Lonely Planet has named the best beaches in Ireland

International travel guide Lonely Planet has named the top ten beaches in Ireland, and we want to visit all of them.

Ireland is home to an abundance of beautiful beaches, so if you’re wondering which one to visit first, international travel guide Lonely Planet has named the best beaches in Ireland.

Boasting world-famous coastal stretches like the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, it is no surprise that there are countless breathtaking beaches on the Emerald Isle.

Whether you’d prefer a peaceful and isolated strand where you can relax and breathe in the sea air or a wild and rugged bay perfect for surfing and watersports, you’re sure to find an Irish beach to suit your needs.

The best beaches in Ireland – the official rankings

Lonely Planet names the best beaches in Ireland.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

To make your search for the perfect Irish beach that bit easier, Lonely Planet has named the best beaches in Ireland, and we want to visit every single one of them.

Featuring mostly beaches from Ireland’s Atlantic west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way is probably your best option if visiting Ireland’s beaches is a priority.

However, stunning strands from the island’s east and south coasts are also mentioned.

Here are the official rankings of the best beaches in Ireland, according to Lonely Planet:

  1. Killiney Beach, Co. Dublin
  2. Ballymastocker Bay, Co. Donegal
  3. Ballyquin Beach, Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  4. Trawmore Bay, Achill Island
  5. Banna Strand, Co. Kerry
  6. Inch Beach, Co. Kerry (which is one of the best beaches near Limerick)
  7. Streedagh Strand, Co. Sligo
  8. Keem Bay, Achill Island
  9. Trá Mór, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
  10. Dog’s Bay/Gurteen Bay, Co. Galway (one of the best camping and caravan parks in Galway)

Ireland’s best beaches – all you need to know

All you need to know about Ireland's best beaches.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Coming in at number one on Lonely Planet’s best beaches in Ireland list is Killiney Bay in County Dublin, which is one of the best paddleboarding places in Dublin. Not far from Ireland’s capital city, it is the perfect seaside escape from city life.

This stony strand is backed by the houses of some of the most well-known names in Ireland, such as Bono and Enya. Popular with swimmers, walkers, and families on a sunny day, Killiney Bay is well worth a visit when in Dublin.

Coming in at number two is Ballymastocker Bay in County Donegal. Donegal is well-known all over Ireland for its abundance of beautiful beaches and sees many locals and tourists alike flocking to the county’s coast during the summer months.

Ballymastocker Bay on the western shore of Lough Swilly has a Blue Flag Award and offers incredible views of the Inishowen Peninsula.

Summer is on the way – let’s go to the beach

Lonely Planet names the best beaches in Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

With longer days and lighter nights on the way, there is no better time to plan a visit to one of Lonely Planet’s best beaches in Ireland.

No matter where you are on the Emerald Isle, you are sure to have a beautiful beach nearby that is perfect for a seaside stroll, a swim in the sea, or a day of building sandcastles with the little ones.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.

Get featured on Ireland Before You Die

Do you want to get your Irish business more online exposure? Especially to those interested in travelling the best places in Ireland? Then why not get a dedicated feature on Ireland Before You Die. Find out more here.

Related Posts


Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend