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Ten of the world's most crowded beaches
  • You may struggle to find a spot to place your towel at China's Huiquan Bathing Beach, also known as No. 1 Bathing Beach, as the sandy stretch in Shandong province attracts hordes of sunbathers due to its downtown location. At its peak time, it sees 200,000 tourists each day and while it may not be your ideal of a number one beach, it does boast soft sand, clear water and mountain views.

  • If you're looking for a deserted beach in Thailand, you will want to avoid Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) on the island of Ko Pha Ngan. Famed for its all-night Full Moon Party, the beach gets pretty crowded and draws a crowd of around 20,000 to 30,000 when it takes place around every full moon.
  • Bournemouth's seven miles of soft, golden sands get pretty crowded during the summer months. In 2012, the beach was voted the best in the UK and the fourth best in Europe. The popular resort recently had £11 million injected into the seafront at Boscombe and saw the addition of new designer beach pods, water sports academies and new bars and restaurants along a newly refurbished pier.
  • Australia's most popular beach draws huge crowds during the summer and sees tens of thousands of visitors, from backpackers to billionaires. But look past the crowds at this kilometre-long golden sand beach to enjoy the natural scenery, international events and beachfront shopping.
  • The Blue Flag beach in Praia da Luz is a hotspot for European tourists during the Easter and summer holidays. The sandy stretch is backed by restaurants, cafes and shops along the promenade. To escape the crowds, take a short walk towards the Black Rock cliff.
  • Albania's biggest and most visited beach lines the seafront of the city of Durres and is a popular summer spot for Albanians, Kosovans and Macedonians. The 10km sandy stretch is overlooked by hundreds of hotels and sees nearly 700,000 visitors each year.
  • Coney Island offers respite for New Yorkers looking to escape the steaming city in the summer, but its beach gets so crowded with more than 2.4 million sun lovers that the locals complain about feeling like "sardines". With its recently renovated fairground rides, Coney Island attracts masses of thrill seekers as well as beach buffs.
  • Known to locals as the 'youth resort' or the 'capital of summer festivals', Costinesti is a very popular beach resort with students on the Black Sea coast. Most tourists visit the southern part of the beach, while the northern part is quieter, with its small cliff and view of the Greek cargo ship E Evangelia wreck.
  • Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach is always crowded but gets so packed over the weekend that the nearby Oceanside Avenue is closed on Sundays for pedestrians. The popular public beach runs for three miles and is famous for its vibrant atmoshere and hotels, restaurants and nightclubs that dot the promenade. During the New Year's Eve celebrations it is estimated that two million people go to Copacabana Beach to watch the fireworks spectacle.
  • It's one of America's most famous beaches but if you insist on visiting Miami Beach on your trip, June to September is low season, when you will find a little less crowding and can expect cheaper hotel costs. That said, Miami still sees many travellers during the summer. Avoid South Beach if you're not looking for a lively crowd and head instead for Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles for no crowds and relaxation.