09/03/2014 07:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

These European Beach Escapes Are Perfect Year-Round

Pretty much everyone in Europe is on vacation right now, which should make you very, very jealous.

And with everyone on vacation, seaside retreats have filled up with beach-goers in need of some R&R. You know the big name spots -- the French Riviera, Sardinia, Mykonos -- but how about some lesser-known beauties that aren't filled to the brim with crowds?

The seven beaches below are some of Europe's finest. They're worth a visit in any season, so be sure to add them to your bucket list.

Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull, Scotland
This Scottish beach is known for its white-sand beach, craggy headlands and some super cool ruins. The Isle of Mull also offers hill walks, a golf club and lots of historical attractions.

Marettimo, Italy
marettimo beach
Marettimo is the westernmost of the Egadi Islands, off the coast of Sicily. The island has only one road and plenty of fishermen, green mountains and a quaint village. This is the place to go if you want to mix a little outdoor adventure with your beaching. Visitors can hike through pine forests to lookout points and remote beaches, where they can truly get in touch with nature. Be sure to check out gorgeous beaches like Cala Sarda and Cala Bianco.

Es Grau, Spain
Freakishly blue water, a fan-shaped coastline and dark sand make this Menorca beach a major favorite. Es Grau is located in the Balearic Islands and is known for its shallow, family-friendly beach. As part of the S’Albufera des Grau nature reserve, the area is protected from overdevelopment, which means pristine conditions are always guaranteed.

Skagen, Denmark
Skagen is a thriving beach town in Denmark with a little something for everyone. Sandy beaches, art galleries and fresh seafood are all highlights. If you don't want to look like a tourist, get the pronunciation down before you go -- it's pronounced "Skane."

Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
This French resort town is paradise for all you winos out there. Banyuls is not known for its beaches per se, but it's rife with culture and activity. Wander the seafront promenade and take in epic views, learn about land and sea at the Biodiversarium, learn about local flora at Jardin Méditerranéen du Mas de la Serre, or sample some of the town's well-known red and dessert wines.

Ploumanac'h, France
One of the most stunning stretches along the Brittany coast, Ploumanac'h is also known as the Pink Granite Coast thanks to the color of its rocks. The scenic beach area is known for being family-friendly and totally outdoorsy. There are plenty of attractions in the area, like a planetarium, aquarium and golf course, so kids will never be bored. There's also a nearby bird sanctuary, which is the largest and oldest in Brittany.

Comino Island, Malta
comino island
This Maltese island is a wonderland for the aquatic types. Comino's crystal clear waters are heaven for divers, snorkelers and boaters alike. The island's Blue Lagoon is pretty much as close to paradise as you'll ever get.



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