Across the pond, toplessness isn't as taboo as it can be in the States. But to go full monty, you'll need to find the right spots. These 10 nude beaches run the gamut from secluded and scenic to urban and accessible — each with their own flavor of charm, and all on board with as much as you want to bare.
Mirtiotissa Beach, Corfu, Greece
If there's a perfect beach for your first time, this would be it. A narrow dirt road leads to this sliver of golden sand hemmed in on both sides by cliffs made green by palms, pines and shrubs. The water is calm, invitingly so, making it easy for first-timers to tell themselves that they were simply inspired by the setting to skinny dip — not that they came here to try a new experience. The only downside is that this hideaway has no facilities.
Playa Es Trenc, Mallorca, Spain
Like a zero-entry pool, this white-sand beach on the southern tip of Mallorca slopes so gently that it's perfect for lounging in the shallows and relaxing with a beverage.
Plus, it's huge — spanning just shy of two miles — and has goodies like umbrellas and sun chairs for rent.
Alteirinhos, Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal
Even if you have no intention to show skin, this quiet beach is worth the trek down several flights of steps, especially at sunset given that this spot faces due west. If you do want to lose the tan lines, visit during low tide, or else the ocean won't give you much room to lay out a beach blanket.
The island of Sylt is to Germany what Cape Cod or Nantucket is to the Northeast — grass-covered dunes serve as backdrop to the long ribbon of latte-colored sand. But because this is Germany, a country with a long history of accepting nudity, it's perfectly natural to go suit-less.
Playa La Tejita, Tenerife, Spain
Of Tenerife's dozen or so nude beaches, this is one of the biggest and most scenic, next to the red volcanic peak that is La Montana Roja headland. But guests aren't here to hike. Sportier types can take advantage of conditions ideal for bodysurfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing — but most visitors come for sun. Day beds are available, as are snacks. A short walk from the ocean leads to Chiringuito Pirata, uncapping cold beer and dishing up paella, sandwiches and tapas.
Alberoni, Lido de Venezia, Italy
Between the canals of Venice and the Adriatic Sea lies the island of Lido, a massive beach with umbrellas and sun chairs planted in rows like corn. And on the southernmost stretch, find the area known as Alberoni, where nudism is de rigueur. Summer weekend crowds diminish the numbers of naturists, but weekdays and off-season bring them out.
There's no white sand here — just black sand and pebbles. And Acquarilli Beach is physically a bit tricky to access, asking that visitors negotiate 150 feet of rock down to the water's edge. But therein lies the appeal: Because this beach is a 'no' for so many, those who say 'yes' gain a lot of privacy for frolicking.
Bellevue Beach, Klampenborg, Denmark
This is a best-of-both-worlds beach: close to the city yet wildly natural. Find it north of the capital of Copenhagen, reachable by train. And like Robert Moses State Park in New York, Bellevue Beach has that urban feel. Mainly because it's a constant party, especially among the Danish twenty-something set.
Red Beach, Crete, Greece
This gem is not at all easy to reach, thus its reputation as one of Europe's secret nude beaches. Find it 42 miles west of the town of Heraklion on Crete's north coast. Hand-painted signs lead to the two starting points. Both require about 25 minutes of hiking. From the south side of Matala Bay, follow the path that leads up to the red cliffs, then down to this eden. The reward: a sanctuary-like outpost, offering naturists a true communing experience.
This isn't just a beach, it's a compound. The Valalta Naturist Camp, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea across from Venice, Italy, is nonstop action, with tennis courts, a pool, campground and resort. Of course, the golden-sand beach, protected from waves by a rock wall, is the main draw. For non-naturists, there's a separate facility offering the same amenities immediately adjacent.