Now, you may read the title and think “aren’t all beaches in France topless?”, and for the most, yes. Women and men are generally permitted to leave their shirts behind, especially in busier areas along the Mediterranean Riviera. However, there are some beaches that are considerably more lax with their clothing guidelines — some even going so far as to strongly discourage any clothing. So, if you’re searching for the perfect French topless beach, look no further:
This St Tropez beach has been a bastion for shedding inhibitions since the 1950s when it shot to fame thanks to Bridgette Bardot and her film And God Created Women. In the movie, Bardot strips down, making beach nudity much more accepted and popular throughout the world. In recent years, the St Tropez area has become world-renowned for welcoming the rich and famous to its shores. Tahiti Beach itself is embraced as one of the best nudist beaches on Earth. Nearby, lesser known, but equally beautiful, Pampelonne Beach also allows for speedo-less dips.
Another well-known spot for skinny dipping, Leucate Plage, only 45 miles north of the Spain border, is home to a nude campground and a couple of naturist resorts. A Clothing-Optional Community is located just offshore of the beach on the island of Correggio. The area has long stretches of shoreline on both the Mediterranean and along a local lagoon. Reverse to typical logic, those wearing bathing suits on this beach are likely to get strange glares.
Ile de Levant
A part of a cluster of Mediterranean islands known as the Hyeres Islands, Ile de Levant takes pride in its embrace of the naturist community. Specifically the island’s Plage des Grottes is a popular spot for local and visiting clothing-optional enthusiasts to get an extremely even tan.
South of Montpellier, Cap d’Agde has a stretch of sandy beach that booms every summer with visiting folk sans clothes. The town itself has multiple topless beaches as well as naturist resorts, and while anyone is welcome to the sea, there are resorts known to cater to a livelier crowd — that is to say they skew slightly towards the “wild” side of naturism.
On the island of Corsica, Plage Linguizzetta is one of the longest nude beaches in the world. All in all, the beach extends for around two and a half miles. The area is more populated by bars and restaurants with tasty food than it is by people.
Plage Naturiste du Saint-Selon
While clothing is optional here, make sure to bring at least a pair of sneakers, as reaching this pristine beach requires a 15-minute trek down a rocky cliff with steep stairs. The stroll down is well worth it though, as Saint-Salon is not overly crowded and has incredibly inviting clear blue water. The nearby town of La Seyne-sur-Mer is a charming area with access to many of the attractions that make France’s Cote d’Azur region legendary.
Named for Pablo Picasso’s daughter, this patch of shoreline’s striking turquoise waters, seaside mansion, and upper-class patrons pop out of any photo taken of it. Unlike the majority of the other beaches on this list, nudity is not embraced beyond toplessness at Paloma.
If you’re heading across the Atlantic, be sure to visit the Best Topless Beaches in the U.S.