Ireland is renowned for its coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, with plenty of beaches to relax on during travels. However, its stunning coastline and beaches often go unnoticed.
Ireland's beaches have something to offer everyone, from sandy stretches with clear waters to rugged Atlantic Way coastlines with crashing waves.
These beaches are not just for summer; they offer spectacular views year-round, including during winter. We will explore the best beaches in Ireland that will leave you spellbound.
1. Inchydoney Beach – County Cork
Inchydoney beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. It is known for crystal clear waters, soft white sand, and rugged cliffs.
This beach has been awarded Blue Flag status since 2002 because it meets the criteria for a safe bathing beach. There are plenty of amenities nearby, including restaurants and cafes. It is a sheltered bay on the west Ireland coast.
Moreover, it is perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing during summer. So, Inchydoney Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to County Cork.
2. Strandhill Beach – County Sligo
Strandhill Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand that runs for about three miles along the eastern coast of County Sligo. The beach is popular with surfers and walkers.
This Blue Flag Beach is relatively small. It offers excellent surfing conditions particularly suited to beginners who want to improve their skills before venturing into the Wild Atlantic Ocean.
Moreover, you can find several hotels along this stretch of coastline. You can also hire umbrellas and deckchairs to enjoy your time out.
3. Dog's Bay Beach – County Galway
Dog's Bay Beach is a small, intimate beach on the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry. The surrounding mountains and hills enhance the glory of this beach.
Galway is recognized for its striking coastline. This stunning stretch of sand is perfect for enjoying the sun on a weekend break. Also, it is home to a variety of birdlife. So, here you see some native birds such as gulls, terns, or sea eagles.
The beach has a shallow shoreline with gentle water for swimming and sunbathing. Additionally, there are ample opportunities for hiking and cycling in the nearby vicinity.
4. Portmarnock Beach – County Dublin
Portmarnock beach is a world-renowned Blue Flag beach in County Dublin, Ireland. The beach spans over 11 kilometres of coastline. It is famous for its outstanding views of Lambay Island and the Dublin Mountains.
The beach has dunes behind it that connect to the Portmarnock Championship golf course. The dunes are home to diverse species of flora and fauna.
It is easily accessible by public transport. Moreover, it is an ideal destination for everyone seeking a tranquil and picturesque coastal escape.
5. Ballymastocker Bay Beach – County Donegal
Ballymastocker Bay Beach is a spectacular sandy beach in County Donegal, Ireland. It is situated on the Fanad Peninsula, about 8 miles from Letterkenny. Ballymastocker Bay Beach has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The beach stretches for almost 3 km and is backed by rolling dunes. The Wild Atlantic beach is also popular with walkers, with mesmerizing coastline views and hills.
Several amenities are available at Ballymastocker Bay Beach, including a car park, toilets, and a picnic area. Hence, its attesting natural beauty and tranquil setting make it a perfect spot for relaxation and recreation.
6. Coumeenoole Beach – County Kerry
Coumeenoole Beach is a secluded beach nestled between rugged cliffs. It is surrounded by irresistible natural scenery. The crystal-clear waters of the Wild Atlantic Ocean lap gently against the sandy shore.
In addition to its natural beauty, Coumeenoole Beach is also rich in history and culture. It was used as a filming location for the famous movie “Ryan’s Daughter” and is known for its connection to the Irish language and Gaelic culture.
Thus, its rugged beauty and cinematic history make it a unique and unforgettable spot.
7. Brittas Bay Beach – County Wicklow
Brittas Bay is a 5 km long stretch of golden sand in County Wicklow and is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. It is popular with surfers, particularly during winter. Lifeguards are always there to keep people safe in summer.
Accordingly, it is protected under Irish law and designated as a Special Area of Conservation. Overall, it has ample parking and is easily accessible from the nearby M11 motorway.
8. Silver Strand Beach – County Mayo
It is situated on the Renvyle Peninsula, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.
The beach is relatively small, enclosed by cliffs on both sides. It is only accessible on foot. Visitors must park their cars in a designated parking area and then walk down a steep path to the beach.
It makes for a truly secluded and peaceful experience. Despite its secluded location, some facilities are available at Silver Strand Beach, including a small café and public restrooms.
9. Curracloe Beach – County Wexford
Curracloe Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals due to its smashing natural beauty and long stretches of unspoiled sand. Above all, it offers a unique blend of outdoor activities, natural beauty, and cultural heritage.
Dunes and a forest surround the beach. It is one of the cleanest beaches in Ireland and has been awarded the Blue Flag status. Moreover, it is known for filming, including the movie's opening scene saving Private Ryan.
10. Rossbeigh Beach – County Kerry
Rossbeigh Beach is a truly breathtaking location, nestled along the coastline of County Kerry. This glorious beach offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquillity.
With its expansive stretch of pristine golden sand, crystal clear water, and gentle waves, Rossbeigh Beach is a true paradise for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing enthusiasts.
Rolling hills and rugged mountains surround the beach, perfect for unforgettable walks and hikes. This beach is a natural wonder that will leave visitors feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
11. Whitepark Bay Beach – County Antrim
This breathtakingly beautiful beach is known for its soft sand, crystal-clear water, and cliff views. Lush greenery and rolling hills surround the beach, making for a fantastic backdrop. With its secluded location, it offers visitors peace and tranquillity. The beach is also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Therefore, this beach is a true hidden gem along the panoramic coastline of Ireland. Whitepark Bay Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to County Antrim.
In conclusion, Ireland has some of the most scenic beaches that offer visitors an unforgettable experience.
From the tranquil and secluded Whitepark Bay Beach to the breathtaking and action-packed Curracloe Beach, these best beaches of Ireland offer a range of activities and attractions that will appeal to everyone.
In addition to the popular Blue Flag beaches, Ireland has many hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid travellers.
With soft sand, crystal clear water, and stunning backdrops of cliffs, hills, and forests, visiting any of these beaches will surely be an incredible journey you'll never forget!
FAQs Related to Best Beaches in Ireland
Are These Beaches Suitable For Swimming?
Yes, most of these beaches in Ireland are suitable for swimming. They have been awarded the Blue Flag status for their excellent water quality. So they are safe for swimming and other water-based activities.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Irish Beaches?
The best time to visit these beaches is during summer. Note that the weather in Ireland is unpredictable, so check the forecast before planning a trip to the beach.
What Are Some Popular Activities To Do At These Beaches?
Some popular activities at these beaches include building sandcastles, swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach games. Additionally, these beaches are ideal for water sports like surfing, kayaking, and windsurfing.
If you have found this article about the best beaches in Ireland interesting, then you will surely want to read further about the amazing attractions that this beautiful country has to offer! So, go ahead and explore our list of articles on attractions in Ireland below, and start planning your dream trip today!