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Living the Good Life at Vera Playa - Vive la buena vida


Living the Good Life at Vera Playa -  Vive la buena vida

A&P are bloggers and run a travel advice group on ANW. They have travelled extensively around the world in their approximately 45 years as naturists. They first visited Vera playa in 2009 and were so taken with the experience that they had started the process of purchasing a property there by the next week! Vera is an amazing naturist destination as it is an urbanised area fronted by a large beach that welcomes naturism not just around the various resort complexes and the beach but also in the streets, cafes and bars of the area. Vera is a perfect example of how naturism can sensibly and appropriately blend with every day life and also offer a wonderful holiday opportunity for families, couples and individuals from all over the world to really submerge themselves in naturism. 

I would guess for most people naturism probably starts on a beach, either by coming across one by accident or perhaps a planned visit. For many people that might be the full extent of their naturism as it was for us for a few years. Then one year we couldn’t find a campsite in Croatia that had space and someone told us about Koversada. They said that if you don’t mind being naked it would have spaces so we tried it and loved it. For many years afterwards we spent all our summer holidays at naturist campsites and that was another level up in naturist terms.


In 2009 we decided we would like to look at apartments in Vera Playa and then Costa Natura in Spain. We stayed in Vera Playa first of all which is a collection of twelve estates or urbanisations. These vary in size from 50 or so to many more apartments. Why are they special? Well they are in an area that is accepted by all as a naturist zone. The gardens, the streets the beach and many of the cafes and bars are all naturist friendly. You don’t need a ticket or a pass to access the area as it’s all totally open. In the streets some people are dressed and others not. It’s the same in the bars where you can sit and watch the world go by. The Spaniards have a different idea of when the weather is right for naturism to the North Europeans. We will be stripped off in 18c (64f) and the Spanish will still be in coats! Sitting outside on the terrace you will see police cars, buses and tradesmen all going about their business (clothed of course!).



After a single night in our rented apartment we decided that we wanted one. We were shown around a dozen or so places on different urbanisations by a local estate agent the next day and the following day we put down a deposit. We were then taken to various council offices, solicitors and the bank to make the various arrangements and we simply had to wait a few weeks for bureaucracy to do its business. Unfortunately we were on business in Australia for a few months when the apartment became ours but it was an easy process.


At this point I should issue a warning. Spain has had many scandals in recent years with buildings that were erected illegally and sold to innocent customers. The authorities in some cases have had the buildings demolished. It’s vital that you get a good estate agent recommended by a number of people who live in the area. If you put down a deposit and change your mind you lose that money so beware. It’s also the case that any debts run up in connection with a property such as non payment of taxes stay with the property which means you the buyer have to pay them. You may also be offered under the table deals that reduce the price as there will be less tax to pay…. be careful as that can cost you dearly if caught.


We bought so that we could let the apartment when we were not there. It sounds like an easy way to make money but it’s not as lucrative as you may think. For instance, we charge £420 ($511 US) a week in May. We pay tax on that of about £84 and cleaning and laundry takes up another £75. When you allow for energy costs, advertising, wifi and your own time in administration the margins are not so impressive. Apart from local taxes we also have to pay community fees of about £150 a month. Despite my moans we have been delighted to own a lovely apartment with two double bedrooms and two terraces for the last thirteen years. We stay every Spring and Autumn for 4-6 weeks and usually enjoy great weather. Even in February we had several days when it was warm enough to strip off. Vera Playa has the best sunshine record in Europe and is on the edge of Europe’s only desert.


For many, time spent in Vera Playa means beaches, pool and bars. Indeed we follow this pattern for some of the time but there is far more to living in the South of Spain. Trips to many of the picturesque towns and villages are a delight. If you are prepared to go further afield the magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada is two hours away. En route you pass the ski fields of the Sierra Nevada so it’s possible to go on the beach and ski on snow in the same day at a pinch!


A typical day for us involves a cycling trip up the coast road lasting between an hour and a half and four hours. Most of it going North is a rugged undeveloped area with small beaches at regular intervals. We do wear cycle gear I should add! We return for breakfast and an afternoon at the apartment perhaps on the terrace or doing chores inside. Late afternoon often involves a 5 minute walk to the beach. On the way we pass three bars all of which welcome naturists. After an hour or so on the beach we might pop in to Inna’s Bar or the Pirate Bar for a quick drink. Most of the customers here will be naturist. Occasionally we will play boules at the Sol y Lunar bar. By six pm we are usually meeting friends at Oh La La bar and restaurant where Manu and Javi the owner and barman always welcome us. The group can often grow and grow with extra tables being added. Most nights we will end up chatting with new acquaintances. The big problem is remembering names, (which I am useless at anyway) especially when you don’t see people for a few years. Watching the sun go down from the bar terrace is the best time of the day for me and when it’s time to go home we have a long 30 metre walk!!!



We love walking and hike frequently for hours in the nearby Sierrra Almagrera hills or in the stunning Cabo de Gata National Park. For all these walks you can be naked the whole time. Which brings us a to an interesting thing about Spain. Technically the law says you can be naked anywhere (apart from a few places like Barcelona that have brought in special statutes). I have met a number of people who have tried this outside naturist areas and have had no problems when seeing the police. However, I have also met people who have had less good experiences with the law. Generally on beaches you will be fine. We have found that on arriving at a non designated naturist beach and stripping off has led to others joining in. We have never had a complaint when we have stripped. The Vera Playa beach will be almost 100% naturist but as you walk further North or South the mixture gradually changes. For some naturists whose partner prefers a costume this can give the ideal compromise.


Within 4 miles there is every type of shop you will need including a large supermarket just half a mile away. Getting to Vera for us means a flight to Almeria or Murcia which are both about an hour away. From there you can get a shuttle bus service that costs about £20 a trip and it drops you off half a mile form the apartment. We tend to get a ferry to Spain that takes about 24 hours and lands in Bilbao or Santander. That leaves is a 600 mile drive through some wonderful scenery, particularly in the North where you travel through the Cantabrian Range of mountains. The autopistas tend to be quiet and are mostly free. We have stopped the night in lots of wonderful Spanish towns and cities such as Toledo, Avila, Madrid, Burgos and Aranjuez en route.


In summary, living in Spain is great in itself, but living in Vera Playa where the weather is warm and you don’t need clothes just can’t be beaten.

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