France - Cap D'Agde

In July 2001 Robert Raiman posted this Trip Report in the uk.rec.naturist and rec.nude news groups.

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I have heard Cap d'Agde called a Naturist City. It isn't really but it is a very large village.

After our BA flight to Montpellier we rented a car and started to drive to Naturist Cap d'Agde. I was not real sure just how I was going to find the Naturist Quarter once we got to Cap d'Agde but I shouldn't have worried as everything was really well marked. From the A-9 expressway follow the signs for Cap d'Agde then the signs for Naturisme - no sweat.

There is a gate and a guard at the entrance to Cap d'Agde and next to these was an office where I showed my documents from Peng Travel and paid 110.00 ff. (About $14.00) and received a magnetic swipe card for entrance to the Naturist Quarter for one week.

On around the corner to Port Soleil and the Office of Peng Travel where we picked up our keys to the condo, linens and a guided trip to Heliopolis 'L' Block. We had rented a Studio 4+ level condo and I must say I was very pleased. The travel brochure said it slept 4 but if so they must be very good friends as we found it to be just right for the 2 of us plus luggage. What we had was a bath, kitchen, dining table, a double bed, a set of bunk beds, TV, fan and assorted housekeeping bits and pieces. All in a very lovely second floor (first floor in UK and Europe) condo with a great view of the Mediterranean and the gardens in the center of Heliopolis. All condos at Cap d'Agde are owned by someone and can be rented out by the owners. As an example, I rented from Peng Travel who contracts with a number of condo owners to handle their rentals but what this means is that all condos can and will be decorated and equipped a little differently. If you rent from someone else everything could be different.

The Naturist Quarter consists of a number of very large apartment blocks reminiscent of Cold War Soviet Architecture, a marina, some Villas, a Hotel, a very large camp ground and interspersed with all this are a bunch of what are called Commercial Zones. Kinda like small shopping plazas. There is also a Bank, some ATM machines and a Gas Station. I have a picture of me at the Self-Serve pump filling the car with gas while in the nude. OK, OK, but I thought it was an experience not to be missed!! My wife can stop laughing at any time now.

The Beach is fantastic. It's 2 km long and very very wide of nice fine sand with quite shallow water. After walking out into the water about 50 - 60 feet I was in only to my waist and could still see my feet. The water was that clear. We started walking down the beach with hundreds maybe thousands of other naked folks doing just the same thing. We are walking, walking, walking surrounded by all these other Naturists but then we start noticing folks with bathing suits on. Not many but a few, but that few turns into more and more and pretty soon we notice more bathing suit clad than sun clad. Still some Naturist around, small groups walking, but I don't know. Did we blunder out of the Plage Naturiste? There were 4 older ladies walking nude on the beach just behind us so I asked if they spoke English and where did the Plage Naturiste end. One said she spoke a little English and by the way the Plage Naturiste ended back there! Then she said something in French about Voyeurs, all four laughed and they continued down the beach away from the sign. From the Textile side of the beach there is a small sign when you are about to enter the Plage Naturiste (Naturist beach) but from the Naturist side there is nothing, only the back of a small sign that we ignored. Interesting.

My day at Cap d'Agde usually began around 7:00 ~ 8:00 AM'ish. I would struggle out of bed and head down the walkway to the Commercial Zone to get the makings for breakfast. There were 2 Patisseries in the Zone by us. The first had really flaky croissants and nicely flavored with butter but the second bakery's croissants had a more meaty texture that I kinda liked. Tough decisions so early in the morning! Next onto the Newsstand (I forgot the French word for this) for my Harold Tribune, maybe some fruit for my wife and back to the condo to make coffee. Aha, at last, I could relax on my patio and eat my hard won breakfast ;-)

Mornings were decision time. Do we walk the beach for a little exercise then lay out for some sun or wander around the Cap for a while then get some sun? Every couple of 3 days we would drive around and play tourist, getting an early start as there were lots of Roman artifacts and Medieval castles to see. But some days we just hung around. Gotta save my self for those sidewalk café lunches after all.

Afternoons we would go swimming in the pools, that's right I said pools, in the middle of Heliopolis. The largest pool had a really nice water slide. Some days we would take short excursions to neighboring cities to take in the culture. Only if we were going out of the Naturist Quarter did I at this point get dressed.

As we get towards evening I have to explain a little about the nightlife, fancy dress and goings on at Cap d'Agde. There are a number of Commercial Zones in the Naturist Quarter of Cap d'Agde. Heliopolis, where we stayed had a few restaurants and shops but there was also a zone on the beach side of Port Nature, one at the "Elbow' of Port Nature, Port Ambonne, Port Soleil and little places here and there. The Commercial Zones at Heliopolis, Beach side Port Nature and Port Soleil had restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and tourist shops. The combination of the "elbow' of Port Nature and Port Ambonne kind of made an "Alternative Life Style" Strip. There were shops in these Zones that sold the most amazing leather and lace goods;-) Folks wandering around and in and out of the bars in this area often sported very unusual clothing. I bet those leather and brass stud strips were rather uncomfortable. Most nights we would stroll on down to this area to see the "show". Join in? Not our thing at all but we did appreciate the free entertainment. Back to the other Zones. My wife and I ate dinner, bought ice cream and danced and listened to some nice bands. It's a very dual kind of place. Cap d'Agde is big enough for everyone. Just as an aside, I had also heard about adult interactions on the beach. I can't say whether I was disappointed or not but I saw no such things, but then again I was not looking. All in all we had a really great time.

  1. Some Random Observations: 
    1) The beach is one of the best I have seen and the best Naturist beach I have ever been to.
    2) The ATM machines work fine and do not charge a fee for use.
    3) Most people tend to dress in the evening, not all, just most.
    4) The ice cream is quite good by American standards.
    5) There are self serve Laundromats in the camping area and at Heliopolis but in Port Nature is a little Laundry, in by 10:00 AM out by 4:00 PM and only slightly more expensive than the 'do it yourself'.
    6) Gosh I love that bread, the olives and did I mention the wine...sigh
    7) We wanted to rent bikes and the Gas Station has them but there are no bike trails outside the Quarter and the traffic is murderous.
    8) Go to the clothed section of the Cap d'Agde waterfront at night. Lots of restaurants, shops and interesting people to watch.
    9) English is in common enough usage to get by but a little French helps.
    10) Did I tell you about the bread and pastries? 
    11) Port Ambonne is bigger than you think. Climb up the ramp and look at the roof gardens.
    12) The Hyper U supermarket in Agde is a mess. Crowded and noisy and I am not really sure food is cheaper there. The Commercial Zones in the Quarter may be a little more expensive but you can shop in the nude. Naked but for shopping cart.

Luna took issue with Robert's comment of 

"...Just as an aside, I had also heard about adult interactions on the beach. I can't say whether I was disappointed or not but I saw no such things, but then again I was not looking."  

and wrote...

We were at Cap early this year from the 1st to 18th June and taking shelter from the warm but blustery wind ,we chose a spot near to the dunes . Lying face down, I suddenly looked up and there were five men standing there all looking at me and jingling their what's it's madly with their hands. Shocking *lol* tut tut ........not what I had expected in the Naturist Quarter .That part of the beach looks like a King Penguin colony ........with males wandering around in-between sunbathers and up and out of the dunes, round and round all of the time. The *Clubs* advertised couples only, threesome, gang bang nights and it seems the place was full of swingers.

It seems that Out of Season anything goes ,it cost 18 FF entrance for a day that was anything from 8am until 8am next day, with an in and out as many times as you wished up until 8pm when the day passes stopped, but if you were in before 8pm then you could stay there as long as you wished to. No need to be a member of any Naturists Clubs or anything like that. The beach was long and wide and the water warm but the place itself most definitely not for us again, we were happy that we stayed in a villa near by and not in the complex ourselves as it was fine to go there for a day or evening now and again . BTW we are both pierced and saw others there that were and nobody took a blind bit of notice except out of curiosity.

We went topless on beaches anywhere and everywhere without any problems at all and on a quiet little beach further down the coast we swam nude, nobody bothered us at all.

This prompted Steve to write...

It changes dramatically at the end of June. A second Lifeguard's hut is put up by the 'Buvette'. Lots of police patrol, some on horseback in the dunes, others on foot along the beach. As well as the local police I saw a car marked 'Gendarmerie' a couple of weeks ago one evening.

The police kick people out of the dunes area on the grounds that it is a nature reserve, though them galloping around on their horses probably doesn't actually help the environment too much.

I have been there in June & seen activities mentioned & I have been in July & seen the police patrols. I think it's fair enough as many more families arrive in July / August & there is not so much open space on the beach.

Those wanting 'contact' presumably go into the clubs / saunas available for that purpose.

One thing I've always found whether it be May, June, July or September (never tried August) is that at some point during a stay at Agde there will be an almighty storm - fortunately usually followed by fine weather

I was pleased that inflation hadn't taken much effect e.g. the bus fare from Naturisme to Agde at 13 francs was the same this year as in 2000 & 1999 when it rose from 12 francs (1998) - no doubt switching to Euros next year will be an excuse for price rises all round.

And a comment from  Jon (N Wales) who wrote...

I didn't see anything the first time I went there in 1999. But this year, in the last week in June, they had a music festival in Cap d'Agde on one day. A jazz band had been playing in the naturist quarter in the morning, and at about 3.30pm in the afternoon, I'd gone for a walk along the beach, and saw a crowd of about 200 people gathering towards the end of the naturist beach nearest Marseillan. "Ooh, music festival!" I thought. Nope. A couple "performing" for an audience of about 200, and there were children around on the beach at the time. Whilst I found the idea of them performing out on the beach completely unacceptable, what I thought was really sad and utterly pathetic is that 200 people had nothing better to do than gather round and watch.

I continued my walk along the beach!

OK, so maybe I'm a prude, but having been to Cap d'Agde three times, I think next time it'll be somewhere more normal!

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