Yesterday, I finally got around to listening to (most of) Hector Martinez’s most excellent YouTube interview with Nick and Lins from Naked Wanderings. They cover just about every topic related to naturism one could imagine, over the course of three hours(!), but one of Lin’s comments particularly resonated with me.
They were discussing the challenges of promoting naturist travel during a time when travel is difficult, at least, but even more often, unwise or flat out impossible. Lins mentioned a particularly thoughtful note they had received from one of their followers that basically said, “Thanks for giving me the gift of virtual travel through your blog when real travel simply isn’t viable right now.”
While it would be presumptuous to suggest that we have logged anywhere near the naturist miles that Nick and Lins have accrued over the past four years, that comment got me reminiscing about some of our more, shall we say … exotic… travel endeavors. Places you would never find by happenstance were it not for a good GPS device and a fair amount of determination. (And, of course, with the help of a few ambitious naturist bloggers.)
So, as the year is coming to a close, and we’re largely confined to our own domicile watching the pandemic numbers spike a bit higher each day, I thought I might construct a quick travelogue for the would-be intrepid armchair naturist traveler! In doing so, I chose a few criteria to define parameters for inclusion in this post:
- Each of the locations should represent a different continent.
- The place should take some effort to get to, such as a questionable “goat-track” road, or maybe even a transfer across a seemingly impenetrable body of water.
- It has to have been worth the effort to get there once having arrived on location – the sort of place that would go back on my bucket list for a subsequent nakation.
- The place should still be in business at this writing (December, 2020) should someone desire to make plans for their own post COVID expedition.
- And a bonus point if I’ve already blogged about the place in the past, so I can provide a link for those readers who might want to dream a bit longer.
So here goes…
TWIN FALLS NATURE RETREAT, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Our naturist journey down the east coast of Australia, straddling New Years 2016-17, was a bit hit and miss in terms of naturism. We loved touring the rain forests, snorkeling over the great barrier reef, and learning to drive on the wrong side of the road in search of remote naturist beaches. That said, naturist “resorts” are less common in Australia than we had expected, typically smallish campgrounds or B&Bs with space for just a few overnight guests. (Get Naked Australia (GNA) was just in its infancy then, so we never connected with that amazing group of humans.)
Twin Falls is one such place, run by a friendly couple, Ian and Yolanda. They have lots of space for tent camping, and a few nice rental units should you wish to have a more luxurious stay in the Australian bush. “The falls” were a bit underwhelming, but they do have a few trails on the property that allow for nude trekking – a favorite pastime of ours. And the road into their property definitely pushed our little car to its limits, forging deeply rutted roads and a couple small streams. Read more about our time there: Gourmet Naturism at Twin Falls
COLINA DO SOL near PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL
It seems that every naturist destination has a story, especially outside of Croatia and France. In this case, the story involves a young entrepreneur who decided to create a secluded village in the Brazilian countryside that would hopefully become a nude Utopia. His dreams have, in large part, been realized, but not without a fair amount of drama along the way.
Our visit to Colina do Sol fell at a time when rain was plentiful, and guests were few, though Nick and Lins visited sometime later over a celebratory weekend and reported the place was lively, if not bustling. I’ve blogged twice about naturism in Brazil, once before our trip, then again after our visit to Colina do Sol (and a few other places ) in January of 2016. Frankly, some of the comments are more interesting than the actual posts.
Again, a propensity for driving on long, windy dirt tracks is a prerequisite for visiting this tropical destination, along with a certain level of comfort with iguanas roughly the size of our lab/shepherd mix! You can read our pregame report here: (Getting naked in Brazil = Complicated!) and our post visit recap here: (The Naked Truth about Naturist Brazil).
GAVDOS ISLAND, near CRETE, GREECE
Since our first visit to naturist Europe in 1997, we’ve continued to push the boundaries in search of increasingly unique (if not quirky) places to get naked. It would be difficult to push the boundary any farther than the most southerly point in Europe, or namely, the tiny island of Gavdos, located about 17 miles south of the large landmass of Crete.
Our first visit was a day-trip on a small ferry that sailed from the seaside town of Chora Sfakia, located down the hill from Vritomartis Naturist Resort. Unfortunately, the boat drops you near high noon, and you only have a few hours (in the midday intense heat) to poke around the island. Smitten with the place, we found our way back for a five-night stay in 2018.
Gavdos is not so much a naturist destination, but more accurately, a hippy commune from ages past that time more-or-less forgot, at least until recently when it started showing up on more tourist itineraries. There are no naturist accommodations there, though our innkeeper didn’t mind us sunbathing nude on the veranda of our apartment, and pretty much any beach can be a free beach if you’re respectful of the locals during high season when lots of families are there. We also found secluded trails all over the island where naked trekking was possible, typically leading to some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen anywhere. As my pre-trip web searches produced meager results, I posted The Naturist Guide to Gavdos following our extended stay. An oh, in the how do you get there department… We recommend renting a jeep on Crete and coordinating your journey with one of the sporadic (and often unpredictable) ferry crossings, as your options for renting a car or scooter on the island are few to none.
Harmony Nature Farm, near Rustenburg, South Africa
Our first visit to South Africa was in 2013, where we sought to exploit the early African summer (mid-December) as it was growing cold at home. After digging around on the web a good bit, we found Harmony Nature Farm, located about two hours north of Johannesburg. With a bit of persistence, we finally made contact with Piet, who along with his father, also Piet, has been running this secluded naturist retreat for two generations now.
While primarily a weekend getaway for city-folks who enjoy checking their worries and their clothes at the gate, Piet senior built several small stone cottages years ago, where you can stay a few nights or a few weeks should you wish, provided you’re willing to deal with the occasional baboon who lands on your tin roof in the wee hours of the morning, or the pesky zebras that show up at your door for breakfast and lunch.
It turns out that I never did an actual trip report after our first visit – seems I should go back and do that. I did, however, post a few more details after a subsequent visit in 2019, (along with information about a less remote naturist resort called Sun Eden) in a post called Naked Research 2019. You’d need to exercise your talent for driving on the left side of the road, and navigate a long, bumpy track to find Harmony with nature, but in our opinion, it is well worth the effort. In fact, we would have returned in 2021 were it not for the pandemic.
Oriental Beach Village, near Phuket, Thailand
This resort has only been open for about 18 months, and hopefully they’ll survive the pandemic until tourists have the freedom to easily travel to Thailand again. My stay last January was brief as I was on my way to do other business in Asia, and thus, I was there solo.
Those who know Oriental Village Chiang Mai (now closed) will likely remember Paolo, the slightly eccentric Frenchman who ran both resorts for a while, but now, has doubled down on Oriental Beach Village, which as advertised, sits adjacent to a gorgeous secluded beach – the only beachfront naturist resort in Thailand. Officially, nudity is not allowed on the beach, but it’s so secluded there that I found early morning walks equipped with a pareo in hand to be a viable – and wonderful – solution. Only the occasional fisherman was around to potentially offend.
But getting there! Well… someone will pick you up at the Phuket airport, drive really fast to a small port on a large river, where you’ll sit around until someone summons you onto a longboat to cross over said estuary, where an open air pickup truck awaits to take you to your destination. Definitely a “roll with the punches” sort of journey, but as is often the case, that’s where the best travel stories are made. I wrote quite a lot about my stay there last winter, which you can read here: A New Naturist Haven in Thailand.
So there you have it. My first installment in the “You Gotta Really Wanna Get Naked” chronicles. (I think I have enough quirky, remote destinations to generate a second installment.) It’s worth noting that with the exception of Gavdos, all of these places are warm and sunny when most of Europe and North America are freezing, if not covered with snow.
Who knows when cheap plane tickets to Asia and hassle-free border crossings will be possible again, but hopefully, we’ve added a couple new places to your naturist bucket list. In the meantime, we wish you sweet dreams for an armchair Christmas Nakation.
Stay healthy, get vaccinated, and let’s get the planet open for business again!