So the last year has been pretty demanding for the Meandering Naturist. You can’t just bounce around the planet looking for places to “toast your buns” without going to work once in a while, so I had to pretty much let the blog sit out there by itself – gathering a few random hits as people googled things like “La Jenny Naturist” and “Naked in Europe.” Who knows who’s wandered through these pages over the past eleven months, but as it happens, I’ve scarcely had time to do that myself.
At this writing, we have just enjoyed a most wonderful week at La Jenny (with unusually perfect weather), until today when we made our way to Greece with plans to call on one naturist hotel we’ve visited several years ago (Vritomartis) and another that has just shown up on the naturist scene in the past couple years (Naturist Angel Club). I’m really not one to be particularly vocal on social media about topics like politics, legislation, and religion, but that’s not to say that I’m not keenly interested in such matters as the world is changing faster than the speed of light! I have long been intrigued with the complexities of the European Union, most immediately (and, I dare say, selfishly) as that has a profound and immediate effect on the dollar to euro ratio. In other words, will it cost me $100 to be naked in Europe this summer? Or $112? Or may even $130? Multiply that by 20 or 30 for a four week stay at a European naturist resort, and you’re talking a significant chunk of cash.
There has been a lot of banter about the future of Greece in the EU for several years now, but this year, things seem a bit different. This is not a blog about the world economy, but Greece has long been known as a place where westerners can swim naked in the warm Mediterranean while hardly causing the bat of an eye. Now, in recent years, a few brave souls have set out to cater to the “naked people” by creating sweet havens for naturists in close proximity to the most stunning of swimming holes. But today, things are SO fragile, and all those efforts could wash out with the evening tide, leaving only the trendy resorts on the Greek islands where clingy wet nylon becomes the norm for those willing to change their euros into drachma. Naturism is a tenuous business venture – typically built on the investment of single family dedicated to the cause. I remember sifting through Captain Barefoot’s fabulous resources pages several years ago about getting naked in Greece, to which my knee-jerk reaction was, “Well, that all sounds like fun, but this require quite a lot of effort compared to doing naked in France where you can go for several days without donning underwear. But then came along this hotel on Crete called Vritomartis, and another place on Kefalonia run by a British couple called Vassaliki. Another web search led us to a sweet (if not rustic) little place called Panorama Naturist Hotel on Zakynthos, where the owners and their adult children decided that the “naturist thing” might help them find a niche market in a world of otherwise generic resorts and island hotels. The project worked, and they won our hearts in one visit.
Tonight, I write this from a fairly new contender in the naked race – The Naturist Angel Club Hotel, located just a few kilometers from the airport on Rhodes. Our first impression? WHAT A SWEET PLACE! But people are scared about getting to Greece without enough euros… dollars… pig’s feet (!) to trade for a tank of gas or a savory meal. Will the naturist enterprises ultimately rise above the drama with a targeted market more interesting than than that of the run of the mill generic (textile) establishments? Time will tell, but in the short term, a bad summer could mean the windows are shuttered and naturist havens could fall into foreclosure. I don’t know the numbers, but I DO know that tourism is a huge part of the Greek GDP. Every person who cancels a reservation to come here and bathe in the turquoise-azure waters does a disservice to the entire tourism industry – those wrapped in wet nylon, as well as those clothed only in their skin – while simply pushing the Greek economy closer and closer to the edge.
I have a lot more to say about these sweet little naturist hamlets on the Greek islands, and I intend to do so in the coming days/weeks as time allows. But just in case you were thinking about getting naked in Greece this summer, and you got cold feet… might I recommend that you get to the airport, draw the cash you need, and get on a plane to the Greek islands, where the food is affordable, the sea is like a bathtub, and the people are SO happy to greet you with open arms – regardless of your attire. This could ALL be gone in a year or two from now.
Naturists unite! Take your clothes off for the Greeks!
P.S. Readers might be interested to note that it took two flights to reach Rhodes from southern France; each operated by Aegean, the Greek flagship carrier. Both flights were complete packed – not a single empty seat. I can only hope some of those passengers – besides us – will invest naturist in endeavors during their stay.