Holiday camping site, Quinta do Maral, is a rural campsite set on a property in Marvão, Portugal. Founded by Paula Costa and Nuno Frade, the campsite is a testament to their love for nature. The scenic beauty of Marvão, with its mesmerizing sunsets and pure natural surroundings, made it the perfect location for their venture. But there’s a catch, Quinta do Maral is for naturists only. That’s right, Paula and Nuno are proponents of naturism. What is naturism you ask? It is the practice of going without clothes, whether occasionally at a beach, in a garden, or as a more general part of everyday life. It represents a lifestyle that celebrates the human body and aims for a deeper connection with nature. This movement is growing, and more people are realizing the significant health benefits and positive body image it can offer. Join us on an enlightening interview with Paula Costa talking about Quinta do Maral.
Creating a Naturist Haven
The couple’s transition from city life to the countryside was driven by a desire to live freely and connect with nature. When asked about how they chose Marvão, Paula says, ‘We chose this region because it’s beautiful and near the Portugal-Spain border, making it accessible for people from central Europe. After searching for properties for a few years, we found Quinta da Moral, and we knew it was the one instantly. The stunning mountain view with a castle on top, the peacefulness of the area, and being close to nature made it the perfect fit.’ Quinta do Maral offers a genuine naturist experience, emphasizing freedom, body acceptance, and respect for others.
Naturism and its appeal
When asked what naturism entails for Paula and her family, she says, “Naturism, for me, is a lifestyle, the way you live every day. Even before we had the camping site, being close to nature was important to us.” Paula has always been in tune with nature, even before naturism she had been a scout in her youth. But when her and her husband discovered the principles of naturism at first, they attempted camping at a naturist beach in Lisbon. When asked about her first experience, Paula recalls, “We tried it and felt so comfortable being naked. At first, we were apprehensive, unsure about the logistics- Do we arrive in clothing? Do we put the tents up before we take our clothes off? But once we overcame the first few minutes of discomfort and self-awareness, we found it liberating. Since then, we always chose naturist places for camping, spas, or beaches. It’s about being comfortable, without judgment about our bodies- big, small, tall, short- just being ourselves in nature. Come just as you are.”
Are there sexual undertones to naturism?
Naturism is about embracing the human body in its natural state and shedding any inhibitions or judgments associated with it. Contrary to popular belief, it is not about sex or exhibitionism; rather, it’s about the freedom to be oneself without the encumbrance of clothing. When asked about her thoughts on the common misconception, she says, “We have been observing a trend recently of naturists or naturist enthusiasts, that are thoroughly misinformed. They expect something of a sexual variety. We’ve also seen swingers and people trying to watch-on without participating. This doesn’t coincide with the ethos as Quinta do Moral- a family-oriented campsite.” She realised after her first experience with naturism, that the movement provided her with a safe space, free of judgement, to come as she is. “The experience also removed any stigma around nudity and sexuality for me, it wasn’t about sex at all.” She recalls.
Paula and Nuno focus on maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere at Quinta do Maral. “We believe that naturism is for everyone, including families. It’s important for us to maintain a place where families feel safe and respected.” says Paula. Their dedication to a naturist lifestyle, along with their own children, adds credibility to the naturist community, fostering an environment of trust and respect.
Embracing Naturism and Fostering Memories
Memorable moments at Quinta do Maral revolve around the camaraderie among guests, many of whom have been returning since the campsite’s early days. “It’s like a big family reunion.” says Paula. The births of their children and the joyful events that unfolded during the licensing and expansion of the campsite remain cherished memories. These experiences encapsulate the essence of naturism—a celebration of freedom, connection, and shared happiness.
In conclusion, naturism is a movement that goes beyond the absence of clothing. It’s about embracing the human body, fostering a positive body image, and connecting with nature and like-minded individuals. Research shows that even brief exercises of naturism can improve one’s mental, emotional and physical health. Shedding clothes often feels like shedding worries and stresses, leading to a sense of freedom and relaxation. Places like Quinta do Maral embody these principles, providing a sanctuary for naturists seeking relaxation, acceptance, and a sense of freedom in the heart of Portugal’s stunning natural landscape.