A string of nudist beaches could be created across the Algarve within the next five years, after the Algarve Tourist Board (RTA) said it is ready to work alongside naturist associations to achieve this goal. Hélder Martins, the RTA president, says the naturist beaches are a product that could “constitute an interesting tourist offering for the Algarve”. Naturism has a growing legion of fans in the Algarve, but practitioners complain that there are few legally designated areas. At present, the region only has one legal naturist beach, although there are 10 others where nudism is tolerated. Portuguese naturists are, in fact, fleeing in large numbers in search of better infrastructure. “While we still lack adequate facilities, it’s difficult to increase the amount of practitioners. Look at Spain, where there are 25 naturist centres,” says Luís Batalha, vice-president of the Portuguese Naturist Association, whose avowed aim is to create the country’s first major naturist centre.
Meanwhile, environmental authorities have scuppered plans to classify Praia dos Pinheiros in Lagos as an area where nude bathing is legally permitted. Lagos Câmara and the municipal assembly apparently made a concerted effort for the place to be available for nude bathing, as is the case in the west of Tavira Island. But the Algarve Commission of Co-ordination and Regional Development (CCDR) justified its decision in a report sent last week to the local authority. It apparently says that Pinheiros beach is not suitable because it is “a dangerous area”.