beaching in Fuerteventura

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To finish off out tour of the Canary Islands [for now] we turn to the island of Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and is another popular destination for tourists wanting to get some year-round sun. The island can be quite windy (in fact Fuerteventura comes from the spanish words ‘strong wind’ ) and average temperatures range from 17˚C in January to 25˚C in August. It is particularly popular for surfers and windsurfers and there are many surfing schools dotted around the island. Towns and resorts tend to be on the coast as there are many mountains in land. With 152 beaches along its coastline, visitors are spoilt for choice on where to go.

naturist 0000 Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

One of the most popular areas for naturists to stay is the north-eastern town of Corralejo which has many hotels (including naturist friendly), restaurants and bars. The water here is good for swimming although can be rough at times if windy. It has 7 miles of golden sand which is almost entirely naturist friendly and has a large dune area which backs onto a nature reserve.

view Corralejo 0000 Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

In the south, the most popular destinations are Costa Calma and Morro Jable. Just south of Costa Calma is the Jandia stretch of beaches which has a wide area of beach to explore and is also very popular with naturists.

view Jandia beach0001 Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

The water here can be calmer than the north. Morro Jable is a large tourist town and resort and can be a good place to stay if you like lots of local amenities.

view Jandia 0002 Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Whether it’s Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Tenerife, the Canary Islands are an ideal place to visit for some sun and relaxation.

[text and photos by Dan]

beach Tejita, Tenerife, Canary Islands

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view 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

With his recent post about Mas Palomas dunes/beach of Gran Canaria, Juan reminded me of my trip to Canary Islands a few years ago – turns out I have been keeping some material from that trip that hasn’t been published, until now that is! It’s kind of inappropriate that I only had a story about hiking from Tenerife, so here is a post about one of the beaches of the island.

view 0002 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Besides the giant volcano Teide, on the approach to the island we could see a much smaller Mount Roja (“red mount”), and that is also where a naturist beach called Tejita is.

view 0013 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

It lies very close to the airport, and we headed there immediately after arrival.

naturist 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

It was very windy, so we found a spot protected by the rocks. The water was clear and perfectly refreshing after the flight!

naturist beach Tejita 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

And here is a photo with the view from the Mount Roja that my friend Sean took just a couple of months ago.

view 0014 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Too bad I missed it, but I’d like to go back to Tenerife again, so I’ll probably have another chance!

Canary Islands – MasPalomas

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Canary Islands is the paradise destination for European tourists during autumm-winter seasons. It is  20º-30ºC the whole year, so the warm and sunny weather is almost always guaranteed. One of the most popular islands is Gran Canaria. The island is divided into northern (with the main city) and southern (with the tourist areas) parts. The capital city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is almost permanently clouded, as the vapor from the ocean condenses at the mountains nearby. But in the south of the island, it’s sunny the whole year.

naturist volleyball & view 0000 Mas Palomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

The most popular nudist area on the island is Maspalomas. These are natural dunes, with some protected areas (natural park) to keep the fauna and flora.

naturist view 0000 Mas Palomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

That’s why it’s not allowed to build anything there. So the dunes are vast: a few kilometers of soft  sand.

naturist 0002 Mas Palomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Almost the entire coastline of MasPalomas is naturist or at least naturist-friendly. There are some clothed areas near the villages of Costa Meloneras and Playa del Ingles, but with a short (and nice) ten-minute walk, you can reach the nudist area.

The water is a little colder than in the Mediterranean, but it has a nice and soft sand floor.

naturist 0003 Mas Palomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

I would like to come back every year!

nudist kayaking down the Ebro River

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Water is definitely the most popular element that invites many to try and practice nudism, and besides obvious swimming/snorkelling or just plain fun skinny-dipping, kayaking sounds like the next best thing to do naked in water. We organized a kayak tour through a naturist forum and got a very good group of people to go down the Ebro River in Spain.

Kayaking is a lot of fun: it’s a good exercise and a great way to explore the area. Although I bet not many people think about it as a naturist activity, it is probably the easiest one to practice on public land (water, that is), as no one can really see from aside whether you wear a swimsuit or not.

We found that we could rent kayaks at the town of Miravet (Tarragona province), which also sounded like a great place to experience Ebro, one of the mightiest rivers of Iberian peninsula. It is a town with long history but is well kept; it was very important during Medieval Ages as a river port. The medieval structure of the town has been maintained till now, and the castle is certainly worth a visit.

When came to rent kayaks, we wore swimsuits, of course; also we were given lifejackets.

But as soon we departed a few meters from the bank, off went the clothes!

The day was just perfect for kayaking, and although we had just tow hours for the whole trajectory, we made a lot of stops to relax and take photos. Aurelio lives in Miravet and knows the area well, so he brought us to an Ancient Roman mill, almost in ruins. This place seemed to be unknown for other travellers.

By the end, we got really tired. I went in a double kayak with my friend David, but it appeared that people that went in single kayaks could move faster. It takes time to learn to coordinate well with your partner, and otherwise, it is more difficult to control a double kayak.

So we definitely enjoyed the rest of the afternoon by the pool at the rural house. Excellent weather, excellent group of friends!

Hopefully we will organise something of that sort next year 🙂

Piraguas nudistas en el Ebro

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Sin duda uno de los elementos que más invitan a practicar nudismo es el agua. Bañarse sin nada de ropa es algo que todo el mundo ha probado. Bañarse en un río, playa o piscina desnudo es algo que casi todo el mundo (nudistas o no) ha probado y le ha gustado. Y cuando un deporte es en el agua, el bañador sobra.

Practicar piragüismo desnudo es algo muy divertido y aunque no lo parezca es algo que que todos podemos hacer incluso aunque la actividad no esté pensada como nudista. Mientras vas en la piragua nadie mira si llevas o no llevas bañador y puedes evitar rozaduras. Solo hay que tener cuidado con el sol, como siempre.

Tuvimos la ocasión de practicarlo com un grupo de amigos nudistas. Nos conocimos a través de un foro de nudismo, y desde entonces nos habíamos visto un par de veces. Decidimos organizar alguna actividad en verano para poder vernos y poder practicar el nudismo pero de forma original. El Rio Ebro es uno de los más caudalosos de la Península Ibérica y el pueblo de Miravet (Tarragona) fue el destino elegido.

El pueblo de Miravet tiene mucha historia y fue muy importante durante la edad media, como todos los puertos fluviales. Tiene un impresionante castillo templario que merece la pena visitar. Es un pueblo pequeño pero muy bien cuidado y mantiene su estructura de pueblo de la Edad Media, algo que muchos han perdido

Cuando llegamos al lugar del que salen las piraguas (o kayaks, nunca se diferenciarlas) todo el mundo estaba con bañador, claro. El chaleco salvavidas era algo obligatorio. Después nos montamos en las piraguas y cuando hubimos avanzado algunos metros, ¡bañadores fuera!.

Tuvimos un día espectacular, el clima era soleado pero no demasiado caluroso. Fueron dos horas de trayecto, pero hicimos varias paradas en el camino para descansar y tomar algunas fotos. Aurelio, que vive en Miravet, conocía perfectamente la zona y nos llevó a un antiguo molino romano, casi en ruinas. Bajamos de las piraguas y pudimos ver aquel desconocido lugar que pasaba desapercibido para el resto de personas.

Al acabar estabamos cansados. Yo iba en una piragua para dos personas con mi amigo David y creo que fue un error. La gente que iba en piragua de una persona avanzaba más rapido porque hay que coordinarse perfectamente con tu compañero: si no se va más despacio.

Por la tarde tuvimos una ruca comida y aprovechamos para descansar en la piscina de la casa rural donde nos alojábamos. El tiempo fue magnífico y la compañía excelente.

Este año planeamos un viaje juntos durante un fin de semana, pero hubo un percance y no pude ir. Espero que pronto organicemos uno nuevo y os lo contaremos.

beaches of Sitges

Did you think that was it when I wrote about beaches of Barcelona? Well, almost. There is actually a lovely town of Sitges nearby, and guess what, it also has two naturist beaches.

Unlike in Barcelona though, those beaches are more remote and in a more natural setting. You would need to walk through the town’s narrow streets and then by the esplanade for an hour or so, and it is definitely a very nice stroll to do, unless you are can’t wait to dip in the sea. In the end of the esplanade, you’ll need to find a trail between the railway and sea, and continue in the same direction.

You will have some nice sea views to the left and a pine forest to your right; there’s lush Mediterranean vegetation, including dwarf fan palm, which is one of only two native European palm species (another one being Cretan date palm).

When you reach the beach, if you have any doubts on whether it is a nudist beach, there is a conspicuous sign saying that it is actually the first gay nudist beach if the world (since 1930’s).

When I was there in 2007, there was bar at the first beach, but on the second visit we saw a bar only at the second beach, which is right next to it.

But we just saw the absence of the bar as an opportunity to pose on its ‘ruins’, that were almost as picturesque as their ancient counterparts 🙂

And the platform where the bar used to be also provided nice views.

We camped overnight and woke up just before sunrise for a delicious fruity breakfast.

By the way, you can get to that forest not only crossing the railway but also through the tunnel under it. If you look through the tunnel towards the sea, it seems as if someone is inviting you to the naked Wonderland.

We need more of those portals that would transfer us to some nice beaches… any time of the year 😎

beaches of Barcelona

Barcelona is an ultimate tourist destination with countless sights of interest, be it history or art, beautiful views, gastronomic delights, vibrant night life and, of course, beaches. Now, what other major city can boast with a naturist beach in its central area? And not just one, but two!

One beach is located in the southern part of the hip Barceloneta area and is called Sant Sebastià. You can see it on the right side coming down by cable car from park Montjuïc.

Isn’t it great to strip down and dip in the sea after all that sightseeing? The location is especially perfect if you go there after checking out the Olympic site and city news from Montjuïc. That’s what we did.

Another well known naturist beach is Mar Bella. It is a little further away from the historic centre, but you can see the famous ‘Egg building’, for example. It also has a dune with tall grass, which gives it a bit more natural and secluded feeling.

All beaches within the city boundaries have showers, which is useful if you want to continue exploring the city straight after the beach.

Both naturist beaches of Barcelona are full of locals and tourists but are not overcrowded.

You will be most certainly offered a ‘masaje’ right on the beach; we thought it was a good idea, but just did massage to each other instead.

The clothing optional section is big enough for a walk

or even a short run.

But when the sun was high we of course went to swim

or simply relaxed in the breeze

and in water.

Well, actually the sea was quite rough, so it was difficult to relax in water and we mostly played in waves.

Which in the end was a lot of fun!

Thumbs up to Barcelona’s liberal attitude! Actually I read that some people took it one step further and were even walking naked on the streets, but unfortunately the new mayor was apparently looking for some ways to distract people’s attention from economic problems and proposed a law forbidding even walking topless in the city (even for men). Let’s hope the trend will be reversed soon, otherwise we’ll loose just about the only big city with naturist sea beaches in the centre.

World Naked Bike Ride – Madrid 2009

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If you ever have a chance to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride, do it!
Because:

  • it promotes healthy and environment-friendly urban transportation – biking 🙂 
  • it prmotes body acceptance: you will be surprised that people are actually not shocked or offended by nudity at all.
  • Tourists are happy to take pictures and sellers in local shops are happy to sell water and ice-cream without even raising their eyebrows 😎 
  • it is a great place to get to know other people who are interested in sports and environment 🙂 
  • if you are a tourist, it is the best way to have a free sightseeing bike tour! 

And don’t worry, there will be breaks to catch your breath… or dance?

  • For whatever reason everyone seemed happy, having pure fun just like children.

Usually there is also an after-party. We were lucky to have one in one of the central parks of Madrid, amazing! People shared their food and joy =)

 

That human pyramid was epic!

Free hiking on Tenerife

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Tenerife has a lot more to offer to naturists than beaches. You can go hiking clothes-free even in a mountain forest, with the subtropical sun and warm temperatures year-round. Here we suggest a route (shown approximately on the map) that we took from Los Organos to Güímar: two days of pure mountain air, pure nature, pure naturism! Three days would work better for a more leisurely hike 🙂 This is not an official nudist area, but given general acceptance of nudism on Canary Islands, nudity is generally not an issue, and this area is anyway large enough to avoid encounters with other hikers. Most probably you will not see other walkers at all, if you do not walk on major trails.

naturist 0007 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

But what you will see is breath-taking views down the valley

naturist 0008 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

and up to the snow-capped mount Teide!

view 0004 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
To get to Los Organos take bus 345 or 348 from Puerto de la Cruz or La Orotava. The bus stops right where the route starts as shown on the map. First, you will walk on a pretty broad road, but already there you may take off the clothes,

and certainly so as soon as you decide to climb by one of the smaller trails up the mountains (see the map, but unfortunately we cannot provide exact details of our hiking route, so please take care which trail to take or just follow the main ones, but then you will need more time (or a bike) to complete the trip).

view 0012 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

This part of the forest, on the northern foothills, is quite humid, with pines and cedars covered by “beards” of lichens.

spanish moss 0003 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

But succulents, more common on the drier southern side of the island, thrived there too,

plants 0006 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

blooming –

plants 0005 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

but not only succulents. I am not sure about seasonality of blooming on Tenerife, but when we were there in the end of March, it seemed like spring was in full swing.

plants 0004 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

There were many flowers,

plants 0001 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

some looked familiar from European gardens. And we were certainly not the only ones to enjoy their colours and aroma.

plants 0002 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The way up the trail in that part is not dangerous but still challenging. Once you are high enough, you will be rewarded with magnificent views and tranquility. Get some rest and follow a narrow horizontal trail

naturist 0006 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

(hope you’ll find it! But if you keep going up, you cannot really miss it, as it lies across the foothill). In some places, the mountainside is really steep,

view 0005 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

but then there are hand-rails along the path;

naturist 0005 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

or you can hold on to the rocks.

But when you see clouds right below you, you just feel like a god able to float in the sky 🙂 naturist 0009 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Bit by bit the forest was getting drier, and there were some eucalypti among the local flora,

view 0006 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

but pines were predominant,

plants 0008 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

along with bushes that we couldn’t identify.

plants 0007 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

We didn’t see much of fauna, but a robin kept us company on a short lunch break,

robin 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

we saw several Tenerife lizards.

lizard 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

We were stupid enough to get off that horizontal trail  to try a shortcut, and continued climbing up on quite a steep and not very stable surface.

view 0007 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Well, at least we were rewards with absolutely magnificent views as the sun was setting… still above the clouds!

view 0008 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

As we were above the forest line, it took some efforts to find a flat spot to camp for the night; it was by a massive pine tree, which stood solely over the rocks and bushes. At night the wind was very strong and chilly, so our advice is to sleep in the forest and better continue climbing up the mountain range in the morning.

view 0009 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Shortly after we woke up, we reached an asphalted road TF-24 and headed north-west, passing through the border of the national park of mount Teide.

view 0010 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

When we got to an information point with a map, we could confirm we were on the right track. There also was a nice view south, with a small black (sleeping) volcano – this is where we were heading.

After we got off TF-24, we followed a trail again, this time already downhill. We often picked narrow shortcut trails, but along the main wide trail we saw two caves, which could be nice place for an overnight stop if we had more time.

naturist 0003 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

In about an hour after the information point, we finally got to the black volcano. The landscape looked quite surreal – an island of black desert in the green sea of pine forest…

naturist 0001 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

And some more flowers:

plants 0010 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

the white ones, like these on an unidentified bush

plants 0011 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

camomiles stood out against the black background of the volcano;

but their purple relatives

plants 0013 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

and an orange poppy looked beautiful too!

poppy flower 0000 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

And as expected on the drier southern side of the mountains, there were plenty of succulents,

plants 0012 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

including a young specimen of the famous Canary dragon tree.

dragon tree 0014 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Behind the volcano, we finally saw the settlements, the right one being Güímar. But we were still a couple of hours away from there… So, we took some rest and bathed in a tub… filled with chestnuts 😀

naturist 0002 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Maybe you will also be lucky to do the hike in the season of figs or prickly pears (fruits of opuntia cactus), which are a good source of precious liquid (but take care of spines, and if you get some in your fingertips, just stroke your hair, as advices by my Mexican friends). Oh well, at some point you will have to wear your clothes, as gradually you will get back to civilization – starting with some remote villas and then the town of Güímar. When in Güímar, visit black pyramids, but the experience of free-hiking above the clouds is surely much more memorable!!!

naturist 0004 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Dear passengers, we are landing at… the naturist beach! Playa Guasimeta, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

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naturist 0000 Guasimeta beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

It seems naturists are really welcome on Canary Islands. Right next to the airport of Arrecife there is a quite long nudist beach

naturist 0002 Guasimeta beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

with very soft dark sand, Playa Guasimeta. Airplanes take off just along the beach, but this gives it charm of its own.

naturist 0001 Guasimeta beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

So, if you can’t wait to stretch out and get naked after the flight, just go there and relax on the sand. It’s also a short bike ride from the city.