Naturism – also known as Nudism or a Clothes-Free lifestyle – has a small but enthusiastic following in a number of countries around the world. It's not about sex, but a preference to abandon the artificial – and often functionally unnecessary – use of clothing to cover parts of the body. However, as nudity is often considered socially unacceptable, naturists often have difficulties finding travel destinations where they can practice their lifestyle and have their state of undress accepted.
Many countries have laws that make nudity in a public place either a crime or at least a misdemeanor offense. Also, many societies associate nudity with erotic entertainments, which are often strictly controlled or forbidden. As a result, naturist destinations are often in remote, out of the way places, discreetly advertised to avoid attracting the undesirable attention of those who would interfere with this lifestyle, either by trying to put a stop to it or by using it as a source of personal amusement.
Some naturist resorts (often called "nudist camps" by the public) are "clothing optional", leaving it up to the individual whether to wear clothing and/or how much. However, "wet" naturism (such as swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, etc.) is nude only. Other resorts require nudity everywhere, to discourage visits by voyeurs who just want to look at naked people, and to maintain an egalitarian "we're all nude here" atmosphere. (There may be exceptions, such as cold weather.) Remote free public beaches used for naturism are usually clothing optional except if signed otherwise. In France and Brazil all naturist beaches are nude only.
Many locations maintain fairly strict codes of public conduct, intended to keep them suitable for families with minor children and/or to avoid running afoul of laws against "lewd conduct" in public. Some resorts do a quick background check to screen out those who have been expelled from other naturist venues. If your employment has a "morals clause," seek legal advice first, unless naturism is quite popular and non-controversial in the area you work. Innocent men who experience arousal should cover up, roll over, or get into the water, and NEVER seek attention. Don't visit nudist resorts or beaches to be a voyeur, and be sober. Keep cameras and cellular phones out of sight and powered off. Learn the expectations of any specific naturist destination before traveling there. You can usually use the net to find out about their rules, and other information. Even if you know the basic rules of naturism, individual resorts may have a few unique ones. Some resorts and most Brazilian naturist public beaches prohibit a single man from entering unless they are accompanied by a woman (or the entire family). Others don't insist on being accompanied, but have quotas, such as a maximum of 60 percent males members. For a single-male newcomer, this may be a distinction without a difference.
The most common naturist destinations are beaches where nude bathing and sunbathing are either tolerated in practice or formally permitted. Whether naturism is tolerated at a particular beach is usually judged from local information, the relative remoteness of the location and whether the naturist feels reasonably inconspicuous. On a 'mixed beach' without signs to demarcate an area allocated for naturism, a tension can arise between naturists and others over territory: adherents of each group feel presence of the other group spoils their enjoyment of the beach. This gives rise to dynamic situations where the suitability of a beach for naturism changes from time to time, shifting according to which group arrived first, and invisible demarcation lines seem to arise that tend to concentrate a naturist minority into "ghetto" areas.
Naturism sites can be either public or private. For the latter, you'll probably have to pay a modest fee, though sometimes this is waved for newcomers. Discounts may be available for members of a naturism organization. On-site overnight accommodations are sometimes available for an additional fee. These can become scare during the peak season, so make reservations well in advance. Tent camping may be another option. Some resorts don't keep good records, as experienced help can be hard to find. Always get their first name, reconfirm reservations, and make sure you're charged the correct amount. If any minors are accompanying you, let the resort know beforehand, and your relation to them (including shared parenting, partial custody, etc.)
Some naturist destinations are way off the beaten path, and you might have to use unpaved roads to get there. Even if the public road up to the gate is paved, chances are, the road on the resort itself is not. Be sure to bring your GPS or smartphone so you don't get lost. Set up your route beforehand, as there may be no cellular signal in remote areas. Have a approximate idea where the pavement ends, and then check the GPS setting for unpaved roads. (It's usually unchecked by default.) Note that rental car contracts often forbid driving on unpaved roads, and in any case, rental insurance or membership towing may not cover mishaps there.
Australia and New Zealand
It isn't unpopular for someone to be nude in a beach that often only attracts one or two visitors a day. Due to the vast number of beaches, there aren't any beaches where it's allowed and not allowed, although there are some beaches that are more popular than others, listed below.
Australian Capital Territory
- Kambah Pool
New South Wales
- Armands Beach, Bermagui, Sapphire Coast
- Birdie Beach, Wyong Shire NSW National Park & Wildlife Authority
- Lady Bay Beach, Watsons Bay, Sydney Harbour (name changed in 1977 from Lady Jane Beach)
- Little Congwong Beach, La Perouse
- Obelisk Beach, Mosman, Sydney Harbour
- Cobblers Beach, Mosman, Sydney Harbour
- Werrong Beach, Royal National Park
- Little Jibbon Beach, Royal National Park
- Ocean Beach, Royal National Park
- Marley Beach, Royal National Park
- Curracurrang, Royal National Park
- Samurai, One Mile
- Belongil Beach (legal), Tyagarah
- Casuarina Beach, Darwin
Nude beaches have been made legal in Queensland by a court decision.
Current quasi-legal beaches are:
- Alexandria Bay (known as "A Bay") near Noosa is a popular spot with nudists and arguably the most tolerated nude beach.
- Bribie Island - Remote beaches on Bribie were once popular with nudists, though Moreton Bay rangers as well as police now regularly patrol this remote island.
- Maslin Beach
- Ocean Beach near Robe
- Pelican Point, Barmera
- Murippi Beach, near Whyalla
- Bakers Beach (not legal, be discreet)
- Sandy Bay – Long Beach
- North Swanbourne beach
- Cable Beach, Broome
- Warnbro Beach, Rockingham
- Mauritius Beach, Exmouth
- East Pretty Pool, Port Hedland
- Ten Mile Lagoon, Esperance
New Zealand has no law specifically forbidding public nudity; it will usually be prosecuted as "offensive behaviour". Since 1991, however, the common law in New Zealand is that it is not offensive to be nude in a place where nudity is "known to occur". Some places where nudity is "known to occur" are:
- Allans Beach – Dunedin
- Breaker Bay – Wellington
- Doctors Point Beach – Dunedin
- Fitzpatrick Bay – Auckland
- Herne Bay – Auckland
- Ladies Bay – Saint Heliers, Auckland
- Little Palm Beach – Waiheke Island
- Mapoutahi Cove – Dunedin
- Orpheus Bay – Auckland
- Ototoka Beach – Whanganui
- Papamoa Beach – Tauranga
- Peka Peka Beach – Kapiti Coast
- Pohutukawa Bay (Longbay) – North Shore, Auckland
- Rarawa Beach – Northland
- Sandfly Bay – Dunedin
- Smaills Beach – Dunedin
- Spencer Park Beach – Christchurch
- St Leonards Beach – Auckland
- Taylors Mistake Beach – Christchurch
- Uretiti Beach – Northland
- Waimairi Beach – Christchurch
- Warrington Beach – Dunedin
- Whareakeake (Murdering Beach) – Dunedin
- Auckland Counties Sun Club – Auckland
- Auckland Naturist – Orewa, Auckland
- Auckland Outdoor Naturist Club – Auckland
- Autumn Farm – Golden Bay
- Bay of Plenty Sun Club – Whakatane
- Guysers Gaystay B&B (for men) – Rotorua
- Hawkes Bay Outdoor Leisure Club – Napier
- Katikati Naturist Park – Bay of Plenty
- Manawatu Naturist Club – Palmerston North
- Nelson Sun Club – Nelson
- Orchard Sun Club – Sutton, Dunedin
- Pineglades Naturist Club – Rolleston
- Rotota Sun Club – Rotorua
- South Canterbury Sun Club – Geraldine
- Southern Naturally – Invercargill
- Wai-natur Naturist Park – Blenheim
- Wellington Naturist Club – Te Mārua, Upper Hutt
- Woodside Park/Waikato Outdoor Society – Hamilton
- Keutschacher See in Carinthia
- Tigringer See
- Pleschinger See
In Vienna the following beaches can be found
- Donauinsel (an artificial island in the Danube quite close to the city centre)
In Belgium naturism is allowed only in dedicated inland spots and saunas and on the beach of Bredene close to Oostende. Out of Bredene naturism is not allowed in Belgian beaches. Before the opening of the naturist beach of Bredene to the practice of naturism in 2002, Belgians had to go the beaches of the Netherlands, usually Groede in West-Zeeuws Vlaanderen (Seeland), as there are no naturist beaches in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Department of France. An exception has always been the natural reserve of Het Zwin, an empty beach between Knokke-Heist and the Dutch border, where naturism is not legal, but it has been traditionally tolerated. To avoid the increasing violations of privacy in the internet, the City Council of Bredene has strictly prohibited all types photography on the beach.
Croatia was the first country in Europe to start with the concept of commercial naturist resorts. According to some estimates about 15% of all tourists that visit the country are naturists or nudists (more than one million each year). There are more than 20 official naturist resorts as well as a number of the so-called free beaches which are unofficial naturist beaches, sometimes controlled and maintained by local tourist authorities. Naturist beaches in Croatia are marked as "FKK".
Nudity is accepted and quite common when swimming in private (on private property or in sufficiently remote places), in connection with sauna bathing, and the like. Usually none or all in a party use swimming suits. On official beaches clothing is usually required for anybody above 7 years old. There are some official naturalist beaches.
- Pihlajasaari: Has a unisex nudist beach, consisting almost entirely of rocky cliffs, with no sand. Not very suitable for swimming.
- Seurasaari: Separate nudist beaches for men and women. No unisex nudist area.
- Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall: a swimming hall in a historic architecture. Gender separated by day of week.
- Nakukymppi, a light-hearted sports event in June, where people run or walk 10 km completely nude. Music, food and sauna.
- Yyteri: A very small part of the main Yyteri beach is designated as a unisex nudist beach. A flat beach covered in sand.
- Also Turku has a clothing optional swimming hall, gender separated by day of week. The archipelago off Turku has thousands of islands where you can find a spot on the cliffs for yourselves (the nudist beach in Turku was closed).
- The largest naturist resort in Europe is Héliopolis/Port Nature at Cap d'Agde on the south coast.
- Part of the Île du Levant in the Mediterranean is established as Héliopolis a naturist village.
- Corsicana is one of several naturist beach resorts on the east coast of the island Corsica.
- Euronat in the Aquitaine region of France.
- Domaine De Belezy is a four star naturist resort some 30 miles north-east of Avignon at the foot of Mt Ventoux.
FKK, as it is known in German, was very popular in East Germany during partition and it remains more popular in the east than the west. Designated areas are marked "FKK".
- On the sea: Naturism is quite common on the German coast of the Baltic sea, on any beach, but less common on the coast of the North sea.
- Lakes and rivers: On lakes and rivers, there is no general rule. In some places naturism is practised, explicitly stated, or at least tolerated, and in other places it is not. If in doubt, do as the locals do. Topless sunbathing is tolerated virtually everywhere. With the apps iSwimNude or Nudist Compass you can orient yourself well where nudism is possible. The Central German Lake District and the Lusatian Lake District in East Germany both cater to FKK.
- Baths and pools: In public baths and indoor pools naturism is generally not tolerated; even toplessness might cause trouble with the pool attendant and eviction from premises. In some places naturism is mandatory during special hours or evenings; those would be marked "FKK".
- Nude hiking: There are 2 official nude hiking trails - the Harzer Naturistenweg and the Naturistenweg Undeloh.The nudist campsite in Glüsingen is just over 30 kilometers away from the nude hiking trail in Undeloh. The extensive forest area around the holiday area is not an official nude hiking area, but textile-free hikes have been made there for more than 90 years.
- Sauna: here it is very common to be naked and you are an outsider if you enter with bathing dress.
- Naturist campsites: present in large numbers in every federal state.
Greece has only a few explicitly nudist beaches and naturist resorts on the islands, e.g. at
Tourist information offices have said that naturism is not permitted elsewhere. There are, however, many unofficial nudist beaches on the islands and the main land where naturism is tolerated. The unofficial nude bathing beaches are mostly in remote areas and you often need an all-terrain vehicle to reach there. In the high season from mid-July to mid-August it can sometimes be difficult to find an unofficial nudist beach, as there is a lot of activity on all beaches.
- Brittas Bay, County Wicklow.
- Corballis, Donabate, County Dublin.
- Roundstone, County Galway.
- Silver Strand Beach, Barna, County Galway.
- West Cork, County Cork.
- Curracloe strand is used by naturists and it has been proposed as an official naturist beach.
The official naturist beaches in Italy are:
- Beach on the Sesia river in Varallo (Piedmont);
- Nido dell'Aquila beach, San Vincenzo (Tuscany);
- Punta Combara beach (Tuscany);
- Punta del Miglio beach (Tuscany);
- Acquarilli beach, Elba island (Tuscany);
- Focene beach, Fiumicino (Lazio);
- Capocotta beach, Ostia (Lazio);
- Lido le Morge beach, Torino di Sangro (Abruzzo);
- Troncone beach, Camerota (Campania);
- Porto Ferro beach, Alghero (Sardinia);
- Piscinas beach, Arbus (Sardinia).
The main Italian naturist resorts are:
- Le Betulle naturist village  in the town of La Cassa about 20 miles north-west of Turin, Piedmont;
- Il Costalunga naturist camping , beautiful camping in Liguria, near the town of Sassello, 24 km. from the coast;
- Cà Le Scope naturist camping, located in Emilia-Romagna (Marzabotto) near Bologna;
- Classe camping, located in Emilia-Romagna (Ravenna) on the coast, part naturist and part textile;
- Sassocorbo naturist eco-camping, located in Tuscany, near Grosseto;
- Costamara agritourism, located in Tuscany near Grosseto;
- Locanda di Terramare, a naturist residence in Tuscany near Livorno;
- BNatural Naturism & Glamping, a camping in Tuscany near Livorno;
- Parco del Gargano naturist club, camping located in Apulia, near Foggia;
- Grotta Miranda Naturist Resort, located in Apulia, mear Brindisi.
- Pizzo Greco naturist camping, located in Calabria, in south of Italy directly on the sea;
- Le Peonie camping, a naturist camping in Sardinia, near Nuoro;
Public saunas in the Netherlands are always mixed gender and nudity is the norm when using these. In the Netherlands tanning top free is legal on almost all beaches. Municipalities with a beach (usually including quiet parts) tend to have a nudist beach; even if the municipality does not like it, it designates a quiet part as such in order to be able to forbid nudity on the rest of the beach.
- Almere, Zilverstrand
- Amsterdamse Bos, Zonneweide (from April 1 through September 30)
- Lake Gaasperplas near Amsterdam access Gaasperplas metro station.
- Bussloo, longest nude beach in the Netherlands
- Bloemendaal aan Zee, nude beach at the north part of the beach
- Callantsoog, sandy beach 1.5 km (0.93 mi) to the south - the oldest official nude beach in the country, dating from 1973
- Grote Plas in Delft, northeast side
- Scheveningen, The Hague, sandy beach 1 km to the north
- Noordwijk, North past sand dunes and World War II era bunkers
- The Hague, Zuiderstrand, approx. 300 m (980 ft) of sandy beach
- Kijkduin, The Hague, two beaches
- IJmuiden, nude beach at the south part of the beach
- Zandvoort, sandy beach 2 km (1.2 mi) to the south
- Vrouwenpolder, sandy beach.
- Veluwse Bron wellness resort
- In and around Oslo
- Huk on the Bygdøy peninsula
- Svartkulp near Sognsvann
- the south east side of the islands Langøyene
- Strandskog in Bunnefjorden.
- In and around Bergen
- Kollevågen on the island Askøy
- Sjøhaug Naturist Centre outside Moss on Jeløya
Although there no officially designated naturist resorts, there are several beaches frequented by naturists:
Vicinity of big cities:
- Warsaw - Wał Miedzeszyński
- Cracow - Kryspinów
- Poznań - Biskupice Wlkp.
- Łódź - Piętnastki or Bronisławów
The naturists' guide to Poland is available here
- Praia da Adiça Costa da Caparica
- Ursa Beach, Sintra
- Praia dos Alteirinhos, Zambujeira do Mar
- Ilha de Tavira in Algarve
- Praia da Bordeira in Carrapateira (full nudity is acceptable beyond the popular area)
- Praia do Meco in Sesimbra near Lisbon
- Praia da Bela Vista near Lisbon
- Praia do Salto near Porto Covo, Alentejo
- Cabanas Velhas beach near Lagos, Portugal, Algarve
- Praia de Adegas in Alentejo
- Rio Alto Beach in Póvoa de Varzim, near Oporto
- Duna Alta beach near Oporto
- Praia das Furnas, Odemira
- Praia da Afurada, Ferragudo
- Barreta Island, Faro
Although there no officially designated naturist resorts, there are few places, mainly beaches, frequented by naturists. Topless sunbathing is generally accepted on all beaches.
Naturist beaches on the Black Sea:
- 2 Mai Beach
- Corbu Beach
- Vadu Beach
- Vama Veche Beach
- Ocna Sibiului - though only a small area is reserved for nudists
Since the arrival of democracy in Spain after the death of General Franco, nudity is legal over the whole of the Spanish territory and nobody can be fined for the simple fact of being naked. Nevertheless, some city councils prefer to allocate specially dedicated locations to naturists. Moreover, there are many locations in Spain that although they are not specially dedicated by the councils to naturism, they have a long established history of naturist practice.
Most travel destinations in Spain have a naturist beach somewhere within the main tourist area. They range from commercial naturist resorts like Costa Natura in Malaga to alternative and hippy-oriented communities like in Caños de Meca (Cadiz), passing by family-oriented like Arealonga in Galicia and Waikiki in Tarragona or the mostly gay-oriented of Sitges close to Barcelona. Top-less sunbathing was introduced in Spain by northern and central-European tourist women in the early 70s in the last years of the Franco regime. Nowadays it has become extremely popular among Spanish women and although it is the norm on all Spanish beaches, not all women do it.
- Stockholm area:
- Ågesta Nude Beach: Official nude beach on Magelungen, maintained by NF EOS, the Scandinavian Naturalist Federation. Located about 10 km south of central Stockholm.
- Långholmen: Unofficial ("spontaneous") nude beach, located on the western end of Långholmen island.
- Källtorp Nude Beach: Unofficial ("spontaneous") nude beach, located about 6 km southeast of central Stockholm, on the southeastern end of Källtorp lake. The beach is rocky and there are no public conveniences.
- PGs Udde Nude Beach: Unofficial ("spontaneous") nude beach, located about 5 km southeast of central Stockholm, on the northern end of Källtorp lake
- Gothenburg area:
- Amundön: Officially nude beach on the rocks of an island south of Gothenburg, between Askim and Billdal.
There are about a dozen official naturist beaches. The popularity of the beaches ranges from Studland with about 2,500 users on a good day to Cleat's Shore where you are unlikely to see anyone else at all. Even the remote Holkham Bay on the North Norfolk Coast had about 500 users one Sunday in September 2005.
Whilst public nudity in Britain isn't explicitly illegal anywhere, it becomes a crime if you are 'causing offence' - therefore it would be very unwise to practise naturism even on the beach unless it is specifically designated as such.
Topless bathing is not generally accepted as much in the United Kingdom as it is in mainland Europe, but it is still practised on some beaches - try and make a personal judgement based on the people nearby.
There are well over a hundred clubs ranging from little more than a patch of grass to residential resorts.
Well over a hundred swimming pools and leisure centres offer naturist sessions.
Before the Russian occupation, most travel destinations in Crimea had a naturist beach somewhere outside of the main touristic area. The most known one was in Koktebel. Topless sunbathing was generally accepted on all beaches.
- See also List of social nudity places in North America in Wikipedia
Toplessness for non-commercial purposes is nominally lawful throughout Ontario (per R. vs. Gwen Jacobs) but rarely practised. There are a few clothing-optional beaches, such as Wreck Beach near Vancouver BC and Hanlan's Point Beach on the Toronto Islands. Nudism in Canada tends, predictably, to be very seasonal by nature. Some nudist or naturist resorts and campgrounds operate commercially. The Federation of Canadian Naturists (www.fcn.ca) and NetNude portal (www.netnude.com) have information on individual locations.
Laws about nudity differ throughout the United States. Places like Fire Island are operated by the National Park Service, which doesn't always cite offenders. They seem bothered only if you are in a family area like Ocean Beach. They might ask you to move further up the beach if someone complains. On beaches controlled by New York state, however, nudity is illegal. Toplessness by both men and women is legal anywhere in NY except for "lewd" displays, as in strip clubs, though of course that doesn't mean it will always be accepted.
- Sandy Hook in New Jersey
- Fire Island in New York
- Moshup Beach in Aquinnah, Massachusetts: a public beach on Martha's Vineyard where nudity is common and tolerated, although not explicitly permitted
- Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Massachusetts: a beach that is open only to those living or staying in Chilmark; nudity is explicitly permitted in certain areas
- Haulover Beach in Miami, Florida: Naturist Beach.
- Baker Beach in San Francisco, California.
- Black's Beach in La Jolla, California, just north of San Diego
Naturist resorts in the U.S. are rapidly growing in popularity. There are more than 280 naturist resorts, clubs, and campgrounds in America. Year-round upscale resorts are found in Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs is very popular with naturists as it is the sunniest city in the U.S. Being a desert, it averages only 5 inches (130 mm) of rain a year and has no mosquitoes. However, it may be expensive. Naturist resorts in Florida are also very popular, and tend to be warmer in winter than the other states on the mainland. Virtually all resorts are a member of the AANR non-profit association (directory: ). The notable exception is New Hampshire .
In Brazil, public nudity is considered illegal, except in a few official nude beaches listed below:
- Tambaba, located in the north zone of Recife, in Paraíba State
- Praia do Abricó,  located in the west zone of Rio_de_Janeiro City
- Praia da Galheta, in Santa Catarina State, a clothes-optional beach located in the east zone of Florianópolis
- Pedras Altas, in Santa Catarina, between Florianópolis and Garopaba
- Praia do Pinho, in Santa Catarina, next to Balneário_Camboriú, near Florianópolis
- Massarandupió,  a beach in Bahia State, located 100 km (62 mi) north of Salvador
- Barra Seca, a beach in Espirito_Santo State, located 60 km (37 mi) north of Linhares
- Olho de Boi, in Búzios, in Rio de Janeiro State, the most popular nude beach for gays in Brazil
- Jurubá - in the city of Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro
- Praia Brava - a beach in the state of Rio de Janeiro