Have you always wanted to explore the stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland? If the answer is yes, then its a good thing you are here! No matter which coast you are on or which county you are in, the Irish shores are something you need to see! With so many beautiful beaches in Ireland, you will need to plan your trip productively, so you can experience as many of the Ireland beaches and coastline this Emerald Isle has to offer.
When you are ready to plan your trip to explore Ireland beaches, make sure you come here to see which ones are worth the time spent on this trek. The stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland will offer jaw-dropping vistas and rival or surpass the views travelers are used to seeing in the tropics. This list will take you from the top of the island in County Donegal down the western coast to Coumeenoole Beach in County Kerry.
If you are planning to take this tour by car, make sure you map these destinations out on the coastline, to streamline the drive and get the most out of your trip. You will get to see the quaint towns and wonderful history associated with the beaches in Ireland and experience more than just the lush green landscape that Ireland is known for.
10 Stunningly Beautiful Beaches in Ireland
After the scenic drive through Dingle and Slea Head in County Kerry, Coumeenoole Beach will take your breath away, as it combines the beautiful beaches in Ireland with rolling green hills the island is known for. Surrounded by cliffs and small homes dotting the coastline, Coumeenoole is a picturesque experience you do not want to miss. The views of the ocean along the cliffside will have you marveling. If you decide to trek down to the shore, plan your day accordingly, as the tide comes the actual beach-line will shrink. Coumeenoole beach can also be windy and cool, so make sure to dress warm with good shoes.
Do not let the possibility of cool weather deter you, as you will be able to stand on the beautiful white sand beach with the expansive Atlantic ocean in front of you and the verdant green countryside behind you. Coumeenoole beach is the perfect quick stop after your visit in the quaint villages and scenic drive. This will beautiful beach of Ireland is an amazing opportunity to rest and take in one of the many sites that Ireland shores have to offer.
County Donegal offers you the chance to explore and experience your adventurous side with Bunbeg Beach. Located in the Northern Ireland town of Gweedore, Bunbeg can be accessed by foot or car. Swimming here is usually not recommended as the water can be tumultuous and the shoreline rocky. Once the tide rolls out, there are many tide pools the family can explore while taking in the landscape and vast Ireland beach.
As it is one of the beautiful beaches in Ireland it gives the visitor a sense of adventure. Along the shore line rests Bâd Eddie, (Eddie’s Boat) a fishing boat that shipwrecked on this idyllic shoreline in the 1970’s, during a terrible storm. Eddie’s Boat has been a draw for tourists and a recognizable part of Gweedore and Bunbeg’s community. This old ship is something to see, especially against the breathtaking backdrop of Bunbeg beach.
This fabulous and unique beach is one of the stops on our Ireland road trip itinerary and you won’t want to miss it!
Lahinch Beach in County Clare is one of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland. Lahinch offers craggy shorelines, a small town, and amazing sunsets. While the tide is out, walk along the shoreline and watch the waves rolling in and out of this beautiful beach coastline. As the tide rolls in, work your way up to the walkway that lines this shoreline and watch for dolphins that frequent the waters through County Clare, or sit and wait for the breathtaking views at sunset.
If after your exploration of Lahinch Beach, you are up for more adventure or looking to work out the need for some thrilling activity, take a ride on a surfboard. When looking for beautiful beaches in Ireland, make the short trip from the Cliffs of Moher to see Lahinch. This beach is rated one of the best spots for surfing in Ireland, the waves here last during high and low tide and offers surfing year round. The water can be crowded during peak seasons, so be prepared to compete for the next big wave if coming in the summer.
Portsalon Beach rests in County Donegal and is on the list for amazing beaches in Ireland. Located at the top of the island, Portsalon offers not only stunning views but the option to rent a home a take in the views for more than a day. This Ireland beach is situated on the Lough Swilly, a glacial fjord sitting between the peninsulas in County Donegal. This fjord is what makes this beach so beautiful, creating stunningly blue waters. The water is calm here and the sand is soft, so enjoy a stroll on the mile long beach or a dip in the ocean.
While the beach has received a Blue Flag award for is beauty, it is rarely crowded and allows for an enjoyable and unhurried day on the shore. Of all the beautiful beaches in Ireland. Portsalon is definitely a treasure and worth a visit on your visit to the island. Access the beach via a car park or the neighboring golf course.
Five Finger Strand
When searching for beaches in Ireland, make sure to put Five Finger Strand, located in County Donegal, on your list. This beach marks the entrance to Trabreaga Bay and gets its name from the five sea-stacks that are visible when the tide is low. Not only are the sea-stacks visible during low tide, so is the wreck of Terry. A ship that sank in 1889 while sailing from Newfoundland to Derry. When considering the beautiful beaches in Ireland, this one is on the list with its expansive sand dunes in the back, one of the largest sections of dunes in all of Europe. The strong currents and wind that create the dunes, also make this beach unsafe for swimmers. However, it is an amazing walk for those who want to explore.
Sand dunes surrounded by the rolling green hills of Ireland are unmarred by development and rarely see an extreme amount of visitors. Standing from the top of one of the cliffs, you can see the whole sand bar and the beautiful, lapping blue and turquoise waters hit the shore at high tide and the remnants of Terry at low tide. If you plan on hiking down to explore the shore at low tide, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and a layers to make your exploration more comfortable. The trek down is well worth the effort, so come prepared to enjoy.
Dog’s Bay Beach
If you are ready to explore other County’s and their beautiful beaches in Ireland, make sure you make a stop in County Galway and visit Dog’s Day Beach. Located in the center of the western coast, this Ireland Beach is horseshoe in shape and sheltered, which makes for calmer waters to enjoy water sports like swimming and kite surfing. The protected shore is on the opposite side of Gurteen beach, separated by a tombolo and both which offer crystal clear waters.
The cerulean waters of Dog’s Day Beach offers more than just being one of the beautiful beaches in Ireland. If you are looking to explore the local floral and fauna, this is a great place to do just that! The grasslands surrounding this beach are made of machair vegetation, of which is rare and only found in spots of the western Ireland beaches. While exploring, look at the sand which was not formed by rock but by foraminifera, tiny sea creatures with shells.
Portrush White Rocks Beach
Northern Ireland also has stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland. If you are looking to explore a beach in the nothernmost part of the island, put Portrush Whiterocks Beach on your to do list. Located in County Antrim, this beach is known for water activities and cave exploration. This beach is where golden sands and cobalt water meet. Surrounded by white limestone cliffs, this quaint Ireland beach allows for all sort of water activities, from swimming to surfing.
Another unique feature to this locale, the limestone walls with caves to explore. At low tide, surrounded by sand dunes, you can explore the caves that have been carved out over time. Parking is limited so make sure you arrive early or be willing to walk to make it to the beach. If you choose to trek, there are many sights to see on the stroll, including Dunluce Castle, all making this an absolutely amazing experience and solidify its spot on the list of beautiful beaches in Ireland.
As you add beaches in Ireland to your list, add Keem Bay. You can find Keem Bay in County Mayo on Achill island connected to the mainland of Ireland. You can access Achill island via a swing bridge that takes you over Achill Sound. Keem Bay is said to have been blessed by St. Patrick himself and looking at the awe of the jewel blue ocean of this Ireland beach, the spirituality cannot be denied. Like Portsalon Beach, this is also a Blue Flag beach.
The boomerang shape of this beach offers protection from winds that come off the North Atlantic, making this an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. While snorkeling take a look at the lobster and crayfish. If you prefer to stay dry, stay shoreside and enjoy a 7km hike along the coastline. While up there, make sure to look out to the ocean where you can see dolphins and the occasional basking shark. The views alone make this location one of the stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland.
Continuing on with Blue Flag Awards, In County Kerry you can find Inch Beach, another one of the breathtaking beaches in Ireland. Inch Beach is another one of the strand beaches in Ireland, noted for its wide and extensive sandy shoreline, With such a wide sand approach, the water comes in soft and easy. The sapphire and turquoise water lazily lapping at the beach. This serene environment offers many activities for the adventure seeker, it is not uncommon to see kayaks, wind surfing, hang gliding, surfing, and even fishing in this small cove, making this another adventure seekers destination on the list of beaches in Ireland.
Dotted along the hills above the beach are little cottages, some for personal residents and others are available to rent. There are walking paths along the green hills and if you find yourself staying on this Dingle Peninsula, you will not be disappointed. The cottages along the shore all offer another opportunity to see the stunning views and coastline of the beautiful beaches in Ireland.
The final stunning addition to the list beaches in Ireland lies in County Clare, just a short drive north of the Cliffs of Moher, you will find Fanore Beach. When you approach the beach from the car park, take a short stroll down the wood boardwalk over the sandy dunes to the expansive golden beach. Looking to the ocean, one can see amazing azure blue ocean lapping on the shore. Facing away from the ocean, your eyes will get an unexpected visual feast.
Looking east, you will be stunned by the Burren National Park. Filled with the opportunity to explore the Doolin Caves, walking trails, wildlife, and botanical wonders, the Burren provides a perfect backdrop to the jewel toned ocean of Fanore Beach. If you are looking for activities to do at Fanore and still enjoy this last of the stunningly beautiful beaches in Ireland, there are plenty of things to still do. Paddle boarding, kayaking, and horse riding are all things that can be enjoyed while taking in the beauty of the beach and the Burren at the same time.
Whether you are looking for amazing ocean views or adventure on the coast of the beaches in Ireland, these ten will give you all you are looking for. From stunning rocky shorelines, unique attractions to view, or activities for the whole family, the beaches in Ireland will satisfy the exploration needs of every person in your travel group. Hope you have fun exploring these stunningly beautiful beaches and have some great takeaways for the adventure seeker in you!