The notion of public nudity often gets a bad rep. Call it nudism or naturism, it is certainly a topic that can give even the most grown-up among us the giggles … but non-sexual, clothing-optional endeavors are advocated by many as relaxing, freeing and fun.
Get comfortable in the buff with our list of the best nudist activities around the world.
Nudist Beach – Samurai Beach, Port Stephens, Australia
For bashful first-timers, a trip to a nudist beach is a great way to dip your toe into the naturist lifestyle. The pristine shores of Samurai Beach in Port Stephens, Australia, are considered among the best nudist beach spots in the world.
Sitting just outside a national park, protected by dense greenery and sand dunes, you’ll find nothing here but lighthearted groups of friends and families enjoying the South Pacific breeze on their bare skin.
If you just want to quietly bask in the sun’s warm rays – without having to worry about those pesky tan lines – there’s more than enough stretch of sand to go around.
However, if you’re feeling sociable, you’re always welcome to join your scantily clad beach companions in a nude carnival in February or the annual Samurai Beach Picnic, complete with Nude Olympics!
Naked Yoga – New York, USA
While the very idea of assuming the downward-facing dog pose in the nude – in a room full of strangers no less – may conjure feelings of extreme awkwardness, the relatively new fad of naked yoga (“nagna yoga” in Sanskrit) has been practiced by religious figures in India for centuries.
An entirely non-sexual environment, a naked yoga class not only aims to promote a healthy body image, it is also a rather original critique of consumerism.
Dispensing with the small details of everyday life that foster discrimination and set people apart from each other (like designer gym wear) is seen as an important step towards feeling comfortable in one’s own skin.
Naked Bike Ride – London, UK
Sometimes nudity is really just about shedding your clothes and your cares. Sometimes it’s a statement. Case-in-point is the World Naked Bike Ride, held annually in 70 cities across the globe as a form of protest against car culture and oil dependency, and in the name of a more body-positive society.
Dress code rules are “bare as you dare”, body art and costume creativity are encouraged, and any form of human-powered transport is a valid ride.
Starting at several different points throughout the capital and merging in the center, London’s 2015 edition saw well over 1,000 peeled participants take to the streets!
Strip down to your love handles, hop on your bike and join the fight against indecent exposure to vehicle emissions!
Naked Golf – Le Porge, France
Golf enthusiasts will either be outraged or quite happy to learn that, only an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, the unruffled La Jenny Naturist Resort in the beautiful Bassin d’Arcachon region does away with the fuss of argyle socks and itchy plus-fours (traditional golf trousers) and not only encourages but requires its members to get stark-naked before they head onto the green!
The 22-acre course on the Atlantic Coast is only one of many sports and activities offered by this family-friendly “nakation” destination, where you are put up in cozy wooden chalets shaded by pine trees, hidden away from prying eyes and free to waltz around au naturel to your heart’s content.
In short, a naturist’s nirvana.
Sauna – Helsinki, Finland
An oldie but a definite goodie, the century-old Finnish ritual of getting steamy in a wood-fired sauna is a cozy way of cleansing your pores and your spirits.
An integral part of Finnish culture, the sauna is a versatile setting, where, believe it or not, holding a business meeting is just as natural as sitting in quiet reflection.
The average age of a Finn’s first sauna experience is at a shy 20 weeks of age and the ratio of people to saunas in Finland is nearly two to one!
Dead in the center of Helsinki’s cool and grungy Kallio neighborhood, Arla, a public sauna open since 1929, has gained quite the cult-following among all ages and is as local as it gets.
No clothes allowed, naturally, and if you stop by on a Thursday you can get yourself a professional back-scrub.
Nude Cruise – Caribbean
This veritable floating nudist camp sets out to several different destinations, from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to the best French islands of the region.
Besides island-hopping around the usual favorites, where you can participate in a long list of activities like hiking, canoeing and snorkeling, “The Big Nude Boat” also stops off at its very own private nudist island in the Bahamas!
Nude sunbathing in the city – Munich, Germany
In Munich, Germany’s third largest city, public nudity without scrutiny or judgement has been widely accepted for decades and, since April 2014, has actually been legalized by the government.
Now before you start stripping down at the airport the minute you land, this nudie free pass is restricted to 6 parkland zones within the city. All offer some degree of privacy but are not concealed or fenced off in any way. One of the areas is in Englischer Garten (English Gardens), the city’s biggest public park, dead in the center of town!
If parking your bum on soft green grass in the middle of a bustling metropolis has always been your dream, put Munich down for your next city break.
Naked Run – Roskilde, Denmark
Along with tens of thousands of fans and such legends as Bob Marley, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, the popular non-profit music festival has also been attracting a considerable number of streakers since hosting its first Naked Run in 1999.
Organized by the Roskilde Festival Radio, every Saturday of the festival each year, around 30 bare-skinned boys and girls line up to run around the campsite, come rain or shine.
But be warned, it’s not all fun and games … a pair of suggestively-shaped trophies are awarded to the first male and female participants to reach the finish line, along with a bunch of prize gifts. It’s pretty competitive business. Don’t forget to warm up.