Naked in the Canaries

August 19th, 2011

The Canary Islands are without a doubt the place to be if you are looking for some winter sunshine. A mere four hour flight from colder Northern climes, over 320 days of sunshine a year, and an unbeatable selection of holiday accommodation in the Canary Islands.

What more could you hope for? How about the chance to spend most of your holiday in the nude?  That’s right, in the nude.

May be its the sun, the holiday atmosphere, the proximity to the Sahara, the unbeatable scenery, who knows? but more and more people are opting for that over-all body tan.

Nudist beaches are in high demand. None more so, than the ones in the Canaries. So where to go….?

Nudist beaches in Spain

Are they common? Yes and becoming ever more so. Interestingly under Spanish law any beach can be considered nudist. Naturism or nudism is legal all over Spain.

It is certainly more acceptable in some places than others. But there is nothing to stop you getting your kit off wherever you like!

The Canary Islands have always been at the forefront of the nudist revolution in Spain. Indeed one of Spain’s first naturist villages, the Charco del Palo on Lanzarote, was built some thirty odd years ago.

Nude beaches in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura – as known as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’ is the obvious starting place.

The second largest of the Canary Islands and a mere 60kms off the coast of Africa, Fuerteventura is quite simply a natural paradise.

It also offers the most nudist beaches in the Canaries.

Sotavento-beach-Fuerteventura

Corralejo is situated in the Northern-most tip of the island. And is the most popular tourist resort on Fuerteventura.

The beaches outside of Corralejo center are ‘clothing optional’ although tourists are getting more accustomed to naturists, Corralejo does not offer any dedicated nudist beaches.

Two nearby beaches that are considered suitable are the Corralejo Dunes Beach and the La Cala de Cotillo beach.

La Cala de Cotillo is the more popular of the two and is approximately a 20minute drive from Corralejo.

The beaches further south are more secluded and offer more possibilities for naturists.

The best are on the Jandia Penisular. An area of outstanding natural beauty and offering some truly spectacular coastal scenery, with salt marshes, sand dunes and various hidden coves.

The most popular nudist beaches are Playa Barca, Playa de Sotavento and Playa de Butihondo.

Nude beaches in Lanzarote

Just 11kms north-east of Fuerteventura lies the popular Island of Lanzarote.

The eastern-most Canary Island, with its volcanic origin and lunar-like landscape offers some fantastic beaches.

Lanzarote nudist beach

The naturalist scene on Lanzarote is well established and has been around for a long time.

In the north of the island, the two most popular naturalist beaches are Playa Famara and the ‘beaches’ (more like natural rock pools) that adjoin the naturalist village, the Charco del Palo.

Going further South, Playa Guasimeta just next to the airport in Arrecife comes highly recommended.

Playa de Papagayo on the Island’s Southern most tip has the reputation as being Lanzarote’s best beach. Being a popular venue with clothed tourists, the Playa de Papagayo is not a known naturalist hangout.

There are, however, three beaches nearby that are considered suitable; Playa del Congrio, Playa Las Mujeres and Playa del Pozo. All are relatively secluded and lacking in any form of facility, bring everything you need with you.

Nude beaches in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands. There are many beaches that are suitable for nude sun bathing.

The most famous of which is the Playa de Maspalomas or Maspalomas beach.

Miles and miles of sandy beach has made Playa de Maspalomas on Gran Canaria almost a household name. Without a doubt one of the Canary Island’s more popular beaches, it is a haven for nude sunbathing.

The fine white sand is continually replenished with sand blown in from the Sahara and has created some spectacular sand dunes that provide all the intimacy that you could hope for.

Playa de Maspalomas - Maspalomas beach - Gran Canaria

Access to the beach (also classified as a natural reserve) is possible from the Maspalomas resort or Playa del Ingles. Both of which offer ample facilities.

Generally speaking naturists tend to stick to the middle of the beach avoiding the more built-up areas either side.

With 12kms of wind swept sand dunes, there’s plenty of choice and guaranteed tranquillity.

There are numerous other beaches in Gran Canaria that are considered suitable. Another popular location is the pebble beach at Playa Veneguera just past Mogán.

Nude beaches in Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most populated island in the Canaries. Tenerife is actually the most populated island in Spain and home to Spain’s highest mountain – El Teide.

Playa de la Tejita is the most popular clothing optional beach in Tenerife. Also known (somewhat incorrectly, they are actually two separate beaches) as the Playa de Montana Roja – translated literally as the red mountain beach – it is the largest and longest sand beach on Tenerife.

Most of the naturalist bathing tends to concentrate in and around a small snack bar that lies adjacent to the Montana Roja, the red mountain.

Playa de la Tejita Gran Canaria

Playa de las Gaviotas just northwest of Santa Cruz is a popular nudist beach. Consisting of black volcanic sand and backed by steep cliffs it offers some breathtaking scenery and is a popular destination for people staying in Santa Cruz.

Other nudist beaches of note on Tenerife are Playa de Diego Hernandez (La Caleta area), Playa de los Patos (Puerta de la Cruz area) and Playa de La Pelada (el Medano area).

Nude beaches in La Gomera

Just a 40 minute fast ferry ride away from Tenerife is the tiny island of La Gomera.

Underdeveloped and unspoilt are two words that are often used to describe the island.

Playa del Ingles - La Gomera Canary Islands

The two main nudist beaches on the island are situated near the Valle Gran Rey. The black sand – picture above – is called Playa del Ingles and is the more popular of the two.

Access to the second beach is harder and involves a bit of walking. It lies just past  the harbour at Vueltas and is known as La Playa Calera.

Valle Gran Rey was until recently a former hippy commune and their presence is still felt today.

Nude beaches in La Palma

Another one of the smaller islands that has not been hit by mass tourism is La Palma.

La Palma has two main beach resorts.

The first is on the east coast near Santa Cruz at Los Cancajos. The second one is on the west coast in area called Puerto Naos.

Puerto Naos is home to La Palma’s best naturist beach Playa de las Monjas.

Sunset Puerto Naos - La Palma Canary Islands

Playa de las Monjas is situated at the southern end of Puerto Naos.

image credits @flickr patipoludniak / Phil Tremblay / msanfel / klaus_z74 / diwiesign

John Kramer
Posted by John Kramer
John is the marketing and content manager for Spain-holiday.com. Having travelled extensively, John settled in a small Spanish village over fourteen years ago. Interested in anything to do with the outdoors, sports, current affairs, travel and new technologies. John loves nothing more than losing himself in the mountains for a few days.