Top 15 Best Beaches in Ireland
By The Headlines, January 7, 2023 | 09:57 PM
Travelling to Ireland provides many rewards. It has a rich history, includes some of the world's most natural beauty, and is ideal for those looking for an adventure. Ireland is home to several best beaches in Europe that are ideal for a variety of outdoor activities like surfing, swimming and kayaking.
While not known for having the warmest or sunniest weather, Ireland's best beaches are so lovely. When you happen to be hit with a bright & sunny day, you'll find the windswept beaches take on a whole new energy.
You'll find a variety of accommodations on the island. There are fantastic views, beaches & water. But make sure to keep your rain gear on just in case!
Plan your visit with our list of the best beaches in Ireland for a great time.
1. Streedagh Strand, County Sligo
One of the many beautiful beaches in Ireland, this horseshoe-shaped beach is ideal for couples & families looking to have a day away from the city. Sand dunes offer spectacular views from this gorgeous, sheltered spot. It is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The water is calm and it makes children feel safe & get a great idea of what it's like being on the ocean.
In 1588, three ships from the Spanish Armada while they tried to keep themselves safe from a storm. Today, parts of their remains can be seen at low tide. It's best to find a high point at Streedagh Strand and gaze out into the scenery. It provides great views of Donegal, which are close enough that you can see the mountains.
While you're in Ireland, check out this incredibly beautiful beach that's a favourite of many. The limestone rocks serve as a home to numerous species of fossil coral, some going back over 400 million years ago.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/62BPdi12MvK7JDvr5
2. Strandhill, County Sligo
Every minute is the right time to learn a new skill in Strandhill. As the local's favourite destination for surfing, bodyboarding and so much more, it's easy to see why it's such an active living and learning environment. And moreover, visitors won't be able to stay away from this seaside/city of contrasts with its beautiful beaches & coves. Thus making it one of the best beaches in Ireland.
Want to get out on the water? Renting a kayak is one of the best ways to explore amazing places, unlike anything you've seen before. What are you waiting for? Strandhill is a fantastic beach for surfing. If you are busy in the sand, try out a round at Strandhill Golf Club!
Take a relaxing seaweed bath, an Irish tradition that dates back hundreds of years. In the early 20th century, there were nine seaweed bathhouses in Strandhill.
There are relatively stronger currents here, but you shouldn't worry about it. Swimming is best left to those less susceptible or who have the skill set to deal with it.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/tjEK6oLdYm1v12nf6
3. Dog's Bay, County Galway
This beach is a must-see destination and amongst the best beaches in Ireland. Not only does it have a shape like a horseshoe and provide beautiful coastal views, but you can also visit both Dog and Gurteen Bays, each on your own natural side of the Riviera. Both beaches are closely positioned to Roundstone village, making it easy to access at any time and are made up of dazzling white sand.
Dog's Bay has one of the best spots on this island - namely because it is safe to be in the water and a favourite place for fishing and swimming. It's also great for windsurfing or kitesurfing. The water quality is amazing!
Dog's Bay is one of the best beaches in Ireland, with a soft and natural sandy texture. Its sand comes from smallish shells containing organic matter, which makes the beach serenely soft and white. In the summer, you'll find wildflowers and greenery sprouting amid the grass. These plants are known as machair vegetation, and they're typically only found here in Ireland on the west coast.
Don't forget to pack snacks! There's no food available around the destination, so be prepared for long waits.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/cJsCvWzLZa92Z22R6
4. Silver Strand Beach, County Donegal
Who would've known that the most amazing destinations hide in the backyards of Ireland's Emerald Isle? Beaches in Ireland are fairly famous all around the world, and vast cliffs, rocky terrain & spectacular waterfalls are just a few of their prized assets.
Families go wild for Silver Strand, which is both shallow & safe. Most people know this, yet the lifeguards there work hard to provide peace of mind..., especially while some pools are temporarily closed to the public.
If you're hoping for an idyllic, romantic vacation to a secluded beach, it's best to visit in April or May. It's perfect when the weather is still cool and there are fewer people around.
Check out the low tide timing to see when you will have more beach to walk, run, or lounge on.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ZahH6YuK6Cproj1u6
5. Inch Beach, County Kerry
One of the top beaches you'll find on your tour in Ireland, Inch is located on the Dingle Peninsula. There's a crashing wave in every direction providing perfect surf for keen surfers. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a cool dip in the water, with some of the best coastal towns providing you with gentle waves and calm waters. Whether you're shopping for a sunny afternoon or taking in some winter sun, swimming's never been so relaxing.
It's the perfect place to bask in the sun or go swimming, whether it's summertime or winter. The current is strong but you'll be less likely to get stuck if you take precautions and bring your umbrella with you. Inch Beach is considered a Blue Flag beach around 50 minutes from Killarney attractions.
If you're looking for a good place to park your car at the beach, keep in mind that parking near water can get tricky.Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Paq3wCuwLL8fzKRq8 Also Read: Top 50 Bucket List Items to do in your Life
6. Banna Strand, County Kerry
Another "Blue Flag" beach, Banna makes for an excellent recreational spot for everybody. Additionally, the sand dunes rise 40 feet just on the coastline and make for great places to enjoy surfing and windsurfing. The shallow waters are a perfect travel spot for families or couples. When it gets too low, you'll be surrounded by rolling hills. There's a paved path that runs behind the beach. It's great for riding your bike or taking a stroll with your family members!
This is a great place to take a break while you're touring the Wild Atlantic Way. The trip along the scenic coastline of Ireland can be seen in more than 2,500 kilometres of spectacular views, starting at Mallin Point in the north and ending at Kinsale Harbor. It's easy to travel to this park, but you will find very few amenities. Be sure to eat your picnic outdoors!
Tralee is just 11 kilometres away. It sits in the county's largest town and, with its many hotels and shops, it's a great place to stay & eat.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zV5V1jXhy6wBuq3Q9
7. Rossbeigh, County Kerry
Ireland is a beautiful country with lots of natural beauty and lots of great places to visit. You really should see the Ring of Kerry while you're in the country, though! The other highlights are its hills, lush countryside, & verdant mountains.
The town of Glenbeigh is close by and is also worth a visit. Rossbeigh beach is about two miles from the village.
Right in the centre of beautiful Killarney Valley, on the Iveragh Peninsula, Rossbeigh is often referred to as a 'Killarney beach'. You can visit the famous town of Killarney within 35 kilometres by car or train. This makes it a great option whether you're staying for one night or two (or three!). Another Blue Flag beach, Rossbeigh boasts a children's playground, a pristine sand floor, and unbelievably perfect ocean and mountain views. The surf isn't overwhelming and lifeguards are on staff the entire season - making this beach perfect for families.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/j1DatRttX8ZvqFta7
8. Coumeenoole, County Kerry
The Dingle peninsula is filled with the best beaches in Ireland. Some of them, like Coumeenoole, can even be a bit tropical thanks to its turquoise waters crashing onto golden sand on a sunny day. Due to low tide, you'll have more access to the sand and a direct view of the impressive jagged cliffs, which makes it a great time to visit.
While you won't have to compete with huge crowds of other people in the water, this is often a less popular part of the beach so if you wanted some alone time, it may not be for you.
You will find the Fahan Beehive Huts near Mount Eagle and Dingle. Here, you will see five individual huts made from stone on a level surface at the south side of Mount Eagle.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/wfYigaRSB5S15KqJ9
9. Portmarnock Beach, County Dublin
Finding the best beaches near Dublin? Look no further than the Velvet Strand - a name given to multiple beaches within a stone's throw of Dublin. One famous beach is Portmarnock Beach, in the town of Portmarnock.
This destination offers 4.8 kilometres of shoreline perfect for an outdoor beach break. There is a view of Ireland's Eye and Howth Head at the top for your reward for exploring. You will also find a coastal walkway section in this area as well. All of these features make it perfect for younger visitors to enjoy.
Yes, the use of dogs on this beach is allowed, and if you go during the week or at certain times of year you'll be hard-pressed to not find any. Some dogs even enjoy gamely trotting down to the ocean and having a good time by it. If you're an avid explorer and overwhelmed by your recent activities, spend a few days at nearby Portmarnock. You'll be able to enjoy the scenery with some good food at the White Sands Hotel or in their lovely Oasis restaurant.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/bsFsBiSMezqZZPso7
10. Tramore Beach, Tramore County, Waterford
Promised a lovely stay with amazing views and seaside promenades, you arrive at the picturesque coastal town of Tramore, located on steep hills facing the most popular attraction in the area - a dune-backed beach.
Winner of multiple Blue Flag Beach awards, this oceanfront beach is incredibly beautiful and popular. Watch out for crowds on wild days! Other popular activities on the beach include swimming, fishing, sailing, kayaking, & surfing. There is also a nice lifeguard station for your safety!
This stunning coastline is located on Ireland's southeast coast. From the top of these rugged cliffs, you'll be able to admire Tramore Bay in all its glory.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/cJzSYojZBS8pu2KF7
11. Derrynane, County Kerry
It seems like the Irish have found a new way to spend their day off – going to Derrynane Beach! The beach is surrounded by large hills and grassy cliffs. You can visit from the nearby Ring of Kerry and the water is a dreamy azure colour, while the sand is clean & white for sand castle building fun too!
The beach is filled with rocks that are perfect for a game of hide-and-seek with your children. Parents will love the calm ocean, making swimming a breeze too. It is one of Ireland's best beaches for families.
Many choose to take a day trip to the beach and tour Derrynane House. At 320 acres, it is not just large enough to accommodate your needs, but also large enough to be a National Monument and part of this historic park. O'Connell's property is absolutely beautiful as you can see. You should definitely have time to walk through much of the property & take in the history and beauty of everything you find there.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Rk1vWkpUrpWyALGcA
12. Ballymastocker Bay Beach, County Donegal
Ballymastocker Bay is a beautiful place to visit in Northern Ireland. If you're looking for a beach set in a wide, open tan, this is it. The west shore of Lough Swilly is where the content belongs!
The coastline is a luxurious destination - the view of blue waves and green hills is spectacular. The sand is soft so it's easy to go shopping or spend time at the beach.
It's hard to argue with the great Blue Flag beaches found in Ireland. This one, located near the popular village of Portsalon, has a beautiful sand beach and lifeguards during the high season. You'll find it's easily accessible for a fun day at one of the most pristine beaches in Ireland.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Hfz9SVhsqVBWTqyq8
13. Inchydoney Beach, County Cork
This southern Ireland beach is one of the island's best attributes. Not only is it free from litter and rocks, but the soft, white sand provides a perfect place to walk barefoot and really indulge in nature. Make sure you plan your stroll with the low tide because even when you get out further than the shoreline, it's still nice & easy to see what you're doing
A long beach with plenty of waves, easy to get to, and a lot of lifeguards nearby - what more could you ask for? If you're looking for a perfect beach to visit with your friends or family in Cork, this is it!
Insider's Tip: Take a break from the beach at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. Enjoy a nice cuppa or lunch there and see what they've got in store for you.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/L7xx48XSAkA3fmQu8
14. Lahinch Beach, County Clare
Lahinch is a true resort town for those in full holiday mode. This Ireland's sandy beach occupies about one mile of golden sand. While the reason most people come here has to do with the epic waves more than anything else, it's still a stunning place that you should check out!
The bay has a horseshoe shape which means it creates ideal waves for surfing. While surfing has become the number one sport at this beach, those who love to swim and dive are also happy to have a beach that's popular with all kinds of sports enthusiasts. So if you're planning a trip in one of the many upcoming summer months, make sure you check out this scenic view.
The town has two championship golf courses that are open to the public and they offer some of the most fun experiences you could ask for. You'll be able to get some great shots of the sun setting over the ocean if you stick around for a while. And make sure you wear shoes that can be easily removed-you'll want to take them off when you explore some of the surrounding rocks.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/9a3tErP8jGk1qsBR7
15. Trà an Doilin Beach, County Galway
If you're visiting Galway, Trà an Doilin beach is a stunning spot to visit. It's right down the shore and it's only an hour away. It's a quick trip that will leave you breathless! You should spend some time in Trà an Doilin. It's known as the pink sand beach or perhaps better yet, the crystal clear beach. Take your time and enjoy nature in a place where it can't get too hot or cold!
Trà an Doilin may be most famous for being the only beach in Ireland with coral. The fine, white sand is made of coral, but the unique feature draws visitors to the beach & makes it one of two on the west coast that boasts such a thing.
Those with inquisitive minds and a love of nature could while away hours scouring the small rock pools for fossils. Others may prefer to get right in on the action and jump into the clear & pristine sea just off the coast and one can dive from a Blue Flag beach. Because it is so incredibly clean & safe, lifeguards are on duty during high season.
There are a few cities in Ireland that are known as fishing villages. Connemara is one of them and it's famous for the Galway Hookers, which you can see at any time.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/jJDnjKArfyozRzY68