Finest bare-it-all beachesThe best stretches of sand in the world for the perfect all-body tanJD Van Zylcontributor, MSN Travel2011-03-09T16:45:002011-03-29T17:00:00Begin our picture tour of the best clothes-free beaches
Nude bathing has come a long way. No longer the domain of an exclusive clique, many people are now turning to skinny dipping to add a fresh experience to their beach holiday - even if they wouldn't necessarily classify themselves as naturists.
In the 1970s, for example, Spain didn't allow any beach nudity. Now it is so commonplace you only have to find a quiet bit of coast and there will probably be bare bodies happily enjoying the sea and sun. Even some busy cities such as Barcelona regard beach nudity as little more than a personal preference - and certainly no longer a public nuisance.
"I've been struck by how much beaches are shared these days, with both naked and clothed holidaymakers alike unconcerned about the need for segregated facilities," explains Nick Mayhew-Smith, publisher of The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts. "Nudity is just an alternative form of swimwear to many people, and I think both those who bare and those who cover up realise there are more important things to worry about in life."Even Britain is more like a north European country than many people would give us credit for, according to Mayhew-Smith. The law in England and Wales is relatively relaxed about skinny dipping in the right context: if you're respectful towards other people and pick somewhere suitable you will be fine. Our nude beaches are getting better too, though there is still a bit more hassle here than on the continent.From exotic island beaches to local stretches of sand, we have them all covered. So slip on your birthday suit, haul out the sunscreen and click on through for the best beaches in the world to get that perfect all-body tan.For more information about The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts, visit Barebeaches.com.trueBritain's best hidden away beachesWorld's most secluded beachesFor more quality travel tips, follow us on Facebook1: Vera PlayaBest for: First timersWhere: Costa Almeria, south-east SpainWorth the effort because... Spain's capital of nudism boasts a 2km long beach, more than 2,000 privately owned apartments and a four-star hotel. Summer months are dry and hot and can get very crowded with visitors from all over Europe, which is why many holidaymakers prefer to head here during the spring or autumn months instead. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
2: FuerteventuraBest for: An idyllic island experienceWhere: Canary IslandsWorth the effort because... Given its glorious unspoiled beaches and laid-back approach to nudity, it comes as no surprise that all-over tan fans flock to Fuerteventura. Most of the coast is used by both clothed and unclothed bathers, and the 16km stretch of beach between Costa Calma and Morro Jable is used by naturists along its entire length. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
3: Cable BeachBest for: SolitudeWhere: Australia's north-west coastWorth the effort because... Not only one of the world's longest nude beaches, many visitors also claim it's one of the world's very best. Certainly the 17km of fine white sand, lapped by a crystal clear sea, would encourage just about anyone to discard their swimming costume and enjoy the vast space of sunshine and solitude. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
4: Studland BayBest in: BritainWhere: Near Swanage, DorsetWorth the effort because... Britain's best known and most popular naturist beach is also home to an extensive nature reserve with trails to explore the woodland and spot deer. The bare area is marked by green-topped posts, stretches for more than 800 metres and gets packed in mid-summer. National Trust wardens patrol the beach on quadbikes and are on hand if assistance is required. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
5: Es CavalletBest for: Gay naturistsWhere: IbizaWorth the effort because... This long sandy nudist beach is very popular with the whole spectrum of Ibiza's holiday crowds: trend-setters, young clubbers and above all gay visitors, baring all among like-minded folk. A few people treat the dunes area as a cruising ground, which means family naturists tend to use some of Ibiza's other beaches, but there is plenty oftopThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
6: Playa MigjornBest in: EuropeWhere: Balearic IslandsWorth the effort because... The whole island of Formentera has a pretty laid-back attitude to nudity, and this gorgeous 10-kilometre stretch of golden sand and brilliant blue sea is as close to perfection as they come. Dressed and bare bathers mix easily with each other, making it a great option for first timers. On a hot summer day, the clear warm waters would convince just about anyone to skip the swimming costume and dive right in. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
7: Euronat and CHM MontalivetBest: Naturist beach resortWhere: Near Bordeaux, FranceWorth the effort because... Two naturist resorts on either side of Montalivet town boast some of the most inviting sands and invigorating surf imaginable, making it the perfect place to slip on your birthday suit. Euronat is home to a glorious expanse of clean golden sand in front of the Euronat naturist resort and Montalivet offers another huge nude beach backed by dunes and pine trees - great for long bare walks and lots of personal space. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
8: ValaltaBest for: FamiliesWhere: North-west Croatia, near RovinjWorth the effort because... Another famous and long established naturist resort, Valalta enjoys lots of facilities including a super swimming pool close to the shore. A man-made sandy beach provides a comfortable alternative to the rocky coastline, of which there are several kilometres to explore au naturel. Apartments, pavilions and camping have a backdrop of vineyards and cultivated fields. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
9: Gavdos islandBest for: Unspoilt natureWhere: South of CreteWorth the effort because... The island of Gavdos is officially the southernmost point of Europe, and appropriately enough for the bottom of the continent, it is a bare one. Indeed, the beach at Agios Ioannis is often entirely naturist, with a long and wide expanse of sand lapped by beautiful clear water. The island in general is well off the beaten track so it never gets heavily crowded. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
10: Orient Bay ResortBest for: An exotic experienceWhere: St Martin, French West IndiesWorth the effort because... White sand, clear water, and three uninhabited islands in close vicinity make Orient Bay the ideal tropical setting for a most relaxing naturist family vacation paradise. The resort is located right on the beach at the southern end of the bay and has been accommodating sunseekers for more than 20 years. If the resort gets a bit hectic, take a picnic and discover the tranquillity of the nearby uninhabited and clothing-optional Tintamarre Island. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
11: Cala MacarelletaBest for: SwimmingWhere: Menorca's south coastWorth the effort because... This beach is a completely unspoilt picture-postcard cove with clear warm water lapping on the white sand. Surrounded by pinewoods and rocky headlands, the secluded inlet is well sheltered from the breeze, which also makes it a popular spot with visiting yachts. There is usually a mix of swimsuited and nude bathers enjoying the sun, but in low season the tall limestone cliffs restrict the rays later in the day. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2
12: Breezes Grand Resort & SpaBest for: CouplesWhere: Negril, JamaicaWorth the effort because... This ultra modern resort with its country club feel sports a huge beachfront with fine sand and multiple water sports. A delightfully secluded cove is reserved for bare bathers while another beach is available for those who prefer swimwear. The same approach is followed with the two pools - one with swimsuits and one without. There are 44 accommodation units set apart for those who prefer to spend their whole holiday au naturel. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2