6 Secluded Beach Towns to Put on Your Radar for Summer

Dreaming of sun, sand, and serenity?

Sunset in Durness
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When it comes to summer travel, your plans probably include some sort of beach trip. Sure, it’s a lot easier to plan a jaunt to Cascais than Comporta, but venturing off the beaten tourist trail definitely has its perks—namely uncrowded shores and low-key vibes. Plus, there’s the joy of finding a new favorite spot you never even knew existed. For couples who prefer to escape the throngs of tourists and relish a few days of tranquility, it doesn’t get better than these secluded beach towns. 

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01 of 06

Durness, Scotland

Balnakeil Beach
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In terms of bikini-clad getaways, Scotland doesn’t spring to mind. As such, chances are you haven’t heard of Durness. Well, prepare to be blown away. This under-the-radar village in the northwest Highlands has pristine shores and crystalline tides that rival those of the Caribbean. Seriously. Is there a chance you'll have to contend with soggy weather? Probably, but idyllic inlets and peaceful walking paths more than make up for scattered showers. 

02 of 06

Comporta, Portugal

Comporta Beach
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Looking to catch some rays on your next vacation to Lisbon? Cascais is a lovely day trip. On the other hand, Comporta really requires a weekend. It’s well worth the 90-minute drive to experience this laid-back locale in all its glory. Expect near-deserted beaches, breezy dunes, sprawling rice patties, and seafood-centric eateries. Do yourself a favor and shack up at Sublime Comporta, an ultra-romantic retreat with a seductively sustainable mindset

03 of 06

Llanes, Spain

Antilles Beach
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If Ibiza and Mallorca are starting to feel a little “been there, done that,” turn your attention to the awe-inspiring region of Asturias in northern Spain. Tucked between the Sierra de Cuera and the Bay of Biscay, Llanes is ideal for couples seeking adventure or relaxation. This picturesque port town delivers a mix of rugged limestone cliffs, sheltered coves, underwater tunnels, and golden sands. Add to that medieval architecture and fantastic food. 

04 of 06

Cumberland Island, Georgia

White sand beach at Cumberland Island National Seashore
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Cumberland Island has the tell-tale atmosphere of a small community and is certainly secluded. How do you reach this remote paradise? Hop aboard the ferry from St. Marys. Once on Cumberland Island, there’s an abundance of natural splendor to explore, including a massive maritime forest and miles of protected coastline. Visitors can snooze under the stars (aka camp) or post up at the Greyfield Inn, where John F. Kennedy Jr. got married.

05 of 06

Paia, Hawaii

Surfer entering the ocean in Paia
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Perched on Maui’s mesmerizingly beautiful and less developed North Shore, Paia—the stop before beginning the Road to Hana—offers access to unspoiled beaches, epic swells, and scenic hiking routes. It’s also a great place to soak in the aloha spirit. The main drag is lined with outdoor cafés, juice joints, surf shops, and art galleries. Want to live like a local? Consider renting a sunny bungalow.

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Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Watch Hill
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Like Newport? You’ll love Watch Hill. It has all the New England charm and heritage sans the tourists. You’ll find gorgeous mansions, sweeping bluffs, quiet sandy stretches, and a deep sense of nostalgia. Speaking of history, we highly recommend staying at the Ocean House. While you’re in Watch Hill, don’t forget to check out the antique 1867-built carousel and stop by St Clair Annex for a scoop of homemade ice cream. 

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