Edition #2 March 1996
A Naturist Guide to Greek Island Beaches
The purpose of this document is to supplement commercially available guidebooks to the Greek Islands with information concerning naturist/clothes optional beaches. It is based entirely on the personal reports of its contributors. The rating given to the beaches is also entirely personal.
This early draft does not pretend to be a comprehensive guide, although new contributions have been added since the first edition. There are large gaps. It is hoped that later editions will include still more contributions from readers with a view to its becoming more and more complete and up to date. It could then be reposted from time to time.
It does, however, deal in more detail with the beaches it covers than other available guides (e.g. the INF Guide and Phil Vallack’s Free Sun).
An excellent resource of information concerning naturist beaches in Greece was Sunseekers’ Greek Islands. The writer’s edition dates from 1985, however, and is now somewhat out of date, and as far as we are aware there is no more recent edition.
Comments or contributions are welcome by e-mail.
Nothing in this document is intended to imply or suggest that approval of, or suitability of, any of the below sites is given. The document is based on the personal experience of its contributors. No responsibility is accepted should these prove no longer to be accurate.
Main gaps We have no personal expeience of naturist beaches in Rhodes and Kos, nor in Corfu or any of the other main Ionian islands. Ios is a significant absentee in the Cyclades. Contributions on these would be especially welcome.
Thanks are due to the following contributors:
Symi and Halki - Bernard
[list to be extended as contributions appear]
Now a busy resort struggling to retain its charm against the weight of tourism. The main beach is of coarse sand, fronted by tavernas and is often crowded. The naturist beach used to be reached by fording the river at the end of the main beach; however a bridge has now been built with the result that many more people use it. It is very long but rocky both on shore and in the sea. It is backed by a rough path along the cliff. This is very much a second-class beach and although well used by nudists cannot be recommended (Rating: 30%).
A much nicer beach - though one where naturism is forbidden by large signs, is at Aghios Georgios: a pleasant (though quite energetic) walk to the north (follow the rocks with red dots painted on them). There is an unusual taverna overlooking this beach; well worth a visit.
This has a famous beach right in the centre with a picturesque cliff face honeycombed with caves once inhabited by hippies. It is not used by naturists. The Red Beach is superb for nudists; practically everyone there was nude during our visit. However getting there involves a steep climb (the path was indicated by a sign painted on the wall, almost oppopsite Zorba’s Bar; there is a turn to the right close to where at the time of my visit what appeared to be archeoilogy was going on, the path leads up a steep hill, keep the fence on your left until almost at the top) followed by a steep descent. Fortunately, a small hut has appeared from which soft drinks and beers may be bought: be sure to carry refreshments for the walk, though. Well worth a visit Rating: 80%).
There are said to be other good nude beaches within easy reach of Matala. It is hoped to add details from readers’ contributions.
Plakias has a feeling of artificiality about it. There are very few old houses and the frontage is spoiled, in our view, by the modern “Forum”. But it is surrounded by wonderful scenery and some of the best beaches the writer has had the pleasure to visit.
The main beach is a huge stretch of golden sand. Nudity was commonplace at the Eastern end, away from the village.
From the east of the beach it is possible to follow a rough path to Damnoni (about half an hour’s walk). It is easily reached by road (a right turn off the main road east out of Plakias). There were three beaches here, all well used by nudists. The first (most westerly) was a large stretch of sand with a wonderful taverna which sold delicious ice creams, among other things, but not on Tuesdays ... Unfortunately a large hotel was being constructed when we were there. The word is (according to contributors to uk.rec.naturism) that the naturist character of the beaches has been largely unaffected. (Rating: 70%).
The next beach to the East can be reached by skirting round the rocky headland. It is well worth the effort. A superb cove of golden sand with hardly a stitch of clothing in sight. A Cretan Eden (Rating: 95%).
The third is a tiny cove just further to the East. Reaching it involves climbing down a short but steep cliff. This cove is surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides. A rocky pinnacle stands out of the water. Everyone in this little cove was naked. As in many parts of Greece the water was beautifully clear. Swimming around the pinnacle was utter bliss (Rating: 97%).
West of Plakias is Sweetwater Bay. It is possible to walk (about 45 mins) but this beach has the distinct advantage of being served by tour boats. There are two tavernas here. This beach is composed of fine shingle. It was partly shaded by the cliff at the western end during the late afternoon. When we visited about 70% of this on the beach were nude (Rating: 65%).
Approx 4 miles (by road) to the east of Plakias is the naturist resort of Kalypso, Peng organise package trips, which a contributor and his wife visited two years ago. As with most European naturist resorts clothes were worn in the evenings. Officially nudity is only allowed around the pool/beach area, with some form of covering required around the accommodation area but reports are that the rule was universally ignored.
Vai, the palm fronted beach used in the “Bounty Hunters” commercial, is a great tourist attraction and coaches arrive from all over Crete. I fear that those who have travelled for hours to reach it will be disappointed. A poster picturing the beach through a row of palm trees is widely available, but how many visitors realise that this picturesque scene has now been ruined by a large taverna and shop placed in exactly that spot. The beach is dotted with sunshades and a wooden walkway stretches from one end to the other. It is not used by nudists.
To the south, a short and pleasant walk over the headland, is a smaller beach which was almost deserted when we visited. Nudity may be possible here, with discretion.
There is said to be another suitable beach just to the north; however the path to it had been washed or blown away when we visited and access was not possible.
North of Vai it is possible to enjoy naturism on the beach at Itanos: practically deserted and no facilities.
Also nearby, within walking distance of the village of Paleokastro, is a pleasant beach at Xiona. Small cliffs back on to the beach at the southern end. Nudity with discretion is possible here during the week; however it is well visited by Greek families at the weekends. (Rating: 40%)
The Sunseekers’ Guide described this as a nudists’ paradise. From experience that seems a bit optimistic: however there are plenty of good nude beaches if you know where to find them.
Paradise Beach once was one of the most famous nude beaches in the Aegean. You can get there easily by boat from Platy Yialos. It used to be said that nudity was the norm and that anyone wearing a bathing costume looked out of place. Maybe so, once. Not any more. On two visits in separate years we found nudity most uncommon on this beach. It was seriously disappointing. (Rating: 10%).
We had a beer in the beach taverna and set off over the hill to Super Paradise. This is widely known as the gay nudist beach. It seemed to be divided into three areas: the gay part (where everyone was nude, but everyone was male and in couples, and my girlfriend would have felt a bit out of place). Then there was the textile part at the other end near the taverna. In the middle was a blissful strip populated by apparently heterosexual nudists. Worth it, if only for the experience. Probably ideal for gay males. (Rating: 75%).
Easily the best naturist beach we found on Mykonos was Elia, which is past Super Paradise. You can get there by boat from Platy Yialos but it's easier to take the bus from Mykonos Town. Elia Beach was much quieter, it was generally nude but there was no taverna (at least not that I now remember) so a bottle of water was essential (Rating: 85%).
From Naoussa, at the northern end of the island, it is possible to take a boat to Monasteri Beach. It is a short walk through (yes, through) a small taverna to the east of the jetty. (Alternatively, it is possible to walk via Kolimbithres but that would take about one and a half hours). The beach is of coarse sand and shingle and the water is clear, sheltered and glorious. Nudity is the norm. Behind the beach a path leads up on to the small peninsula from which there is a panoramic view over the sea: very scenic; no need to take any clothes except sandals. (Rating: 85%).
There are said to be other good nude beaches in this part of Paros: any reports?
South of Parikia, the beach at Parasporos has, it seems, been designated as a nudist beach. It was dirty, with litter widespread, and the water rough when we visited (however, the Sunseekers’ Guide says it is suitable for bodysurfing). There is a taverna. The beach was, however, practically deserted. We stripped off and went for a swim. Whilst we were in the sea an elderly Greek couple, complete with enormous swimming costumes, settled themselves down immediately behind our beach mats, with the consequence that they got an eyeful of us as we emerged from the water. Staying put would have been uncomfortable so we dressed and settled for a beer in the taverna. (Rating: 20%).
On the East coast, the beach at Chrysi Akti, also known as the Golden Beach, is well used for nudism. There is an area in the middle of the beach, just north of a taverna, where naturists gather. It is a beautiful beach of sand and it is golden. We were sandblasted by the wind on our visit (also, our near neighbour on the beach was doing suspicious things with a telephoto lens which rather spoilt the visit). (Rating: 65%).
The nudist beach is just outside the town: easy to find if you follow the signs to the camp site. The beach is signposted as the nudist beach. Beautiful sand, a volleyball area, shallow water and an easy swim to a small island just the other side of the channel. Time did not allow us exploration there; however it looks as if nude exploration of that islet is possible. This was a wonderful beach. (Rating: 95%). Incidentally, getting to Antiparos is much cheaper by the regular public car ferry than by means of tourist boats from Parikia or Naoussa. It’s easy to get to the ferry jetty by bus or taxi.
Visited before we practised naturism; however I can confirm that Aghia Anna, just south of Naxos Town, is well used by naturists.
East of Batsi, the beach at Delavoyas is known as the local nudist beach. Naturists turn right on reaching the beach. It was small and rocky but perfectly pleasant for all that. (Rating: 70%).
We have used Skiathos as an arrival and departure point and have had on a couple of occasions taken the opportunity to visit Banana Beach (known locally as Krassa). This is a beautiful, long sandy beach; however it is very busy. It is frequented by both nudists and textiles co-existing peacefully (I should say about 50% nude when we visited). Swimming here is superb. Water sports including parascending are on offer (and yes, we did see a nude parascender). Food and drink are available. There is shade at the back of the sand. (Rating: 85%).
If Banana Beach is bit too busy for you, one contributor prefers the beach which is just around the headland called Banana 2 or locally Spartacus. It has a taverna, a fine sandy beach, and good swimming. It was quite popular at the time of the visit in late June. It could get quite busy in peak season. It is a super beach, one of our favourites and scores 85%.
Our favourite is just a bit further north and is called Mandraki. It is in a large sandy bay, between two rocky headlands, it is totally wild, it has safe swimming, a lovely beach, but has no taverna. If it had a taverna it would score 100%, but as you have to carry your own ice cold beers to the beach, and it is a long walk, it only scores 95%. The walk might put some people off, but then maybe that is part of the reason for it being so peaceful. To get to the beach you need to get off the bus from Skiathos one stop after the Palace Hotel, (just ask the conductor for Mandraki!). Follow the track between the villas and follow the signs to 'Mandraki Beach'. It will take about 20 minutes on a clearly defined path through the most magnificent pine forest. The walking is flat and well worth the effort.
There are also some deserted beaches to be found on Tsougria Island, just to the north of where the boats arrive. We took a day trip to the island, and had a magnificent beach to ourselves all day.
One contributor reports that he enjoys walking without any clothes on, and although the island of Skiathos is not very large, it has an impressive network of unsurfaced roads and donkey tracks across the island. Many superb walks are described in the 'Blue' guide book by Harkort, which follow the various tracks across the island, producing many opportunities for nude walks.
A mile or two from Skopelos Town is Stafilos Bay (with one of the most scenically situated tavernas we have had the pleasure to visit - and re-visit). It is easaily reached by bus, hired car or moped or on foot. Walk to the far end of Stafilos Bay and follow the path round the back of the headland to reach Velanio Beach - one of our favourites. Textiles can often be found at the Stafilos end; however beyond a rocky outcrop, during our visits everyone was nude. The beach is composed of coarse sand and shingle; the water is clear and the scenery beautiful. Soft drinks can be bought and sunshades and sunbeds hired from a hut: let us hope this is not the first stage of commercialisation of this Eden. (Rating: 95%).
Vithisma is within walking distance of the ferry port at Patitiri. It is quite difficult to get at and the approach is steep. It is a pebble beach and when we were there it was deserted and well worth the effort (Rating: 75%).
Kokkonicastro is said to be the island’s best beach for naturists. Any reports?
The town beach here is designated nudist! It is the one south of Magazia, known locally as Tou Papa to Homa. It is not unusual for lectures from the Skyros Centre to take place here. The beach is situated under the huge rock on which Skyros Town is situated. It is very scenic and well worth a visit. Not good if the winds gets up, though the sand is sufficiently coarse to be painful when blown against the skin. So pick a calm day (Rating: 75%).
The island is popular with Greek tourists. They flock to the beaches at Magazia and Molos. Superb beaches there, but nudism out of the question.
To the west of Samos Town (Vathi) is Tsamadou. It is well signposted and has a taverna. This was a pebble beach; very crowded even in September. Naturists and textiles co-existed; however nudists were in the minority. The sea bottom shelved quite quickly. (Rating: 45%).
A much nicer beach, but not suitable for nudism, was at Psili Ammos, just off the road to Pythagorion. A superb view of the coast of Turkey.
This fascinating island is deeply religious; nevertheless the beach at Psiliamos (best reached by boat) is well known as the local nudist beach. It was sandy and very pleasant. (Rating: 60%).
This account (and that relating to Halki, which follows) is based on two weeks nearly at end of season from 20 September in the Dodecanese, one on Halki then one on Symi; glorious summer weather throughout; tourist activity less than high season, consequently the less accessible beaches were frequently little used so that, with circumspection, could be used nude.
Nos beach. I didn't discover a specific beach around this headland, but rather an interesting and rocky scramble where quite a lot of people chose to be nude in and/or out of the water. I felt that some spots along here were too visible from the public footpath above that serves the headland and is one route to Emborio (Nimporios on local map), and should probably not be used nude in high season. The sun in the afternoon leaves early, and the snorkelling here was dull.
Aiyos Vasilios. Two hour walk across island to side less frequented by boats, followed by steep climb down to wide beach, proved ideal for nude swimming and sunbathing, and only four others on beach that day. Mostly pebbles, a little sand, no shade. No taverna: take plenty of water. Enough room for different tastes, but you have to climb/walk back if you haven't organised a boat to come and fetch you or are not lucky to hitch on someone else's.
Marathunda. Accessible by truck or boat. Habitation close to shore. No nudity, unless you count climbing over a headland and swimming/snorkelling nude until rejoining the boat.
Nudity offends [some] Greeks and seemed rare on Symi unless you are adventurous in seeking out remote spots, so that it becomes less sociable!
Pondamos beach. The further bay, not visible from the taverna and main beach, was being used topless and nude at this season. Also, Kania, though tiny, was sparsely used so late and OK for nude sunbathing and swimming, with excellent snorkelling, and alternative rocks to lie out on away from the little pebbly beach. The track there is being concreted, as it leads to the island's fuel depot. Maybe someone is about to establish a taverna there too. Meanwhile there were few people, some nude (English or, surprisingly, a trio of American women).
Betweeen Emporio (the town) and Kania, around the coast, is a bay containing the remains of a defunct fish farm. It's an easy walk, but there's no beach there, just sharp rocks, and a jetty which is high enough over the water to make for interesting entry and exit. Some of the anchored frameworks make beautiful sun rafts, and there was no one about except a solitary local in his fishing boat. Spent most of a day there messing around and nude.
Our contributor and his wife went to Acharavi (sp?) in the north-east of Corfu four years ago and found that discreet nude bathing was acceptable. The beach is approx. 3 miles long and they found that once they had moved away from the main access to the beach from the village the number of nude bodies steadily increased. They spent two weeks there and never felt threatened or "out-of-place" on the beach.
Paxos and Antipaxos
The Sunseekers’ Guide suggests that with lost of small coves nudity should be possible. Not so, in our experience. Voutoumi Bay on Antipaxos looked promising one morning until it was descended on by hoards of tourists on a tour boat from Corfu.
That’s all for now! Contributions welcome. If you holiday in Greece this year _report back_!!!