Have you ever had a slightly disturbing dream that you found yourself nude in a public place, such as in a street, on a bicycle, in a shop or on public transport? If so, what happened in your dream? Did you wonder how you got yourself in that situation, were you embarrassed or did you think that it’s only a dream so it doesn’t matter?
If you have had such dreams, and you haven’t already practised naturism, perhaps it would appeal to you.
Every year, thousands of families spend their holidays between April and October in one of the naturist villages which lie between the ancient Mediterranean town of Leucate and the seaside resort and yacht harbour of Port Leucate.
The villages are mostly traffic free, but you can walk around or cycle like everyone else completely naked. There is a small shopping centre with a very good baker where you can buy fresh croissants, bread etc., you can shop in the supermarket, buy from the butcher, wine shop or newspaper shop and have a drink or a meal in one of the small restaurants, all while staying nude.
These villages, which include Aphrodite and Oasis, were established following a tourist commission set up by President Charles de Gaulle in the 1960’s. The government were looking for a way to entice thousands of holiday makers to stay in France rather than heading down into Spain looking for a beach holiday destination.
The old town of Leucate lies between the Mediterranean Sea and a large saltwater lagoon. South of the town there is a narrow strip of land several kilometres long between the sea and the lagoon. Six kilometres to the south was an old settlement and it was here that the commission proposed establishing a new development called Port Leucate with a yacht harbour, shopping centre and holiday accommodation. Work started in the mid 1960’s and de Gaulle visited the work in progress in 1967. Following his visit, the commission was asked to address the future of the beautiful stretch of beach just to the north of the new resort of Port Leucate.
At that time there was a growing practice and tolerance for naturism in France and there were already various naturist destinations including a large naturist holiday complex at Montalivet on the Atlantic coast north of Bordeaux.
The strip of beach being studied has the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Leucate lagoon on the other and is virtually an island as there are two channels to the north and south linking the sea with the lagoon. It was therefore decided that this would be an ideal location to develop a naturist beach resort with access restricted to the residents and holiday makers.
Rather than create just a camp site with mobile homes and camping spots, it was decided to create a real village with houses, apartments, tennis courts, swimming pools and a shopping centre. Plans were drawn up and work started in 1973. The years have passed and development has continued and today there are a total of 8 small villages, all next to each other, which border either the beach or the lagoon. Many properties have permanent residents but most are made available by the owners for naturist holiday lettings. Most areas are pedestrian only so children can play, run around or cycle without danger.
At certain times of the year quite strong winds blow through the area and so the area has developed as one of the most popular areas for wind and kite surfing.
One of the advantages of the area, which makes it perfect for family holidays, is the range of other activities within a short distance of the naturist villages. Less than 10 minutes away by car there is a large aquatic centre with several swimming pools and giant slides. There is also an adventure centre in a nearby pine forest where people of all ages can climb and slide through the trees. Also nearby is a casino and new cinema complex. The Pyrenees can be seen from the village and from the autumn to spring snow can be seen on the highest peaks. Being on the doorstep of the Pyrenees, there are of course walks through magnificent countryside to undertake.
About 35 minutes drive away there is the large Sigean African reserve, fascinating for both adults and children. One part can only be visited by car as there are many animals in their natural surroundings, including lions. Then there is another part which can be visited on foot which includes much bird life, monkeys, antelope, elephant and many other types of creatures.
This area is one of the sunniest in France so of course one of the most popular activities is just relaxing on the beach right next to the holiday apartments and perhaps having a little siesta dreaming about being naked in public.
If you want to know more about the naturist villages go to http://www.naturistholidays.fr