Nude - The best nudist beaches

With a wonderful climate, the best beaches in Europe, and a relaxed attitude towards public nudity, it’s no surprise that the Algarve has become an increasingly popular destination for naturist holidaymakers, as well as those expatriates who enjoy an all-over tan. There is a Portuguese expression, não faz mal, which roughly translates as ‘it doesn’t matter.’ It perfectly sums up the country’s relatively laidback attitude towards many things, including nakedness in public, and is the reason why many beaches, even if they are not officially recognised as naturist, are naturist by common consent.

  • Praia dos Caneiros
    Praia dos Caneiros

Public nudity is not actually against the law in Portugal, and an offence is only committed if somebody feels morally offended and files a complaint - an unlikely occurrence. So you can, in theory, go naked anywhere you want. In practice, whilst topless sunbathing is as common here as most places in Europe, you should not contemplate going totally naked on popular and busy beaches in the main towns and resorts.

But don’t worry. There are three official naturist beaches in the Algarve - Adegas at Odeceixe, Ilha Deserta off the coast of Olhão, and Barril on the Ilha de Tavira - plus any number of others along the entire stretch of the coast where nudity is the norm, not just with foreign tourists and residents but with the Portuguese themselves.

  • Praia das Furnas
    Praia das Furnas

The following list is by no means definitive, as within reason you can go naked on any stretch of beach that’s empty, but it’s a good starting point. Do use your judgment however and think of fellow beachgoers. From west to east, favourites include: Amoreira, Vale Figueira, Bordeira, Murração, Barriga, Cordama, Beliche, Barranco, Zavial, Furnas, Cabanas, Pinheiros, Meia Praia, Prainha, Caneiros, Afurada, Praia Grande, Armona and Cacela Velha.

If you have naturist friends or family coming to the Algarve on holiday, there is also a growing choice of naturist accommodation, either in guest houses, campsites, or private villas. Or they can stay in non-naturist accommodation and simply head to a naturist beach during the day. And if you just want to meet fellow naturists for an enjoyable day out, come along to one of the beach picnics organised throughout the summer by information service Naturist Portugal (see box). It’s time to get rid of those tan lines now.

On the beach
Naturist Portugal is organising a series of beach picnics in the Algarve this summer, with events planned at a variety of naturist-friendly beaches on the following Sundays in 2012:
June 03, July 01, August 05, September 02, October 07. Everybody is welcome.
Contact nearer to the dates for more details on times and locations, or to sign up for the regular Naturist Portugal email newsletter.
More info on travel at:

This article was first published in Algarve Vida 06.12, page 17