After a few edgy opinion pieces, I thought it might be time to get back to documenting our naturist travels, leading out with a few words and pictures of our naked explorations on the north side of Mallorca.
This was our second visit to Mallorca, and likewise, our second stay at Skinny Dippers Naturist Retreat; an idyllic little haven just a few minutes drive from the famous naturist beach, Es Trenc. During our first stay about a year ago, we were so mesmerized by the place that we scarcely left the side of the pool, lacking neither the energy nor motivation to get dressed and explore.
This time, however, we decided we should see a bit more of the island, one day setting off on a train excursion from Palma to a little German enclave on the eastern shores of Mallorca, then another day driving directly north to check out a couple other renowned naturist beaches on the island.
First stop was Platja sa Canova, a long beach stretching to the east of Colonia Saint Pere. Truth be told, I was also a good bit curious about the other naturist hotel on the island, Hotel Naturaplaya; particularly intriguing as finding reliable information about the place had proven confusing at best. In fact, it took me forever to find their website, and once there, to verify whether it was actually a naturist property. Even the chase through various threads on TripAdvisor were dogged by ambiguity.
But among the advertised amenities was the implication that you could walk out their gate onto an expansive naturist beach, which suggested that if we could find the hotel, the expansive naturist beach must be nearby. Google maps helped us locate the property, but the search ended rather abruptly when we approached the guy working the front desk – strangely glib and a bit condescending all at the same time – to ask a few questions about the place and if it might be possible to see a room. (The room photos on their website are a little bleak.)
OK. That was direct.
“It’s a naturist hotel, and we don’t have any vacant rooms!”
Yeah, OK. I get that. Of course, we would have dropped our clothes in a heartbeat if it meant qualifying for a tour, but apparently, that wasn’t on offer.
“You have a brochure?”
He handed me a business card. “Look at the website.”
I asked about the allegedly nearby naturist beach, for which he gave us vague instructions for walking a couple-hundred meters in a you can leave now sort of way. To be fair, I suppose we could have simply been creepy people on the prowl to see naked Germans in their natural habitat, (It seems Germany is their target market) but at the same time, he didn’t seem too keen on attracting new clients, either.
We found our way to the seaside of the hotel, noting that it actually looks like quite a nice property, despite the fact that it sits right at the edge of the village in a residential neighborhood where you’d have to drive several kilometers to find a place to eat. We’re finding this to be a recurring theme with naturist places.
Platja sa Canova is, indeed, a long beach that was perhaps sixty percent naturist on the day of our visit. And you could say the hotel backs up to the beach, though more accurately, the hotel backs up to some rocks that lead to a path, that leads to a long sort of rocky and marshy area, which eventually (think 20 minutes later) leads to a sandy beach which is where most of the naturists were hanging out. Adequate? Sure. A destination – nope. Not compared to the calm turquoise waters on the south shores of the island. But most peculiar of all… by the time we returned to the hotel to retrieve our car, the adjoining rocky beach was crowded with what one would think would be hotel clients – all in swimsuits. Go figure.
After a “slow food” stop in Artá for a lunch in a charming little courtyard, we decided to check out another beach that had been recommended to us by our host Jordi. Cala Mesquida sits in a small cove surrounded by sand dunes on two sides, and a wide array of apartments and hotels on the other. The place was packed! But we had read that the naturists gather at the far end, noting once again that even the snack bar menu was entirely in German – which is typically a good sign when you’re looking to get naked.
On the scale of beautiful beaches, we give Mesquida much higher marks that the long, rocky Playa Canova we had visited that morning. And we did find the smallish naturist sector at the far end of the beach, perhaps representing less than three percent of the total beach goers that day, though I will say that of the age range of the naturists was significantly wider than that of most places we’ve been this summer, including a couple young naturist families.
A recurring theme for our summer naturist travels has been that timing is everything, and ironically enough, summer is not always the best time to be a naturist. It seems that when all the children are out of school and resort areas are overrun by families, places with reputations for full-on naturism tend to cave to societal norms and wrap themselves in nylon. Quite a lot more to say about that in my next entries about our expedition to the Canary Islands.
In the meantime, is Hotel Naturaplaya worth a visit? Dunno. Neither the beach nor the “friendly staff” has made a particularly compelling case to pursue further investigation. Should you read this, have been there, and can offer a few more words on insight on the topic, I’d be most grateful for your comments. In the meantime, you can find us basking in the naked glory of Es Trenc on the other side of the island.
See my new blog where I’m creating a collection of particularly thoughtful posts written by other naturist bloggers: The Discerning Nudist
Thanks Dan. Now we know not to leave Skinny Dippers and Es Trenc. Looking forward to easing your impressions of the Canary Islands.
Thanks Denise. Good decision!
Great post! I’ve been to Mallorca many times over the years, to visit family – and visited Es Trenc when possible. Absolutely love the beach – the very antithesis of many of the resort towns on the south coast.
Check out Skinny Dippers retreat if you don’t know it. But plan ahead. They’re often booked solid a year in advance!
I’ve had a look, thanks to your blog, and it looks great. Travel plans don’t include Mallorca for the time being, but I’ll bear it in mind.
We stayed in Mallorca last May (so not really high season) and though it was not a naturist holiday per se, we like to go to the naturist beaches. We went to all 3 you mentioned and our appreciation is not quite the same, maybe because of the season.
1. Es Trenc: it was windy and relatively cold. Few people on the beach, and even less nudists, funnily not on Es Trenc itself, but on adjoining Es Peregrons. We joined them and went for a swim, only to discover the place was infested with jellyfish. Obviously the place did not rank high with us, but on a warm and sunny day, maybe… (still, the jellyfish).
2. Mesquida: a very nice beach indeed, but where nudists are just tolerated and relegated to the far edge of the beach, where access to the water is almost impossible because of the rocks. We did not like it and have not returned.
3. Sa Canova: our favourite, we went 2 days in a row. We approached it from Son Serra de Marina (the opposite side of San Pere) and right at the edge of the “village” (an ugly mass of holiday homes) you are on the beach. At the beginning it is mostly textile, with a couple of nudists in between, thereafter it gets almost completely nudist. We went to the further part the first day and stayed closer to the village the second (the access to the sea is easier there). We found it very pleasant, even in the mainly textile part, because there is absolutely no fuss, everybody does as he likes without feeling unpleasant about not feeling welcome. In fact quite the opposite of Cala Mesquida and I would seriously recommend it.
Thanks Andy. We’re headed back to Mallorca in August. Sounds like we most definitely hit Sa Canova! (Sorry about the jellyfish on Es Trenc – we’ve never experienced that there.)