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In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle famously repeats "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain." By George, she got it… wrong. The plains of Spain's interior are rather arid. The rainiest region of Spain by far is the northern Atlantic coast, which is commonly known as España Verde, or "Green Spain." This part of Spain's coast spans about 1,000 kilometers, from France to Portugal. Green Spain is not as well known to tourists as are the country's southern and eastern realms, but is is no less worthwhile. The lush scenery is striking, and many of the emerald landscapes of the north are reminiscent of Ireland or Scotland. Tourists need not fret too much about the rain that gives Green Spain its name. The rain falls mainly in the winter, and while in summer the north coast is definitely wetter than the often parched southern regions of the country, Green Spain's summer rainfall is comparable to that of other non-arid parts of Europe.

The most culturally distinct parts of Green Spain lie at either extreme. Bordering France, the autonomous community known as the Basque Country (País Vasco in Spanish, Euskadi in the the Basque language) is the homeland of the Basque people. The Basques are a distinct European ethnicity, but in modern times the Basque culture seems very blurred with those of neighboring areas of Spain and France. The Basque language (Euskara), a language isolate with no demonstrable relation to any other language, is today spoken as a first language by just a quarter of the population of the Basque Country. On the other side of Green Spain, the autonomous community of Galicia borders Portugal. Its native language is Galician, which is very closely related to Portuguese. As is true in all of Spain, sub-ethnicities of the Spanish people who speak another language as a first language are almost invariably fluent in Castilian Spanish as well. Between the Basque Country and Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias are among the autonomous communities of Spain that are not divided into multiple provinces. The regional identities of Cantabria and Asturias are not as pronounced as those of its neighbors on either side. In Cantabria, Castilian is pervasive. In Asturias, about 10% of the people speak the traditional Asturian language as a mother tongue, and you may encounter variant spellings of place names. For example, the capital of Aturias is Oviedo, or Uviéu in Asturian, and the most popular nude beach in the region is accessed from the village or Niembro, or Niembru in Asturian.

Green Spain offers a selection of nude beaches just as impressive as those of the other coastal areas of the country, and the array is even more remarkable considering that the northern coastal region is less densely populated than the eastern or southern coasts. Some of Spain's most geographically unique nude beaches are located in the north. While there is no shortage of beautiful natural areas where you can bask in the buff, the north does lack any accommodations that cater to the naturist market. When planning a trip to Green Spain, keep in mind that temperatures are cooler than in other coastal areas of Spain and the beach season is shorter. Even the southern Atlantic area of France, which is at a slightly more northerly latitude, is a bit warmer than Green Spain.

In this section we have also listed several sites in the interior of Spain, all in the autonomous community of Madrid.

GALICIA     [ ↑ ]
Galicia is located in the far northwest of Spain, occupying most of the notch of Spain that lies north of Portugal. Especially notable features of Galicia's coastline are inlets called rías, which are similar in appearance to the coastal waters described as fjords or firths in other parts of Europe. These rías consist of a multitude of beaches and bays, and the scenery is striking and unique. Galicia has two major areas of rías: the Rías Baixas ("Lower Rias") and the Rías Altas ("Upper Rias"). The dividing point between the two groups of rías is Cabo Finisterre, the westernmost point of mainland Spain. The Rías Baixas are along the western part of Galicia's coast, extending from Portugal to Cabo Finisterre. Five major rías (along with one much smaller one) comprise the Rías Baixas, and those five rías form very prominent indentations in the coastline. The Rías Altas are located along the northwestern and northern parts of Galicia's coast, and there are about a dozen of them. The most prominent of the Rías Altas are clustered very close together between the cities of A Coruña and Ferrol, but the rest of the Rías Altas are considerably smaller, and overall the Rías Altas are not as noticeable or easily identifiable on maps as are the Rías Baixas. Of the beaches listed below, all the ones in Pontevedra and the ones described in the first two paragraphs pertaining to A Coruña are in the Rías Baixas area, with some beaches located within the rías and others that face the Atlantic. The rest of the beaches of A Coruña along with those of Lugo are located in the vicinity of the Rías Altas, with a few of the beaches located within the rías but most of them facing the Atlantic.

Pontevedra      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      Pontevedra is the southernmost coastal province of Galicia, and its southern border is formed by the northern border of Portugal. The as-the-crow-flies distance across the province from its southern coastal border to its northern coastal border is about 75 kilometers. However, counting all the twists and turns along the three rías that indent its coast, Pontevedra technically has 398 kilometers of coastline. Those three prominent indentations are the Ría de Vigo, the Ría de Pontevedra and the Ría de Arousa, and they are three of the five major rías that constitute the Rías Baixas. Starting at the border with Portugal and going north, the first of the rías is the Ría de Vigo, and the southern side of this ría is the location of Vigo, the largest city in all of Galicia. On the southwestern periphery of the city, there are two beaches of interest to nudists. More distant from the city is Playa de Saiáns 42.1748N, 8.8142W  , a small beach in a residential area. It is known as a beach where nudists and textiles mingle freely, but textiles constitute a large majority on crowded days. A bit closer in to the center of Vigo, there is a long beach with multiple segments, each of which has a distinct proper name. Playa de Fontaiña 42.1994N, 8.7887W   is one of those segments, and it is a rather small niche defined by small, low rocky outcroppings. Nudists cluster here and are usually a majority even though the setting is quite urban and exposed.

      At the western entrance of the Ría de Vigo, where it opens up to the Atlantic, the Islas Cíes are three rugged islands with no cars, no roads and limited development, and they are popular day-tripping destinations. There are three main beaches among the islands, all of which are on the eastern side of the islands (facing Vigo, not the Atlantic). Of the three, Playa de Figueiras 42.2309N, 8.9006W   is the nude beach. Two of the islands, including the one where the nude beach is located, are bridged to one another and reachable by passenger ferry from three towns along the Ría de Vigo.

      North of the city of Vigo, the Morrazo Peninsula is the name of the land mass formed by the Ría de Vigo and the Ría de Pontevedra, and there are three nude beaches on this peninsula. In the town of Cangas on the south side of the peninsula, Playa de Alemans 42.2590N, 8.7634W   is a small and hidden beach along the north side of the Ría de Vigo. Full of moss-covered rocks in its intertidal zone, this is a rather obscure and minor nude beach. Farther west on the Morrazo Peninsula, Playa de Barra 42.2609N, 8.8517W   is the premier nude beach of Galicia and one of the preeminent nude beaches of Spain. Tucked in a bay on the north side of the Ría de Vigo on the outskirts of Cangas, Barra is 35 kilometers by car from Vigo. With a shallow area of turquoise water, abundant white sand and a forested backdrop, beaches don't get much more idyllic than this one. Moving north to the north side of the Morrazo Peninsula, Playa de Tulla 42.3387N, 8.8112W   near the town of Beau is situated along the south side of the Ría de Pontevedra. Playa de Tulla is mostly a textile beach, but there is a little niche hidden by boulders where nudists gather. There are also a few tiny coves very close by known as Playa de Sartaxens, and nudity also occurs at those coves. Of the nude beaches on the Morrazo Peninsula, Playa de Barra is by far the most popular, while the others provide a comparatively much smaller-scale nudist experience.

      The city of Pontevedra lies at the most interior part of the Ría de Pontevedra, and it is the capital of the province of the same name. Moving to the opposite side of the ría, the Isla de Ons is an island that lies in the area where the ría opens up to the Atlantic. The island has several small sandy beaches that face east (toward Pontevedra, not the Atlantic), and Playa de Melide 42.3900N, 8.9254W  , which is the northernmost of those beaches, is the island's nude beach. The island is reachable by passenger ferry from several towns along the Ría de Pontevedra.

      On the northern side of the Ría de Pontevedra, Playa de Bascuas 42.4039N, 8.8585W   is a cove on the outskirts of Sanxenxo, and the beach is at the same latitude as the northern tip of the Isla de Ons. Bascuas is signed as a nude beach, and it is very easy to access, just 500 meters from the coastal road with parking adjacent to the beach. The beach is small and popular, and most visitors opt to be naked. Moving a bit farther north, the peripheral waters of the Ría de Pontevedra coalesce with those of the Ría de Arousa, and the O Grove Peninsula is a curiously shaped land mass that is almost an island, protruding northward into the southern side of the Ría de Arousa and connected to the rest of the mainland only by an isthmus. On the western side of the O Grove Peninsula facing the Atlantic, Playa de Castiñeira 42.4686N, 8.9359W   is part of a chain of gorgeous boulder-strewn coves that are all potentially nudist. Of those coves, Castiñeira is the best established for nudity, with bare bathers tending to be the majority.

      In the middle of the Ría de Arousa, there is a substantial island covering about 7 square kilometers that is called the Illa de Arousa (in Galician) or the Isla de Arosa (in Spanish). Unlike the previously mentioned islands of Pontevedra (the Islas Cíes and the Isla de Ons), the Illa de Arousa is connected to the mainland via a 2-kilometer-long bridge, and you can drive a car there. At the southern end of the island, there is a nature preserve with about 4 kilometers of undulating coastline with numerous sandy coves. Those coves are undeveloped, lightly attended and idyllic, and nudity occurs regularly. They are collectively described as the Playas del Parque Natural de Carreirón 42.5303N, 8.8727W  .

A Coruña      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      A Coruña is the province at the northwest corner of Spain, and it has more coastline than any other province of mainland Spain. Measured very crudely, its coastline is roughly 250 kilometers long, but counting all the twists and turns of the highly indented seashore, the coastline is technically an astounding 956 kilometers long. The southern coastal border of A Coruña, where it abuts the neighboring province of Pontevedra, is defined by the Ría de Arousa. The southern coastline of the ría is part of Pontevedra, while the northern coastline is part of A Coruña. Going north, the next ría is called the Ría de Muros e Noia. The land mass formed by the Ría de Arousa and the Ría de Muros e Noia is the Barbanza Peninsula. There are five beaches on this peninsula that are known to draw nude bathers, and all of them are located toward the outer end of the peninsula so that they are more oriented toward the Atlantic than toward either of the rías. Going south to north, the first of the beaches is Playa de O Vilar 42.5572N, 9.0323W  , located near the far western end of the peninsula. Playa de O Vilar is a long, sandy beach in Ribeira, and nudity occurs in the lightly attended central area, between zones of textile use toward either end. Continuing north, the coastline bends toward the Ría de Muros e Noia, and the next nude beach is Playa de Espiñeirido 42.5988N, 9.0660W  , which is also partially within Ribeira, at its municipal border with Porto do Son. Playa de Espiñeirido is actually better described as a beach where nudity is possible than as a well-established nude beach since it draws such small overall crowds. The next beach is on the outskirts of Porto do Son, and it is Playa de Xuño 42.6335N, 9.0424W  . This long and very beautiful beach is lightly attended overall, and there is a good bit of nude use toward the remote central area of the beach, with nudists having ample room to spread out. The last two nude beaches of the Barbanza Peninsula are also on the outskirts of Porto do Son, and they are very close to one another. Playa de Queiruga 42.6785N, 9.0300W   is a lightly attended beach near the village of Queiruga, and sporadic nudity occurs at the far north end of the beach, but it is a very minor nudist location. Quite the opposite is true just a few kilometers away at Playa del Castro de Baroña 42.6900N, 9.0282W  , better known to regulars by the name "Arealonga." This beach is just around the bend from the excavated remains of an ancient Celtic settlement, and it is well attended even though it is not especially close to any of Galicia's major cities. Most visitors to the beach opt for bare bathing, making Arealonga the most popular nude beach of the Barbanza Peninsula.

      Jumping over the Ría de Muros e Noia to its north side, Playa de Lagoa de Louro 42.7498N, 9.0939W   is an Atlantic-facing beach located just around the bend from the point where the ría opens up to the ocean. This scenic beach in Muros is backed by lush dunes and rather sparsely attended, and nudity is quite common away from the main entry point. Continuing north, the next ría is the Ría de Corcubión, and it is the northernmost of the five major rías that constitute the Rías Baixas. The north side of that ría is defined by a cape called Cabo Finisterre (in Spanish) or Cabo Fisterra (in Galician). That cape is the westernmost point of mainland Spain. Continuing north past Cabo Finisterre, the coastline of Spain gradually begins to curve eastward toward France. Cabo Finisterre is also the dividing point between the Rías Baixas and the Rías Altas. The rías that are north and east of Cabo Finisterre constitute the Rías Altas, and although there are more of them compared to the Rías Baixas, most of them form far less prominent indentations in the coastline than do the Rías Baixas, and the Rías Altas aren't as important for the subject matter of this guide since most of the remaining nude beaches of Galicia are not located along a ría.

      Moving north and east from Cabo Finisterre, Playa de O Morro 43.2930N, 8.9072W   is an idyllic and lightly attended beach in a very rural area near the small village of Niñóns. O Morro consists of two two tiny coves, both of which are frequented by nudists, and those coves are accessed by hiking over a hill from a somewhat larger textile beach. Farther east, Playa de Baldaio 43.3001N, 8.6729W   has a completely different feel. It is a long beach that is sparsely attended away from its access point, and while nudity is quite common, nude bathers are very spread out. Continuing east, Playa de Combouzas 43.3125N, 8.5440W   is a more urban beach that has an atmosphere quite distinct from either of the previous two beaches. Combouzas is a sandy beach in Arteixa on the western outskirts of A Coruña, which is the capital and largest city of the province of the same name (and the second largest city in Galicia). Combouzas is actually the eastern extension of a beach called Playa de Barrañán, but they become distinct coves at high tide. While Barrañán is textile, Combouzas is occupied mostly by nudists. Combouzas is the most popular nude beach in the vicinity of the capital city.

      Continuing east, the next major town after A Coruña is Ferrol, an important industrial port. As the crow flies, the distance between A Coruña and Ferrol is just 20 kilometers, but the driving distance between the two cities is about 50 kilometers owing to a collection of several rías that indent the coastline between them. The ría that is immediately east of the provincial capital is called Ría de La Coruña, and there are three known opportunities for nude bathing along this ría. All three of these beaches are fairly obscure and small in scale, and all three lie within the sprawling municipal limits of the town of Oleiros. Near the most inland part of the ría, there is a very popular and crowded textile beach called Playa de Bastiagueiro. Just east of it, there is a hidden beach beach called Playa de Bastiagueriño 43.3434N, 8.3560W   (i.e., "Little Bastiagueiro") that is very lightly attended since access to the beach is not obvious. Nudity is the norm, and it seems to be mostly a gay beach. Just a few kilometers away, Cala Atalaya 43.3511N, 8.3488W   is a tiny, hidden cove that is no more than 40 meters across, and it is very easy to access if you known where to go. The beach can feel crowded with fewer than 20 people, and most visitors opt to be bare. About 6 kilometers to the northeast, close to where the ría opens up to the ocean, Playa de Canabal 43.3914N, 8.3434W   is a cove that is similar in size and appearance to Cala Atalaya, but Canabal tends to draw more of a mix of nudists and textiles. The next ría east of Ría de La Coruña is Ría de Betanzos, and on the eastern side of that ría, Cala de Insua 43.3856N, 8.2203W   is another small, hidden and fairly obscure beach. Cala de Insua lies within the municipal limits of Pontedeume, and it is typically occupied by a handful of nude bathers.

      The Ría de Ferrol is situated such that the entrance of the rías is oriented toward the west, and the city of Ferrol is on the north side of the ría. The outskirts of the city extend northward to the Atlantic coastline. There are few notable beaches along the Ría de Ferrol. The best beaches in the vicinity lie north of the city along the Altantic. About 11 kilometers northwest of the city center of Ferrol, Playa de Lumebó 43.4839N, 8.3249W   is a beach near the village of Doniños that is a bit challenging to access, which keeps attendance rather low, but those who make the effort can bask in the buff in an idyllic setting. Lumebó may well be the most beautiful beach in the province of A Coruña. About 12 kilometers directly north of the city, Playa de Ponzos 43.5570N, 8.2618W   is a long, sandy, very beautiful beach in a rural, wooded setting, and nude bathers gravitate toward its more remote eastern end. About 22 kilometers northeast of the city, there are two nearby beaches in the neighboring municipality of Valdovino that are frequented by nude bathers. Playa de Porto Carrizo 43.6431N, 8.1089W   is a small cove that basically functions as an extension to a much larger textile beach called Playa de Pantin, and many of those who make the extra bit of effort to trek to this cove do so because it offers seclusion for nude bathing. A very short distance east of Pantin and Porto Carrizo, Playa de Baleo 43.6474N, 8.1005W   is a beach that is broken into two distinct coves at high tide, and one those coves is much smaller than the other. A few nude bathers gather in the smaller cove. All four of the nude beaches that are in the northern outskirts of Ferrol seem to be rather lightly attended.

Lugo      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      Lugo has 144 kilometers of coastline (counting all the twists and turns), or about 70 kilometers measured more linearly. However it is measured, Lugo has far less coastline than the other two coastal provinces of Galica, and it is lacking in any really notable nude beaches. There are a couple of options for nudists, though. Toward the far western end of the coast of Lugo, Playa de Portonovo 43.7098N, 7.5742W   is pretty little cove near Viveiro that invites nudity, but sadly it is often overrun with textiles. Visit on a weekday for a better chance that conditions will favor bare bathing. A better choice for nude bathing is Playa de Area Brava 43.6387N, 7.3407W   (also known by the name "Los Alemanes"), which is near the town of Burela, roughly in the middle of the coastline of Lugo. It is a lightly attended cove next to a move popular and easily accessible textile beach, and most who find their way to the cove go nude.

ASTURIAS      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      Asturias is an autonomous community that is not subdivided into multiple provinces, and it can be referred to as either an autonomous community or a province since they are one in the same. It is a very mountainous province with 401 kilometers of coastline (counting all the twists and turns), which can be reduced substantially to about 220 kilometers when measured more linearly. Asturias has an impressive collection of beaches that are frequented by bare bathers, many of which are hidden coves that have a very rural and remote feel. The Rías Altas of Galicia (described in the previous section) end at the western border of Asturias. In fact, the easternmost of the rías forms the border of Galicia and Asturias. Just a few kilometers east of that border, Cala Mexota 43.5574N, 6.9808W   is a beach near Tapia de Casariego that is very geologically distinctive, divided into segments by rocky protrusions that resemble giant shark fins. Nude bathing is very well established, and the beach draws moderate crowds on warm weekends but is often nearly deserted on weekdays. A bit farther east, Playa del Moro 43.5583N, 6.7174W   in Navia is a small cove at the base of a grassy cliff. Located on the opposite side of a headland from a larger and better attended textile beach, Playa del Moro is a quiet beach where bare bathing is the norm. Not terribly far away, Playa de Barayo 43.5606N, 6.6127W   (also known by the name "La Vega") is located in the rural eastern outskirts of Navia, and it is a particularly beautiful beach backed by a forested nature preserve that is thick with ferns and other greenery. Playa de Barayo is a very popular beach that is attended by textiles for most of its length, with nudists clustering at the end most distant from the parking area.

      Continuing east, there are several nude beaches in the vicinity of the large town of Avilés. Near the village of Cudillero on the western outskirts of Avilés, a one-kilometer hike through a lush pine forest brings you to a secluded, postcard-perfect cove called Playa de Oleiros 43.5724N, 6.2003W  , which is an uncrowded beach where bare bathing is well established. Closer in to Avilés, in the vicinity of the only major airport in Asturias, there is very beautiful 4-kilometer-long beach with multiple access points and segments with different names. Playa de Requexinos 43.5796N, 6.0350W   is a name that refers just to the easternmost few hundred meters of that long beach. With a vegetated escarpment as its backdrop, Requexinos is among the more popular nude beaches of Asturias, with most visitors opting to be bare. A drive through the verdant countryside east of Avilés brings you to Playa de Aguilera 43.6230N, 5.8861W  , a very hidden beach that is just over a headland from two more easily accessible beaches. Playa de Aguilera consists of two small, idyllic coves that both that both draw a scattering of nude bathers.

      A short distance east of Avilés, Gijón is the largest city in Asturias. Avilés and Gijón are located roughly in the center of the coastline of Asturias. Along the rugged coastline just east of the city, Playa de Peñarrubia 43.5520N, 5.6233W   and Playa de Serín 43.5503N, 5.6105W   are nearby beaches that are very similar in character. Both are located beneath sheer cliff walls, both are accessed by long sets of steps and both are attended by nude bathers. The two beaches are just one kilometer apart as the crow flies, or about twice that distance by car. Playa de Merón 43.5442N, 5.4951W   is located in a more rural area a bit farther afield from Gijón, and while it is quite hidden and idyllic, it is virtually all textile on crowded days, with some nudity at times when attendance is lighter.

      Continuing east, the small towns of Colunga and Ribadesella are about 20 kilometers apart, and there are two nude beaches between them. Closer to Colunga, Playa de la Beciella 43.4755N, 5.1972W   is a very hidden beach despite being close to the motorway that follows the coastline, and its wild beauty and mountainous backdrop are hard to top. Not many people find their way to this beach, which lacks any signage pointing the way, but the nudist presence there is rather sporadic. Closer to Ribadesella, Playa de Vega 43.4784N, 5.1458W   is a similary beautiful beach that stretches about 1500 meters. It is textile at its access point, but nudity is freely practiced along the western third of the beach, which is never crowded.

      Moving toward the eastern border of Asturias, Playa de Torimbia 43.4424N, 4.8523W   is located on the western outskirts of the town of Llanes, and it is quite a prize. Torimbia is an exceptionally beautiful and large crescent amid a verdant backdrop, and it is a very popular beach with both nudists and textile. Since there is access down to the beach at either end, nudists tend to cluster toward the middle of the beach. Torimbia is the most highly esteemed nude beach in Asturias, and it is among the best of Spain. A bit to the east near the village of Celorio, Playa de la Tayada 43.4380N, 4.8164W   is a much smaller beach that is hidden among a cluster of small textile beaches, and nude bathing is the norm at this charming little cove. Besides Torimbia and La Tayada, there are two more nude beaches that lie within the municipal limits of Llanes, but they are comparatively minor. Not far from the town center, Playa de Portiellu 43.4155N, 4.7407W   is a hidden cove that is somewhat difficult to access. Often deserted, there are sometimes a few nudists in attendance. Toward the eastern side of Llanes, Playa de Ballota 43.4136N, 4.7147W   is a sheltered crescent that is mostly a textile beach, but an elongated rock formation near one end of the beach creates something of a natural privacy screen, and nude bathing is common in the niche formed by the rock.

CANTABRIA      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      Like neighboring Asturias, Cantabia is an autonomous community that is not subdivided into multiple provinces, and it can be referred to as either an autonomous community or a province since they are one in the same. Cantabria has 284 kilometers of coastline (counting all the twists and turns), or about 130 kilometers measured more linearly. Santander, the capital and largest city, is roughly in the middle. In the far west of the province, between the towns of San Vicente de la Barquera and Comillas, Playa de Oyambre 43.4034N, 4.3399W   is a large and popular beach that is mostly the domain of textiles, but there is a hidden extension of the beach that requires a bit of effort to reach, and a few nudists gather there. However, it is a minor and sporadically attended nudist site. There aren't any major nudist locations on the west end of Cantabria.

      Moving toward the central part of the coast, Torrelevega is the second largest town in Cantabria, and its town center is just 26 kilometers away from the town center of Santander. Torrelevega and Santander are so close together they are part of the same metropolitan area, and there are three nude beaches between the two towns. About halfway between Torrelevega and Santander, Playa de Valdearenas 43.4450N, 3.9746W   is a long sandbar that extends into an estuary, and nudists gather toward the far end. It is a huge, sandy beach where nudists have ample room to disperse. The other two nude beaches are closer in to Santander, and they have quite a different character from Valdearenas. Playa de Somocuevas 43.4692N, 3.9451W   is a small beach sheltered in a bay where the water is shallow and calm at low tide. Somocuevas is a popular beach that typically has a strong nudist majority, and it would be easy to call it the loveliest nude beach in the vicinity of Santander, but nearby Playa de Covachos 43.4725N, 3.9116W   is also a contender for that distinction. Covachos is a very scenic beach that is the closest nude beach to the center of Santander, but it feels far removed. A unique feature of Covachos is the rocky land mass just offshore that is connected to the beach by an isthmus of sand. When the tide is out, it is common to see visitors strolling naked toward the rock. At high tide, the isthmus (but not the entire beach) is under water. Somocuevas and Covachos are just 5 kilometers apart by car, so if you visit one, by all means visit the other.

      Contrary to what is stated in the previous paragraph, Playa del Puntal 43.4559N, 3.7545W   is literally the closest nude beach to Santander, just a few kilometers from the city center—but that is relevant only if you have a boat. It is on the opposite side of the large Bay of Santander from the city, so the driving distance is about 25 kilometers. Nudists gather on more remote parts of this long spit of sand that extends into the bay. The look and feel of Playa del Puntal is similar to that of Playa de Valdearenas. A bit farther east but still reasonably close to Santander, Playa de Langre 43.4770N, 3.6954W   consists of two very distinct sandy crescents that are backed by vertical walls of rock that drop off abruptly from the flat farmland above the beach. One of the crescents is significantly larger than the other, and nudity regularly occurs at both, but on very crowded days the larger cove tends to be overwhelmingly textile, with nudists migrating to the smaller cove.

      Continuing east, there are possibilities for nude bathing on either side of the town of Noja. A bit west of Noja, Playa de la Arena 43.5013N, 3.5855W   is geographically distinctive in that it is located in a very sheltered area at the mouth of the river Ajo, and there are sandbars along the river for some distance inland. The nude area of the beach is actually located along the river, just a bit upstream from where it empties into the Atlantic. However, the beach can be overrun with textiles on weekends, so a weekday visit may be best. On the east end of Noja, Playa de Trengandín 43.4695N, 3.4849W   is a long beach that extends several kilometers. There is often a scattering of nude bathers along the expansive and lightly attended east end of the beach, which is backed by forested mountains.

      Between the towns of Laredo and Castro Urdiales, Playa del Arenal de Sonabia 43.4121N, 3.3353W   is the easternmost well-established nude beach in Cantabria, and it is quite a jewel. It is a small, deep pocket of sand, with a mountain abruptly rising to a height of nearly 500 meters on one side. El Arenal de Sonabia is hard to top for natural beauty, and it is visited by a mix of nudists and textiles.

PAIS VASCO     [ ↑ ]

Vizcaya      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      The province of Vizcaya is better known to English speakers as Biscay, but the official name of the province is Bizkaia, which is the Basque spelling of the name. Vizcaya is the second-smallest province of Spain, having a land area that is roughly the size of a typical U.S. county. The province has 154 kilometers of coastline, or about 75 kilometers measured more linearly. The capital and largest city is Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque), which forms the fifth largest metropolitan area of Spain. The western part of the province is pretty much metro Bilbao. The central city of Bilbao is a bit inland from the prominent Port of Bilbao. On the east side of the port, Getxo, Sopelana and Barrika are three adjacent coastal municipalities that are part of the Bilbao metro area. In those three municipalities, there are five beaches where nudists congregate, and those beaches are all within a span of just 6 kilometers as the crow flies. Despite the proximity of these beaches to one another, they are all geographically distinct and offer their own unique charms. Any of the five beaches can be reached by car from the city center of Bilbao in about 25 to 35 minutes. Just east of the port, Playa de Azkorri 43.3805N, 3.0157W   and Playa de Salvaje 43.3836N, 3.0046W   are neighboring beaches that are separated by a headland, and each beach is accessed by a broad, paved path that descends a steep escarpment. Salvaje is the larger of the two, having a much deeper crescent of sand, and it draws much larger crowds. Nudists and textiles mingle along the entire beach, but nudity is more common toward either end of the beach. Azkorri is backed by a grassy lawn that is popular with sunbathers, and it draws substantial crowds on peak days but does not get as crowded as Salvaje. Like at Salvaje, nudists and textile mingle along the entire length of Azkorri. Farther east, Playa de Meñakoz 43.3951N, 2.9858W   and Playa de Barrika 43.4040N, 2.9747W   are quite close to one another, and they are smaller and more rugged than either Azkorri or Salvaje. Both Meñakoz and Barrika are attended by nude bathers, but neither beach gets as crowded as Azkorri or Salvaje. Playa de la Cantera 43.4131N, 2.9599W   is the smallest of the five nude beaches near Bilbao. Unlike the other beaches, it does not face the open Atlantic but is sheltered along the Bay of Gorliz, with a view of the resort town of Gorliz on the other side of the bay. Nudists usually comprise a majority or at least a sizable minority of visitors.

      Farther afield from Bilboa, Cala Antzoras 43.4119N, 2.6758W   is a tiny beach located between two large, popular textile beaches near the town of Ibarrangelu. This hidden niche is idyllic but quite obscure, and it is the domain of nudists in the know. Farther east, Playa de Ogeia 43.3727N, 2.5437W   is located along a rural stretch of coast about halfway between Bilbao and San Sebastián. Ogiea is a picturesque beach in a rugged setting, and it is mainly a textile beach, but some nudists gather toward its east end.

Guipúzcoa      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      Guipúzcoa, or Gipuzkoa in Basque, is the smallest province of Spain, having a land area that is slightly smaller than neighboring Vizcaya. Abutting France, it is the easternmost coastal province of Atlantic Spain. Guipúzcoa has 66 kilometers of coastline, which reduces a bit to about 55 kilometers when measured more linearly. At the western border of the province, Playa de Saturrarán 43.3224N, 2.4088W   in Motrico is just over the line from Vizcaya. Craggy rocks are a natural divider between its two parts: a larger textile cove and a smaller and more scenic nude area. The hidden and ruggedly beautiful nude zone is notable for the reefs that form shallow swimming areas. Saturrarán, a favorite of local nudists, is among the more geographically distinctive nude beaches of Spain. Toward the middle of the coastline of Guipúzcoa, Playa de Zarautz 43.2902N, 2.1571W   is the often-crowded urban beach of the seaside resort town of Zarautz. Nudity is acceptable at one extreme of the beach, but the nude area lacks seclusion and is often overrun with textiles, so it does not seem to be highly esteemed as a nudist location. Farther east, the beautiful and cosmopolitan city of San Sebastián (called Donostia in Basque) is just 20 kilometers west of the French border, and it is the capital and largest city of Guipúzcoa. Playa de la Zurriola 43.3260N, 1.9792W   is one of three urban beaches of the city, and it is crowded and overwhelmingly textile. A very small minority of nude bathers are often present at the far west end, but you will have to be comfortable being naked amid lots and lots of textiles if you dare to be bare. At the French border, Playa de los Frailes 43.3908N, 1.7908W   is a rocky bay that lacks sand. A few nudists gather on the rocks, but Los Frailes is a rather minor nudist site. There is a better established nude beach in Hendaye, across the border in France.

MADRID      MAP     [ ↑ ]


      The city of Madrid is situated in the middle of the autonomous community of the same name, landlocked at the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula. About 14% of the population of Spain live within the metropolitan area of the county's capital and largest city. From Madrid, it is at least 350 kilometers to the closest Mediterranean nude beaches and a bit farther to the closest Atlantic nude beaches. However, there are three inland nudist locations that are all near the border of the autonomous community, and each is roughly an hour's drive from the city center.

      Directly north of Madrid, La Pedriza 40.7686N, 3.9082W   [int] is a mountainous area of fantastic rock formations near the town of Manzanares el Real, and it is popular with hikers and rock climbers as well as with swimmers who bathe in the many pools and waterfalls of the cold mountain river that flows through the area. Just upstream from the most popular textile swimming hole, there is an area where nude bathers congregate. Farther north near the town of Lozoya, there is an area of the Río Lozoya known as Hoya Encavera 40.9459N, 3.7642W   [int] where the river carves a number of narrow gorges with pools, rapids and sculptured rocks as it meanders through a pastoral area. There is an area of Hoya Encavera that draws nude bathers, but it not as popular as La Pedriza (in part because the cattle that graze in Hoya Encavera contaminate the water). La Pedriza and Hoya Encavera are 23 kilometers apart as the crow flies, but the driving route is over twice that distance owing to the mountainous terrain of the area.

      If you'd like to visit an actual sandy beach, head west from the city to a reservoir called the Pantano de San Juan 40.3822N, 4.3171W   [int], between the towns Navas del Rey and Pelayos de la Presa. There is a hidden beach in a picturesque setting on the west end of the reservoir where nude bathing is customary.


      Centro Deportivo Municipal La Elipa   40.4151N, 3.6530W 
          La Elipa, Madrid

      Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque   40.4780N, 3.6939W 
          Barrio del Pilar, Madrid

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