One of the “lifestyle” aspects of Aquitaine is the nude lifestyle!
The clement oceanic climate is almost certainly one of the reasons behind the set-up of naturist sites along the 250 km of Atlantic coastline in Aquitaine. Out of the one and a half million people who practise naturism in France, 30% come to Aquitaine. Added to this are the foreign naturists, who account for 52% of holidaymakers in the centres and campsites.
Wide-open spaces, pine trees to shelter from the hot sun, long sandy beaches… This is the site chosen by the Centre Hélio Marin (CHM) in Montalivet, in the Médoc. France’s oldest naturist holiday centre (founded in 1949), it is also the biggest in Europe.
Each holiday centre has its own specific features: Euronat is the only one to offer naturist thalassotherapy; La Jenny has a 10-hectare golf course; and Arnaoutchot, a whole village with shops, restaurants, cinema and discotheque, offers a wide range of leisure activities.
And since a healthy mind is at its best in a healthy body, there are plenty of activities to do. Canoeing, horse-riding, cycling, archery, artistic events…
And of course there is the surrounding heritage to visit: fortified towns and villages of charm, vineyards, museums, prehistoric sites, châteaux and crafts centres…
It is worth pointing out that “green” naturism is growing fast in popularity. In the Dordogne – for enthusiasts of prehistory – or in the Lot-et-Garonne, the air is mild in the wooded valleys with their rivers and streams. They offer the space and quiet that families – but not only families – are looking for on their holidays.
If you don’t know the region well – or naturism in general – official associations are there to help you.
Not all the naturist sites, clubs or holiday centres are members of the Fédération Française de Naturisme (FFN). However, the label this organisation issues is a guarantee of compliance with a number of rules covering ethics, hygiene and comfort.
The F.F.N. and naturist holiday centres in Aquitaine work together in the French Tourism & Naturism Cluster, one of the 12 promotion clusters of Atout France.
Two publications, La Vie au Soleil and Naturisme Magazine, each publish their own guide which lists the naturist holiday centres in France, including around 15 located in Aquitaine.
There are different types of beaches for naturism – official naturist beaches with supervised swimming areas , those where naturism is allowed or permitted by municipal decree, and those where the practice of nudism has been known to occur.
To find out the quality of the water in all swimming areas (ocean and
freshwater) in the départements of Aquitaine, visit the website of the
Ministry of Health: http://baignades.sante.gouv.fr