Nudism may have been around for a very long time already, but days it's become one of the flagships for environmental protection, sustainable development and respect for others.
And in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, with its wide open spaces, respect for others, innovative spirit and protection of the environment nudism fits in just perfectly. The spirit of nudism has been around down here since 1949 but has moved with the times to remain resolutely contemporary today.
On the Atlantic Coast
The mild climate is probably what inspired so many nudist sites to set up along the 250km Nouvelle Aquitaine coast line.
Plenty of space, pine trees to shade from the sun and long sandy beaches are the hallmarks for the site chosen by the Centre Hélio Marin (CHM) de Montalivet, in the Médoc. Oldest nudist holiday resort in France (created in 1949), it is also the biggest in Europe.
Each holiday resort has specific features: Euronat is the only one to offer a nudist spa: la Jenny has a 10-hectare golf course; Arnaoutchot, a genuine village with shops, restaurants, cinema and disco has a whole range of leisure facilities, as does the Le Petit Dauphin campsite at La Palmyre (in Charentes).
And because healthy souls are happiest in healthy bodies, there are plenty of activities to choose from, including canoeing, horse-riding, cycling, archery and artistic activities.
In the countryside
Green nudism also has its followers. From the forests of Corrèze, the clear rivers of the Périgord, a private beach on the edge of Lake Vassivière, the valleys of the Lot-et-Garonne with their orchards out of the garden of Eden, right to the foothills of the Pyrenees... it feels good to live in the middle of nature where plenty of space guarantees plenty of privacy and comfort.
You can even stay on a wine estate in Entre-deux-Mers, in the Bordeaux vineyards, not far from Saint Emilion at the château Guiton.
Places to stay are often old stone farmhouses full of charm. It's worth mentioning the surrounding heritage: quaint villages and fortified towns, vineyards, museums, prehistorical sites, castles and craftspeople...
Labels, authorised beaches… how to get it right?
If you know the area - and nudism in general -, recognised associations exist to give you advice.
The French Federation of Nudism (FFN) issues a label to nudist sites, clubs and holiday resorts to ensure that certain codes of ethics are respected covering hygiene and comfort.
Two magazines, La Vie au Soleil and Naturisme Magazine, both edit their own guide to nudist holidays in France, of which 30 are based in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
Concerning beaches, we've identified official nudist beaches with supervised swimming, those where nudism is authorised and tolerated under a municipal by-law and those where nudism has simply been observed.