There’s nothing more liberating than stripping off and diving into the ocean. Those who practice this activity regularly will tell you it does wonders for the spirit and mind. While most of us may not do it quite so often, there’s undeniably something incredibly therapeutic about it.
So, in keeping with celebrating International Skinny Dip Day, we thought it would be a great opportunity to recommend our top 15 places across the world to go for a dip in the sea, in your birthday suit – ideally off the stern of an anchored yacht!
Pedn Vounder Sands, Cornwall, UK
Fringed by steep cliffs, this sandy beach in Cornwall is very secluded and is best accessed by sailing or kayaking! That makes it the perfect place to get the trunks/bathing suit off and enjoy cooling off au natural.
Ynys Llanddwyn, Anglesey, Wales, UK
This Island pillar stands proudly erect off the coast off of Anglesey’s south coast. With the majestic backdrop of Snowdonia’s mountain range, what better place to get intimately immersed in the natural world? A sailing yacht offers a new perspective on this impressive landmark.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK
You’ll have to moor up to visit these mystical pools. They’re an object of much legend and folk tales in Scotland and Skye itself is a magical island to explore (all the better under sail!). If legend is to be believed, the pools themselves have magical healing properties – so it can’t hurt to give skinny-dipping in them a try, can it? Just make sure to visit at sundown for a great sunset backdrop and fewer people. Also, counter-intuitively you might think, take the plunge in Autumn or Spring – when the infamous midges are suppressed – to save from any unfortunate bites! Scotland’s west coast also offers some of the best sailing in northern Europe with magnificent views and a great way to escape those troublesome ‘beasties’.
Playa Es Calo, Formentera, Balearics
This beach has been a stalwart of the free and easy vibe since its hippy hay days in the 1960s. It’s a far more relaxed environment here than in its neighbouring Ibiza. So drop your anchor here to enjoy the crystal clear waters and late summer sun of the Balearics with no disruptions.
Arambol beach, Goa, India
Next up, in the north of Goa and touching Maharashtra, is Arambol beach. Another classic hippy hotspot, expect sunset drum circles, hula-hoops, yoga, beach shakes and live music with interesting dancing. Arambol is a 16km long stretch of palm-adorned tropical paradise, pair that with its laid-back patrons and you have a magical place to get your kit off and
Once the breeze has dropped, and all of the windsurfers have gone home, create your own, personal, ‘Arabian Nights’ tale – head to Dahab beach in Egypt. Drift in the crystal-clear waters of the Arabian Gulf as they reflect the stars before wrapping up and heading back to a Bedouin tent on the beach!
Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
Another famous stop on the ‘hippy-trail’, Koh Phangan is known the world over for its vibrant Full Moon Parties, where revellers take to beaches for Pili dancing and cocktails. Head south to Leela Beach for a secluded and naturalist-friendly swim under the moon after you’ve had your fill. Exploring Thailand via yacht is a truly unique experience and offers you the chance to explore many islands and be immersed in local culture with the likes of floating markets.
Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Portugal
On Sintra’s western coast, Praia da Ursa is one of Portugal’s most striking beaches. Within shooting distance of near by harbour town, Cascais, it features some of the finest Sea stacks in Europe and with a steep hike to access the beach making it more secluded, this is the perfect place for enjoying Portugal’s famous surf, a different way.
Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece
Certainly not the most discrete spot on this list, but another stop on the 60’s hippy trail, is Paradise beach on Mykonos. What better way to end a night of revelling in one of Europe’s best-known party islands than with a dawn swim with friends off the back of your own yacht.
What better way to experience a traditional (or floating) Finnish Sauna than after a withering dip into icy waters? Not for the faint of heart, but certainly an activity for a skinny-dipper seeking the thrill of the chill. Sail around the coast from Helsinki, south of Torku, the Finnish archipelago offers sailors an opportunity to get lost in the untouched wilderness – our story of baltic cruising explores this region in more depth.
Turtle Island, Fiji
For a more up-market, romantic option Turtle Island is the crème de la crème of Pacific Island bungalow resorts. The island was the setting of the film The Blue Lagoon (1980) and has picture-postcard tropical vistas. With a limited number of Bungalows and 14 beaches, it’s also one of the most private, making it a superb place to have a sunset dip with your partner.
Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lokrum Island, roughly 600 metres off the coast of Dubrovnik, is the perfect escape from the city’s summer crowds and can be accessed via a regular ferry. As a nature reserve, the island is also quieter and finding a secluded spot to strip and cool off in the Adriatic is a great way to spend the afternoon. Sailing out of Dubrovnik to Lokrum gives you access to a superb itinerary with some of Croatia’s most interesting islands (our top picks being Lastovo and Mljet).
Spiaggia della Lecciona, Tuscany, Italy
This is one of the last natural beaches in this area of Tuscany and is free of deck chairs and crowds. Being a reasonable distance from the town helps this remain a quieter option for those seeking to escape the crowd-laden sands elsewhere in Tuscany and attracts the hip locals and beach bums. The further north you travel on the beach, the more these locals are inclined to enjoy au naturel bathing – and with such an excellent spot, who can blame them?
Maslin Beach, Adelaide, Australia
About 40 Kilometres from Adelaide, ‘Maslins’ is considered by those in the know one of the most pristine, beautiful beaches in Southern Australia. As Australia’s first legal nudist beach, here you can enjoy the benefits of a lifeguarded, blue flag beach while being able to strip off for bathing and swimming.
Sandy Cay, Jost van Dyke, BVIs
The BVI’s are a paradise for cruisers and are studded with gorgeous, remote bays and lively coral reefs. Jost van Dyke is a fantastic island to sail to and hosts the famous Soggy Dollar beach bar (so named for the sailors who swam to it and paid with dripping bank notes). Here, White Bay is the least inhabited spot of the island and makes for a fantastic anchorage. With a snorkelling reef surrounding the cay, it also makes for an unforgettable place to dive in with your crew and enjoy pristine Caribbean azure waters, in your birthday suits – just don’t get any ideas about heading straight for the Soggy Dollar.