A report on the France 4 Naturism resort/campsite from Steve.
Unfortunately Steve left his camera at home first time ...... so the
pictures were taken when they went back for a second visit in a year!!!
Ok Steve ....
Let me just say from the outset that I hadn’t intended to go to
Arnaoutchot, the “A” plan was to take the Plymouth-Santander ferry then
drive into either the picos de Europa or the Spanish Pyrenees and have a
What botched that plan the weather appearance as we were driving towards
the Pyrenees i.e. very grey to the right (Basque country) –black ahead
(Pyrenees) and blue to our left (Biscay).
Our first nights camping in northern Spain was just completely
uninspiring, I don’t like commercial camp sites at the best of times and
this one had it all : no space, crowded, noisy etc.
After another day driving around the Spain/France border area we started
looking for either place to camp—or a commercial camp site. I did have
the bare beaches guide as we had enjoyed a naked swimming the past and
had spent a few days at Katikati in New Zealand.
We arrived late afternoon/early evening and got checked in by a very
helpful bi-lingual staff member. He gave us a short list of camping
pitches that were already in use but basically said that we could camp
just about wherever we chose.
We chose an area called “Far west” picked out a pitch—the pitches are
all numbered and just checked with our list that it wasn’t already
booked. There were a few people about but generally pretty quiet.
Being back-country campers we are a pretty slick team at getting the
camp up and our routine usually has me getting the tentipi and tarp up
while Jackie (my partner) gets a brew on.
The area we chose (far west) is basically camping pitches and services
well spread out in a large area of pine forest—we did feel instantly at
home here with our bushcraft background.
What we noticed as we did the whole “brit” thing (tea and biccies) was
how amazingly quiet it was, even with a few people around the only real
sound was gentle breeze in the pines.
Just to explain that the cabins /chalets etc are mainly grouped around
the reception/pool complex and that is probably 10 minutes walk from our
camp which was about as far as it was possible to go and still be in the
The area (far west) did have its own toilet/shower block which was shut
–apparently for a re-fit but this wasn’t a problem as the block in
“Sauavages” was in use.
We didn’t have much time to explore that night as we were pretty
knackered from 2 days driving. Some time during the night I woke to what
I thought was a thunderstorm out to sea—but as I listened closely was
surf booming on the beach.
The new “B” plan was to use Arna as a base and probably go off for trips
into the Pyrenees---each day I looked at the weather on the internet and
every day it looked like a series of weather fronts hitting the western
end of the mountains. Standing on the dunes above the beach we could
watch the whole weather show to the south of us.
We did have some pretty spectacular thunderstorms—and a couple of grey
days. So instead of our usual running around trying to do everything we
just fell into a very relaxing daily routine largely based on long walks
on the nearly empty beach alternating with a swim in the pool.
Our planned “couple of nights” turned into a week and we just got more
and more comfortable with arna, with being naked as much as we could and
just living the life.
I must explain that we are both very new to naturism having only been to
one other naturist site (katikati) and the clothes optional site at
Mapua (New Zealand)
I think at first I was quite “shy”, not physically shy in terms of being
naked but socially shy with the other people there, I think not wishing
to be at all intrusive of other peoples space our only real contact at
first was just a shy “hello” or “bonjour”—trying to guess the language.
Later on though we recognised other couples that had been there a while
and gradually got talking to them. I was fascinated to find how other
people had discovered the naturist life and gradually got used to having
conversations with others while naked.
Anyway back to reporting on the site—clearly we were there at a very
quiet time of year although more people particularly families turned up
for the weekend.
For us –camping is the obvious choice and the pitches are really good in
size and separation, the only difficulty I had in the period of bad
weather was that the ground is very soft with poor holding (remember to
take sand stakes next time ).
Over the time we were there we started to use more of the sites
facilities, we took a look at the spa, used the pool every day and had a
coffee at the restaurant (we never had a meal there but then we are
happy to cook for ourselves.) The mini-market there had everything that
we really needed and in fact we never left the site apart from going
onto the beach.
The beach is just awesome—it seems to stretch out into infinity in both
directions, we didn’t swim in the sea at all mainly because of dumping
surf. Most days the beach was almost completely empty and we just got
into a routine of longer and longer walks.
We were very sad to leave and are definitely going back at the end of