IF YOU HAVEN’T yet swum in the buff in a public area, you should. It’s very liberating. Even if you’re not comfortable baring all around other people, you can still find private spots to skinny dip. Or, wait ’til it’s dark. However you decide to do it, being in nature the way we were born just feels great.
To perhaps make your decision easier, Lonely Planet has listed their top 10 places to go skinny-dipping:
1. Formentera, Spain
2. Viti Lake, Askja Caldera, Iceland
3. Traditional onsen, Japan
4. Ice swimming, Finland
5. Porcupine Mountains (ouch*) Wilderness State Park, Michigan, USA
6. Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece
7. Radha Nagar, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
8. Blackmoss Pot, Lake District, England
9. Englischer Garten, Munich, Germany
10. Turtle Island, Fiji
*Editor’s note: “ouch” added by author.
Like most top-10 lists, this one has raised the ire of a couple of commenters, but not for the usual reasons. They’re not too happy at the apparent cultural insensitivity of LP by including the Andaman Islands as a spot to carouse in the nude. Says one commenter:
Its shocking that the lonely planet would feature a beach in a rural Indian village as a place to go skinny dipping…India, and especially rural India is NOT the place for nudity and I request people who read this article to refrain from coming here to skinny dip.
Another commenter replied that Indians are tolerant to nudity, as he’s experienced in his several trips to the country since 1959. In an effort to set the record straight, I posed the question to Matador intern, Neha Puntambekar. Between her and a friend who had been to the area recently, no conclusion was made, although they are quite skeptical about the claim of tolerance. If there is tolerance for nudity, they say, it is because of the need for tourist dollars.
Something to consider if you’re planning on stripping down while in India.
I’ll offer two places where I enjoyed skinny-dipping:
1. Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Siberia – It’s said that if you dip your hand in you add five years to your life, take the plunge (and survive) and tack on 25 years. I wonder if you get a few more doing it in the buck.
2. Aguablanca, Oaxaca, Mexico – This relatively unknown stretch of beach somewhere between Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel is gold if you’re looking for peace and quiet. There are long stretches where you won’t see another soul, especially if you go early in the day. Perfect for donning the b-day suit.
For more cultural-sensitivity pondering, read Heather Carreiro’s Definitions of Modesty: Bikinis in the Supermarket, Burkinis at the Pool.
We want to know: Where do YOU like to skinny dip?