The Meandering Naturist’s Guide to France.
Our first French nakation was in 1997 – a ten-day reconnaissance mission to follow-up on a recommendation from a guy named Don that I met on a Compuserve message board. (You can read our entire naturist story here.) At the time, we had all but given up on finding a place in the United States where our pre-teen kids would even consider going naked. Have tried out several places in California, then after moving to the east coast, a few “nudist resorts” on the east coast, we had pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that naturism was going to be something we did when we could get away without the kids – or in other words, almost never.
It took us several years to scrape enough money (and frequent flier miles) together to make that first day trip, when we would spend a couple obligatory days in Paris, a few days in on the French Riviera, a drive-by stop at Cap d’Agde, (as such was on every naturist’s bucket list) and finally, a four-night stay at Domaine Naturiste La Jenny, west of Bordeaux.
That was the game changer! Everything we’d been looking for in family naturism unfolded before our eyes at the expansive La Jenny Naturist Resort, which in turn, would change our life priorities so we could find our way back to France in 1999 with our three kids. Then again in 2001, and at least a dozen times since then. France – and specifically, La Jenny – would set the bar for all future naturist endeavors, and remains a favorite nakation destination to this day.
GETTING TO AND AROUND FRANCE
The problem with exploring naturist France is actually getting to naturist France, which mostly refers to the southern region near the Mediterranean Sea. When you look at France in terms of landmass, you will see that it’s the largest country in western Europe – over 1000 kilometers (600 miles) from Lille in the north to Marseille in the south.
Generally speaking, Frankfurt and London are the best bet when flying to Europe from the US, simply in the number of flights from various destinations per day, and thus the competitive airfares. Our personal strategy when traveling with children was to save enough money for us (the parents) to pay for our tickets and collect the miles, while saving up points so the kids could fly for free. Airlines have made dramatic changes to the way the award miles in recent years, but if you have a credit card that allows you to use your points on any several airlines, you’re in a better position to transfer your points and get the award ticket faster. (We prefer the Chase Sapphire Card that comes with enough bonus points to pay for a round-trip ticket to Europe!)
Know that the French railway system (SNCF) is among the best in the world, reducing an eight-hour drive from Paris to Provence to about three hours! At first, we were quite intimidated with the idea of renting a car in Europe, but especially with Google Maps and similar phone navigation platforms, it’s pretty easy to navigate even if you don’t speak a thread of the language. Just be mindful that road tolls in France are probably this most expensive in all of Europe, and gasoline costs at least twice what you’d pay in the U.S. That said, most naturist places are in very remote places, so you’ll often find the best solution by taking a train to a major city, then renting a car from there. We prefer Auto Europe, where you can typically lock in the details before you leave home so you don’t have to worry about a language barrier at the counter.
NATURISM IN FRANCE
WHERE WE TELL OUR FRIENDS TO GET NAKED IN FRANCE…
BLOGS POSTS ABOUT OUR NATURIST TRAVELS IN FRANCE: