Whether you’re into it or not, another northern hemisphere summer is booking its flights, packing up its caftans, swimsuits, and culottes, and soon will be waiting on the autumnal curbside, anxious for its Uber to the airport.
Yes, summer will leave us on a jet plane for the southern hemisphere but there is still time to part with the season sunkissed. So strip down, lather up, and welcome a healthy dosage of September vitamin D as you tan on the soft sands and wade into cool salty waters on one of our favorite international nude beaches.
Some of the beaches are almost entirely queer, some contain queer sections, and others have informal queer contingents mixing with other naturists. Either way, be sure to lather up, bring plenty of water and snacks, and feel the freedom of al fresco swimming.
1. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada
Located on the sand between the terminus of trails #6 and #7 near the University of British Columbia is the queer section of Wreck Beach, the largest and longest nude beach in North America at 4.84 miles. Besides the ample skinny dipping opportunities the beach provides in the chilly Pacific, beachgoers can hike along the shoreline, look for wildlife like whales, kingfishers, bald eagles, or visit the incredible vendors of the main beach for food. Plan for an adventure — Wreck Beach is remote! The beach is a is a 30-minute hike from the trailhead.
2. Elia Beach, Mykonos, Greece
What would a skinny dipping list be without one of the most popular nude beaches in Greece? Originally a gay mecca of a beach, Elia now caters to both a queer and straight clientele, but the queerest section is on the West end, the nude portion of the beach. Here, you can rent a daybed for around 15 Euro a day and order drinks and food from beachside servers, or, set up on the sand and BYOB.
3. Platja dels Balmins, Sitges, Spain
Another Mediterranean classic, the remarkably queer-friendly beachside party town of Sitges, Spain (48 minutes from Barcelona by train) boasts three gay beaches, but only two of them allow nudity. Platja dels Balmins is the largest of the two nudist beaches. Like Elia Beach, Platja dels Balmins is well attended with servers if you’d like to pay for seating and service, has lifeguards on duty, and a nice cafe restaurant to grab dinner at after a long day in the sun. The body surfing can be a blast in the warm Mediterranean waters. Not your scene? Try Sitges’ other gay nude beach, Playa Del Muerto, a pebbly, naughtier alternative.
4. Haulover Beach, Miami, USA
On the northern end of the nude section on Haulover Beach, winter birds from Canada, Europe, and the Northern US mix with the adventurous Fort Lauderdale and Miami locals on the wide white sands. Unlike some other beaches on this list, Haulover has lifeguards, concession stands and is a short, easy walk from the parking lot — making it easy to bring your own chairs, coolers, and beach gear. Haulover Naturist Beach is a part of Miami-Dade County’s beautiful and well kept Haulover Park, 20 minutes north of Miami Beach, and 40 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale.
5. Sandy Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Did the northern hemisphere summer escape you? Don’t worry, the last few beaches on our list are all in the southern, giving you ample time to plan your winter escape. Located about 30 minutes from downtown Cape Town, Sandy Bay is one of the few clothing-optional beaches in all of Africa. Like Wreck Beach in Vancouver, Sandy Bay requires a rocky 20-minute hike from the Llandudno Beach parking lot to Sandy Bay. Once you arrive, you’ll notice the gorgeous egg-shell white sands, aqua ocean and famous bluffs of Table Mountain National Park towering overhead.
6. Praia do Abricó, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
While I’m sure you’ve seen photos of the famous gay section of the Ipanema Beach in Rio, where bikinis and speedos rein supreme, you may not have heard of the only beach in the city that allows naturism, Praia do Abricó. Located an hour west in the protected municipal park of Grumari, the beach draws a large number of queer beachgoers. The beach has a section for nudism and was visited by the badass Brazilian feminist and performer, Luz Del Fuego, who became famous in the 1940s for wrapping pythons around her naked body and later founded the first naturist club in Brazil.
7. Lady Bay Beach, Sydney, Australia
It is no secret that New South Wales’s capital is blessed with miles and miles of stunning beaches. While there are a few smaller unofficial nude beaches, like Little Congwong Beach in Botany Bay National Park, Lady Bay Beach is a popular official nude beach, as well as the oldest. About 25 minutes from downtown Sydney, the beach draws a large number of queer and straight sunbathers and offers them a stunning view of the Sydney Harbor as they bake in the warm Aussie sun.