BN’s International Officer, Edwin Kilby talks about the story behind his alter-ego…
I first heard about Naturism in the Greek Islands sometime in the early 1980s. It was completely beyond my experience at the time, but my interest was piqued – both in the Islands and in Naturism. A while afterwards I joined a Naturist club in Bricket Wood.
It was some years before I had a chance to try naturism in Greece. During a memorable holiday on Skopelos with my (then relatively new) partner Judith, we headed off to the busy, textile, Stafilos Beach. I had done my homework and marched my unsuspecting and protesting companion the length of the shoreline towards the path to the next beach, Velanio. As I expected, practically everyone on Velanio was nude. I wasn’t sure how Judith would react, but I needn’t have worried; she was out of her clothes before me. We spent much of the rest of that all-too-short holiday there.
Velanio is a lovely beach of fine shingle (okay to walk on barefoot) and the sea is beautifully clear. It’s been a good few years since we last visited, but reports say it’s still well-used by naturists and has been designated by the municipal authority as the island’s official naturist beach.
We love the islands and have been back many times. In 1996 I decided to start collecting information about naturist beaches in Greece and publish it on a website called Cap’n Barefoot’s Naturist Guide to the Greek Islands (www.barefoot.info), which is still online today. I invited people to email beach reports for the site. This proved much more popular than I had foreseen, and I quickly got badly behind with updates. In the end I created a linked website – www.capnbarefoot.info – in the form of a “wiki” which anyone can edit, a little like Wikipedia. That works a lot better for me, and volunteer administrators help keep the site tidy. It still includes a lot of very old information, though. If you’re interested in helping edit the site, please get in touch!
Sadly, Cap’n Barefoot has seen numerous famous once-nude beaches become lost to the textile hordes. I think of Banana beach on Skiathos, and its neighbour Little Banana, a firm favourite among British-based nudists, which was recently taken over by a hotel complex. Mykonos was once one of the nudest islands in the Cyclades is now (in my experience) an overcrowded and overpriced tourist trap where it’s hard to find anywhere to enjoy naturism peacefully.
The situation is better on many of the other islands, although it can vary according to season. To have the best chance of being able to enjoy nude sunning and swimming it’s advisable to travel out of peak season. June and September are delightful months to visit Greece, and the season can extend into October too.
Here’s a short, wholly subjective, list of some of my other favourite Greek beaches. You will find lots more on Cap’n Barefoot – just remember to scroll to the bottom of each entry and look for the latest reports.
Lageri, on Paros – near Naoussa. A lovely long strip of sand, well-established as a nudist beach.
The Official Nudist Beach on Antiparos. Just 10 minutes’ walk from the main quay, it’s a piece of sandy land that projects into a narrow channel. The proportion of Naturists does vary. It’s possible to swim or wade across to the small islands of Diplo and Kavouras and enjoy a nude walk – but do take flip-flops and a hat.
Plaka beach on Naxos. Served by buses from the main town. A long sandy beach well-used by naturists, though the dividing line seems to move south every year.
Kendros beach on Donoussa – attracts free campers as well as swimmers – a mix of textile and nude. The journey from Naxos Town to tiny Donoussa on the “legendary” (according to TripAdvisor) Express Skopelitis ferry can be … interesting.
Plakias Bay beach in southern Crete – The eastern end of the stunningly scenic sandy beach is firmly naturist. Southern Crete is well supplied with naturist beaches and is a good bet for a multi-centre holiday.
This article originally appeared in BN Magazine. Each issue of our magazine, issued to members quarterly as part of their subscription, features first person holiday reports, beach updates, and travel information for Naturists. We even have our own team of Holiday Advisers who will answer your specific questions and help you have the best time when you are away. Find out more about all the reasons to be a member of British Naturism