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Nude woman wading in a lake │© czu_czu_PL
Nude woman wading in a lake │© czu_czu_PL
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Paris Welcomes Its First Nudist Camp

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 9 February 2017
France’s reputation as a fun-loving, free, and slightly fruity country looks set to solidify with the announcement that Paris’ lawmakers have voted to create the capital’s first public space for naturism. This is the latest in a string of publicity-grabbing headlines from Anne Hidalgo’s town hall, following the news earlier in the month that the banks of the Seine could be permanently pedestrianized, and the mayor thinks the new project will be ‘très sympa’.

Aside from being a nice idea, the plan should help Paris capitalize on France’s status as the world’s premier destination for nudist tourists. Over 100 beaches in the country operate a clothing optional policy, and there are a growing number of holiday camps which cater to the naturist market. These facilities attract two million travelers from abroad every year, primarily from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, in addition to the two million French people who practice naturism.

Ironic, naturism-themed postcard │
Ironic, naturism-themed postcard │ | © ludovic

The ecologist councilors behind the project would like to see Paris take a leaf out of cities like Barcelona, Berlin, and Munich’s books, which have already equipped themselves with similar spaces. Paris’ single, long-standing nudist attraction is the Piscine Roger Le Gall in the 12th arrondissement. The swimming pool permits naked swimming three evenings a week after 9pm, though it closes during the summer. This will be joined in the coming days by the city’s first naked restaurant, The Bunyadi, which made the decision to move here from London last month.

Currently, if anyone were to take the nudity from the pool or the restaurant to the street, they could find themselves slapped with a €15,000 fine and one year behind bars on a charge of indecent exposure. Restrictions are also in place with regards to certain revealing swimwear items, like G-strings and monokinis. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of, and hotly debated, the current ban on burkinis in certain towns on the French Riviera, an issue which those in support of this project were keen to distance themselves from.

The next step will be to decide where the camp will be situated, with the front runners being lakeside locations in either the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes (the Lac Daumesnil will be swimmer-friendly by 2019), or the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. However, councilors wanted to leave this point open to debate, suggesting that it could be anywhere along the Seine or in one of the city’s other public gardens.

Swans ducking their heads under water in Bois de Boulogne │
Swans ducking their heads under water in Bois de Boulogne │ | © fabrice

Whichever site is chosen, Paris-loving nudists won’t have to wait long for this new attraction, with a summer 2017 opening date on the cards.