The sea breeze, the invigorating heat from the sun, and the sound of the waves – everything about these well-kept beaches makes you want to strip off and enjoy feeling the elements on your bare skin.
From a total of around 3,000 beaches in Spain, there are around 450 nudist ones, which are more exclusively so before the second half of June when high season kicks off. The Spanish Naturist Federation’s website has a map of their locations along with tourist information centers and a list of associations.
Shedding inhibitions is trending, even if the use and abuse of the cameras on our ever-present cellphones is somewhat off-putting.
1. Near the railroad tracks
The huge parking lot by the Sant Jordi roadside hotel that looks over Savinosa beach marks the start of your walk to the cove below the train tracks. This is an urban area that caters to both clad bathers and those who prefer to dispense with swimwear under pine trees and palm trees and the mastic trees typical of the Mediterranean. The sand on this 350-meter stretch of the Costa Dorada turns almost white under the water.
2. Pines and dunes
Los Tusales, Guardamar del Segura, Alicante
This straight stretch of beach has a kilometer of pine trees running behind the dunes that were planted a century ago to avoid Guardamar being buried in sand. The Marjal Guardamar Camping & Resort will help to guide you as you drive parallel to it to reach the last kilometer of the Segura riverbed. A walk from the fish farm along the walkway takes you to the “free” beach. Once you leave the walkway behind, naturists abound, though there are still those in swimwear crossing from El Rebollo in Elche to the jetty.
3. A view of Cape Cope
El Charco, Águilas, Murcia
Thanks to lobbying from environmentalists, Marina de Cope is still a development-free zone which helps to bring naturists to this sandy and pebbled area that is part of the regional park of Cape Cope and Puntas de Calnegre. Walk 1.4 kilometers from the Cope tower and, just after passing a house hidden among the trees, you’re there. There is no lack of infrastructure near Charco, but the cement is compensated for by a small forest of tamarisks, otherwise known as salt cedars. And a stone’s throw away is the beach bar Tortuga Mora while the Mayarí hotel in Calabardina makes a charming place to stay.
4. With loving care
Aiguadolç in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona
For the last four years, the Naturist Beach Association of l’Aiguadolç has been improving its services and promoting naturism. From the parking lot, you take a tunnel under the train tracks – a typical feature of many Catalan beaches – and to the right of the Sant Gervasi stretch of sand, you can see Aiguadolç – 150 meters of fine sand and a gentle sloping shoreline which is protected from the wind by an embankment. The naturists mostly come in the morning and on weekdays, when bathers in swimwear account for 20% of the total– considered the maximum if the beach’s nudist character is to be preserved. Good value rice dishes can be had at the Xiringuito Miramar.
5. Below the volcano
Montaña Pelada, Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife
Only the view from a drone would tell you that this strangely colored escarpment is a volcanic cauldron a full kilometer in diameter, one of the biggest in the south of Tenerife. Classed as a natural monument, high tide leaves a black sand beach while low tide allows naturists to tuck themselves into the angled coves, which reflect the explosive collision of the magma with the Atlantic. Tuna is the main dish on El Ancla’s menu and Twister bar has a great selection of homemade tapas typical of the Canary Islands.
6. Rural and virgin
Balieiros, Riveira, A Coruña
On the side of the isthmus that leads to the Corrubedo lighthouse, there is a great, open, windswept stretch of sand with rocky nooks perfect for naturists that few but surfers and bass fishermen frequent. Part of the Corrubedo natural park, the sand does however shrink to a tiny strip at high tide. The refurbished Balieiros hostel has a snack bar with razor clams and Iberian ribs and a new restaurant has just opened with a gourmet menu cooked up by chefs Jesús Crespo and Lara del Río.
7. Sky-blue sea
Son Real, Santa Margalida, Mallorca
The four kilometers of coastline belonging to the Son Real public estate can still be enjoyed in pristine condition. First stop, the information center in the property’s old buildings. Armed with leaflets, we are ready to set off on foot along the wooded blue route or alternatively drive the long way round and park at Son Bauló. You will still have two kilometers to walk from there until you reach the imposing necropolis from the Talaiotic period and are facing the Porros islet that marks the point where non-nudists meet nudists. The beach is a little rocky and it’s hard to get comfortable lying out but the majestic hues of Alcúdia bay more than make up for it.
8. Seafood paradise
Muriola, Barrika, Biscay
Along with golfer Jon Rahm, the village of Barrika along the Basque coastline is known for its beach at Gorliz bay. With a little fine sand and a lot of gravel, you reach it by steps that have been naturally carved into the slope behind. Being a sheltered spot, it is an obvious place for naturists to congregate, despite the invasion by non-nudist bathers on weekends. Also known as La Cantera, there is a seafood restaurant called Ipar Itxaso II (+34 946 76 32 96) where customers choose their dinner fresh, then wait for it to be cooked and served up on a platter.
9. Sand galore
Vinyeta, Calella, Barcelona
With its steep cliffs and the Montnegre massif’s islets, this beautiful beach might appear to belong to the Costa Brava but is actually part of the Costa Maresme. Strike out from the recently enlarged parking lot and make your way under the train line on foot. Just after the Rocapins beach bar and the climbing wall, the naturist stretch of beach begins, with plenty of sand this year and deep clear water.
10. A trio of secret coves
Binimel·là, Es Mercadal, Menorca
One of Menorca’s best-kept secrets are three coves that are tucked below the Binimel.là restaurant (+34 971 35 92 75) where chef Eduardo Pascual has spent no fewer than 23 years making paellas. It might look as though the east end of the beach is nothing but rock, but this is actually not the case – there is in fact a trio of coves here far from the famous Pregonda cove.
11. Natural Park
Chicré, Níjar, Almeria
Try to go before mid-June, when there are restrictions on the number of private vehicles that may enter the natural park of Cabo de Gata. Alternatively you can take the bus from San José. Several kilometers along the dust track, Chicré cove can be found beyond Monsul and is reached on foot from the barrier that prevents cars from driving up to the lighthouse. With a combination of rock and 50 meters of fine sand, it is the twin to Carbón cove, one of the locations used in the film El Niño. From Chicré, there is a path that takes you to the Media Luna cove, which is also worth a visit.
12. Surfers’ last resort
Jarugo, Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
This remote beach is almost always deserted, but is used by surfers when the waves in the rest of the north of Fuerteventura fail to get high enough. Here, the Atlantic pounds the west coast, which makes for dangerous bathing, though the light-colored sand is a delight to laze around on. The best way in is from Tindaya, La Oliva. Most naturists come at low tide to a cove at the south end. The hotel Mahoh, which has named one of its rooms after the beach, can be found a 25-minute drive away, near La Oliva.
English version by Heather Galloway.