The naked body confounds and amazes most of us. Seen as a source of visual evil by puritans, the human form has inspired artists, writers, and ne'er-do-wells everywhere. Europeans are less likely than Americans to view the human body as evil--at least if the ire of the Super Bowl halftime viewers close to a phone line is any indication.
You'll see nudity at most any beach along the Mediterranean--or at least toplessness, but the practice is waning.
Below are some European beaches where a bit of nudity is still in fashion.
Plage de Tahiti Beach in Saint Tropez, France
Gawk at topless Jet Setters on this French Riviera beach
Saint Tropez is known for its beaches, and there are plenty of options for folks with families who wish to keep their modesty intact. The Côte d'Azur town is packed in summer. Avoid arriving on weekends, especially if you don't have hotel reservations.
Brigitte Bardot and Ursula Andress started the craze in itty bitty bikinis that shocked even the Europeans in the 50s. By the 60s, the trend toward toplessness became a steamroller, and now just about any beach along the Riviera is topless tolerant.
Plage de Tahiti is noted for its clothing-optional policy and risqué atmosphere, its name a tip of the hat to laid back (French) Polynesian culture. Go in Summer to see celebrity tanners.
Find out more about Saint-Tropez and Plage de Tahiti:
- Saint Tropez Travel Guide
- Plage de Tahiti Location Map.
- Compare Prices on Saint Tropez Hotels Via Hipmunk
- Rent a Villa or modest apartment in St. Tropez (book direct).
Want to bank in the nude? Eat naked? Well, according to Kelby Carr, Cap d'Adge is the French naked city for you.
Paradise Beach - Mykonos, Greece
Party Hardy in Paradise
Mykonos is the most popular island destination in Greece. In the summer it's crowded and a bit expensive. You reach it by plane or ferry from Athens (Pireaus). Mykonos is also the name of the port city, where you'll want to stay if you're a partying beach-goer.
Paradise Beach can be reached from Mykonos town by bus, taxi, water taxi, or rented car or moto. Buses run every half hour until 4:30 in the morning, water taxis every hour.
Tripadvisor readers rated Paradise Beach a solid 5 out of 5, one observant and math-savvy reader pointing out that it's "50% topless and 30% nude. All ages...teen to 70." This isn't your star gazing, relaxing bit of sandy shore, especially after 4pm when the beer and music turn Paradise Beach into the ultimate party beach. There are two bars at the beach, the Sunrise Bar and the Tropicana. Once a month in the summer they hold a full moon party at Paradise beach, so check your moon calendar if you like to party.
Find out more on Mykonos and the beaches, including Paradise Beach.
- Mykonos Travel Directory
- Mykonos Map Showing the Beaches
- Compare prices on Mkyonos Hotels via Hipmunk
- Rent a Villa or Apartment on Mykonos
Playa d'en Bossa - Ibiza, Spain
Where beautiful people go to watch or be watched
Nudism is part of your rights in Spain, according to this document (PDF) put out by the Spanish Naturist Federation.
Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands. Spanish company Trasmediterranea has a regular ferry service between Ibiza and the ports of Barcelona, Palma de Majorca and Valencia. Ibiza has a long history -it was founded by the Carthaginians in 654 bce. Its walls were built in the 16th century.
Playa d'en Bossa (Platja d'en Bossa) is the longest beach on Ibiza, a place know for hedonism and beaches, 3 km outside of the capital. Its popularity has caused it growing pains recently, but that means there's plenty of bars and cafes on the beach, which is very popular with party-goers heading over to the Bora Bora beach bar as well as families.
For more travel information on Ibiza, see our Ibiza Travel Directory.
If you'd like to see some of these nude and topless beaches on video, see: Tour the Top Nude Beaches in Europe.
Don't know how to act? Here's something that might help beach newbies: Etiquette for Nudist Beaches in Europe.
More Reading on Nude Beaches, Naturalism, and Sexuality in Europe
More of "The Best of Europe"
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Great Walks of Europe