From north to south, Ireland has an abundance of beautiful beaches. For this reason, it is very difficult to narrow all the beautiful beaches down to a small list of just 10. However, we have done our very best to highlight our Top 10 Beaches in Ireland you should visit before you die.
10. Main Beach, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
This beach is responsible for inspiring the timeless classic song “Beautiful Bundoran” and the seaside town in which it is located has always been a preferred destination for international and Irish surfers alike and it was even tapped for European Championship hosting duties in 2011.
The Peak, one of Ireland’s most well known waves, breaks over an offshore reef, luring expert surfers from all over the world. Meanwhile, the main beach area is able to accommodate less experienced surfers each summer. National Geographic named Bundoran one of the top 20 surf towns in the world and there is also a yearly surf and music festival known as Sea Sessions that takes place each summer.
9. Killiney Strand, Co. Dublin
This strand is located in southern Dublin, just a quick train journey from central Dublin, while still maintaining a feel that the rest of the city is unable to match. The beach may be ridden with stones, but travelers are still able to take a peaceful swim in the bay, but many travelers will tell you that perhaps the best way to spend your day here is by strolling up Killiney Hill to take in the astonishing panoramic views.
At its peak, you are also able to make out the Bray Head headland in the distance, in addition to the Wicklow Mountains and the pristine blue waters of the Irish Sea. If the weather conditions allow for it, you might even have the chance to catch a glimpse of Wales!
8. Coumeenole Beach, Dunquin, Co. Kerry
Seeing photos of this beautiful place might prompt you to ask whether this magical beach actually exists, however, we can assure you that the beauty is very much real. This place is so beautiful that Lonely Planet once described it as “one of the most beautiful places on earth”, and after visiting, you will have to agree agree.
Unfortunately, swimming is not recommended here due to strong and unpredictable currents, however, the surrounding cliffs make the perfect place to walk and take photographs of the scenery.
7. Portstewart Strand, Co. Derry
‘The Strand’ is a mile west of Portstewart in County Derry. This blue flag beach offers two flat miles of golden sand which make it the perfect place for picnics, castle building and bodyboarding/surfing. For nature lovers, a walking trail meanders through towering 6,000-year-old dunes to a wildlife reserve on the Bann estuary behind the beach.
Spot rabbits, butterflies, rare wildflowers like bee orchids, and birds like the striking shelduck. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head for laid-back Harry’s Shack for fish and chips while soaking up views of the North Atlantic. Car parking is allowed on specific areas of the beach. The beach is well signposted from Portstewart town.
6. Inchydoney Beach, Co. Cork
With its peaceful and spacious sands, this breathtaking beach, located just outside Clonakilty in western Cork has reigned supreme on Ireland’s beach lists among TripAdvisor users for three consecutive years, receiving several coveted Travelers’ Choice Awards.
Revelers are able to relax next to the crystal clear waters and enjoy optimal conditions for surfing. The Virgin Mary’s Bank headland has also been connected to the mainland with a helpful causeway to make life easier for travellers.
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