Cap d'Agde's "village naturiste" is an ideal vacation destination for nudists. It features all the basic amenities of any beach town, but you'll find it all within the confines of the village. The village does have its own rules, however, so use this guide to help plan and prepare for your visit.
Getting to the Naturist Village
You can get to Cap d'Agde by flying into Montpellier (or any major French city, but Montpellier is by far the closest), or there are connections through Paris to Beziers-Agde-Vias Airport, just a few miles away. If you fly into Montpellier, you will need a cab to the train to Agde train station. There is a bus line that runs to the naturist quarter. There are also taxis, and the cost is about 12-15 euros for a ride to the nudist village. If you fly into Agde's airport, you can also take a taxi. Either way, you may want to highly consider renting a car, however (see my comments under Transportation below).
Arriving at the Naturist Village
The village is guarded, so you must enter through the gate. There is a building at the entrance where you can purchase a card that allows you to re-enter the nudist quarter as you please, which costs 9 euros. They only accept a credit card for a purchase 10 euros and up, so have cash. The attendants at the information office can be frustratingly unhelpful. If you will be staying in a hotel or vacation rental inside the quarter, ask for a card ahead of time or instructions on getting clearance to enter without buying the card.
Once you are in, you will have certain rules to follow. They include:
- Access to the quarter is reserved for naturists or those working there.
- Total nudity is obligatory within the quarter and on the beach, when climatic conditions permit. (I have, however, seen many people dressed there on a warm day. Also, most people dress for dinner. That is the etiquette standard for evening dining in the quarter.)
- Photo shots and filming are strictly limited to members of the family.
- There are also several laws banning any sort of lewd, crude or pornographic behavior in the nudist quarter.
Unless you plan to spend your entire trip inside the nudist quarter, I recommend renting a car. Agde is rather spread out, and the nudist quarter is not walking distance to anything. There is a bus line, but its schedule is rather limited and it is inconvenient. Even if you just rent a car for a couple of days during your visit, it will be worth it for the ease of visiting downtown Agde, or nearby cities like Sète or Beziers.
Dining & Shopping
There are four shopping centers in the nudist area, and each features grocery stores, souvenir shops, boutiques selling revealing clothing and beach gear shops. There are several cafes and restaurants in each of the shopping centers, or "centre commercial" spots.
The nightlife in the nudist quarter isn't always for the faint of heart. While there are typical bars and lounges, there are some with signs pronouncing they are for "couples only." If this is not your cup of tea, you can certainly avoid these spots and your only contact will be reading the signs out front. They are very discreet.
- Ernest Hemingway Cafe in the Port Ambonne shopping center is quite mellow and offers drinks typically found in the U.S. and Europe like Bloody Marys.
- Tantra Club, located at Port Nature, is a discotheque open from 9 p.m. until dawn. Its slogan is "Sexy Vibration."
- Le 2x2, in Port Ambonne, is a couples-only club features a sauna, jacuzzi and bar. Its open daily from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Booking options and comparing rates
The only hotel inside the naturist village is Hotel Eve. This is a hotel providing basic accommodations and decent decor, and the staff is overwhelmingly friendly and helpful. The hotel closes during the off-season, however, leaving only vacation rentals as the option.
Agence RESID offers a variety of apartments for rent in the naturist quarter.