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Naturist Zone in Vera Playa

 

A Unique Naturist Resort - Vera Playa on the Costa Almeria in south-east Spain has a warm, dry near-desert climate - mainland Europe's only all-year-round naturist resort. It has 2 km of superb naturist beach and a naturist residential zone of over 2,000 privately owned apartments, a major 4-star hotel, and various commercial premises. It is not a centre, but a zone - no club, company or other organization owns or controls the zone as a whole, which includes public streets and seaside promenade. 

Visit https://www.spainassured.com/ for property options in the Naturist Zone. 

We would like to acknowledge www.veraplaya.info  for the source of this information. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you've got some questions in your mind about Vera Playa scroll down this page - hopefully you'll find the answer here:

FAQ.  Where exactly is Vera Playa?  Vera Playa is located on the south-east corner of Spain, on the Costa de Almeria, near the Moorish hill-top village of Mojácar. Google map location for the naturist resort

FAQ.  Is it in the back of beyond?  No, it is conveniently close to several small towns (Garrucha, Vera, Cuevas de Almanzora) and, now, just part of continuous low-rise beachfront development over 5 km from Villaricos to Puerto Rey/Garrucha.

FAQ: Which airport should I fly to? Almeria, if you have the choice, but this is getting more difficult as several airlines have pulled out (e.g. British Airways) and others only fly there now in the summer (e.g. Monarch, from Birmingham and Manchester) - in fact, Almeria airport's passenger numbers have fallen off a cliff and despite building much bigger terminal facilities the number of flights in and out seems to have declined especially from the UK. However, if you can get a flight there, Almeria is very convenient as it is only 85 km or 50 mins away. Ryanair, famous for impetuous decisions about which airports they fly to seems to have stuck with Almeria, at least from Stansted, though they have dropped flights from Gatwick. Easyjet now has regular all-year-round flights from London Gatwick & London Stansted.

Second choice airport is probably Murcia (San Javier - on the Mar Menor) which is 185 km or 2 hrs (or 1 hr 30 mins on the new AP-7 toll motorway, cost = approximately 24€ for return trip) and a very close third is Alicante (210 km, 2 hrs 20 mins - and lots of flights). Malaga is also a possibility - but a long drive (300 km, 4 hours) and not all on motorway (which the other airports are - except for the last 15 km or so). Allegedly, there will be a new Murcia airport in a few year's time, which - if it ever happens - will be much nearer Vera (about 130 km or 1 hr 20 mins).

FAQ.  What's the weather like?  Vera Playa has a superb climate - the warmest winters in Europe and hot summers which are relieved by sea breezes, and (generally) very settled weather with dawn to dusk sun as normal. The dry atmosphere is excellent for sufferers from arthritis and other complaints which are aggravated by a damp atmosphere.

FAQ. How big is the Naturist Zone? The naturist beach is around 2.5 km long and the naturist urbanizations front approx 1 km of beach and extend back about 400 metres.

FAQ.  Is only the beach naturist? No - everywhere within the zone is naturist - including the streets.

FAQ. How will I know I am in the naturist zone?  In the summer it will quite quickly be fairly obvious, but the boundaries of the naturist zone are not well marked or signed. The naturist zone immediately adjoins textile residential areas and, quite frankly, it is almost impossible to say where the exact boundary is. In practice, it is no big deal. You are not going to arrested for straying outside the naturist zone by a few metres - you'll soon get to know what's "naturist zone" and what isn't. 

It is worth noting that there are two urbanizations that appear to be in the naturist zone but which are actually textile (Playa de Baria 1 and Vera Mar 6). Vera Mar 6 actually has notices now saying "no nudista" as, presumably, some owners and renters have tendencies to go naked within this urbanizacion (some naturists who have non-naturist families own apartments in Vera Mar 6).

FAQ. If the naturist beach is 3kms long and the naturist zone is only 1 km long what fronts the other 2 km? It used to be nothing (salt pans/desert/scrubland). Now it is textile developments. But the status of the beach has been upheld (by the Andalucian Ombudsman) as naturist despite illegal attempts by the local council to sign this southernmost 2 km as textile. So you can use all 3 km of the beach as naturist - and many Spanish people do just that, whether they are "naturists" or not. Some of the textile developments have sold themselves partly on the basis that they have the naturist beach for people to use. Of course, many textiles use it as well, but there doesn't seem to be the same exclusivity of either naturists or textiles that seems the case in, say, the UK.

FAQ. Do you have to be naked all the time? No - nudity is permitted, not required. Most naturist urbanizations require users of their swimming pools to do so nakedly (i.e. bathing costumes are not allowed), but otherwise many owners and visitors only go naked to sunbathe and to swim in the sea. It's a good place for first-time naturists as there's no pressure - but most soon discover how good it is to go naked.

FAQ. Do you need to have an INF card to visit or stay at Vera Playa? No.

FAQ. What about voyeurs and weirdos? Vera Playa is open. Some of the urbanizations (residential developments) are locked behind perimeter fences, but this is to preserve their facilities for use only by their own residents as much as anything. Some people do come into the naturist zone to look - but they are mainly the curious rather than the weird - though there are undoubtedly sometimes some of those. Pretty certainly some of the curious become naturists in the sense that they try out being naked on the beach and in the sea and find out it's good. The local and national police do patrol the naturist zone and beach (as they do everywhere) and there seems to be no greater a problem of undesirables on the naturist beach or, for instance, overtly sexual or other inappropriate or illegal behaviour on the naturist beach than any other beach (in fact quite possibly less). It is not a problem of any significant scale and most unlikely to affect or spoil your day on the beach.

FAQ. What is the legal position of nudity in Spain these days? The Vera Playa naturist zone and beach are officially designated as naturists so no worries there. But as a matter of interest mainly, the present Spanish Constitution gives Spanish citizens the right to be naked in any public place - so sunbathing or swimming naked on any beach is, these days, not illegal (though you might not feel very comfortable doing so!). Things are very different from what they were in the days of General Franco and nowadays Spanish people - of all ages - seem much more relaxed about being naked to sunbathe or swim or play on the beach, though no doubt most would not think of themselves as "naturists".

FAQ. What facilities are there in the naturist zone? The main one is, of course, the 3 km of naturist beach. In the main season, you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach and pedalos, sailboats, canoes, etc. There is a large 4-star hotel and about a dozen residential developments or urbanizations within which are a total of around 2,000 privately owned apartments and houses of various sorts and sizes. Each urbanisations has its own swimming pools. 

For food shopping, there is a substantial size branch of the Consum supermarket chain just outside the naturist area within easy walking distance (about 200m from the Torrema Natura and Bahia de Vera naturist urbanizations - see area plan). If you have a car, there are also two branches of the Mercadona supermarket chain within about 4 km of the naturist zone.

There are also small supermarkets in Hotel Street (only open at the times of year that the hotel opens, which is Easter until end of October) and next to the Reception & Lettings Office of Vera Natura (it is not yet clear whether this mini supermarket, which reopened in 2009 after a period of closure, will stay open all year). 

There are a number of bars/eating places on the beach (most are seasonal), several bars/cafes near the main entrance of Bahia de Vera and Torrema Natura and even more in Hotel Street (near the Vera Playa Club Hotel) - most of these are seasonal. There is an absolute profusion of supermarkets, shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs in the vicinity (2 - 20 km away) - more, obviously, in the summer than in the winter.

FAQ. Is there a naturist camping and caravanning site? There used to be a site which was partly textile and partly naturist but sadly there is now no camping or caravanning site at Vera Playa (It is believed the former site has been sold for redevelopment as textile apartments). The nearest site is a textile one on the edge of Palomares about 2 km from Vera Playa (on the road towards Palomares and Cuevas, about 250m from the Repsol roundabout (which is currently being redesigned as a major traffic interchange to receive the new bypass road from Mercadona/the Vera-Garrucha road).

FAQ. Nightlife - and nudity at facilities and in the evenings/night: The Vera Playa naturist zone is NOT a clubbers' paradise - it is basically a family orientated residential area. There is only one nightclub actually in the naturist zone (if it is still open which is in some doubt) and that is textile and frequented mainly by people from outside the naturist zone. There are a few bars/cafes including those on the beach which are naturist but most such facilities are actually outside the naturist zone and you will need to be clothed to use them. The Vera Playa Club Hotel has a dress code which is that you need to be clothed in its bars and restaurants except (during the day) the poolside bar. Everyone is expected to be dressed in the hotel after 8 pm. The hotel bar and restaurant are only open to non-residents after 8 pm. The bars and cafes/restaurants in "Hotel Street" and between Torrema Natura and the Consum supermarket (and within the Consum/ Hispania Centro building) are all textiles. You can, obviously, be naked 24/7 in your own hotel room or in and around your own apartment if you are staying in one of the dozen naturist urbanizations but it should be noted that it is rare to see anyone naked on the public streets after dusk and also useful to note that most Spanish naturists are not 24/7 lifestyle naturists, and are only naked (a) when the weather is hot and (b) to swim and/or sunbathe at the pool or on the beach. Northern European naturists are often naked when Spanish naturists aren't for the simple reason that the Spanish perception of when it is warm is rather different from that of northern Europeans to whom winter in Vera Playa seems remarkably like summer in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany or Scandinavia.

FAQ.  Who owns Vera Playa? Thousands of people who own their own properties, which are nearly all in 10 urbanizations (mutually owned developments with communal facilities such as swimming pools). In addition, there is a hotel, bars, cafes, etc.

FAQ.  Do I need an INF card to get in? No - There are no barriers, Vera Playa is just part of the wider world.

FAQ.  How can I get there? 3 airports are within easy reach by motorway - Almeria (85 km), Murcia (185 km by motorway, 150 km by mountain/coastal road) & Alicante (210 km). You can be here in as little as 6 - 7 hours door to door from the UK !

FAQ. What about public transport?

From and to the local airports: There's no doubt that the easiest and quickest thing to do is to rent a car to get to Vera Playa from your arrival airport - and then you've got it for the week or fortnight (Cost, for small car with aircon about £90 per week in summer, less in winter). But if you don't drive, or really don't want to rent a car it is possible to get to Vera Playa by public transport. 

from Almeria airport: Take the bus from the airport to the bus station in Almeria city. From there catch an intercity coach to Vera (which runs approx every 2 hours during the day and up to about 2200 hrs). At Vera bus station take a taxi to Vera Playa. Cost? Almeria airport to Almeria city bus station - 2€, Almeria city to Vera - 9.50€ , Taxi Vera bus station to Vera Playa, approx 10€. Allow plenty of time and don't risk it if arriving or leaving late. 

Taxis are, of course, a form of public transport - From Almeria airport to Vera Playa a taxi, one way will cost about 90€. There are various airport transfer minibus services which cost around 65 - 70€ per direction, per person. Travelers booking their air travel through Tarleton Travel can get return transfers for about £20 return per person. 

From Alicante airport: Due to greater distance, public transport from Alicante airport is a bit more complicated and obviously takes longer. It is possible as the following information contributed by our Forum member Rosa demonstrates, but do your homework before you go! :

From Murcia (San Javier) airport: We have no details but it is pretty certainly possible to take a bus to Cartagena, then to Vera OR to Lorca and then to Vera OR take a bus to Murcia, then either train to Lorca and coach to Vera or direct coach from Murcia to Vera (final destination of coach - Almeria).If anyone has used public transport from Murcia (San Javier) airport to Vera please let us know the details and how easy and practical a journey you found it to be.

2. Around the local area: The Vera Playa naturist zone is now better served by public transport than was the case. There is now an hourly service to both Vera town and to Garrucha and beyond to Mojacar Playa (service no.2). Buses pick up and set down on the edge of the naturist zone, near to the Consum supermarket and at the recently built roundabout on the main Garrucha-Villaricos road where a new dual carriageway towards Vera is now open. The bus fare is 1€ to either Vera or Garrucha. The timetable for Linea 2 (and detail of other local bus services in the area) are available on the bus company's website. Important note - the bus timetable says "Vera Natura" but the bus doesn't actually go to the Vera Natura urbanization - the stop is near the roundabout adjacent to the Consum supermarket)

In the summer there is a little road "train" which runs between Vera Playa and Garrucha town. The fare is €4 per person for a return trip and the service starts around 1730 hrs and continues until the last "train" from Garrucha at about midnight. You can hail and ride at any point on the little train's route (within the naturist zone it goes down Avenida Tortuga Boba and along Calle Naturaleza past Vera Natura and then up to the big roundabout on the main road). Its timing seems rather variable, although nominally hourly - you could be waiting around for it for some time. But it's a good option for an evening out in Garrucha and avoids drinking and driving (don't forget that the Spanish drink-drive limits are considerably tougher than in the UK and just one drink can put you over the limit!). 

It used to be the case that without your own car or a rental car you were effectively confined to the naturist zone and immediately surrounding area. Obviously, if you do have your own vehicle things are easier and you have more flexibility but you can now get out and about to at least the main local towns by public transport even in winter. In high summer a tourist "motor train" operates in the evenings which you can join and rejoin as you wish - this may be useful for going to Mojacar Playa to sample its bars and restaurants. 

If you have no car, the other option for getting around locally, other than on foot, is by taxi. Of course, you do not necessarily have to leave the naturist zone at all and on a short holiday, say one week, in good weather, you probably won't want to. But for longer visits, or in winter, or if you are unlucky enough to have some poor weather (unlikely in summer) you may well want to get out and around a bit . Car hire in Spain used to be very cheap but this year (2009) and due we believe to the Credit Crunch, prices have increased greatly and availability at busy times has declined (so essential to book early now, which was never the case previously). A small car, with aircon, will now cost around £135 + fuel per week in the summer, and about £100 + fuel in the winter - if pre-booked on the internet via brokers such as www.carjet.com. If you book direct with the car rental companies you are very likely to pay more and get less good conditions (e.g. extra charges for extra drivers or less good conditions reinsurance excess). If you are hiring for more than about 3 days you will probably find your rental is only available on a full tank to empty tank basis, which s a bit of a racket as is the charge you will be made for the initial full tank. Look out also for extra charges for insurance cover for tyres, wheels, glass, roof and underside (i.e. nearly everything!) - you are likely to get charged up to €3 per day for this cover and if you go abroad more than a couple of weeks per year it can be cheaper to have an annual policy with a UK insurance company to cover these risks. Sadly car rental is no longer the bargain it was and you may well question whether you really need a car which will be standing for most of your holiday - transfers from and back to the airport are looking much more attractive now (but only for Almeria - at about €50 - €80 each way - Murcia and Alicante are enormously more expensive and car hire is still sensible).

FAQ. What's it like in Winter? Weather, typically, is fine with midday temperatures in low to mid 20's, good for sunbathing. Sea OK for hardy, outdoor pools too cold, covered/heated pools best. Evenings can be chilly. Be sure to get an apartment with good sun and some heating. Quiet time - good for exploring the locality. And very cheap! There's not a lot open (in terms of shops, bars, restaurants) within the naturist zone in winter - though there's more than there used to be and it would be possible to survive without leaving the naturist zone - but without a lot of choices as to where to shop or eat. But there's plenty of everything just a bit further afield.

FAQ. Are there Internet facilities (e.g. to send & receive e-mail)? If you are staying at the Hotel Vera Playa Club, there are now some coin-operated internet machines in the reception area. There is internet access at the Bar Trinidad (to the right of the Vera Natura Reception/Lettings Office). Outside the naturist zone (but only just), the next nearest internet access is now in the coffee shop above Consum at €1 for 30 minutes. We believe that wi-fi access is available here too. Next, nearest is the Internet Cafe is at the Esquina del Rey commercial centre at Puerto Rey (about 2.5 km from the naturist zone - south of the naturist zone, on the way to Garrucha - you pass it as you drive to Garrucha from Vera Playa, it is clearly visible from the main road). There are also plenty of internet cafes etc in Garrucha and along Mojacar Playa.

Visit https://www.spainassured.com/ for property options in the Naturist Zone. 

We would like to acknowledge www.veraplaya.info  for the source of this information. 

 

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