• Nude hikers.
    Nude hikers.

Heading to Europe on a walking holiday and want to try something different? Head to Germany's Harz Mountains and try the Harzer Naturistenstieg, an 18km hiking trail dedicated to those who like to bushwalks sans clothes!

The route runs through the Harz Mountains in the centre of the country, between Dankerode and the Wippertalsperre, near Leipzig and is receiving praise for giving nudists an opportunity to express themselves more freely.

By the way, the trail is fenced with warning signs, so as not to frighten the locals!

Heinz Ludwig, who runs a campsite in the Harz Mountains, led the project to create the nudist trail, overcoming some local protests by pointing out its potential boost for tourism.

The Harzer Naturistenstieg has won praise for giving nudists an opportunity to express themselves more freely.

Jeanette Schuchmann, Deputy Director at the German National Tourist Office for UK & Ireland said: "Walking is a passion shared by many nationalities. Nudism is an expression for many a liberated mind in many countries. To the locals I would say: hike and let hike. To the nude hikers, I would say: mind the brambles and high thistles...!"

In Germany there has been a boom in nude tourism including a hotel in the town of Freudenstadt dedicated to naturists. Apparently guests will have to undress as soon as they register in.

Naturism – Freikörperkultur – is big in Germany: its body, the German Society of Nudists, has 50,000 members.

So what's it like to nude bushwalk?

"I love walking clothesfree, its a wonderful feeling to be so close to nature. I have noticed that where I walk semi-wild ponies will come up to me whereas when I have been clothed they wont!," one keen nude hiker said. "It's like they appreciate my natural state. Although I don’t want to offend other walkers, I’m doing nothing illegal and I would hope that the simple sight of another walker albeit clothesfree will not be offensive in this day and age."

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