The Best Nude Beaches in Europe

While there’s nothing wrong with sunbathing in your birthday suit, do it on an average beach and you’re likely to cause a commotion. Despite what you may have heard, swimsuit-clad sunbathers are not in the minority on European beaches (yes, even in France). Fortunately, if you like a true all-over tan or simply appreciate the feeling of the wind on your bare skin, there are plenty of awesome nude beaches across Europe. From Germany and England to Spain and France, here are some of the best beaches where it’s perfectly fine to go in the buff.  

1. Ahlbeck Beach, Germany

Stephan Ruttloff/Flickr

There are plenty of fine beaches in Germany where bathing in the buff is perfectly acceptable. One of the best and most popular is Ahlbeck, located on an archipelago between Poland and Germany. Here, the waves of the Baltic Sea caress the fine white sand. Plus, the location is famous for its sunshine, which is fairly important when lazing around without clothes.  

2. Studland Bay, England

Herry Lawford/Flickr

Despite what the naysayers proclaim, it doesn’t rain all that much in England, which means there’s plenty of demand for nudist beaches among those who prefer to go au naturel on the sand during the summer. Studland Bay in Dorset is one of the country’s most famous nude beaches. It’s a place where the beautiful sands stretch for over a mile, providing plenty of privacy from prying eyes. Aside from Studland Bay, Dorset also has some of the most beautiful coastline in England, in case visitors want to explore.  

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3. Red Beach, Crete

Guillaume Capron/Flickr

Though it’s certainly no picnic to get to, Red Beach in Crete is worth the 25-minute walk from Matala. The secluded beach is masked by steep cliffs and a sharp incline, which means that on top of the beautiful scenery, the potential for nosy onlookers is low. While it’s not so much a secret these days, the tricky journey down to the coarse red sand still tends to keep this beach from getting too crowded. 

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4. Cap d’Agde, France

Pepe Martin (Mário José Martins)/Flickr

No list of Europe’s best nude beaches would be complete without the addition of Cap d’Agde, a nude beach so famous that people travel from all over the world to enjoy its liberal clothing policy. The only problem is the sheer number of visitors who descend upon this nudist paradise in the South of France. Beyond the beach and crystal-clear waters, there is a whole resort geared towards nudists, making it a popular summertime escape for those who like to be clothing-free in places besides the beach. 

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5. Meco Beach, Portugal

Rui Ornelas/Flickr

Like the vast majority of beaches in Portugal, Meco Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand which extends as far as the eye can see. Located about 25 miles south of Lisbon, the beach is popular with two groups -- nudists and surfers -- who both appreciate the sandy area as well as its surrounding forest. It is also one of Portugal’s first nudist beaches, and it remains one of the most popular (and prettiest) today. 

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6. Brighton Beach, England

NOLA Focal/Flickr

Located on the south coast of England, Brighton Beach swells with visitors throughout summer. In a town known for its wild nightlife, arty vibe, and bohemian attitude, the pebble beach unsurprisingly has a portion dedicated to nudists. The naturist beach is relatively small compared to some others on this list, but its close proximity to the city and its lack of crowds make it a great option for folks who want the balance of nature and nightlife.

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7. Spiaggia di Guvano, Italy

John W. Schulze/Flickr

While not all nudist beaches are hidden gems, Spiaggia di Guvano, which is secreted away at the foot of cliffs, is just that. Located in the Cinque Terre National Park, the beach is difficult to reach, only accessible along an old railway track and through thick foliage. However, once you arrive, the reward is unbeatable. Expect a secluded bay with boundaries of steep rock faces and a gray pebbly beach, lapped by the deep blue Ligurian Sea.    

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8. Bellevue Beach, Denmark

Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Only a short distance from Copenhagen, the vast 700-meter-long stretch of Bellevue Beach is a nudist’s paradise. Here, it’s more about shots and beers than badminton and beach balls. Keep in mind that clothing is optional, so not everybody will partake in the nudity. However, since this is Denmark’s most popular beach, with around 500,000 annual visitors, we can only assume that a little nudity is part of the appeal. 

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9. Playa de Migjorn, Formentera

Isabel Ferrer/Flickr

Much like France, the Balearic Islands also have a liberal attitude about nudity on beaches. Formentera, in particular, is a haven for nudists who take advantage of the fact that almost every single one of the island’s beaches is nude friendly. That said, Formentera is an excellent choice if you’re intrigued by the idea of exploring one or several nude beaches. Start at Playa de Migjorn, a beautiful spot with clear waters, white sand, and excellent snorkeling.  

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