexy lingerie. Another story about Cap d’Agde appeared to be true. Not that we cared much. Although all this sexy clothing does not represent a “true naturist idea”, we also believe a lot in freedom and in letting people wear whatever they like to wear. Or not wear.

 

After being scared away by the masturbators on the beach, we thought that we had seen the worst of Cap d’Agde. But the saddest part has yet to come. It happened when we tried to walk into the Melrose bar.
Bouncer: “Sorry, you can’t come in”.
We: “Why is that?”.
Bouncer: “Because you’re naked”.
We were refused entrance to a bar in the largest and most famous naturist place in the world, because we weren’t wearing any clothes. When we walked away we saw a completely nude stripper at the pole spreading her legs. Maybe it was for the better that we didn’t get in.

Cap d'Agde: A Day in the World's Most Famous Nude Village

Why you really shouldn’t go to Cap d’Agde

We’ve spent about 12 hours in the Cap d’Agde naturist village and found out that all the stories we had ever heard about the place appeared to be true. What bothers us the most is that the place is still called a “naturist village”. We’ve seen lots of garbage, we’ve seen lots of sex, we’ve been treated disrespectfully and we’ve been prohibited to be nude. There go all the naturist values. Given the fact that Cap d’Agde is often the first place where people get in touch with social nudity, we’re not very surprised that naturism is still often linked to sex.

 

The Cap d’Agde tourism board probably couldn’t care less about our opinion, but from now on we refuse to call it a naturist village. We’re going to call it a nude village. Because that’s what it really is. It’s like a village, except that you can be nude. Most of the time.

 

Why you really have to go to Cap d’Agde

In the last part of this blog we mentioned the sexual side of Cap d’Agde a lot, but keep in mind that during the most of our short stay we just had a great nude time. The René Oltra naturist camping is not only world famous but has done a lot in the past to support naturism in France and outside of the country. We didn’t have the chance to visit the camping but we have lots of reasons to believe that at René Oltra the naturist values are still well respected. The same goes up for the first part of the naturist beach.

 

If you know where to go, and especially where not to go, we’re sure that you can even have a family friendly nude holiday without seeing anything you don’t want to see. Or which you don’t want to explain to your kids.
More than anything, Cap d’Agde is an experience. There is only one place like this in the whole world. That alone is a reason for us to say that it’s worth a visit. In the end, we are happy that we’ve seen Cap with our own eyes. Even if it was only for a day. And probably also the last one.

27 thoughts on “Cap d’Agde: A Day in the World’s Most Famous Nude Village

  1. Great article guys. It was on my bucket list so yes I went 3 years ago for 1 night only. I’m glad I have been with my partner. We both had a fabulous day on the first part of the beach. We didn’t venture down any further until almost dark we went for a nude stroll. There was one group left doing somethings but we ignored them and enjoyed our peaceful walk. You can tell the place has a seedy side but like you said if you know where to go you can avoid all of this. We Got dressed for dinner Witch was weird and then got back to our room and got undressed again and enjoyed a bottle of red and cheese on the balcony. I would go again but not in a hurry as I have hundreds of places to go to. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. Nice review.
    Quite frank and detailed.
    Not on my bucket list but the negative attributes will keep me away.
    Plenty of other places to explore before going near what this place has to offer.
    I’le du Levant really interests me.
    Genuinely interested and have this on my bucket list.

  3. Great write up. We visited for a day a couple of years ago for the same reason – curiosity. I was surprised at how shabby the whole ‘town’ looked, and the prevalence of sex shops everywhere. We felt like the only naturists there, and that the majority of guests were there for other reasons. And yes, it was crazy expensive! We left better informed and happy to have satisfied our curiosity. There are dozens of true naturist places in France. This isn’t one of them. We won’t return.

  4. Great post Nick and Lins! And clearly we concur with your assessment, though the day were there, the sex show creeping its way toward the main naturist beach. (You can see our recent account here: https://meanderingnaturist.com/2019/07/08/sex-on-the-beach-why-a-newbie-naturist-should-not-visit-cap-dagde/ ) And I totally agree with you that the biggest issue here is calling this a “naturist place.” That’s exactly the fodder the critics are looking for. Too bad, really!

  5. I had friends who were a young at heart retired couple that regularly used to visit.
    I very much got the impression it was a nude resort and not one I need on my list as swinging is neither my girlfriends or my thing.
    I’m interested to read your views and they confirm my thoughts leave it off the list.

  6. What to say?
    Brilliantly written, and im sure, one ,if not the most anticipated blog.
    As u can also imagine, i was never there lol, so i knew only what ive read or seen on some vids, and intrestingly, its really exactly what u guys wrote, so there u go .. sometimes ,if ppl wanna be honest, words can be enough as well to describe something, and i dont mean on the feeling of being there but just about a simple describction of the place.
    As for the other stuff ..
    ” It is indeed a village, but you are not allowed to be nude everywhere you want to”
    -this is really odd.. i mean a nude town where u arent allowed to be nude? wtf really? that has to be the most dumbest thing ever in history of humanity for real…
    “Then something weird happened. Suddenly a bunch of maybe 30 men gathered around a couple.”
    -so all of this is very similar to that movie Textiles?
    “Some had already gathered near us and when one placed himself at about a meter away, smiling and masturbating”
    -well if u were on that beach, im sure they didnt hesitate as why u were there so lol, u cant blame them
    “There was leather, see-through, latex, stuff that put breasts in a weird shape and lots of sexy lingerie”
    -i remember i read once a user review of CdA , where the user was like, WTF, we were walking around with our .. dunno .. lets say 10yo son, and we saw ,dunno how u call that, where ur walking the other person as a dog on a leash?..
    i mean really, one has to be a total moron, or born yesterday not to know what CdA is all about, even i fkn know and i aint even a nudie …, so i dont understand how can one be supriced when they “see” something/stuff , or if their kid does,at the end of the day, they`ll see that anyway ,in person or on their phone via websites .. and i also have see a video about Cape, where theres this couple, that says that much of the Capers are swingers anyways, those same ppl that are on the “normal” beach with their kids, we see them at the parties at night, so to me, if its already like this/that, whats the damn point of hiding it from ur kids anyway? its not like they wont find out one way or the other ,and at the end of the day, if u dont want them to find out or know, dont have kids, or dont take them with u and dont even tell them ur going to Cape, cause its not that hard to google it ,and guess what comes up first?.. so ..
    as for those ppl that arent really swingers but they still wanna go to Cape having knowing all , its pretty goes for them too

    Also , um.. its late now, but maybe u could have added like a little story to it, in the sence of ,since when is Cape like this today? Was it right from the start? If not, what made it be?
    Anyhow, once again, a real good blog, loved it.

    1. Cap hasn’t always been like this. In the beginning it really was a genuine naturist place. For example there used to be a huge beach-side swimming pool in the eighties or so, that’s a huge swingers club now.
      Where did it go wrong? We don’t know. But we can think of 2 main reasons:
      1. It’s very hard to maintain a place that size, now and especially in the past (without high tech security systems and stuff). And Cap didn’t get this reputation just yesterday. So maybe more and more sexual activity came, so more and more naturists started going somewhere else and the businesses were pushed towards sex automatically.
      2. The businesses found out that there’s way more money to be made with sex than with naturism.

      We don’t agree that it’s okay to expose kids to everything that’s possible in the world because they’re going to find out anyway. Mostly because they just won’t understand. 6 year olds aren’t looking for fetish porn on the internet, so what happens to them when they see a guy on a leash? How do you explain that it’s a certain kind of sexual pleasure when they don’t even have a clue what sex is?
      It will probably rather be a source for nightmares than it would be educational.

      About the village, maybe you misunderstood. Cap d’Agde is indeed a village with its own postal code and police department and whatever. But inside Cap d’Agde there’s a section, like a neighbourhood, which is called the “naturist village”. And that’s where you are allowed to be nude in public. Not in any other neighbourhood of Cap d’Agde.

      1. What i really love from what i saw of pics, is the looks it self of Cape.
        It has that soo tipical 70s kind of look, those buildings n stuff, i totaly love it. Eventho i`ll prolly never be there, id wish if it could stay like that foverer. .. i forgot to mention this in the 1st msg. It just sux there arent many videos of the place…
        Um well .. dunno, true about the money, but thats just a proof of how much capitalism sux, and how much it destorys things..and also ,how humans are greedy and so easy to manipulate that they are willing to sellout.
        O i undertstood the village part, i know the Cape is a town and that this is just a part of it, about the non nude thing i ment about what u said that there were parts in the village, or clubs where they didnt allow u to be nude..
        As for the exposing thing, well .. i still stand with what i said, cause from what ive heard, u can actually see scenes like that in Berlin, like IN Berlin, also there are various “fairs” one of them the Folsom street fair, where ppl literally do everything in public, in the streets ,so im sure many of those there “werent” suppose to see stuff , saw stuff, and tbh , i wouldnt even udnerstand why or how can one get off to being on leash n stuff either lol but ok , whatever.
        But the thing is, they wont even ask u what it is, they`ll prolly laugh if they are that young to not understand, but what about a 10yo ,13,15?
        WHen i say this, i always figure things like this .. how do u explain and allow them to see/watch violent movies, with hecto L of blood, or play violent video games, or have them see their parents or other ppl smoke, getting high, do drugs, get drunk, or fight, verbaly or with fists..allow them to listen to ,well, todays music spec, cause its all about boobs asses money and every1 liric is full of swearing and sexual content ,so what i wanned to say with that is, is sex/ual things, worse then all of the things mentioned?
        If so, then how come that same kid is a product of one then?
        My say is that i think ppl are being major hypocrites about that , cause they know whats “wrong” and they`ll all use that as a great excuse to show how they care, and how moral or toughfull they are ,whlist all they do is just putting their fake concience at ease.
        Maybe my english isnt good when i explain things so i always love to give examples lol like lets say ..
        Ones mom is sick right.. so instead of u actually going there, and taking care of her or helping around, all u do is give her a call and ask how she is and then after 3mins, ok mom ,take care .. ill call u again tomorrow bye.. see? i care, i called her .. thats not care, thats putting ur concience at ease so u can tell ur own self, hey , i called her , i care ..

      2. I believe the reason Cap d’Agde went that way is because there is no private management of the entire place. It is a section of the city of Agde where the government is in charge. There are many private property owners and private businesses. In a democracy, city governments cannot regulate what private property owners do with their space. But in other equally large naturist resorts in France, it can be much more controlled. In those resorts, a business can only open if the management authorizes it. There is no private property, just private campers or bungalows on land that is controlled by the management.

        Yes there is a lot of money in the sex industry. But it is a fickle business where the customers are always looking for something new. It also brings a whole lot of problems. If you look at cities with a “red light district” you will not find that this is the nicest part of town.

  7. speechless! Thank you for this post. Now I know I don’t want to set foot on this place with my wife. Thanks for all your great posts! Safe travels!

  8. We just completed our vacation with our family in Cap, but the common places are now turned away from naturism because majority of tourists now roaming there wearing clothes and staring at nudists which will curtail our freedom especially of the children. However the beach side is still maintained 99% nudism.

  9. Thank you Nick and Lins for this comprehensive post. It confirms my view that I would never like to visit this place. As a committed naturist I seek out nature, beauty, purity and this is clearly not the place for these things.

  10. Great post N&L, it seems like the place hasn’t changed much in the 16 odd years since I was there for a day visit. Your description of the beach was exactly my experience though back then I had no idea of the sexual part of the long beach and just thought it was a famous, wholesome naturist paradise. I was very nervous as I was just dipping my toe into the naturist world for pretty much the first time. Wow, was I shocked and a bit confused at what I saw!!
    Anyway, now sat watching the sun go down in the Euronat beach, mainly as a result if your positive review of this place. It’s wonderful and no dodgy sexual undercurrent at all. Just a gem on the French coast.

    1. We mostly worry that when first time naturists visit Cap d’Agde they’ll get a completely wrong image of what naturism is all about. This could go in two ways. Either they decide that it’s nothing for them and turn their back to naturism. Or they think that they can have public sex at all naturist venues.
      We’re glad that you’ve tried out other places as well and that you’re enjoying Euronat!

  11. The information given is exactly what a real naturist wants to know where to stay and … not to stay. Very often walked away from a horrible naturist beach/hotelfacility to a welcoming luxurious textile beach/hotelpool only because of having felt like a lonely outcast in the naturist area.
    Good work Nick and Lins, keep us informed in this professional way.

    A senior traveller who likes a nice clean naturist beach with a comfy sunbed, a nice umbrella, friendly naturists around of all ages, colours and genders and some friendly waiterservice. Cheers!
    Spoiled brad? Maybe, but age and experience explains a lot and the only way my wife enjoys it to. Right she is!

  12. Ons verblijf van 2 weken op de camping Renee oltra zit er bijna op.Een naturisten camping kan je niet echt noemen veel geklede mensen en naar de avond toe meer sexy kledij tot leren pakjes en naaldhakken toe.Nog al veel swingers en vooral belgische swingers die niet ver van onze tent logeerde die wat arrogant en niet verlegen waren voor wat nachtelijk lawaai in combinatie met alcohol.Aan strand voor de camping opgemerkt dat er triootjes vormen in de zee die echt geen voorbeeld zijn voor de kinderen die in de buurt aan spelen waren.S’Avonds veel beat geluiden van de vele feestje in de buurt.Kortom heeft niet veel met naturisme te maken hier en ons zien ze hier niet meer terug maar toch het beste van gemaakt van onze eerste naturistische vakantie .

    1. Hallo Stefaan,
      Blijkbaar heb je deze blog post helaas net te laat ontdekt.
      Wij vinden het altijd ontzettend jammer wanneer mensen voor hun eerste naturistische vakantie naar Cap d’Agde trekken. Een plaats die overal omschreven wordt als een paradijs voor naturisten maar het allesbehalve is.
      Als je tips wil voor een volgende vakantie, stuur gerust een mailtje en we kunnen je zeker helpen een naturistenplek te vinden die veel beter zal meevallen.

  13. Nick & Lins
    I don’t understand: You spend several days in most of the small campings you visit, yet you allow yourselves less than 12 hours for the largest nudist resort in the world! Why? Did the local tourist office not fund a free stay for you?

    Despite some negative reviews, the world is fascinated by this resort: The numbers of Chinese, Russian, Israeli, Indien, etc visitors have never been higher than this year!

    Most negative reviews I have seen come from day visitors who have not experienced the enjoyment of 24-hour nudity with all creature comforts: Over 30 eateries, 4 supermarkets, hotels, several bakers, a butchers’, a hardware store, greengrocers’, hairdressers’, village post office, estate agents, fishmongers, newsagents, health food shop, swimming pools, you can even drive nude within this huge resort. Such ‘genuine naturist’ day visitors who “have never done any preliminary research” on the resort strangely don’t settle on the family beach but all turn left and trek 2 km along this glorious beach until they ‘happen’ on to the ‘naughty’ section beyond the 2 bars in the no-man’s land just outside the resort – in order to let themselves be shocked!

    The naturist ‘village’ of Cap d’Agde is just another part of the town but where exceptionally one is allowed to be nude in all public areas. Stéphane Deschênes has explained this very well above. Every apartment, parking space, commercial establishment (including the swimming pools) are privately owned and, like anywhere else in the world the owner can set his own house rules. When the owner of the Melrose bar decides that he can make more money if he enforces a dress code then he is free to do so.

    I think that linguistically the base of the word ‘naturist’ is common to many languages whereas the word ‘nude’ translates very differently. As Cap d’Agde is an international resort presumably the generally better-understood word ‘naturist’ is being used.

    Food for thought: Why do naturists spend all day in the nude but put on pajamas for bed?

    I know many parts of the world where there are gated communities with access control. Where this attracts thousands of visitors per day upkeep is expensive: Just think of all the garbage left behind – empty drinks and sun lotion containers, etc. Thus, a small contribution of €8 seems reasonable.

    As you say: Cap d’Agde is a big place, and as in any town of approximately 40,000 inhabitants there are some nice and some not-so-nice neighbourhoods. You just need to know where to go. For creature comforts, you cannot beat the naturist village of Cap d’Agde.

    1. Cap d’Agde is exactly as you explain it. It’s a place where public nudity is accepted in all possible forms. In this whole concept, naturism gets a (rather small) place. Although we haven’t been to René Oltra and although we’ve received negative reviews about the camping as well, we still prefer to believe that in general it’s a genuine naturist place. Even though it’s not accepted anymore by several naturist federations like the French FFN or the INF.

      Anyway, we don’t understand why people would choose a naturist place surrounded by sexual places. Isn’t that something like picking an eco-resort surrounded by industry?
      Can’t we also say that New York is THE vegan city because there happen to be a couple of vegan places surrounded by a bunch of meat serving restaurants? We just can’t stop wondering why people keep defending Cap d’Agde, while every previous visitor knows what’s going on in there.

      To answer some of your questions… Why do bloggers keep going to the wrong side of Cap? First of all, bloggers go around. If we would just pick a spot at the nude beach and relax for the rest of the day, we would be writing very boring blog posts.
      Secondly, of course we want to know what’s really going on.
      And lastly, it doesn’t really matter whether we search for it or not, the most important is that we find it. None of our stories (or anyone elses) are made up. It’s all just there.

      Why does Cap receive so many Russian, Chinese, Israeli? It’s pretty simple, Cap has understood something the large majority of naturist places has not: the power of marketing. While all naturist clubs tried to hide from the outside world, Cap was the only one to be open about naturism. We even want to take this further, without Cap d’Agde (and especially René Oltra), naturism today would not be as accepted in Europe as it is today.
      The downside is, since they were pretty much the only naturist place with good marketing, they were also in pole position to turn naturism towards swinging and exhibitionism.

      Lastly there’s one thing with which we strongly disagree: That Cap d’Agde is the only naturist village. There are several others. At CHM Montalivet you can also drive your car nude, there are shops and restaurants and surf classes and whatever you want, all nude. But there are no commercials for sex parties and there’s no sex on the beach.
      Some will appreciate this, others won’t. And we strongly hope that those others just stick to going to Cap d’Agde.

      1. Dear Nick and Lins,
        Poor and naughty comment by a previous blogger, combining a very honest review with free stay or not. Very brave to have stayed there as long as you both did. I am sure me and my wife would have left within minutes and we are definately not prudish. (as we dit recently in a place in Lanzarote!).
        Keep on doing the good work and when we meet sometimes i definately will offer you both a (free) drink.
        “honit soit qui mal y pense”

        Michel from Bruges

  14. We visited Cap d’Agde for four days back in 2015. We didn’t head as far up the beach as you guys did, we’d done some research, so we didn’t experience the games you did.

    We’d agree that the place is as close to living a life less clothed, got cold some evenings, as you’ll find though we also experienced the dress code issue. But for the most part it was a very comfortable stay for us.

    This may well sound odd but we loved the clothes shopping there. They stocked a lot of ‘light cover’ clothing, the type you find in many nude resorts, which is much harder to find in the real world. We also had a look at some of the night clubs and to be honest they really weren’t our style.

    While we certainly don’t regret going there I don’t believe we’ll ever be returning. The accommodation was great, the facilities excellent, the shopping was interesting and the beach with a drinks service was fantastic. However the overall feel of the place was a tad to ‘adult’ for our liking.

    Now if you want that, well no beach bar, with out all the adulting give Ile Du Levant a try.

  15. You say “… although we’ve received negative reviews about the camping … we still prefer to believe that in general it’s a genuine naturist place …” You then state “… it’s not accepted anymore by … federations like the French FFN or the INF.” Maybe they know something which you don’t believe?

    People keep defending Cap d’Agde because every previous visitor knows what’s going on in there – but has learned to ‘live and let live’. The commercial success of the Cap proves that supply follows demand, and there is an enormous demand for the choice of facilities on offer for any one in a population of 40,000. The possibility to live nude 24/7 is the prime one.

    Marketing? I have been going to Cap d’Agde since 1968 and own an apartment there. I have never seen the town of Agde market one of its districts in isolation, like Paris has never marketed say, Montmartre alone. Only individual businesses market themselves, like the Melrose Bar or the camping in the naturist village of Cap d’Agde – or the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

    The secret of the naturist village is that it is NOT a secretive club hiding in a clearing in the woods with limited facilities, requiring membership cards, often intrusive vetting and often an ageing membership. Uniquely it is a nude town OPEN to anybody – the public, press, media, etc. Thus its fame could spread without the expense of any marketing. As they say: ‘Any publicity is good publicity’!

    I now have impaired mobility and could not get down to the rocky water’s edge on the Ile de Levant. There are no such obstacles at Cap d’Agde!

    1. That is exactly what we mean. Cap has always gone for the “any publicity is good publicity” idea. And for a very long time, it has been pretty much the only naturist place in France which allowed press. As a result, the general image people received about naturism in France was what’s going on at Cap d’Agde. The good and the bad.
      Today it’s different. Many other naturist places in France are opening their doors for press and we also see a growth in recent years of young French naturists and French naturist families. Is that a coincidence? It’s possible, but we doubt it.
      Just to get things clear, this is not the fault of Cap d’Agde, it’s the other naturist places who have failed to understand the commercial value of marketing and have run behind on marketing possibilities for a long time.

      Today, Cap d’Agde is still known around the world as the only naturist village. Which it isn’t. Places like Euronat, CHM or Valalta are naturist villages as well and at Leucate you can walk public streets in the nude (contrary to Cap which is fenced off). Yet Cap remains the myth. Everywhere we go in the world, people ask us about Cap d’Agde. For them it seems to be the ultimate naturist mecca. Which, in our eyes, it definitely is not. It has become a cheap sex paradise. Like Bangla road in Phuket.

      We’ve met people who have saved money for many years to finally visit the number one naturist place in the world. And then they end up in Cap d’Agde. Imagine their disappointment… That’s the main reason why we wrote this blog post. We don’t feel like we break down Cap d’Agde, on the contrary, there’s even a part in which we tell visitors why they definitely should visit the place. We just tell people what they can expect. From then it’s their choice whether they still want to go or not. But selling Cap as a completely genuine naturist place is just wrong. The bilboards announcing swingers parties and the leather parade in the evening are the best proof of that.

  16. You seem to still not understand the unique status of the Naturist Village of Cap d’Agde: Euronat, CHM Montalivet and Valalta are all private companies which control all aspects of their resorts: Entrance control, access for residents (holidaymakers with reservations) only, security, street cleaning, maintenance of the roads, etc. The Naturist Village of Cap d’Agde is just a DISTRICT OF THE TOWN OF AGDE: The Major of Agde is in charge: both the national and municipal police regularly patrol all areas, the municipal services are responsible for street cleaning, garbage removal and maintenance, building permits for new structures are issued by Agde Town Hall, the permanent residents take part in local elections, etc. There is NO company called NATURIST VILLAGE S.A. for specific controls!

    1. Doesn’t that make things a little more interesting?

      It’s similar structure on Ile Du Levant, they even have a post office and police station.

      Given the activities on the beach, which falls within the purview of the local administration, has been occurring for years and their seems little in the way of action taken to stop it can we assume that the local administration condones this?

      Or is it in their to hard basket?

    2. We definitely understand the unique status of Cap d’Agde, but we wonder whether this status is all that important for the guests. We don’t think that the large majority of the visitors of Cap could care less about who cleans the streets, handles the security or issues the building permits. People visit Cap d’Agde because of its name, its size and its facilities.

      We’ve mentioned it before, we have nothing against the existence of Cap d’Agde or against any of its visitors. Clearly they attract thousands of returning visitors every year so there’s definitely a market for this. And we believe that there should be something for everybody. It just bothers us that it’s marketed as THE number one naturist place in the world, while it’s completely different than all other naturist places. Just because it’s such a mix of genuine naturism, swinging, voyeurism, exhibitionism and fetishes. Many lifestyles and habits which aren’t allowed at other naturist places are embraced and even encouraged at Cap d’Agde.

      This only creates confusion. We’ve met several people who decided that naturism is nothing for them just because their first and only experience was at Cap d’Agde. And then there are others who run in trouble because they think that they can do everything that happens at Cap at all other naturist resorts as well.
      So there’s clearly a problem with the usage of the term “naturism”.

      And then comes the fight between the lovers and the haters of Cap. The lovers will say that Cap is the ultimate naturist resort because it allows ultimate freedom. The haters will say that Cap is not naturist at all because none of the important pillars of naturism (respect, non-sexual nudity,…) are respected.

      It’s probably not a surprise that we’re part of the second group. Naturism as we know it exists for almost a century and has been pretty well defined since the beginning. And we shouldn’t forget that Cap d’Agde also started as a genuine naturist place. But it evolved in a different direction. Then the question is at what point does it stop being naturist and does it become something different. We think that meanwhile that point is far behind us.

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