SPECIAL FEATURED REPORT ON ANTIGUA by Sunlover
They say that there are 365 different beaches in Antigua, one for every day of the year, so if you can drag yourself away from the comforts of your all inclusive resort, you will be almost sure to find a secluded stretch of white sand to unwind upon. However you should be aware that nude bathing is illegal on all but one beach in Antigua; the beach at Hawksbill Bay. In fact strictly speaking even topless sunbathing is against local regulations, although a blind eye was turned to bare breasts in a corner of the beach belonging to the hotel in Dickenson Bay, where we were staying. Strange for such a relaxed, easy going place but we thought it wise to respect the local customs and my wife kept even the top half of her bikini on while there were other people around. However after a day or so of this even the cool cocktails at the beach bar were losing their attraction so we decided to hire a small 4x4 and explore the island.
There is one clothing optional beach on Antigua at a resort on the west coast called Hawksbill which we'd seen from a catamaran as we'd sailed past one afternoon but, as we'd also cruised past several truly beautiful stretches of palm fringed sand, unmarked by human footprint, we decided that these looked the more attractive.
Antigua's low, rolling, rainforest covered hills are set with old sugar mills, picturesque stone towers that are for the most part derelict, apart from one in the centre of the island that has been restored in order to give you a flavour of how things used to be. So, one morning after breakfast, we set off in our little white Suzuki jeep to do some sightseeing and to see if we could find our way down to one of those deserted beaches we'd seen from the sea. It took us several exploratory attempts down rough tracks before we came across our paradise. It's called Ffryes Bay and is on the westerly, Caribbean side of the island just off the coast road south of the purpose made resort of Jolly harbour. We'd driven around most of the island by the afternoon and were heading back towards our resort in the north when we passed a rough, dusty track that looked as though it might lead back to the sea. Sure enough after a few hundred yards, past one of the ubiquitous old sugar mills on a hill off to the left, the trees parted to reveal a bay that had been invisible from the main road. It was stunningly beautiful, a half moon of clean white sand studded with bleached driftwood, the low, tree covered hills screening it from the road.
In no time we had parked our jeep, kicked off our shoes and walked down to the turquoise-blue Caribbean, a colour that would seem unreal if painted on a canvas. We quickly realised that we were the only human visitors to the bay and so the rest of our clothes joined our shoes on the back seat of our open top vehicle. The sensation of the cooling water on our bodies was rejuvenating, relaxing and, I have to say, incredibly sensual in equal measure, not least because we were doing something that we knew we shouldn't be doing. Knowing that our clothes were effectively irretrievable in the back of the car some 50 metres away added greatly to the pleasure of being naked but, when nobody came to disturb our solitude, we gradually lost track of time and of the world outside our small piece of paradise. It was only the sound of a vehicle bumping down the track from the road that brought us back to reality and reluctantly made us walk back to the shelter of our Jeep.
We returned to Ffyres several times over the next two weeks and, apart from the occasional visitor, had the place to ourselves and so were able to indulge ourselves by being nude most of the day. However we respected law and custom and kept our swimsuits on when not alone, particularly when local people came to swim at lunch time as seemed to be the habit. The only time we remained naked when not alone was one day when we ventured too far from our clothes, in fact the day I took the photograph (below) of my wife as she wandered down to the other end of the beach. Fortunately it was only another couple of tourists and, although I managed to reach my shorts in time, my wife didn't and went for a swim to conceal herself. However our visitors must have realised anyway and we were relieved to see the girl undress and wade out into the sea naked too, followed closely by her male partner. The beach was big enough for us not to crowd each other and we were all able to remain nude for the rest of the afternoon until a catamaran sailed lazily round the headland and up into the shallows where a dozen or so of its passengers jumped in and waded up to the beach. Shorts and bikinis were in easy reach this time although there was a certain amount of reluctance to put them back on. Both we and our nude companions did cover up though which is very much the point in writing this.
Natural as I think nudity is, it's also important to be respectful of local customs and laws, not only because of the danger of prosecution, but also because it would be wrong to offend people whose country we are fortunate to be visiting. Having said that, I'm sure there are many beautiful deserted beaches in Antigua where you could indulge your senses without the danger of offending anyone at all, Ffyres Bay being just one.
It's now a couple of years since we were there but I would like to think it remains as unspoilt as we left it, the old weathered driftwood tree trunk, a remnant of some past storm, still held fast by the clean white sand and maybe still used as a backdrop for a photograph of a suntanned girl who's been fortunate to discover the paradise known as Ffyres Bay.
© Ffyres beach photos copyright Sunlover
Hawksbill Bay official nude beach is on the west coast of Antigua, which is part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean. There is a string of five beautiful white sand beaches in this bay. However, you will need to walk to the 'fifth' beach for nude bathing. Access to the beach is via Hawksbill Hotel and you should inform the security guard of your intention to use the clothing optional beach as you pass through the hotel.
|Antigua Map showing Hawksbill Bay|
|Photo showing Hawksbill Bay beach|
Ffryes Bay is on the southwest coast of the Caribbean island of Antigua. The bay is just south of the resort called Jolly Harbour. Like most of Antigua's beaches, it is composed of clean white sand. This particular beach is in a very remote location and screened from the road by wooded hills making it ideal for a spot of 'unofficial' nude sunbathing. See the main report above for more details.
|Antigua Map showing Ffryes Bay|
|Photo of Ffryes Point and beach|