AKA Isle of Levant
Director: Werner Kunz
Three young Eves on a very, very revealing journey, to the extraordinary Île du Levant. Filmed in all its natural splender, off the fun loving French Riviera! In Glorious Sun-Tanned COLOR!
A documentary on the island off the French Riviera where ‘bathing in the buff’ isn’t just practiced, it’s highly encouraged! Île du Levant, sometimes referred to as Le Levant, is a French island in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Riviera, near Toulon. It is one of the four that constitute the Îles d’Hyères. Part of the island is occupied by the naturist resort of Héliopolis, Europe’s first naturist village.
The Bain de Diane and the Plage des Grottes (a nude beach) are reserved for naturists; nudity is formally obligatory there. Being nude is allowed (and expected) everywhere on the public area of the island, except in the immediate vicinity of the harbour. In the harbour, it is formally necessary to wear what the French jokingly call French: le minimum, often a pareo or a string. In conformance with the relaxed atmosphere of the island, this rule is not really enforced, but generally well observed. Inside restaurants outside the village centre, some clothing, although often flimsy, is often worn but toplessness (for women and men) is quite accepted there and le minimum considered sufficient attire; on the outside terraces, nudity is common, especially at lunchtime. At least two restaurants, La Fourmi and Heliotel, actively encourage customers to be nude, even at dinner.
The island sees a number of scuba divers; these generally do not partake in the nudist lifestyle. The non-military part of the island is private property. The owners form the Association Syndicale Libre des Propriétaires à l’Île du Levant. Outside Héliopolis naturist village, the other main tourist attraction is the Domaine des Arbousiers, a voluntary natural reserve established on 3 December 1993. The island can be reached by boat from Hyères and from Le Lavandou. As no cars are allowed on the island, these ferries do not take cars. A 1956 film by Werner Kunz was called Isle of Levant and featured so-called “nudist camp” footage.
The island is used as a setting in the Robert A. Heinlein novel Glory Road and in the Mario Reading novel The Music Makers.
The island was mentioned in Are You Being Served? episode “Hoorah for the Holidays” as a presumed destination for Captain Peacock’s annual vacation. Miss Brahms calls it “a nudist colony” but Captain Peacock insists it’s a “nature camp”.The island, and a nod to its nudist history, was also featured in the French film Nos Futurs (Our Futures). It was also the setting for a short story, The Reluctant Nudist, featuring Leslie Charteris’ character The Saint. The Reluctant Nudist appeared in the collection published as The Saint Around the World