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Introduction
Eastern Spain
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  The Islands 
Portugal
THE ISLANDS OF SPAIN

Islas
Baleares
  Ibiza
Formentera
Mallorca
Menorca
Islas
Canarias
  Fuerteventura
Gran Canaria
La Gomera
La Palma
Lanzarote
Tenerife


In addition to the various islands just offshore from Iberia, Spain and Portugal both lay claim to other islands farther at sea. This section covers two groups of islands, both part of Spain, that are popular vacation destinations with abundant naturist opportunities.


ISLAS BALEARES

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of four islands in the Mediterranean off the eastern coast of Spain. The islands are roughly at the same latitude as Valencia, and they span a distance of just under 300 kilometers. At its most westerly point, the archipelago is less than 100 kilometers from the mainland. The four islands (excluding islets) are Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca. Catalan is the first language of the islands, as is the case with Barcelona and Valencia. Ibiza is Eivissa in Catalan, but the other three islands are spelled the same in Spanish and Catalan. Majorca and Minorca are variant English spellings of two of the islands.

Ibiza is the closest island to the mainland, and it is smaller in land area than the five boroughs of New York City. Ibiza is rather infamous for its party scene, and it is also a popular gay destination. Compared to the other islands, Ibiza is high octane. Formentera is a much smaller island just a few kilometers south of Ibiza. Due to its proximity, it is mostly regarded as an adjunct to Ibiza rather than a destination per se. While there are overnight accommodations on the island, Formentera gets a lot of day trippers from Ibiza. Father east, Mallorca is the largest of the islands, with a land area a bit smaller than the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Mallorca offers tourists the largest selection of possibilities. It is the only island to have a major city (Palma), but there are also ample places to go to get away from the crowds. Menorca, the most distant of the islands, is similar in size to Ibiza. Absent of major city life or nightlife, Menorca attracts visitors who are focused on a more relaxed, laid-back holiday.

All the Balearic Islands are very heavily touristed. In July and August, its beaches can be quite crowded, and a pertinent bit of information is that some of the traditionally nude beaches are overrun with textiles during those two months. That is not necessarily to say nudity is not acceptable at these locations during peak season. Nudists just have to be comfortable as a minority, and perhaps a small minority, depending on the specific beach. The textile invasion applies mostly to cove beaches where space is limited. At more expansive beaches, nudists can simply walk farther away from the textile crowds. If you prefer to avoid the peak summer madness, be aware that average daytime high temperatures are at least 75°F (24°C) from about May 15th through October 15th. However, the Balearic Islands are not a year-round destination for sun seekers. Winters are mild but coolish, and early spring and late fall are a bit chancy.

Ibiza      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Ibiza is renowned for its nightlife and its gay scene. The island has a handful of beaches where nudity occurs regularly and consistently, but there are a number of other beaches on the island that have more irregular patterns of nude use. In Ibiza town, Cala de los Molinos 38.9032N, 1.4326E   is the tiniest of tiny niches that is discreetly tucked away amid lots of hotel and apartment development. Visited mostly by gay men, there are typically a dozen or fewer visitors, and it is a minor and often overlooked nudist location in the grand scheme of things. At the southern tip of Ibiza, bordering the large salt ponds that are south of the island's airport, there are two long beaches that are very close to one another even though they face opposite directions. Playa Es Cavallet 38.8424N, 1.4027E   is an east-facing beach, while Playa Ses Salines 38.8409N, 1.3924E   is oriented mostly toward the southwest. Going south from Es Cavallet or east from Ses Salines, the land tapers into a long cape called Punta Ses Portes. Nudity becomes prevalent on both beaches as you move toward the cape. While nudity occurs along most of Es Cavallet, nudity at Ses Saline tends to occurs mostly along the eastern periphery. At any rate, the two beaches are joined such that they form a continuous zone of nude use, and the collective nudist zone has the largest concentration of bare bathers on the island. The southern end of Es Cavallet is attended overwhelmingly by gay men and is one of the top gay nude beaches anywhere in Europe.

      Moving to the west side of Ibiza, Cala Conta 38.9606N, 1.2197E   is a beach near Sant Josep that is famous for its spectacular sunsets and shallow, clear water that is perfect for swimming. The beach consists of multiple small coves, with nude bathers occupying one of them. On the northeast side of the island, north of Santa Eulària, Playa de Aguas Blancas 39.0618N, 1.5885E   is a narrow, beautiful and popular beach, and it is not unusual to see a few nudists among the textiles just about anywhere along the beach, but nudity becomes more common at the far north end.

PLACES TO STAY—GAY

     Casa Alexio    38.9224N, 1.4572E     S, E, F, G
          Ibiza town

PLACES TO STAY—ADULTS ONLY (not suitable for minors)

     Liberty Loft    38.9571N, 1.2692E     F, E, S
          Sant Josep de sa Talaia

Formentera      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

            Formentera is the smallest of the Balaeric Islands in both land area and population, and it is the antithesis of Ibiza, lacking both a party scene and large-scale development. Formentera does not have its own airport, so visitors arrive by ferry to La Savina on the north side of the island. While there is a direct ferry to mainland Spain during summer, most visitors arrive through Ibiza, and day tripping from Ibiza is popular since the ferries run every half hour and the trip takes about half an hour. Formentera is often regarded as an appendage of Ibiza, but if you are all about the beach and eschew nightlife, Formentera can be a destination unto itself since there is little to do other than go to the beach. Since bringing a car to the island is expensive, most visitors arrive without a vehicle. Transportation can be rented in La Savina, and there is also bus and taxi service. The land area of Formentera is similar to that of Manhattan, so many visitors elect to get around by renting a bicycle or moped rather than a car. Formentera has about 70 kilometers of coastline, but most of it is rocky and not easily accessible. About one quarter of the coastline has sandy beaches. If you look at a map of Formentera, you will notice two prominent geographic features. One is a peninsula that tapers northward on the northern side of the island. The other is a broad isthmus that extends from the geographic center of the island to the land mass at the southeastern extreme of the island. The peninsula and the isthmus are the location of most of Formentera's sandy beaches.

      Formentera is well known for a couple of things. First, it is extremely popular with Italians, especially during July and August, when your are likely to overhear Italian being spoken more than any other language. Secondly, and more pertinent to this guide, Formentera is very naturist friendly. It is often said that every beach in Formentera is a nude beach, and the Spanish agricultural ministry website (mma.es) indeed lists every single beach of the island as one where nudity occurs. Sounds unbelievable. Is it true? Well, sort of. If you visit on a warm day in May or October before the the throngs of tourists have arrived or after they are long gone, you can probably be naked on any beach without raising eyebrows. Otherwise, during the summer season (particularly July and August), there is a lot of self-segregation, with nudists and textiles flocking to different beaches or different parts of the same beach. The most crowded beaches are the ones where textiles establish the status quo, and it would take a really confident nudist to buck the trend by being buck naked. That being said, you will occasionally see one or two bare bodies amid a veritable sea of textiles, so perhaps the rule is that you can be naked on any beach if you are brave enough. If you prefer being among like-minded people, there are plenty of beaches from which to choose, even during July and August.

      Formentera's peninsula that extends northward toward Ibiza is called Es Trucadors, and its best-known beach is Playa de Illetes on the west side of the peninsula. It tends to be overwhelmingly textile. On the opposite side of Es Trucadors, Playa de Llevant 38.7471N, 1.4387E   is a long east-facing beach that stretches 2 kilometers, and while it tends to be all textile around its central access, nudists and textiles mingle along the rest of the beach. A bit south of Playa de Llevant, Playa Sa Roqueta 38.7301N, 1.4502E   is a small crescent where nudists are always a majority or at least a sizeable minority. To the north of Playa de Illetes and Playa de Llevant, Es Trucadors tapers into a very narrow finger, and along that part of the peninsula there is a beach called Playa Pas d'En Adolf 38.7615N, 1.4353E  , which is curious in that it is a spit of sand with the sea on either side. Playa Pas d'En Adolf is rarely called by its proper name and is more commonly regarded as the northern extension of Playa de Illetes, and nudists and textiles mingle on the sandy part of the beach as well as in the rockier part of the spit that continues northward. Just beyond the northern tip of Es Trucadors, there is a 2-square-kilometer island called Isla de Espalmador (in Spanish) or Illa de s'Espalmador (in Catalan). Nudity occurs all over Espalmador, which is an undeveloped island that can be reached by ferry from Playa de Illetes. The island's two main beaches are Playa S'Alga 38.7807N, 1.4291E  , the larger and more popular beach where the ferry lands, and Playa Sa Torreta 38.7915N, 1.4227E  , a smaller and quieter beach. Between those two beaches, there is a mud pond that some visitors bathe in for it supposed therapeutic benefits, so it is common to see naked people covered in mud strolling toward the sea to clean up.

      Formentera's isthmus that extends southeastward is where you will find Playa de Migjorn 38.6748N, 1.4936E  , the island's longest beach. It extends about 5 kilometers along the southwest-facing side of the isthmus. Migjorn has many access points, and there are fairly regularly spaced commercial establishments such as restaurants, bars and snack stands along its entire length. Nudity occurs all along the beach. Typically, textiles congregate in the immediate vicinity of each of the commercial establishments, with nudists gravitating a bit more to the periphery, so you will encounter multiple pockets of nudist and textile use if you take an extended stroll along the beach. To the southeast of Migjorn, there are two very small beaches that are just a few hundred meters from one another: Playa Es Copinar 38.6621N, 1.5155E   and Caló d'Es Mort 38.6598N, 1.5177E  . Playa Es Copinar is similar in character to the various parts of Migjorn, while Caló d'Es Mort is a small and picturesque cove with shallow water that is the perfect swimming area. Both beaches always have a substantial nudist presence, particularly Caló d'Es Mort. On the opposite side of the isthmus, Playa Es Caló 38.6788N, 1.5134E   is a 350-meter-long beach that faces northeast. It is consists of three crescents of beautiful white sand, and nudists mingle with textiles along the entire beach.

Mallorca      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Mallorca is more than twice the size of all the other Balearic Islands combined. Its capital city is Palma de Mallorca, usually just called Palma for short, and it is the only major city of the Balearic Islands, with a metro population of about half a million. Located along a prominent bay that is toward the western end of the island's southern coast, Palma is near the southern end of a mountain range called the Serra de Tramuntana. These rugged mountains comprise about 20% of the total land area of Mallorca, spanning the entire length of the northwest-facing part of the island's coastline—a distance of more than 80 kilometers. The Tramuntana mountains are by far the most distinguishing geographic feature of Mallorca. The rest of the island has many areas of plains punctuated by smaller mountains.

      We'll begin along the Tramuntana coast and then proceed counterclockwise. While the Tramuntana coast is renowned for its scenic beauty, it is not really the part of the island where beachgoers flock since most of the coast is not easily accessible and there is a general dearth of beaches. Along the entire northwest-facing coast, there is just one beach known to draw a significant number of nude bathers, and it is Cala Es Canyaret 39.7675N, 2.6537E  . It is a small beach comprised of pebbles, with no sand at all, and getting there involves a hike of 20 to 30 minutes along the rugged coastline. It is among the more obscure nude beaches of Mallorca.

      Moving to the southern end of the Serra de Tramuntana, the mountains are a bit gentler in the far southwestern part of Mallorca. There are a couple of nude gathering places in the vicinity of Calvià. Caló des Monjo 39.5290N, 2.4304E   is a very pretty inlet that has little actual beach but is a fantastic swimming area. Nude bathing occurs regularly, but there are usually more textiles than bare bathers. Playa El Mago 39.4751N, 2.5202E   is one of a number of tiny beaches in an inlet called Portals Vells. It is well publicized as a nudist location and usually has a nudist majority, and it is also a great location for swimming due to the shallow water of the inlet. There is a restaurant along the beach, and diners have quite an up-close view of the bare bathers that are just a few meters away. While the two Calvià locations are comparable in charm and scenic beauty, Playa El Mago is far more esteemed as a location for nudists. Both locations are within half an hour's drive of Palma.

      There is just one nude beach within the city limits of Palma, and it is a small, pebbly cove called Caló des Grells 39.5462N, 2.6182E   in the far southwest of the city. Caló des Grells draws small crowds, most of whom opt to be naked. It is not a very well-known beach despite its location within the city, probably because it is accessed from a road that leads to a shipping dock, a bit removed from the main tourist beat.

      Moving eastward across Mallorca's southern coast, Playa Es Trenc 39.3444N, 2.9845E   is a long beach located near Colònia de Sant Jordi in the far southeast of the island. Es Trenc is one of the island's most famous beaches, renowned for its white sand and lush dunes. It is a very popular beach that is textile toward both ends, but its central area is visited by bare bathers. Es Trenc is by far the most popular nude beach in Mallorca, but be advised that there are lots of textile passersby, especially on summer weekends when the beach gets very crowded. The beach is about 50 kilometers from Palma.

      Continuing counterclockwise around the island, the general direction of the coastline changes a bit past Playa Es Trenc. The southeast-facing coastline is the opposite side of the island from the Serra de Tramuntana. There are a few locations of interest to nudists in the general vicinity of Manacar, a large town that is just a bit inland from the central area of the southeast-facing coast. Cala Varques 39.5000N, 3.2958E   is a pretty inlet that has sandy beaches in two sizes: small and tiny. The small beach gets some nudist use but is mostly textile on crowded days, while the more hidden tiny beach is usually mostly nudist. Cala Petita 39.5484N, 3.3529E   and Caló d'en Rafalino 39.5561N, 3.3668E   are located along a forested stretch of coastline between two seaside villages, and while each is usually approached from the nearest village, the hiking distance between them is just under 2 kilometers. Cala Petita is a narrow fjord-like inlet with a tiny beach and great swimming area. It is the more visually dramatic of the two, but patterns of nudist attendance seem irregular and there are often only textiles present. Caló d'en Rafalino is quite pretty in its own right and has a better sandy beach, which is quite small. It is more consistently visited by nudists than is Cala Petita, and it tends to have larger crowds since it is easier to access.

      Capdepera and Artà are nearby towns in the far northeast of Mallorca, and there are several nudist locations clustered in the vicinity of these towns. Cala Moltó 39.7258N, 3.4525E   is a bay that is on the north end of a very popular, sandy beach called Cala Argulla. The bay and the textile beach are separated by a prominent, peninsular outcropping that is easy to cross. While Cala Argulla is strictly textile, nudity is quite common along Cala Moltó, which lacks significant expanses of sand but has several small sandy niches along with rocky shelves. Not far away, Cala Mesquida 39.7439E, 3.4353E   is a beautiful sandy beach backed by extensive dunes, and there is a cluster of hotel and apartment development at it western end. Even though the beach is just 325 meters long, the eastern third of the beach is signed for nude use, and it is quite popular with bare bathers even through nudists and textiles are in close proximity. Just a bit father west, Cala Torta 39.7502N, 3.4181E   and Cala Mitjana 39.7518N, 3.4138E   are neighboring coves separated by a headland, and they are accessed by a rural road that leaves from Artà. Cala Torta is the prettier of the two coves and draws some nudists during off-peak times, but it has been discovered by textiles despite its relative remoteness and has basically evolved into a textile beach during July and August. Cala Mitjana draws much smaller overall crowds and gets mixed nudist and textile use.

      Looking at a map of Mallorca, the most prominent feature of its northern coast is a huge bay called the Bay of Alcúdia, which has over 30 kilometers of shoreline. Toward the eastern side of the bay, there are several beaches near the small vacation village of Son Serra that are lightly attended even during peak season. The beach on the eastern side of Son Serra is called Playa Sa Cánova 39.7302N, 3.2448E  . On the western side of Son Serra, there is a small beach called Playa Son Real 39.7411N, 3.2117E  , and you can walk across it to get to a much longer beach called Playa S'Arenal d'En Casat 39.7489N, 3.1963E  . Nudity occurs at all three of these beaches. Of the three, Playa Sa Cánova is the most popular with nude bathers, and it is also the closest to amenities in Son Serra. Playa Son Real and Playa S'Arenal d'En Casat are places to get away from the crowds and enjoy nudity in relative isolation.

      Northwest of the Bay of Alcúdia, there is another large bay called the Bay of Pollença. The two bays are separated by a mountainous peninsula that extends seaward from the town of Alcúdia, which is famous for its walled medieval old town. Hidden in the Alcúdia peninsula, there is a remote cove called Playa Coll Baix 39.8625N, 3.1874E   that is surrounded on three sides by steeply sloping mountainsides. It is a standout for its dramatic beauty. Access is either by private boat or by hiking down the mountain. Despite the isolation, textiles usually outnumber nudists. The Bay of Pollença is at the northern end of the Serra de Tramuntana.

NATURIST RETREATS

     Hotel Naturplaya    39.7329N, 3.2581E     S      beach 
          Colonia de San Pedro (St. Pere), Artà

     Skinny Dippers Mallorca    39.4050N, 3.0356E     E
          Campos

Menorca      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Menorca is an oblong island, and its two principal towns lie at opposite ends. On the west end of the island, there is a large town called Ciutadella de Menorca, usually shorted to just Ciutadella, which means "citadel." (On some maps, the town appears as just Menorca.) The island's capital lies at its east end, and it is called Maó in Catalan and Mahón in Spanish. In 2012, the official name of the capital became Maó-Mahón. A 45-kilometer-long east-west highway through the interior of Menorca connects Ciutadella and Maó-Mahón, and it is the most important road for getting from one place to another on the island. There is a coastal path called the Camí de Cavalls the completely encircles Menorca, having a perimeter of 186 kilometers. The name literally means "Road of Horses," and although its exact origins are murky, it is thought to date to the late Middle Ages. The path was part of the island's defense infrastructure, with sentries patrolling on horseback. In modern time, the Camí de Cavalls has become the island's best-known hiking trail. As you explore the beaches of the island, you will inevitably cross the path, and you will likely walk along part of it if you explore the more remote beaches that are not directly accessible by car.

      The beaches of Menorca that are of interest to nude bathers are mostly clustered along the western half of the southern coastline. To explore those beaches, we will start in the southwest of the island and proceed counterclockwise, occasional departing from strict geographic order when appropriate. South of Ciutadella, Cala en Bosc and Cala Galdana are seaside resort villages that are about 10 kilometers apart as the crow flies. There are five beaches along the stretch of coastline between the villages, but none of the beaches are directly accessible by car from either Cala en Bosc or Cala Galdana since there is not a coastal road between the two resort villages. The beaches are accessed from a rural road that leaves from Ciutadella. That road splits into forks that go to the various beaches. Two of the five beaches, Cala des Talaier 39.9267N, 3.9027E   and Cala Macarelleta 39.9362N, 3.9350E  , are frequented by nude bathers. Cala des Talaier is a small beach in a sheltered inlet, and it is accessed by hiking from a textile beach called Playa de Son Saura. Cala Macarelleta is a similarly sized beach tucked away in a more intricate inlet, and it is accessed through a somewhat larger beach called Cala Macarella. (Macarelleta is the diminutive form of Macarella.) Both Cala des Talaier and Cala Macarelleta get very crowded during July and August, when textiles outnumber nudists. While both beaches are quite beautiful, Cala Macarelleta is particularly notable for its exceptional natural beauty. The inlet that contains Cala Macarelleta and Cala Macarella is among the most scenic of Menorca.

      On the east side of Cala Galdana, Cala Mitjana is a small beach that is nestled in a gorgeous inlet, and the scenery is similar to that of Macarelleta and Macarella. Cala Mitjana itself is textile, but it is the gateway to two places that are frequented by nudists. Just west of the the beach, Cala Mitjaneta 39.9339N, 3.9706E   is a tiny little beach in a hidden part of the inlet, and nudity is common at the beach and on the surrounding rocks. (As is the case with Macarelleta vis-à-vis Macarella, Mitjaneta is the diminutive form of Mitjana.) If you hike east from Cala Mitjana, in 20 to 30 minutes you will reach Cala Trebaluger 39.9313N, 3.9891E  , an isolated and idyllic cove that is quite popular despite the requisite trek. At about 130 meters long, it has a much larger expanse of sand than any of the previously mentioned nude beaches, and it is attended by a mix of nudists and textiles.

      The next seaside resort village after Cala Galdana is Sant Tomàs. The two villages are about 7 kilometers apart as the crow flies. Extending westward from Sant Tomàs, Playa de Binigaus 39.9204N, 4.0254E   is about one kilometer long, and much of it is backed by a rugged escarpment of reddish rock. Nudity occurs along most of the beach, and there is always ample room to spread out. If you hike a few kilometers westward from Binigaus, you will reach an isolated beach called Cala Escorxada 39.9255N, 4.0040E  , a beautiful crescent of white sand that is similar in size to Cala Trebaluger, and it is likewise attended by a mix of nudists and textiles. Just a bit farther west, Cala Fustam 39.9260N, 4.0009E   is a much smaller cove that is pretty but not as picturesque as Cala Escorxada. It tends to have few visitors, and nudity is common. If you were to keep hiking west past Cala Fustam, in about 1.4 kilometers you would reach Cala Trebaluger, which is more commonly accessed from its other side via Cala Mitjana (as described in the previous paragraph). Cala Escorxada and Cala Fustam are isolated such that you will have to hike an hour or so to get to them regardless of your starting point.

      Approximately in the middle of Menorca's southern coastline, Playa de Son Bou 39.9011N, 4.0686E   is a beach that is next to three contiguous resort developments: Son Bou, Sant Jaume and Torre Solí Nou. Extending about 2.5 kilometers, Playa de Son Bou is the island's longest beach. The eastern third of the beach, where there is adjacent development, is textile, but nudity occurs freely all along the rest of the beach, which is backed by sand dunes and a small area of wetlands. There is always plenty of space for nudists to get away from the throngs of textiles that can overrun many of the island's nudist locations during peak season. Playa de Son Bou is Menorca's most popular nude beach. East of Son Bou, there are no more large beaches along the eastern half of the island's southern coastline, but there are a couple of rather minor locations of interest to nudists that are in the general vicinity of the island's airport. Near the large resort village of Cala En Porter, there is a very beautiful fjord-like inlet called Cala Coves 39.8639N, 4.1461E  . While it is popular with boaters, it can also be reached by car. Nude sunbathing is common along the rocky ledges of the inlet, but there aren't any sandy beach areas. Although comparatively minor as a nudist site, it is worthwhile just for the scenery. Farther east, at the municipal border of Maó-Mahón and Sant Lluís, there is a less dramatic inlet called Cala Biniparratx 39.8336N, 4.2027E   that does have a small sandy beach, and nudity is quite common.

      Maó-Mahón lies along a deep and narrow inlet that appears to puncture the eastern end of Menorca like a dagger. A short drive north from the town, Cala Mesquida 39.9147N, 4.2862E   is a sandy crescent located just around the bend from the small village of Sa Mesquida. Most of the beach is textile, but nude bathers gather at the southern extreme of the small beach and at a tiny adjacent niche that is hidden from the rest of the beach by a rocky outcropping. Continuing north and west along the coastline, there is a large nature reserve called S'Albufera des Grau that is between Maó-Mahón and Fornells, and a prominent landmark in the reserve is the Favàritx lighthouse, which is notable both for its height and its spiraling black-and-white stripes. Just south of the lighthouse, Cala Presili 39.9922N, 4.2548E   and Cala Tortuga 39.9884N, 4.2551E   are nearby beaches that are separated by a headland, and they are basically twins, virtually identical in size and quite similar in appearance, popularity and usage patterns. Both are attended by a mix of nudists and textiles, and they tend not to get as crowded as Menorca's southern beaches, although they are well attended during July and August. The hike to Cala Presili is about 800 meters, and it is about twice that distance to Cala Tortuga, and to get to the beaches you will walk along the Camí de Cavalls, the trail mentioned in the first paragraph. If you keeping hiking south along the Camí de Cavalls past Cala Tortuga, over the next 5 or so kilometers there are a number of other beaches within the S'Albufera des Grau reserve that are available for nude use by virtue of their isolation, and those beaches tend to be deserted, even during peak season.

      Cala Presili and Cala Tortuga are along the part of Menorca's coastline that basically faces northeast. Toward the middle of the island's northern coastline, there is a peninsular land mass called the Cap de Cavalleria, and the tip of the peninsula is the northernmost point of Menorca. Going west from the Cap de Cavalleria toward Ciutadella, the coastline is mostly north facing, and several beaches along this part of the coast have golden or orange-tinted sand set amid red clay hills. These beaches are quite distinctive from the white sandy beaches found on other parts of the island. At the base of the Cap de Cavalleria on its western side, there are two beaches in the same bay, separated by a small headland. Those beaches are Playa de Cavalleria 40.0585N, 4.0740E   and Cala Rotja 40.0629N, 4.0773E  . Since they are very close together and accessed from the same parking area, the two beaches are usually regarded as the same location, but the geography of the two beaches is very different. Playa de Cavalleria has lots of sand and consists of two connected but distinct crescents, and nudists gather on the smaller crescent, on the opposite end of the beach from its access point at the headland. On the other side of that headland, Cala Rotja is a smaller beach with just a narrow sliver of sand that is broken up by boulders and rocks, and nudists and textiles mingles along its entire expanse. Just a bit west of Cap de Cavalleria, Cala Pregonda 40.0561N, 4.0408E   is a beautiful bay distinctive for the craggy rock islets just offshore, and there are two small beaches of golden sand in the bay. One of those beaches draws a small contingent of nudists. The nude area is not particularly private due to the presence of a number of vacation houses next to the beach. Those houses are accessed via a restricted-access road available to residents and renters. Everyone else must hike to Cala Pregonda, and the walk takes about half an hour. Continuing west, in the general vicinity of the inland town of Ferreries, there is a remote beach that is a knockout for its gorgeous scenery. The red and orange hues of Cala del Pilar 40.0509N, 3.9785E   are strikingly vivid. The color scheme of the beach is similar to that of Playa de Cavalleria and Cala Rotja, while its isolation is akin to that of Cala Pregonda, minus the vacations houses. There are two ways to get to Cala del Pilar from the nearest automobile access: a hike of about one kilometer along the coast, or a hike of about 2 kilometers through an inland forest. The beach is well attended but not overcrowded during peak season, and there are typically a good many nudists among the textiles along the entire beach. Cala del Pilar is generally regarded as the best nude beach of the north coast, both for its pristine environment and for the consistency with which nudity occurs all along the beach even during peak season.

      Our tour around the coast of Menorca began on the southern outskirts of Ciutadella on the southern coast of the island. It ends on the northern outskirts of Ciutadella on the northern coast of the island. Near the resort village of Cala Morell, there is a gorgeous inlet that contains two white sandy beaches that are separated by a cone-shaped hill. Those beaches are most commonly collectively known as the Playas de Algaiarens, but they also have individual names. The larger and more accessible beach is Playa Es Tancats 40.0464N, 3.9234E  , while the smaller beach is Playa Es Bot 40.0499N, 3.9243E  , reached by a short hike around the hill. Both are beaches where nudity greatly diminishes and sometimes disappears altogether during peak season, but there is a good bit of nudity at each beach outside July and August. On crowded days, you'll probably find that any nudists present at the Algaiarens beaches are at the far end of Playa Es Bot.



ISLAS CANARIAS

The Canary Islands are an archipelago in the Atlantic that consists of seven major islands and a few more minor ones that span an east-west distance of roughly 450 kilometers. These islands are much closer to Africa than to the Iberian Peninsula. At the shortest distance between the archipelago and a continental land mass, the islands are about 100 kilometers west of Morocco, but they over 1,000 kilometers southwest of mainland Spain. The largest of the Canaries covers a land area about two-thirds the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island, the smallest is about the size of the New York City borough of Queens and the other five are various in-between sizes. All the islands are volcanic in origin, and while there is a variety of scenery, the quintessential Canarian landscape is one of starkly beautiful desert mountains rising up from the ocean. On the east end of the archipelago, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are islands that are stacked one on top of the other, with Lanzarote being the more northerly and slightly more easterly of the two. With populations of about 142,000 and 103,000 respectively, the islands are collectively home to just 11-12% of all Canarians, but they are major holiday destinations for Europeans. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are the most arid and desert-like of the Canaries. The other islands are much lusher. Going west from Fuerteventura, there is Gran Canaria and then Tenerife. Those two islands have similar populations, with roughly 850,000 and 900,000 residents respectively. In other words, of the roughly 2.1 million Canarians, about 83% live on either Gran Canaria or Tenerife. Both are also by far the most touristed of the Canary Islands. Tenerife draws that most tourists overall, while Gran Canaria is particularly notable for its nightlife and gay scene. Beyond Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro are the westernmost islands, and they are also the smallest of the seven major islands, both in land area and population. With about 88,000 residents, La Palma is a heavily agricultural island that is mostly untouched by mass tourism. While the island gets plenty of visitors, the tourist establishments are on a much more mom-and-pop scale compared to the four larger islands. La Gomera and El Hierro, with just 23,000 and 11,000 residents respectively, have an even smaller human footprint. In this guide there is at least one listing for every island except El Hierro.

The Canaries have a mild climate all year are a year-round destination. (The islands are latitudinally aligned with central Florida.) While summer is warmer than winter, the temperature differentials are not extreme, and rainfall amounts are quite low all year. In January, expect sunny beach days of 70°F (21°C). In July, temperatures typically rise to the low 80's °F (high 20's °C).

Fuerteventura      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Fuerteventura stands out among the Canary Island both for its starkly beautiful desert landscapes and for offering more vast expanses of golden sandy beaches than any other island. The fact that endless miles of these beaches are available for nude use has made the island especially popular with naturists. If just one of the Canaries could be said to be the nude beach island, this one would be it. The second largest of the Canaries, Fuerteventura extends about 100 kilometers from north to south, but east-to-west distance are much shorter (generally under 30 kilometers). The best beaches (both nude and textile) are located toward the southern and northern extremes of the island.

      The main gateway to Fuerteventura is Puerto del Rosario, which is the island's largest town and the location of the island's only airport. It is toward the north end of the island's east coast. About 20 kilometers north of Puerto del Rosario, Playa de las Dunas de Corralejo 28.7049N, 13.8370W   is a vast beach that extends southward from Corralejo, the town at the northern extreme of the east coast of the island. The Corralejo dunes occupy about 8 kilometers of coastline, and in places the sand extends 2.5 kilometers into the interior. The highway that goes north from Puerto del Rosario goes through the Saharan landscape. With the exception of the immediate vicinities of the only two beachfront resorts, nudity can be practiced anywhere along the beach of the Corralejo dunes, with most nudists congregating a bit south of the two resorts. It is the most popular nude beach on the north end of the island.

      On the west coast of Fuerteventura toward its far north end, there are a number of beaches near the village of El Cotillo that get varying degrees of nude use. Extending northward from the village, the Playas de los Lagos 28.6983N, 14.0167W   are a chain of adjacent beaches that collectively span about 2 kilometers, and nudity is common on the smaller northern coves of this span despite the proximity of several vacation houses. Just a bit farther north, the Playas de los Charcos 28.7134N, 14.0046W   are a collection of coves near the Faro de Tostón, a tall and prominent lighthouse. Nudity is common at the dispersed coves, but there does not seem to be one particular location where nudists congregate. The Los Lagos coves and the Los Charcos coves are characterized by stretches of white sand interspersed with areas of black volcanic rock, making for quite a striking setting. Of the two areas, the Los Lagos coves draw more overall visitors and more nudists. On the other end of El Cotillo, it is possible to follow a gravel road southward above the coastline for 5 to 6 kilometers to a ravine that forces the road to turn away from the coast. Along this stretch, there are three beaches that have quite a different feel from the coves that are on the north side of the village, and they are are quite visually distinct from one another. All three get mixed nude and textile use. Just south of El Cotillo, there is Piedra Playa 28.6699N, 14.0104W  , a long beach that is backed by gently sloping terrain. It can be accessed from multiple parking areas. A bit farther south, Playa del Águila 28.6474N, 14.0216W   is situated below a steep escarpment and accessed by a long cement staircase. Farther south, Playa de Esquinzo 28.6354N, 14.0263W   is at the mouth of the previously mentioned ravine, and its most prominent feature is the huge sand dune that backs up against a cliff on one side of the ravine. Access to the beach is by hiking down the dune, which is a bit challenging.

      Continuing south from El Cotillo, there are two beaches that are accessed from the settlement of Tindaya. Playa del Tebeto 28.5905N, 14.0347W   is situated at the end of a ravine, and it is geographically similar to Playa de Esquinzo, but it is even more difficult to access. There are generally few visitors, and nudity is common. A few kilometers away, Playa del Janubio 28.5712N, 14.0485W   is a somewhat larger beach backed by sand dunes, and it is quite easy to access. El Janubio is popular with surfers, with nude bathers tending to gravitate toward either end of the beach. To get to either beach, you'll have to navigate your way through Tindaya, where street signs and signs pointing to the beach are virtually absent.

      Suppose that Fuerteventura were divided into three areas of roughly equal latitudinal span: north, central and south. The eight beaches named above are all in the northern area. The central part of the island has no well-established nude beaches on either its east or west coast, and that is mostly due to a general dearth of beaches on that part of the island. There are developments next to the few beaches that exist. Moving south, Fuerteventura tapers into the distinctively shaped Jandía peninsula, which constitutes the southernmost third of the island. Sand is plentiful on Jandía, and so are nude beaches. On the east side of Jandía, near where it hooks into the main body of Fuerteventura, a stretch of the coast known as Sotavento presents one of the longest stretches of beach in the world where nudity can be practiced. The exact boundaries of the beach are ambiguous, but Sotavento (which means "leeward" in Spanish) generally refers to the 10-kilometer-long stretch between Costa Calma and Esquinzo. (Incidentally, the Esquinzo of Jandía is a cluster of resorts, and it is nowhere near a previously mentioned beach that just happens to have the same name.) At low tide, you can stroll the entire Sotavento beach naked, and long nude strolls are indeed quite popular. At high tide, the beach gets broken into multiple segments, so the beach is often referred to in the plural as the Playas de Sotavento   . Toward the northern end, nudity is possible next to several large resort hotels, but nudist generally constitute just 20% or so of the crowd in the resort area. Moving south away from the resorts, nudity becomes more common. Here is a list of six distinct areas of Sotavento:  H10 Esmeralda 28.1464N, 14.2338W; H10 Tindaya 28.1514N, 14.2295W; Villa Esmeralda 28.1427N, 14.2375W; La Barca 28.1359N, 14.2408W; Risco del Paso 28.1110N, 14.2620W; and Mal Nombre 28.0908N, 14.2827W. At the southern end of the Sotavento area, there is a resort hotel stretch of about 2.5 kilometers where textiles predominate, then there is Playa Butihondo 28.0621N, 14.3115W  , a nudist niche amid the beachfront resorts.

      There are also nudist opportunities on the west side of Jandía. Playa del Viejo Rey 28.2124N, 14.2256W   isn't far from the Sotavento beaches, and it is attended by both nudists and textiles, but it has a minor nudist presence compared to other Jandía beaches. Playa de Cofete 28.1092N, 14.4007W   is another west-facing beach of Jandía, but getting to it requires circumventing a rugged chain of mountains. If you make it across 20 kilometers of unpaved roads, you'll be at the longest and most remote beach of Fuerteventura, which stretches about 14 kilometers. With the possible exception of the immediate vicinity of the parking lot, nudity can be practiced on all of it.

NATURIST RETREATS & OTHER PLACES TO STAY

     Gran Hotel Natura    28.7265N, 13.8499W     D, E, G, S
          Corralejo, La Oliva

     Monte Marina Apartments    28.0780N, 14.2999W    G, E, S
          Esquinzo-Butihondo, Morro Jable, Pájara

     Club Jandía Princess Hotel    28.0728N, 14.3044W     E, S
          Esquinzo-Butihondo, Morro Jable, Pájara

     Fuerteventura Princess Hotel    28.0692N, 14.3067W     E, S
          Esquinzo-Butihondo, Morro Jable, Pájara

     Club Magic Life Imperial    28.0652N, 14.30952     G, E
          Esquinzo-Butihondo, Morro Jable, Pájara

Gran Canaria      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Gran Canaria is the second most touristed of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. The island is roughly circular, with a diameter of about 45 kilometers. The highest peak of Gran Canaria, rising nearly 2,000 meters, is approximately at the geographic center of the island. Numerous ridges and ravines radiate from that point, creating a number of micro-climates throughout the island. Generally, the north of the island is much greener than the more arid south. Gran Canaria's airport, the principal gateway to the island, is located about halfway along its eastern coast in the flattest part of the island. North of the airport, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, usually just called Las Palmas, is at the northeast corner of the island. Las Palmas is one of just two major cities of the Canary Islands. (The other is Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife. Las Palmas and Santa Cruz are co-capitals of the Canaries.) Of the roughly 850,000 residents of Gran Canaria, about 45% live within the municipal limits of Las Palmas, and at least 30% more live within its metro area. While Las Palmas is the island's center of workaday life, tourism is overwhelmingly concentrated in Maspalomas, a huge resort area that is located at the center of the island's southern coast. Maspalomas is divided into over a dozen districts, so you'll often hear names like Playa del Inglés, San Agustín, Campo Internacional and Sonnenland associated with Maspalomas. The districts form a mostly contiguous area of development. Playa del Inglés is by far the best known of these districts since it is the center of commerce, nightlife and the gay scene, not to mention that part of the beach is also called Playa del Inglés. Consequently, Playa del Inglés often gets conflated with Maspalomas, but it is actually more accurate to think of Playa del Inglés as the epicenter of Maspalomas.

      Adjacent to Maspalomas, there are massive sand dunes that cover an area of about 4 square kilometers. The Maspalomas Dunes form a Sahara Desert in miniature. The dunes area has nearly 5 kilometers of coastline, forming the longest sandy beach of Gran Canaria. The coastline makes a nearly 90° bend along the beach, so there are two names associated with it. The south-facing portion of the beach, which is about 2.7 kilometers long, is called Playa de Maspalomas. The east-facing portion of the beach, which is about 2 kilometers long, is called Playa del Inglés. The continuous beach of Playa de Maspalomas / Playa del Inglés 27.7381N, 15.5704W    is by far the largest beach of Gran Canaria, and it is also the largest and most popular nude beach of the island. The two main access points to the beach are at either end—the west end or the north end (remember the bend in the coastline). If you enter the beach at its west end, you'll be on Playa de Maspalomas. Most of the first kilometer of the beach is textile, but you'll begin to encounter nudists as you go east toward the bend in the coastline. If you enter the beach at its north end, you'll be on Playa del Inglés. Roughly the northern half of the beach is textile, but you'll begin to encounter nudists as you go south toward the bend in the coastline. The combined nudist zone of the two contiguous beaches is about 3 kilometers long, and long naked strolls are quite popular. Besides entering the beach at either end, it is also possible to hike over the dunes to get to the beach. The dunes extend over one kilometer inland, and naked trekkers in the dunes are a common sight. In addition to having one of the most famous nude beaches in the world, Maspalomas is replete with small resorts that offer au naturel swimming and sunbathing. All but a few of them cater to the gay market.

      From Maspalomas, there is a motorway and a coastal highway that go west about 20 kilometers through the mountains, and those two parallel arteries provide easy access to a number of small beaches that are tucked away in the coastal mountains. Most of the beaches that are not adjacent to resort development are frequented by nudists. On the western periphery of Maspalomas, Playa de Pasito Bea 27.7487N, 15.6345W   and Playa de Montaña de Arena 27.7506N, 15.6387W   are neighboring beaches that are accessed from the same turnoff. Pasito Bea is a small beach that gets mixed nudist and textile usage, while Montaña de Arena is a longer beach that is a bit harder to access, and it has a stronger nudist identity. Continuing west, Playa del Medio Almud 27.8018N, 15.7399W   and Playa de Tiritaña 27.8074N, 15.7457W   are likewise beaches that are very close to one another. They are about one kilometer apart, located along a short stretch between two resort developments (Tauro and Taurito). El Medio Almud is a small beach that is easy to access, with adjacent parking. Tiritaña is even smaller and quite hidden. Access is via a short hike through a ravine. Beyond the end of the motorway, the beaches that are farther west are more difficult to reach. Playa de Veneguera 27.8471N, 15.7916W   is accessed by a long, slow drive down an unpaved road through a ravine. It is a black-sand beach that is generally uncrowded, and nudity is well established. There are more remote beaches beyond Playa de Veneguera that are potentially nudist, but they do not seem to get enough consistent nudist use to be described as well-established nude beaches.

      All the nude beaches of Gran Canaria listed thus far are on the south coast of the island. The remaining three locations are on the north coast. Just north of Las Palmas, there is a peninsula called La Isleta that can only be reached by passing through the dense urban center of the city. Playa del Confital 28.1610N, 15.4374W   is a rock shelf beach on La Isleta, and there is boardwalk over most its length. The part of the beach that corresponds to the northernmost 100 meters of the boardwalk is signed for naturist use. However, as there is a road next to the boardwalk, nudists have little privacy from passersby. On the western periphery of Las Palmas, Playa de las Salinas 28.1536N, 15.5240W   is located very close to the coastal motorway, and it is also a rock shelf beach. There are a number of depressions in the shelf that trap sea water when the waves come crashing in at high tide. Some of the pools are deep enough for swimming, and it a favorite spot for nudists in the know since it is not a well-signed or publicized location. Moving beyond Las Palmas to the northwest of Gran Canaria, Playa de Guayedra 28.0875N, 15.7088W   near Agaete is tucked away in the mountains, with no apparent signs pointing the way. This black-sand beach is likewise a favorite of nudists in the know, and its backdrop of rugged mountains plunging precipitously into the ocean is stunning.

NATURIST RETREATS & OTHER PLACES TO STAY

     Barceló Margaritas    27.7627N, 15.5803W     E, F, G, I, P, S
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Gloria Palace Amadores    27.7860N, 15.7192W     S, D, E, G
           Puerto Rico

     Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort    27.7362N, 15.5997W     S, E, G
          Meloneras

     Magnolias Natura    27.7577N, 15.5848W     E, D, F, G, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

PLACES TO STAY—GAY—Maspalomas

     Artemisa Bungalows    27.7607N, 15.5773W     S
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Basement Studios    27.7573N, 15.5769W     E
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Beach Boys Resort    27.7531N, 15.5935W     E, G, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

     Birdcage Resort    27.7615N, 15.5744W     S, D, E, F, G, I, P
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Club Torso    27.7569N, 15.5880W     E, D, F, G, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

     Las Rosas Apartments    27.7553N, 15.5721W     S, D, E, G
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Los Almendros    27.7512N, 15.5754W     S, E, G
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Los Tucanes Bungalows    27.7572N, 15.5746W     S, D, E, G
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Nayra Bungalows    27.7573N, 15.5773W     S
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Pasion Tropical    27.7688N, 15.5427W     E, F, G, I, S
          Maspalomas (San Agustín)

     Paso Chico Bungalows    27.7573N, 15.5767W     S, E, G
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Placida Mar Resort    27.7535N, 15.5737W     E, F, S
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Rainbow Golf Bungalows    27.7580N, 15.5886W     E, F, G, I, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

     Tenesoya    27.7615N, 15.5691W     S
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Tropical La Zona Bungalows    27.7618N, 15.5711W     S, E, F, G
          Maspalomas (Playa del Inglés)

     Villas Blancas    27.7566N, 15.5860W     E, D, F, G, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

     Vista Bonita Resort    27.7603N, 15.6014W     E, D, G, I, S
          Maspalomas (Sonnenland)

PLACES TO STAY—ADULTS ONLY (not suitable for minors)

     La Mirage    27.7527N, 15.5948W     E, G, S
          Maspalomas (Campo Internacional)

La Gomera      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Of the seven major islands of the Canarian archipelago, La Gomera is the second smallest, both in land area and population. It resembles a miniaturized version of Gran Canaria, having a similar circular shape, with lots of ridges and ravines that radiate from a central high point. However, the diameter of La Gomera is roughly 22 kilometers, so it has slightly less than one quarter the land area of Gran Canaria. There is a small airport on the island with service back and forth to nearby Tenerife. However, if you visit La Gomera, chances are you will get there by ferry. From Los Cristianos on the western side of Tenerife, there is ferry service to San Sebastián de la Gomera (usually truncated to just San Sebastián), which is La Gomera's capital and largest town. San Sebastián is situated on the eastern side of the island. The 40-kilometer-long journey over the water takes about an hour, and ferry fares are more economical than airfare, even if you bring a car. Despite La Gomera's small size, it is not at all possible to quickly zip around the island. Flat land is in shortly supply, there are no expressways and the island roads are extremely curvy, so the going is always slow to get from one place to the next.

      La Gomera has a number of remote beaches that can only be reached by boat or by a long hike, and those beaches are potentially nudist by virtue of their isolation. However, there are just a few locations on the island that can accurately be described as well-established nude beaches. Playa de Santiago is a resort area on the south side of La Gomera, near the small airport. On the east side of Playa de Santiago, there is a trio of ravines separated by ridges, and there is a small beach at the mouth of each ravine. Nude bathing is commonplace at two of those beaches, Playa del Medio 28.0377N, 17.1808W   and Playa de Chinguarime 28.0387N, 17.1771W  . El Medio is quite easy to access, with adjacent parking. To get to Chinguarime, you'll have to hike over the ridge that separates the two beaches. Valle Gran Rey is a resort area on the west side of the island, and it is the location of Playa del Inglés 28.1006N, 17.3475W  , the island's most popular nude beach. Although situated against an impossibly dramatic and gorgeous backdrop, El Inglés is quite easy to access.

La Palma      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      La Palma is one of the three smaller islands toward the western end of the Canaries archipelago. Compared to most of the other islands, La Palma offers little in terms of established naturism. Toward the southern end of La Palma's western coast, Playa de las Monjas 28.5754N, 17.9056W   is a small black sand beach that is the only established nude beach on the island. Space is rather limited and there are usually just a handful of visitors, but just about everyone at this hidden niche opts to be naked.

PLACES TO STAY

     Hotel La Palma Princess    28.5005N, 17.8749W     E, S
          Fuencaliente de la Palma

Lanzarote      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Lanzarote is both the northernmost and easternmost of the Canary Islands, and it is about half the size of Fuerteventura, the closest neighboring island. Lanzarote has landscapes similar to those of Fuerteventura but not as many miles of beaches. The sprawling resort town of Playa Blanca is situated at the southwestern extreme of the island, while the much quieter village of Órzola is at its northeastern extreme. The distance between Playa Blanca and Órzola is about 55 kilometers as the crow flies, or about 72 kilometers by car. The town of Arrecife is about halfway along that driving route, on the island's eastern coast. Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote and the location of the island's only airport.

      Lanzarote has a relatively short span of coastline that faces directly south, and most of that span is occupied by the resort development of Playa Blanca. At the eastern end of the development, there is a land mass called the Punta de Papagayo that protrudes southward, and it is part of a protected natural area. Along the Punta de Papagayo, there is cluster of sandy beaches within an area of a few square kilometers. Collectively known as the Papagayo beaches, they are widely regarded as the best beaches of Lanzarote. If you happen to visit at a time when crowds are atypically sparse, it is not out of the question to find nudists on any of the Papagayo beaches, but that is the exception and not the rule. Most of the time, nudists and textiles gravitate to different beaches or different areas of the same beach. Of the Papagayo beaches, the one that draws the most bare bathers is Playa de Caleta del Congrio 28.8418N, 13.7849W  , where nudists are present along the entire span of the beach, even when all the other Papagayo beaches are overrun with textiles. Nearby, there is also a much smaller nudist presence at the south end of Playa de las Mujeres 28.8518N, 13.7920W   and the north end of Playa del Pozo 28.8486N, 13.7902W   as well as at the small pocket beaches between them.

      Besides the Papagayo beaches, there are two other well-established nude beaches in Lanzarote, and both are toward the northern end of the island. On the northwest side of the island near Teguise, Playa de Famara 29.1224N, 13.5414W   is an expansive beach backed by rugged mountains that rise very steeply. Nudity is common on the farther reaches of the beach. Toward the northern end of the island's eastern coast, Charco del Palo 29.0847N, 13.4496W   is a unique seaside naturist resort village. There is actually not a sandy beach, but the rugged coastline is full of small tidal pools that are popular bathing areas. Anyone can visit Charco del Palo. There are no fences or gates. You drive into it just as you would any other village, and you may encounter nudists along the streets of the village. The part of the coastline that corresponds to the naturist village, which is a stretch of about 750 meters, is typically occupied only by nudists. Nudity is also possible along the coastline going in either direction from the village since there is no nearby development.

NATURIST RETREATS

     Charco del Palo Naturist Village            beach 
          Haría

           Apartments Reyes    29.0859N, 13.4526W 

           Casa Aloe    29.0856N, 13.4504W 

           Casa Amapola    29.0859N, 13.4514W 

           Casa Austria    29.0817N, 13.4533W 

           Casa Blanca    29.0850N, 13.4526W 

           Casa Cactus    29.0858N, 13.4503W 

           Casa Consuelo    29.0846N, 13.4527W 

           Casa Delphin    29.0862N, 13.4517W 

           Casa Finisterre    29.0802N, 13.4525W 

           Casa Franconia    29.0847N, 13.4521W 

           Casa Joanna    29.0853N, 13.4505W 

           Casa Jutta    29.0850N, 13.4506W 

           Casa Los Ajaches    29.0856N, 13.4513W 

           Casa Luz    29.0837N, 13.4516W 

           Casa Maria    29.0834N, 13.4529W 

           Casa Perla    29.0861N, 13.4521W 

           Casa Pösken    29.0852N, 13.4515W 

           Casa Ronda    29.0869N, 13.4539W 

           Casa Serenidad    29.0860N, 13.4513W 

           Casa Sergio    29.0841N, 13.4513W 

           Casa del Sol Siempre    29.0813N, 13.4523W 

           Casa Tranquilidad    29.0862N, 13.4512W 

           Charco Natural    29.0819N, 13.4520W 

           Cinco Torres    29.0859N, 13.4519W 

           Evanatura    29.0802N, 13.4525W 

           Isabel Studios    29.0808N, 13.4545W 

           Las Piteras    29.0810N, 13.4526W 

           Oböna Apartments 1    29.0835N, 13.4510W 

           Oböna Apartments 2    29.0843N, 13.4523W 

PLACES TO STAY ELSEWHERE IN LANZAROTE—ADULTS ONLY (not suitable for minors)

     Spice Lanzarote    28.9245N, 13.6548W     E, F, G, I, S
          Puerto del Carmen

Tenerife      MAP

NUDE BEACHES

      Tenerife is superlative among the Canary Islands in a numbers of ways. It is the largest island in land area. It has the largest population. It has breathtaking scenery that is widely regarded as the best of the Canaries. Thus, it is also the most touristed of the islands, and it is the only island to have two international airports. Tenerife covers 2,000 square kilometers, and it is at most 85 kilometers across the island from one extreme to the other. In a nutshell, Tenerife consists of a big land mass along with an appendage that tapers northeastward. The big land mass is dominated by a volcanic mountain called El Teide, which rises to a height of 3,718 meters (12,198 feet), making it the highest mountain not only in the Canaries but in all of Spain. The peak overlooks an enormous caldera that is a world unto itself. The upper environs of the massive mountain, including the peak and the caldera, are part of Parque Nacional del Teide, a large preserve that encompasses varied landscapes and contributes significantly to Tenerife's allure. The coastline that almost completely encircles El Teide can be thought of as having three basic segments: one that mostly faces north, one that mostly faces west and one that mostly faces southeast. There is tourist development along all three of those coastal segments, with the western coast having the heaviest concentration of hotels and resorts. The appendage of Tenerife that extends northeastward from the foothills of El Teide is dominated by two features: one natural and one man-made. The natural feature is a rugged mountain range called the Macizo de Anaga, which extends to the easternmost tip of the island. The man-made feature is the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, typically truncated to just Santa Cruz. It is one just two major cities of the Canary Islands. (The other is Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. Santa Cruz and Las Palmas are co-capitals of the Canaries.) Of the roughly 900,000 residents of Tenerife, about half live either in Santa Cruz or in the neighboring towns that comprise its metro area. The city lies in the relatively flat area that is between the northeastern foothills of El Teide and the Macizo de Anaga.

      Despite Tenerife's overall popularity, the island is not particularly renowned for its beaches. Most of the island's natural beaches are composed of black or very dark sand, and although the island has some black sand beaches that are strikingly beautiful, it is a type of beauty that does not seem to be as widely appreciated as that of golden sand beaches, which are in short supply. At a few beaches in popular resort areas, sand from the Sahara Desert has been shipped in to "improve" on Mother Nature. Tenerife does not have any nude beaches that compare to the world-class nude beaches of Fuerteventura or Gran Canaria. Nonetheless, for those that come to marvel at Tenerife's natural beauty, the island offers a number of nude beaches to which to escape. Starting in the far northeast of the island, Playa de las Gaviotas 28.5133N, 16.1758W   is a small beach in San Andrés, on the south-facing side of the Macizo de Anaga. Los Gaviotas is over a headland from an immensely popular textile beach called Playa de las Teresitas, which is one of those beaches with golden sand courtesy of the Sahara. At Los Gaviotas, nudists and textiles mingle on the black sand. It is the closest nude beach to Santa Cruz. If you leave from San Andrés and follow twisty mountain roads to the north side of the Macizo de Anaga, you will find an enchanting beach called Playa de Benijo 28.5761N, 16.1853W  , which is notable for the tall, craggy rock formations just offshore. Off the beaten path and generally uncrowded, Benijo gets a bit of nude use, but nudity is not nearly as commonplace at Benijo as at Los Gaviotas.

      As previously noted, Tenerife has two airports, generally referred to as the north airport and the south airport. The north airport is in Santa Cruz near the northeastern foothills of El Teide, while the south airport is about 60 kilometers southwest of Santa Cruz near the southern foothills of El Teide. In the immediate vicinity of the south airport, near the coastal village of El Médano, there is one-kilometer-long beach called Playa de la Tejita 28.0302N, 16.5524W  , the most prominent feature of which is Montaña Roja ("Red Mountain"), a steep reddish-brown hill that rises abruptly at the east end of the beach. La Tejita is by far the most popular nude beach in Tenerife, and it is also the only nude beach on the island where sun chairs can be rented. While nudists may potentially be encountered anywhere along its length, there are a few pockets along the beach where bare bathers tend to congregate, including a hidden niche at the base of Montaña Roja. Just a bit west of the south airport, nude bathing also occurs at Cala Amarilla 28.0093N, 16.6370W  , a somewhat hidden niche amid the development of the Costa del Silencio resort area. There actually isn't a proper beach to speak of, but nudists spread out along a long rock shelf that is nestled against a volcanic cinder cone called Montaña Amarilla ("Yellow Mountain"), named for the yellowish hues of its rock layers. Cala Amarilla is lightly visited in comparison to Playa de la Tejita.

      Playa de la Tejita and Cala Amarilla are both south-facing beaches near the southwestern corner of Tenerife. Around that corner, the southern half of the island's western coast has the most tourist development of any part of the island, with Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas, Costa Adeje and La Caleta forming a continuous resort area. On the north end of La Caleta, there is a short break in the development due to a stretch of rugged terrain, and hidden in that stretch is a beach called Playa Blanca 28.1088N, 16.7614W  , which can only be reached by hiking about 1.5 kilometers. Playa Blanca, which is just as often known by the name Playa de Diego Hernández, is one of the rare beaches of Tenerife that has naturally light-colored sand, and there is a considerable nudist presence at the beach.

      The north coast of Tenerife is considerably greener than the more arid south side of the island, and the center of tourism is Puerto de la Cruz. A bit east of the town's large resorts, there is a trio of beaches composed of deep black sand, all set against cliffs below a banana plantation. The western of the three beaches, called Playa del Bollullo, is the most popular and easiest to access of the three, and it is a textile beach. The middle beach, called Playa de los Patos 28.4201N, 16.5109W  , and the eastern beach, called Playa del Ancón 28.4239N, 16.5047W   are both accessed by long stairways that descend steep cliff faces. Both draw nude bathers. Of the two, Playa de los Patos is a well-established nude beach, while Playa del Ancón has a more sporadic nudist presence.

PLACES TO STAY

     H10 Tenerife Playa    28.4189N, 16.5424W     S, E, G, F, I
          Puerto de la Cruz

     Hotel Fañabe Costa Sur    28.0901N, 16.7354W     S, E, G
          Adeje

     Hotel Puerto Palace    28.4079N, 16.5510W     S, E, G
          Puerto de la Cruz

     Parque Vacacional Eden    28.4091N, 16.5433W     E, G, F, S
          Puerto de la Cruz

PLACES TO STAY—GAY

     Playaflor Chill-Out Resort    28.0659N, 16.7312W     S, E
          Playa de Las Américas, Arona

     Villa Maspalmeras    28.4153N, 16.5037W     E
          Santa Ursula




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