Speedos: your brief guide to style etiquette

Love them or loathe them, there is no getting away from the Speedo, the Australian swimwear brand that has become synonymous with the form-fitting “budgie smuggler” style of bathing briefs.  The longevity of the brand, which celebrates its centenary this year, is a testament to its enduring popularity, and there are now countless companies all offering similar style swimwear.  

Once the go-to choice for legions of buff, Bondi types with enviable Down Unders, brief-style swimwear is enjoying a resurgence, largely due to its celebrity athlete fans. Think Tom Daley, Michael Phelps or even Cristiano Ronaldo. All across the continent, there are hoards of Speedo-clad men, eager to flaunt their holiday tans in displays of pool-side prowess.

This is nowhere more evident than the popular hot spots of France, where Pierre & Vacances are number one for holiday accommodation.

Whether you are more Gerard Depardieu than Gerard Pique, there is no denying the popularity of the Speedo. In France, the power of the speedo reigns supreme, and in many locations it is mandatory for men to don their Lycra when using public pools. While the Speedo is de rigeur, baggy board shorts favoured by the British and Americans are often forbidden anywhere other than the beach.

With 41 ski resorts and holiday villages spread throughout France, Pierre & Vacances know their guests have a fine appreciation of style … and so for all those hoping to take a break from the slopes or the heat of the beach, with a dip in the pool or a plunge in the ocean, a pair of Speedos may soon become an essential item in your suitcase.

In fact, many of the top resort residences are already opting to implement a “Speedos obligatory” policy. Here are just a tiny handful, no pun intended, of the fantastic resorts on offer from Pierre and Vacances . . . with a guide to the Speedos etiquette!

Belle Dune

The Belle Dune eco village sits in the perfect location between the sea, sand dunes and lakes of the picturesque Bair de Somme region.

As well as an 18-hole golf course, the village also boasts a magnificent heated waterpark and. It’s an incredibly popular attraction and that means – yes, you guessed it – Speedos are most certainly obligatory!

There are also a wide range of nature-based activities and a variety of sports, as well as clubs for younger guests from three months to 17 years old.

Luxury holiday accommodation ranges from chic studio apartments for four people to houses with four rooms for up to eight guests, with two levels of comfort to choose from: Select or VIP.


The Residence Heliotel Marine is the sparkling jewel in the crown of this lively resort, which is the famed gateway to Nice and Cagnes. Located just 100 metres form the beach, and with its own swimming pools, there’s no better place to show off your new holiday Speedos, the wearing of which is not only courageous for most British men but also obligatory for all nationalities!

Guests can enjoy playing on the tennis courts, children love the beach and the play park and there are shops just 400 meters away.

The majority of the luxury, air-conditioned apartments have their own balcony or a terrace to take in the sunshine and sea air. 

Avoriaz Aquariaz

Pierre & Vacances guests can now enjoy the Aquariaz in Avoriaz. At 1800m, this is Europe’s highest water park and has been designed as an aquatic Alpine paradise. A river runs through its lush vegetation and rocks, and there are also fun features such as the slidewinder halfpipe, a water playhouse and even an open-air spa heated to 34 degrees

Despite the exotic backdrop, Speedos are not obligatory here, though with so many slides, flumes and plunge pools, we’d definitely recommend leaving the mankini at home and opting in favour of sensible, cord-fastening swimming trunks.

Accommodation ranges from apartments for four to five people up to the four-bedroom apartment for up to 12 guests.

In addition to the Aquariaz all the other Holiday Villages not mentioned above are speedos optional.

For more information visit www.pierreetvacances.co.uk or call 0870 0267 145

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