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  • Espace Naturiste du Bois de Vincennes
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France

France has a longstanding association with nudist beaches, which are well looked after by the French Federation of Naturism. The country also receives more visitors seeking naturist holidays than any other country.

It is reported that the first naturist community at Bois-Fourgon was created in 1903 by S. Gay, and in the 1920s Marcel Kienné de Mongeot, a journalist started the magazine Vivre intégralement, later called Vivre, and opened the first French naturist club - Sparta Club at Garambouville.

Today there are over 3.5 million naturist practitioners enjoying the plethora of naturist options in France.
The current legislation states, public nudity is forbidden and may be subject to prosecution; however;
“The criminalisation of nudity has been formulated in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of people being prosecuted who are engaging in naturism in places specially designated for this purpose.” In other words, the French authorities don't mind naturism as long as it takes place in locations that they have deemed suitable.
 
With over 2000 miles of coastline, continental France (excluding Corsica) has 100s locations around the country to visit as a naturist. There are beaches situated all along its varied coastline.

The main areas for naturist beaches are the Atlantic Coast southwards of the Vendée and as far as the Gironde. Largely made up of long sandy beaches; coastal towns and villages, La Rochelle, Les Sables d'Olonne and Rochefort. In many parts, the beaches are backed by pine forests, these beaches can be surprisingly uncrowded even in summer.

South of the Gironde, the Aquitaine coast is famous for its long sandy beaches, but also for its forests that come right up to the coastline, or at least up to the band of sand dunes behind the beaches. Known as the "Côte d'Argent" or Silver Coast, the shoreline between the estuary of the Gironde and Capbreton, the coast offers miles of unbroken sandy beaches, often approached only via narrow forest tracks.

The south coast of France is conveniently divided into two sections, west of the Rhone (Languedoc), and east of the Rhone (Provence - Riviera). Languedoc offers mile upon mile of sandy seashores - though the Mediterranean being non-tidal; these sandy beaches are not as broad as those of the Atlantic coast. However, the water is warmer. The most popular beaches, with their long expanses of sand, lie between the western end of the Rhone delta and the start of the Pyrenees, south of Perpignan.

The area of the French Riviera begins East of Marseilles; a rocky jagged coast which is characterised by small inlets, and mainly shingly, fine pebble beaches, and delightful landscapes.

France is home also to several nudist resorts and villages, the French countryside has over 150 campsites to choose from, not to mention a large number of naturist accommodation offerings. Mainly situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and Occitanie regions. There are also clubs and activities including yoga and gym classes.
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