The 13 Best Spots for Skinny Dipping in Europe

© Paxson Woelber / Flickr
© Paxson Woelber / Flickr
Those who have tried it can tell you: there’s something rather liberating about taking the plunge and going for a swim in your birthday suit. Whether you’re an avid naturist or a first-timer looking for somewhere amazing to bare all and go for a skinny dip, here are some of the best places for nude swimming in Europe.

Barceloneta – Barcelona, Spain

That’s right, slap bang in the heart of Barcelona, the beach across from the Barceloneta neighbourhood – known as the Platja de San Sebastà – is famous for being a top nudist spot. Slightly further up the coast, the Mar Bella beach is another nudist beach and popular gay hang-out.

Paradise Beach – Mykonos, Greece

Not the place for a quiet skinny-dip, Paradise Beach is famous for its crazy party atmosphere, busy bars and ‘clothing optional’ policy. You might want to pack a sarong for when the sun goes down…

Bare all at Paradise beach © Omar Haroun

Newnham Riverbank Club – Cambridge, England

If an English private member’s club doesn’t sound like the type of place you’d expect to be able to bare all, you haven’t visited the Newnham Riverbank Club. A £16 yearly membership will get you access to the facilities and complimentary afternoon tea.

Playa Es Calo – Formentera, Spain

First popularised by hippies back in the 1960s, Formentera remains the much more peaceful and laid-back sibling of the nearby party island Ibiza. The sparkling white sands and dreamy azure waters are like something straight out of a holiday brochure and the weather is swim-friendly from spring to fall.

Formentera © Nacho Pintos

Englischer Garten – Munich, Germany

The German FKK (Free Body Culture movement) means that Germany has very lax laws regarding public nudity overall. The English Garden in Munich is a beautiful 18th century park on the shores of the Isar river and a popular spot for a quick lunchtime dip.

Viti Lake – Finland

If you’re not too keen on the idea of a traditional Finnish ice swim, check out the warm waters of the volcanic crater lake known as Viti Lake in Finland instead. Just make sure it’s a windy day or the cloud of carbon dioxide that gathers above the water could knock you out.

Viti Lake © Andrea de Poda

Marina di Camerota – Campania, Italy

Nude swimming is generally not the done thing in Italy, but the Marina di Camerota in south-western Italy is an exception. Enjoy its Blue Flag waters and stunning scenery in the buff without getting in trouble with the polizia.

Plage de Tahiti – St Tropez, France

If St Tropez is best known as the summer hangout of France’s glitterati, it also has a more natural side to it – or rather a more naturist side – which can be enjoyed from the Plage de Tahiti.

St Tropez © Tristan Taussac

Buhne 16 – Sylt, Germany

Widely regarded as Germany’s original nudist beach, Buhne 16 remains the peaceful seaside resort it has been since the early 1900s. It’s no Mediterranean beach, but the sand dunes frame it beautifully and it has a somewhat nostalgic serenity to it.

Es Trenc – Mallorca, Spain

The nearly 3 km (1.9 miles) of fine-grain white sand beach and crystalline waters that make up Es Trenc make it the perfect place to connect with your more natural side in Mallorca. One of the last remaining beaches to not have been spoiled by development, El Trenc is surrounded by a national park.

Es Trenc beach © Joe Joe

Adegas Beach – Odeceixe, Portugal

Forget the over-crowded Algarve, the Alentejo is Portugal’s wilder coastline with spectacular cliffs and great surf. Running alongside the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, the Adegas beach is a family friendly clothing-optional beach with a life-guard on hand during the day.

Playa de los Muertos – Almeria, Spain

Meaning ‘Beach of the Dead’ in Spanish, the Playa de los Muertos is so named because of the number of drowned sailors who would wash up here back in the days of the swashbuckling pirates. Today it’s better known for being a secluded beach with clear waters and a lax approach to clothing.

The Playa de los Muertos © Pablo

Filaki Beach – Crete, Greece

Located on the southern coastline of Crete, Filaki beach is a stunning pebble beach surrounded with little coves and even boasts a clothing-optional taverna or café.