Naturist Villages

It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a naturist resort in Thailand, at a gathering in Mexico or camping next to a lake in Canada. Whenever we start telling others about our journey to naturist places around the world there’s often someone who will ask whether we’ve been to Cap d’Agde. For many naturists, “Cap” has become a mythical place which they’ve put high on their bucket list to visit at least once in their lives. Because hey, it’s a real naturist village! A real village where you can be naked! How cool is that?


Sadness can often be spotted in their eyes when we answer their question negatively. No. We have not been there yet. How can we tell people that we are true naturist bloggers while we’ve never set foot at the mecca of naturism? Honestly, we’ve never really felt the need to, because we’ve heard the stories. One ignorant wrong turn could have you end up at what looks more like a porn set than a naturist environment, not unlikely including some bondage and latex. No thank you, these are the places we prefer to avoid. Even if it’s the largest naturist place in the world.


What is a naturist village really?

One slight misconception about naturist village Cap d’Agde is that it’s a real village, like the one you and we live in. Like one where people have been living for hundreds of years and where since the last several decades everyone suddenly decided to start living naked. Sorry, but we’ll have to pop that bubble for you… It’s not like that. Cap has two different parts, the textile one and the naked one and the latter is what’s called the “naturist village”. But in fact it’s just a very large resort.

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Well, “very large” might even be an understatement. It is HUGE. During the summer months about 40 000 people flock together every day at this camping so it is understandable that it can be confused with a real village. Also because all of the necessities are right there. There are actually more than in any of the villages nearby. Banks, a post office, shopping centres, bars, restaurants, laundry places, swimming pools, all kinds of sports courts and probably any kind of house or apartment you can imagine. Try to find that in any regular nearby village.


Are there other naturist villages?

When it comes to population, Cap d’Agde is certainly head and shoulders the largest permanent naturist village in the world. This in combination with great marketing strategies over the years has caused most of the fuss people around the world are making about this resort. But there are several others.
CHM Monta and Euronat at the Atlantic side of France for example. Both cater to no less than 12 000 daily visitors during the summer months, which is of course only a fraction of what’s Cap is getting but we can tell you, it’s still a lot of naked people. And they tend to attract less visitors with sexual intentions.


Back on France’s mediterranean coast near Perpignan, close to the Spanish border, is a village that contains several villages… How is that possible? Well, we’ve told you that a naturist village is actually a large resort, remember? The port side of the town Leucate is home to naturist villages with exotic names like Oasis, Ulysse, and Aphrodite. All pretty much mixing into each other so it actually starts to look like a real naked village.

Also outside of France several naturist villages can be found when we consider size and the fact that you can sport, dine and shop in the nude. Three of them are located on the Croatian Istria peninsula near the town Rovinj. Valalta, Koversada and Polari. All cater for several thousands of guests at a time and have the necessary facilities for you to never have to leave the property. Even if you’d decide to stay there for the rest of your life.
Spain on the other hand has two well known naturist villages. Costa Natura near the tip of Gibralter and Vera Playa which, just like Leucate in France, is a combination of several independent naturist resorts.


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Are there any real naturist villages?

Although a naturist village might have the looks and feel of a real village, in the end it’s still a resort. Which is actually a good thing, we believe, because naturist places have a different etiquette than the rest of the world. But we were wondering if there are “real” villages where nudity is perfectly appropriate. And in fact there are, other than some never explored places in the deep Amazon jungle.


Héliopolis on the French island Île du Levant, just off the coast near Toulon and Saint-Tropez, was started in the thirties by two brothers André and Gaston Durville who actually invented the term “naturist village”. It’s the oldest one in the world and because most of the rest of the island is military zone this is also the only village on the island. So you could technically even call it a naturist capital. Recently some protest against the nudity started to appear which resulted in naked counter protests organised by the inhabitants.


In central Catalonia in Spain there’s a village called El Fonoll which exists since the 14th century. Over the centuries the village fell in disuse until eventually nobody still lived there and the buildings turned into ruins. Until 1995 when a businessman from Barcelona bought the whole thing and turned it into a naturist village. Today it’s one of the few places that can actually be called a “real naturist village”, although it has a maximum of only 200 inhabitants.
Talking about Spain, did you know that nudity has been declared a human right in this country and that you’re basically allowed to be naked wherever you want? Yet most naturists still prefer to go to their naturist resorts.
UPDATE 2019: Unfortunately El Fonoll as meanwhile closed its business.

The largest known village where naturism is allowed and well practiced has more than 70 000 inhabitants. Well, at least one week in a year because the rest of the time this village just doesn’t exist. Black Rock city in the Nevada desert in the United States is the temporary city where yearly the Burning Man festival is organised. This whole event is clothing optional and does attract naturists from all over the world. If only for a short while.


Picture credit: The photos in this post are coming from Google and Twitter. If you find one of yourself and you don’t want it to be on our blog, let us know and we’ll remove it.

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26 thoughts on “Naturist Villages”

  1. Are any of those naturist places in France ones you can live in throughout the entire year? CHM Monta looks a lot like a campground and properties in Cap d’Agde itself all seem relatively temporary and expensive (500€ for mere nights – a third of my Parisian rent for a month)

    • Yes, there are. We believe that CHM is one of those. They do have quite nice bungalows and you can build your own but of course this happens with a lot of rules…
      Some other of the larger campgrounds do allow you to live there permanently although not all will allow you to “officially” live there. You might have to set your official address to a post box for tax reasons.

      • I believe it is possible to live at the Cap d’Agde all year round. The camping closes for winter, but in the concrete buildings you can stay. The guards are gone from October and many shops and restaurants are closed.

  2. I have heard and read several reports that Burning Man is now just another Cap, turned into a Sexual Gathering and is no longer really a nudist event.

    • We wouldn’t have a clue, we haven’t been to Burning Man. But it never was a nudist event, it was a place where social nudity was allowed.

    • I’ve been to Burning Man five times and was heavily involved in the smaller regional event in Georgia for many years. Burning Man was never supposed to be a nudist event. It is a community based around 10 Principles, one of which is Radical Self-Expression.

      This notion of Radical Self-Expression allows for the participant to decide how they feel most comfortable participating. I was almost always nude (except for nights which can get quite cool in the late/early hours). Others dress in costumes, etc.

      There are (at least) two events which are designed to introduce people to non-sexual communal nudity. One is the Human Carcass Wash which my camp hosts each year and the other is a group foam bath that the Dr. Bronner’s company sponsors each year (the camp name is always different). My wife and I always volunteer at the HCW and have had numerous people come to us toward the end of the event expressing how much fun they had burning naked after visiting our camp.

      The experience of living nude in a majority textile world without fear while at Burning Man is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s not like a naturist resort/campground where everyone has a similar attitude toward nudity. But rather a zone of non-judgement where nude and clothed are integrated into the same space with no special considerations given to either group.

      Radical Self-Expression also extends into the realm of sexuality. However, another principle, Civic Responsibility, comes to play when dealing with the Orgy Dome and other sex themed camps. These camps are 18+ and they do check IDs. They are not in view of the public. They host educational talks about consent and safer sex practices.

      If you feel motivated to try it out, don’t let the sensationalized articles about sex color your attitude about the event or it’s participants.

      *Sorry about the thread necromancy. I was searching for information on CHM and found this thread.*

      • Charco Del Palo In Lanzarote, is a true village with a small supermarket, 3 restaurants and predominantly residents and just two very small resorts. Totally natural and the only registered naked village in Spain.

  3. Burning Man is an event. The environment is very hostile to extended stays and I expect that full time nudity is impractical and even dangerous.

  4. Everyone can have an oppinion about Cap but its till interesting to me ,that basicly everyone is totaly alright with having all of those things mixed up in one place, meaning you have a textile beach, a “family” nude beach, a gay nude beach and a swinger one,kinda interesting all of these are next to each other and that its allowed to be as such.
    I never knew public nudity is allowed anywhere in Spain? interesting that still ,just as females being topless in NY is not practiced that much or at all ..anyhow all of this ,Spain , Agde, just makes me think of the ..what they say , gut feeling, the feeling one has as the first one among many others later on , and at the end, its always the first one, that was the correct one..that one day, all of everything will be allowed anywhere, without any restrictions about anything.
    Off the subject, Ive seen some pic of Cape and i love the way those old school building appartments look like, ..what can i i say.. im a sucker for old school stuff,

    • We wouldn’t say that everyone is ok with the direction things are going at Cap. Most genuine naturists have just put it beside them because in the end it’s still a great place.
      About Spain, it’s not because it became legal that suddenly everyone is going to wander around naked. Most naturists still prefer to be naked among other naked people and very few like to be the only naked one. You see the same at clothing optional beaches, when too many textiles start to visit the place many naturists will eventually move away.

      • I understand what ur saying, but at same time i find it odd ,and confusing.

        On one hand , females in NY wanted to have the same right as males, and they got it, they can also be topless regardless of the place or age in NY ,yet basicly, eccpet when some1 is doing a photo session perhaps, no1 does it..
        Same as about this being nude in Spain, its allowed, but again, no1 does it basicly, and as you said , ya nudies wanna be around other nudies, but at same time many nudies, including you , want to make public nudity an every day norm, but at same time u just said that nudies prefer to be around other nudies.. so it makes no sence, you want one , but prefer if its done with nudies.. it just doesnt really make much sence.

        • Growing public acceptance of nudity takes a lot of time, but the first step is of course to make it legal. And this is also much more than something practical. By gaining the right to be nude everywhere in Spain, being naked has been seen as a human right. People will gain much more advantages from the fact that neighbours can’t sue you anymore for being naked in your garden or villages can’t complain anymore about a naturist resort than from the fact that you can now wander naked through Madrid.

          Similar with #freethenipple in New York. It wasn’t like there were millions of women waiting for the day that they could walk topless through the city. They were waiting for equality, for equal rights for men and women. The bare chest thing was just a great example about how unfair the rights were and the nudity does get of course a lot of media attention

  5. Wow Guys!

    I had no idea it was like that in Europe!? I friggin’ love it! Especially the part of where Spain has declared it a legal human right to be naked if you wish and anywhere! Spain just soared to the top of my list of places “I must visit” before I kick the bucket list!?

    …And really!… All this information you are sharing with the rest of us is super valuable and so good to know! Thank you! It helps knowing that we can someday hopefully benefit from your travels and not just be jealous and envious of all the places you both have visited while we freeze in this arctic tundra called Canada (As in: I Can Nada feel my toes anymore) fml!?

  6. Hi Nick and Lins – Just to correct some of the mis-information in the post. The resort IS a village i.e. some people do live there year round, in the apartments.
    Regards “…in fact it’s just a very large resort” = how does that differ from say Benidorm?

  7. There are several properties at Euronat which are occupied year round and from which people commute to work in and around Bordeaux and, given the variety of shops on site include hardware, etc. it could certainly be regarded as a village even though it is principally a resort.

  8. I was in Héliopolis last year and I found it a place of peace and freedom. Only, I noticed that a minority of peoples went around stark naked, including the Naturists Trek sorrounding the village (where it had to be compulsory. The village is clothing optional, only compulsory on the beach, in swimming-pools and on the Trek, forbidden in public offices, allowed by crossing only in Place d’Urville and under the option of owner in shops). I never heard about protests of residents: it’s a nudist village since its origin, who are these protesting residents?

  9. You used to see a few exhibitionist nudists in Barcelona during the summer, but the local council brought in a by-law to ban it. Although nudity is legal anywhere in Spain, local authorities can overrule that law, and a few have. Which is a shame. an interesting thing is that if i am naked on my attic terrace, and a neighbour reports me, i can prosecute them for voyeurism, the joys of privacy laws 🙂

    • It’s crazy how a couple of rotten apples can really ruin things for everyone. Luckily, there aren’t that many places in Spain yet where the local government prohibits nudity and the Spanish naturist federation does a lot of work to make/keep nudity acceptable. But in the end, it’s all about how people behave.
      We are in Benidorm at the moment, and we could just go walking naked on the boulevard naked in a completely legal way. But we know that we would shock other people, and if too many others complain, the rules might change. So we don’t do that.

  10. Thank you Nick & Lins for all the information you share and your continuing efforts to ‘normalize nudity’. I am one of those who has hoped to see Cap d’Agde but after reading the above it has lost its place on my bucket list. The military island off France sounds really interesting with historical value included.

    • You probably mean Ile du Levant. We missed it, unfortunately, but it’s definitely still on our bucket list. Lots of people seem to think that Cap d’Agde is the only “naturist village”, but there are several more where genuine naturists probably will have a better experience.


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