If you’re entertaining the idea of a clothing-optional retreat, chances are you want it to be tasteful. Your brief respite from the shackles of a pro-clothing society is not going to be spent in a hot, crowded slump. Maybe you’re of the opinion that there’s still something beautiful and holy in the act’s vulnerability — or maybe you’d just prefer to not be catcalled by a guy calling himself Full Frontal Frank. Luckily, we’ve created a list of hidden gems; a concise collection of secluded beaches, mysterious hot springs and off-the-beaten-path destinations where nudity is allowed and word hasn’t quite gotten out yet. Whether you’re a first time naturist or frequently returning customer, this list may force you to reconsider the possibilities of a clothing-optional vacation.
To reach this Shire-esque hot spring 25 miles outside of Reykjavík, a good pair of hiking boots is more important than clothing. The level of lush greenery here is borderline criminal, and at the end of your hike you’ll reach a winding river of geothermal water with billowing steam that’s heated to the perfect temperature. The nature of the river’s curves lends its hand to privacy, so leave your clothes on the bank and slip in au naturel. This isn’t a nudist-only destination, and it can be a fun place to bring the family, just be aware that you may stumble across some happy campers in their naturist element.
Takaragawa Onsen, Minakami, Japan
Onsens are as integral to Japanese culture as sushi and sake, and it wouldn’t be frowned upon to fly halfway around the world to experience what they offer. Usually framed by intricate, meticulous landscaping and traditional Buddhist architecture, onsens transcend the traditional hot spring experience. Be prepared have a spiritual, zen-like awakening. It’s hard to find a gem more beautiful and hidden than Takaragawa. Book a room at the ryokan-style inn during the winter months and take a skinny dip in one of the most peaceful winter wonderlands you’ll ever see. Just be conscious that Japanese culture is a bit more reserved than most parts of the world, so be modest with your nudity and try to stay away from public displays of affection.
Sé Canova, Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is one of Spain’s beautiful Balearic islands floating off the Mediterranean coastline. Known for its limestone bluffs, azure views, and rolling vineyards, it’s a destination that beckons the paradise-seeking traveler. Because it requires an additional flight from mainland Europe, it’s less frequented and thus considered more of a hidden gem than other places in the area. If you’re looking to ditch the crowds further, Se Canova is a beautiful stretch of sand that welcomes nudists of all shapes and sizes. It’s 1.5 miles of white sand that overlooks the mountain ranges of Cap des Pinar and Llevant Natural Park with tons of natural flora and fauna. The space has been deemed a “natural area of special interest,” so development in the area is limited. Enjoy Se Canova while it’s still somewhat of a secret!
Bagby Hot Springs, Oregon
Tucked away inconspicuously in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest is an opportunity for a truly rustic nudist experience. Hiking through the forest leads to Bagby Hot Springs, a collection of wooden structures camouflaged by lichen and overgrown moss. Inside are four large barrel-style circular tubs for groups and five canoe-shaped tubs suitable for individuals. The wood is faded, smooth and worn (in this instance by years of bare-bottomed nudists), and the vibe is refreshingly rejuvenating. With Bagby witnessing a bit of an uptick in popularity as of late, try to get here in the morning (or better yet, stay in one of the nearby campsites) to avoid the crowds and make the most of this still-hidden gem.
Intima Resort, Tulum, Mexico
The Riviera Maya is a section of coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan peninsula, a region known for a perfect Caribbean climate, delicious food, and frankly, lots of tourism. Everyone and their mother knows how obnoxious foreigners have made Cancun a raucous cesspool, so it doesn’t deserve to be on any kind of “hidden gem” list. Just to the south, however, is Tulum. Tulum is home to historic Mayan ruins, breathtaking beaches, a larger population of locals and a less intense scene. One of the best places to strip down in Tulum is the Intima Resort, an adults-only, clothing-optional hotel tucked strategically within the surrounding jungle. Guests have access to pools, hot tubs, swim-up bars, a delicious restaurant, and day activities to ruins and cenotes (natural underground reservoirs). Overall, Intima has a very relaxed, hidden-gem vibe that may be exactly what you’re looking for in a nudist holiday.
Couples Tower Isle, Jamaica
Traveling with a partner? Looking to share in the joy of stripping down together at a beautiful resort? Tower Isle on the northern coast of Jamaica is perhaps the Caribbean’s best nudist-friendly, couples-only destination. It’s a hidden beach resort where love is in the air; the spot is famous for hosting weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. Amenities include everything from spas to massages and day trips to nearby attractions. The best part about Couples Tower Isle is the nudist section is actually an island just off the shore. Hop on a little boat and head out to your own private, clothing-optional island for the day. The island is equipped with its own array of pools, snack bars, and restaurants, so feel free to make yourself comfy for the entire day.