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Like cream tea and Sunday roasts, unsightly strap marks are a very British affair. The (simple) solution? Dare to bare. Our chic Euro cousins have been doing it forever, and it’s about time we boarded the titty train. If you’re not quite brave enough for full-frontal nudity, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re going itsy-bitsy in Brazil, freeing the nipple in New York or heading to St Tropez where it all started, take a holiday from your bra and watch temperatures rise as bikinis fall.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A place of pert bottoms and barely there bikinis, you’ll notice a distinct lack of tan lines on the bronzed god/desses frolicking in the waves on Copacabana. Beach volleyball is boob central, and many vendors only sell bikini bottoms – this is not a place for modesty. Order a caipirinha and get involved.
While most of the beaches in Hawaii have a strict no-nudity policy, Little Beach is an exception. Head down on Sundays for a clandestine sunbathe before joining in the drum circle and traditional fire dancing – when it’s probably best to stick your bikini back on to avoid burnt nips.
While you’re taking in the sites on the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk, you’ll notice plenty of liberated Aussies soaking up the Sydney sunshine. This popular beach hosted the largest swimsuit shoot in the world and welcomes a bohemian set of locals, surfers and backpackers thanks to 24/7 good-time vibes, which also make it an ideal place to strip down. Be warned: popular reality TV show Bondi Rescue is filmed here, so keep one eye open so you don’t end up starring in your own peep show.
Las Vegas, US
It’s no surprise that Vegas sanctions a bit of nudity and Mandalay Bay is certainly an eye-opener. Equipped with a poolside massage service, personal attendants and raunchy red sun loungers, ticking topless tanning off the bucket list is probably the tamest thing you’ll do in sin city.
Plage de Tahiti
St Tropez, France
This beach put topless sunbathing on the map when Brigitte Bardot whipped off her top back in the 1960s, and it would be rude not to follow suit. Instantly recognisable by its pontoon, the beach has been a mecca for nudist bathers for over 50 years and is frequented by by celebrities, so don’t be alarmed if cameras are also flashing.
New York , US
The US is typically anti topless sunbathing with states such as Indiana, Tennessee and Utah banning it altogether. But forward-thinking New Yorkers have found a solution at this former military base, where large rock formations dot the sandy beach and shield sunbathers from prying eyes. In fact, the only thing they seem take umbrage with here is alternative types, with an arbitrary sign at the entrance reading “no hipsters”.
Avoid unhelpful “You look like you need another holiday” comments post-Ibiza by sleeping off your hangovers on Cala Jondal beach. Complete with laid-back bars and pine-clad hills, clothing is always optional in this secluded pocket of the island, so join the throngs of hedonists and free your inhibitions – because if you can’t do it on the White Isle, where can you?
The favoured hideaway among a chic Euro set who typically visit in September, Costa Smeralda also counts A-listers such as Bradley Cooper among its fans. The beaches stretch 20km with helipads, polo grounds and golf clubs peppering the coastline –this is the place to accessorise your bikini bottoms with film-star shades, a large straw hat and an Aperol.
Next to a college campus where cookouts, parties and Friday night skinny-dipping soirées are frequent dates in the social calendar, Wreck Beach is the most famous clothing-optional beach in Canada. The rockier end is more private, but for those looking to go all out wild and free, head to the top of Grouse Mountain where nudist club Van Tan offers a sauna, swimming pool and volleyball courts.
Playa del Orzán
A Coruña, Spain
Picasso cultivated his devotion to art in this sleepy Spanish beach town where – having been accepted into the school of Fine and Applied Arts aged 13 – he began to create oil paintings of the topless ladies enjoying the summer sun, with much of his earlier work inspired by these free-spirited señoritas. In a reverence to the artistic great, strip down and pose for the modern-day equivalent – an Instagram snap.
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