Les Grottes (Île du Levant) Beach (Plage des Grottes)
One of the four islands which make up the Îles d’Hyères, the Île du Levant sits just off the southern tip of mainland France. Less than 10km off the coast the island is a quick ferry ride away, but a very different world awaits.
The majority of the heavily forested 8km long island is owned by the French military and is out of bounds. Home to a missile testing facility it is even off limits to Google maps with satellite imagery pixelated. This leaves the western tip of Levant Island accessible to the public.
What makes this part of the Île du Levant so special is that it is almost entirely clothing optional. In fact the sandy beach of Les Grottes goes one step further and makes nudity obligatory!
With the exception of the island’s ferry port and the village square in Héliopolis the entirety of accessible portion of Levant is naturist paradise. It has been this way since 1931 when the Durville brothers set up the island’s first nudist camp.
Other quirks include there being no cars or electricity.
The Plage des Grottes is the island’s only sandy beach but is a real gem. The little cove is actually situated within the military zone, but don’t worry, access is allowed and there won’t be any stray missiles! As mentioned clothes aren’t an option on Les Grottes although you will be fine to don a snorkel and mask.
If you don’t happen to have your own yacht Levant Island is reached via ferry Le Lavandou and takes around 30 minutes. From the harbour the beach is a short walk to the south.
Also known as:
Plage des Grottes
Type of beach
- Diving & snorkelling
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