PROVINCIA DE TARRAGONA – Go to the supermarket naked or have a chat with the neighbours without clothes. Or take a walk through the nudist village where others have left their clothes at home.
In El Fonoll in the Catalan province of Tarragona, this has been common for years. This small community has since become a tourist attraction. Spaniards, as well as tourists of other nationalities, go there for cycling or walking tours without any embarrassment of the naked body. Fanatic tourists take note: it is forbidden here to take pictures without permission. In addition, you must actively contribute to the community and be tolerant of the political or religious beliefs of the residents.
How the nudist village started
The 70-year-old Emili Vives is the founder of this first nudist village in Spain. The story started with his purchase of a neglected farm on a plot of 200 hectares. However, it didn’t end with that deal. The salesman told Vives that it was his farm and that he even had an abandoned village for sale. “I bought it the next day. I was thrilled until I found a ruin there,” Vives told the travel platform EscapadaRural.
The dilapidated farm stood near an abandoned village in a remote community. Vives turned the place into a gold mine with the help of volunteers. Visitors will now find 44 residences, a shop, a large dining room, a disco, a cinema and a small hotel.
The price for which he bought the village remains a secret. That was the deal during the sale. “I want to keep that promise. But the price was around the price of an apartment in Barcelona at the time,” Vives told Eltiempo.es.
Because many people can’t imagine it, there is a lot of speculation about El Fonoll. The inhabitants would form a cult, orgies would be allowed in the village, rapists would roam and much more. None of that is true according to Vives. “It’s a healthy environment that attracts all kinds of people. From professors, digital nomads, to families, groups of friends or singles on holiday.”
The residents of the community and many of their guests are nudists. Nudism is a variant of naturism. The latter is a philosophy in which “respect for nature and a healthy diet” play a role, explains Segimon Rovira, president of the Catalan nudist and naturalist association.
Not required to be naked
In Spain, there have been beaches since time immemorial where adults are allowed to remove all their clothes. In El Fonoll, just like on nudist beaches, visitors are not obliged to be naked. This obligation does apply to those who live in the community. Unless the weather is so bad that clothes are necessary. “So that everyone can fully experience naturism, we encourage being naked as much as possible. You will soon find that the environment is much more peaceful when no one is wearing clothes.”
Activities and services
Anyone wishing to visit or be part of this community can find various accommodation options with associated activities on the website. You can choose an apartment for up to six people or an individual room. It is also possible to stay in tents, small houses or the inn built by Vives. If you want more privacy, you can also spend the night in the stone huts slightly further away.
“There are double rooms for €25 per night. This village has no commercial purpose. The money that is earned goes into the maintenance of all this,” says the founder.
In El Fonoll you can enjoy hiking, cycling, ping pong and badminton. You can also bathe in a natural pond, get a massage, take a mud bath to rejuvenate the skin or read a book in the extensive library. In exchange for these services, you must do community work for 2.5 hours a day. For every extra hour you work, you get a ‘coel’, the currency of the community worth one euro.
Also read: Nudism allowed again on the beaches of Cádiz