Posted: November 14, 2022

Douglas Mitchell

Heliomonde is worth the trip

My wife and I had a choice. We could either explore the Champagne region with my daughter, son-in-
law and grandchild, and sample some of the finest wines France had to offer, (think Dom Pérignon,) or
we could ride alone on a dingy subway train to the outskirts of Paris and visit a nudist resort for a few
short hours. It didn’t take long for us to decide. After all, we were in Paris on vacation and time was
precious and of the essence. And we were, too, relatively new to nudism and committed to visiting as
many clothing-optional locations as our advancing years would allow us. So, without further ado, we
hurriedly snatched a couple of towels from the hotel, stuffed them into a well-worn shopping bag along
with some sunscreen and dark glasses and headed down into the Paris underground and off to the tiny
commune of St. Cheron, about 50 minutes from the center of one of the greatest fashion-positive cities on
earth to spend the day totally naked at a place called Heliomonde.
We got to St. Cheron about 11:30 AM and at once found a restaurant near the train station. We were in
France after all, so why not find some appetizing spot that served authentic Moroccan food? Oh well,
when in St. Cheron . . . We weren’t disappointed, the food was exquisite. After all, Morocco was a French
Protectorate for decades and is still an ally. We also got some information; for instance, St. Cheron has a
population of about 5000 and the only way for us to get to Heliomonde was to walk or by cab, which the
owner would be happy to call for us. It was here that my high-school French gave out. We paid the check,
bid adieu and waited outdoors for our cab to arrive.
It was mid-September, and as luck would have it, it was beginning to cool. On the taxi trip to the resort, I
began to wonder if this was the great idea we originally thought. But the sun was shining, and we were so
close. In about 15 minutes we pulled up at the front gate and we were ultimately convinced. We entered a
small office and were greeted by the host who put our minds at ease about our decision. She was warm,
welcoming and spoke perfect English. The sign-in was a snap and the rates were well within our means;
about the same we would pay at a comparable resort in the United States. We learned that Heliomonde is
more accurately referred to as a campground. As we walked toward the changing rooms, complete with
secure lockers, we noted that guests were housed either in comfortable tents, or in RVs. There were a few
chalets spaced here and there, and a charming cabin nestled in a treetop. The changing room housed a
steam bath and sauna, but I didn’t see a hot tub. The cleanliness of the place was quite apparent, and the
guests and employees were very friendly.
We made our way toward the pool, which though advertised as heated, was actually very cold. Too cold
for my old bones, but not so for my younger and more adventuresome wife. There was ample room for
sunbathing, however, and the sky was still blue and covered with bright sun, so I decided to spread out
my towel on the concrete terrace and let the day go by. The intense quietness of the area and the warm
fresh air took me into a light slumber. I was still suffering from jet lag, after all. By the time I awakened,
my wife had finished her frigid dip in the pool and had joined me on the sunny terrace. We decided to
take a stroll through the woodlands and check out the rest of what Heliomonde had to offer, particularly in
the way of libations. Heading back towards the office, we discovered an outdoor café and bar. The café’s
menu was quite limited, mostly snack foods, but we weren’t very hungry anyway, not after our Moroccan
feast. But the small bar was most alluring, and a cold beer seemed like the ideal afternoon treat.
One of the wonderful things about nudism is that most fellow nudists are gracious and friendly.
Heliomonde was no exception. We met a young couple from France at the bar and spent about an hour in
broken French/English conversation. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, but whatever it was was
pleasant and not in the least unwelcome. After our drinks, we walked over to the dressing rooms to take
advantage of the sauna and steam bath and there met a couple from Minnesota. Like us, they too were on

vacation in Paris and had decided to spend some time au naturel among the woodlands. The sauna was
hot, like it should be, but I missed the relaxing feel of a healthy dip in a hot tub. We also passed a couple
of tennis courts, and a laundry room for longer stays.
Overall, our trip was a success, and we were incredibly pleased with our choice. Heliomonde is a clean,
well-groomed campground in a beautiful setting. The woodlands are peaceful and inviting, and the staff is
kind and welcoming. As with most nudist resorts, photography is strictly forbidden. I’d like to see a
slightly better menu at the café, especially since it is on the outskirts of Paris, one of the food capitals of
the world. A croque-monsieur or some mussels in wine sauce would be a nice alternative, but we were
able to make it back to Paris to have a splendid dinner on Ile St. Louis. So, it worked out fine.
Heliomonde is in the town of St. Cheron about 30 miles south of Paris. It can be reached by car via route
N20 and by rail via the RER connection, line C4. Best to buy a round-trip ticket; you’ll want to spend
some time in the city of lights where the people are dressed, but most of the statuary is, of course, nude. Email:

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