While complete nudity is not permitted except on naturist/nude beaches, it is commonplace in France for beaches to be “half-nude” (i.e. topless beaches). Tanning topless is a feature of public beaches in France. It’s done by women from infancy well through old age. I can’t tell you how unsexy and normal it is. It’s just what is done.
However, if you are looking to get rid of more than just your strap lines from your bikini top in France and want to hang out at an all-nude beach, France is actually home to several nude beaches and naturist resorts where guests can bare it all.
>>If you are OK with keeping your bottoms on, check out these non-nude Best Beaches in France.
Cap d’Agde, Languedoc—While France is notorious for its much more relaxed attitude towards nudism (you can freely go sans bikini top at almost any beach and boobs are commonplace in ads on tv), this naturist city takes hedonism and free living to a new level. If you want not only to sunbathe in the nude, but also be able to shop naked, eat naked, even buy your baguette naked, then head to France’s “Naked City” at Cap d’Agde. Dubbed the world capital of nudism, this coastal town with a beautiful 3-mile beach along the Mediterranean features a nudist resort complete with its own doctors, banks, shopping and dining for nudists.
In the warm summer months, the population of this nudist colony can swell to 40,000 and while being naked while dining is not mandatory (after all, this is France, and this is dinner), it certainly is if you want to hang out at the beach. These are people for whom this is a way of life; they do not suffer fools gladly and they will expect you to be respectful as well as buck naked.
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Located close to Arles and Montpellier, Cap d’Agade is also a great place to be based from as you explore the rest of the French Riviera.
La Chiappa, Corsica—If you find yourself headed to the beaches of Corsica and want to find someplace where you can shed those layers of clothes, then La Chiappa along the north-eastern coast of Corsica is your plase. Offering nude guests bungalows and a 2-mile stretch of beach, nudists can bare it all while enjoying azure Mediterranean waters, swimming pools and white sand.
La Grande Cosse, Languedoc—Located close to the beach at Narbonne, this is one of the largest nude beaches in France. In addition to nude sun-worshipping, you can enjoy a walk through marshes with flamingoes and other wildlife. There is also a naturist campsite that welcomes families.
Berck-sur-Mer, Plage des Sables d’Opale, Picardy—This is a family beach with a zone of 250 meters set aside for clothing-optional swimming and sunbathing. Go just past the building in ruins along the dunes and you’ll find fellow nudists enjoying the area.
Merville Franceville, Plage de la Redoute dans la baie de Sallenelles, Normandy—This is another family beach in France that has a special zone where nude sunbathing is legal.
Hossegor, Aquitaine—An official nudist beach, starting at the boulevard facing the sea, take Avenue Gardian. The nudist beach starts just north of Camp WF.
Plage de Tahiti, St.-Tropez, Côte-d’Azur— Last but not least, mention should be made of Plage de Tahiti. It is NOT a nudist beach; however, it is considered one of the top beaches for spotting topless celebrities. After all, this is where it all began with Brigitte Bardot in St. Tropez, France’s summer party town.
Disclaimer—If you are hoping to head to a nude beach and scope out hot babes without swimsuits, stop it. French nude beaches are more National Geographic than Sports Illustrated. There are people of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors on these beaches, and for naturists and nudists it is a way of life. Don’t be a jerk.