Some we have lost

The Captain has started to collect in one place reports of beaches as they once were, before they were over-run by the textile hordes.  Be aware that the reports below are kept for posterity - the Captain no longer recommends them as nude beaches.

Gerakas - Zakynthos

On the very most southern tip of Zakynthos Island there is a beach called Gerakas beach, the famous turtle beach. A long drive down from Zante (30mins) by car. Before the beach there is car parking, the lazy bar, a coffee hut and a shop. Walk down the slope onto the beach and turn right. Walk away from the 'textile' part of the beach. At the end (far right from slope) you will find a collection of naturists/nudists. Nice shallow sea areas to play. Lovely scenery with 'spectacular' views of the coastline and cliff lines. My contributor highly recommends it to everyone but advises visitors to take food as refreshments are a good 20 mins walk away.

Island links

For more information about Gerakas naturist beach with lots of photos try:
Gerakas Beach - Zante Naturism - FKK

A correspondent did not rate the CO beaches on this island with the exception of Gerakas. It looks unhopeful because of the number of beach umbrellas. But walk half way down the beach (to your left) and pass the commercialised section, and you're FREE. The two (clothes and not) halves merge seamlessly and there are no hassles. It's simply lovely. A contributor who visited in May-June 2000 says that there is an unofficial demarcation line where the clothes area ends and the naturist area begins. No more than 20 folk at any one time took the opportunity to swim and sunbathe nude, but my contributors were two of them and it was wonderful. Certainly no hassle from anyone.
It must be said, however, that reports as to the suitability of the beach vary enormously. I have had several reports from correspondents in peak season and off season (including during 2002) who were disappointed to find no naturism there at all. However in 2002 more and more people are sending in reports as to its excellence for nudism.

It is clean and the water excellent for swimming and snorkelling. The naturist contingent are found at both ends of the main beach but to the left of the main sunshade area offers greater room. There were approx. 20 naturists on the beach when my correspondents were there and these were undisturbed apart from a fruit salad seller and volunteers from the Turtle preservation society who count nests and hand out leaflets. They also ask beach users not to use sunshades on higher parts of the beach (5m or more from the sea) - this is to avoid damaging the turtle nests - amazingly this was ignored by some people. If naturists can't be trusted to be responsible beach users, who can??!! The Captain agrees ...

A report from June 2001 says the beach was every bit as good as last year with the far end to the left (beyond the bed chairs and umbrellas) ideal for nude sunbathing and swimming. At any time during the day this stretch of beach had no more than about 10 other naturist couples, and more Brits than last year. No hassle from anyone whatsoever. My correspondent gave it a rare 100% rating. Another email reports 10 naturist couples on the left side of the bay in June 2001.

Several reports from 2002 indicate that the beach continues to be wonderful. One correspondents says that after heading left from the main sloped entrance, they fount their first naturist after 2/300 metres. The beach was then largely naturist from thereon i.e. for another 200 metres approx. It varied over the 5 days, but on average there were 10 to 15 groups of naturists there (another report from June 2002 said up to 20 couples). The atmosphere was very friendly with, unusually, a fair few British naturists and they struck up several conversations with both them and our Continental friends. There were, however, 2 or 3 obvious voyeurs over their time there who came up for a fairly blatant gawp.

A report from June 2003 says there was a small nude area on far left of beach, but mainly textiles. Doesn't seem to be any cut off point.

And in July 2003, Gerakas beach was well populated on the far left hand side with a good mixture of naturists. Mostly male and female couples, occasionally lone males, and occasionally lone females.

Barefooters in July 2004 were, for two days, the first to take the plunge and go naked and, hey presto, within minutes other like-minded souls appeared to create a naturist section. It really is a lovely spot for both sunbathing and swimming au naturel - as long as you can put up with the sightseers!

In June 2004 a Barefoot reporter and his girlfriend spent a blissful 2 weeks on Zakynthos and spent much of their time naked on Gerakas. As you walk down the path. the far area to the left past the umbrellas was always nude. There was a tree trunk that seemed to serve as some kind of demarcation line although some families with kids started earlier some days. Perhaps around 12 couples of all ages with approx. 4 of them as families, and a couple of singles.

Textiles stroll up the beach, in the main to coat themselves with the local "healing" mud, but no problems were experienced.

The beach is gently sloping sand (why the turtles nest here) which is perfect for young families.

A local woman selling great bowls of fresh fruit salad had no problem serving the naked.

It's not too much of a hike for amenities, but you need to take provisions for the day. Having said that, Yannis' bar at the top of the path, is probably the coolest on the island and the perfect place to sit out the ferocious midday sun The views are stunning and the complete absence of water sports, due to the turtles, a delight.

In the second week of June 2005 Gerakas was the best beach for nudism. Mostly about 10-15 couples of British and continental origin, anything between 20-70 years of age. All were very friendly, no problems at all. It was at the far left side, after passing sunbeds section (all with clothes, most females topless), a short free section and after a kind of invisible borderline (there were some small rocks) there was the nudist section. Perfect water, clear, fine sand, no rocks, nice temperature. No beach bar, but very friendly taverna and bar with excellent food within 10 minutes near parking.

In June 2006, both on the right as on the far end on the left there were plenty of nudists. There were couples, single men and woman as well as women in pairs. It was beautiful there. Especially on the left side of the beach. However another report from the same month says there were no naturists at all.

This appears to be one of those beaches where naturists (except the most determined) get squeezed out in peak season. A report from August 2005 said this beach was quite disappointing. The first time there were only a few nudist. An unofficial demarcation line didn't practically exist so that the nudists had to go all the way to the end of the beach where the rocks are. It was impossible to sit under the beach umbrella (the wind was blowing and it kept on falling down) as well as pretty uncomfortable to lay down because of the stones. The sea was, though, very nice and clean. The second time my reporters went there (early in the morning) there were more nudists at first. But as those who were clothed decided to stay on that part of the beach some nudists decided either to put on their bathing suits and trunks or to leave. In the end my contributor and her husband were the only ones at the imaginary demarcation line. Two young men (not nudist) went for a walk along the beach and when they saw us naked decided to stay near us. We didn't feel comfortable so we decided to leave the beach.

One Barefooter, having been several times before out of season, was very disappointed to find so many over-dressed people on this lovely (albeit shallow) beach in August 2005. He stripped off anyway towards the far end, didn't feel totally comfortable, was almost alone in so doing, and could not persuade his lady partner to follow suit. However, they then went back underneath the headland (far right as you descend the track) and while nudity was a lot easier, in fact totally, finding any sand was a problem.

A report from July 2006 confirms this beach is still CO at its southern end, though there were not many naturists there. However, it is probably the only CO beach on the island that can easily be reached by public transport - take the bus from Zakynthos to Vassilikos and an easy walk for the final kilometre. Be prepared to stand on the bus as it's oversubscribed in the summer with local people going to Porto Roma!

At the foot of the cliffs at the end of the beach are reserves of (grey) clay, which you can scoop up by the handful if you dig down under the sand. This can then be smeared all over the body - apparently it is locally revered (and expensive too!) as an all-round cure-all for skin conditions before it is washed off.

One point of note is to only walk down the wet shoreline to avoid ANY possible conflict with the turtle nests and to look for any disturbed sand when laying out your towels. The guys do a great job of marking the nests near the entrance but less so up the beach. In June 2006, apparently no personal beach parasols were being allowed (possibly because a thoughtless few were ignoring the rule stating that parasols with spikes were only to be used close to high tide mark).
 

Thassos - Beaches near Limenaria

There are two beaches on the east side of Limenaria below the German House (a derelict gothic building easily visible from most of the surrounding area). The main beach is the most easterly and the smaller one is next to it and apparently accessible by rounding the beach at shore level from the main one (we didn't bother). We spent a few days on the main beach where the eastern end is mainly nudist. The beach is pebble rather than sand, but quite comfortable even so. There is no Taverna but Limenaria is only a ten minute walk. The beach shelves very steeply into the sea (about 5 feet deep 10 yards into the water) so it may not be suitable for young children. Good snorkelling all down the beach. The background to the beach is a sort of natural amphitheatre covered at the western end by fortifications (could be a modern folly or maybe WW2 fortifications - they are not mentioned in any guides I saw) below the German house. It's worth a visit just to look at this.

This beach, I gather, is called Metalia. To reach it on foot go up to the German House (which dominates the bay), go through the gates to the left of the House as you approach and find your way down. The gothic building was a German steel company (hence the name). The main beach is very striking as there are a number of buildings and pieces of machinery apparently associated with the German mining operation and a local group of artists have turned some of the areas behind the beach in between the buildings into a sculpture garden. It is possible to get down to the main beach with only a short period (about 20 metres) off good quality paths which also extend behind the beach (we were able to get a stroller to within a few yards of where my contributors sat on the beach and only had to carry it over the the 20 metres of rougher path mentioned). There is also a reasonable unpaved road down to the beach from the road between Limenaria and Potos (it is signposted).

A correspondent visited in July 99 and managed to sunbathe nude but no other nudist among the 5 or 6 groups of people on the beach. A report from June 2000 confirms that view. My contributor did go nude on the beach and others joined me on one occasion, but I only saw one person go nude without following my example. More importantly, the beach does seem to be extensively used by locals, who often seem to drive down the road at lunch or siesta time and he did feel that he attracted some attention. Reaction did not seem to extend beyond mild curiosity, but if someone did object strongly, a police car or motorbike could arrive from Limenaria in only a few minutes. Overall a good beach but some caution seems necessary.

Walking Barefoot

The beaches can be reached on foot from Limenaria or down a 1 km track in between Pefkari and Limenaria. The sign to the beach is in Greek on one side (coming from Pefkari where we were staying) and in English on the other so we missed it for the first 2 days! The turn off is also on a large bend so be careful!

There are two smaller bays nearer to the town, also accessible from behind the German House, which were very quiet but could only be reached after a scramble down the cliffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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