Nude Photography on a Secluded Beach in Greece

Some places let you really get in touch with your body, mind, and spirit – or wherever those three things come together as one.  The beach is that kind of place, warm and sunny, with the hypnotic, rhythmic noise of the waves, where the amniotic sea reminds us subconsciously of before we were born.  Great for reading, relaxing, and swimming, and also for nude photography.

One especially fine place like that is in Crete, in the remote southeastern corner of the island, a place called Xerokampos.  We’d been in the area for a few days already, going to a beach that was a short walk from our digs.  Then we heard about another, less-frequented beach nearby, called Krinakia or Alona Beach, where according to custom you can go nude without scandalizing anyone, much less getting in trouble.  (Krinakia means lilies, referring to the flowers that grow on the dunes. I can’t make out alona; as such I get “hello”, which would be a perfect name for a nude beach, but it seems wrong.  Alon by itself means aloe.)  We decided to go there, since who needs tan lines? 

This sand beach, set along a small bay, is scarcely 70 yards long, but it feels much bigger.  Behind the beach are dunes and a rocky field of thyme and other short vegetation, with a string of mountain beyond the field.  You can drive, on unpaved roads surrounded by olive groves, as far as a small dusty lot, then you have a five-minute walk to the beach.  In all the time we were there – the better part of three days – we never saw more than a dozen other people, usually fewer.  There were small families with kids, and people of all ages, from various countries.  Most went nude, about two thirds.  Some kept their suits on for the beach, but then stripped to go into the water; some did the opposite.  No stares or vulgar voyeurism. 

The water is hyper-clear, the waves usually mild.  The bottom is soft clean sand, without rocks, sea urchins, or anything slimy, and with an easy downgrade, so you can walk into the water comfortably.  In late June the water was a bit cool but quite all right for swimming.  Typically there is a gentle breeze, although this part of Crete can get very strong winds.  We had sun for 24 hours a day (as Yogi Berra might have said).  It’s fierce at mid-day; you’ll need to take an occasional dip just to cool off. 

Anyhow, if you have never had the experience of nude sunbathing and swimming, you have been missing something exquisite.  To the usual elements of a beautiful beach – the sun, the air, the water, the sounds – you add yourself, but in a condition of nature.  Your body feels it, and your state of mind follows directly.  Likewise, taking photographs is a different experience when you are nude (except maybe for a camera strap).  Your nudity influences your eye, so you will not take quite the same photographs as you would clothed.  In a sense, even your eye is somehow more nude than usual.  

So I feel quite reasonable in calling them nude photographs, even if that term usually means that the subjects are nude.  Perhaps when you look at these photos, you can sense that I was nude while taking them.  It may even be that being nude while looking at the photographs makes a difference, but I haven’t checked this yet.  (If so, it would be an interesting requirement for attending an exhibition.) 

If the title of this article misled you, arousing expectations I have disappointed, sorry.  It may be a cheap trick on my part, just to get you to look at these pictures of sand and water, but it’s not a joke. 

Some were taken with a cell phone and some with a fairly good digital camera, and nothing else. 

Allen Schill
September 2019 

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