Top 5 best beaches near Limerick, ranked

Based in Limerick and want to head out to the beach for the day? Look no further, for we have compiled for you the top five best beaches near Limerick, ranked.

County Limerick can be found in the southwest of Ireland, split by the River Shannon and tucked safely into the realms of the Munster province.

The county is home to many fascinating places, not to mention Limerick city and the famous King John’s Castle housed in Munster’s largest city. However, Limerick has no beach that it can call its own.

As such, you will need to venture out to the likes of Counties Clare and Kerry to touch the golden coast. Worry not, for we can fill the void; here are the top five best beaches near Limerick, ranked.

5. Ballybunnion Beach, Co. Kerry – two Blue Flag awards in one

Ballybunnion Beach is one of the best beaches near Limerick.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

First on our list of the best beaches near Limerick is the stunning Ballybunion Beach, one of the places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland. This beach is in County Kerry, and is split into a north and south beach, both of which have earned the coveted award of being Blue Flag beaches.

Never mind the stunning strip of sand itself, you are also engulfed by dramatic cliffs over the beach that offer a scenic walking path. Meanwhile, there is a castle along the partitioning line of the beach for further beautiful walks. 

The 75-minute drive is absolutely worth the final view when you get here and is certainly one of the best beaches that County Kerry has to offer.

Distance (from Limerick): 82.3 km (51.1 miles)

Travel time: 1 hour 16 mins

Address: Co. Kerry, Ireland

4. Kilkee Bay, Co. Clare – carved open by the Atlantic Ocean

Kilkee Bay is one of the best beaches near Limerick.
Credit: geograph.ie / Joseph Mischyshyn

The first of three entries from County Clare on this list of the best beaches near Limerick is Kilkee Bay. This beach is an impressive contender and is not much over an hour’s journey for those travelling from the Treaty County.

Kilkee is a unique beach like no other on this list. The Atlantic Ocean has silently carved through its shores for years on end, with the final product of a beautiful crescent of golden sand and a quaint village to oversee affairs. This is a beautiful spot. 

Distance (from Limerick): 91.5 km (56.9 miles)

Travel time: 1 hour 15 mins

Address: Co. Clare, Ireland

3. Fanore Beach, Co. Clare – one for the walkers and hikers

Fanore comes in at number 3 on the list of best beaches near Limerick.

Fanore Beach in County Clare has proven to be popular with walkers and hikers and is conveniently located on the main road from Doolin, which caters for a stop at the astonishing Burren.

This is another Blue Flag beach, backed at its spine by an army of sand dunes. During lockdown, this area of west Clare saw a sharp increase in wild camping to take in the stunning views it offers.

Distance (from Limerick): 86.4 km (53.7 miles)

Travel time: 1 hour 24 mins

Address: Fanore More, Co. Clare, Ireland

2. Lahinch Beach, Co. Clare – one of the best beaches near Limerick

Lahinch Beach is perhaps the most accessible from Limerick.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Lahinch Beach is located in the northwest of County Clare and is perhaps the most convenient journey for you. It is a simple one-hour drive from Limerick and is one of our favourite beaches.

Not only does this make it one of the best beaches near Limerick. Rather, it offers a mile-long stretch of sand to venture along, which becomes submerged by the incoming tide.

This beach is one of the better-known surf spots and has become popular with both locals and visitors alike. Indeed, it is only a 15-minute drive from the majestic Cliffs of Moher. The beach is a good spot for both avid surfers and beginner surfers. 

Distance (from Limerick): 69.4 km (43.1 miles)

Travel time: 1 hour

Address: Ennistymon Rd, Dough, Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland

1. Inch Beach, Co. Kerry – one of the best beaches in all of Ireland

Inch is number one on our list of the best beaches near Limerick.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Topping the list of the best beaches near Limerick is Inch Beach in the Kingdom. Indeed, Inch Beach is one of the best beaches in all of the Emerald Isle and less than a two-hour journey from Limerick.

‘An Inse’, as it is known in Irish, is another Blue Flag beach that hugs the Dingle Bay and is backed by an impressive array of sand dunes. In the back, there is also the Slieve Mish Mountains to overlook you, while surfers can delight in its waves.

The beach is next to the small village of Inch, with a car park for the beach and a café and accommodation nearby. If you get up early enough, you could be here by 10 am and spend the day away.

With stunning views, activities for kids, and plenty to see and do nearby, we certainly recommend it.

Distance (from Limerick): 126 km (78.3 miles)

Travel time: 1 hour 51 mins

Address: Inch Beach, Ardroe, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Other notable mentions

Inchydoney could easily have made the list of the best beaches in Limerick.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Inchydoney Beach, Co. Cork: This could easily have made the list as it is one of the best beaches in Ireland and it definitely is one of the best beaches in Cork. However, it is a lengthy 2 hours and 21 mins drive. Still, you won’t regret the travel to this beautiful beach along the coast road. 

Rossbeigh Strand, Co. Kerry: Again, this is a two-hour drive, which may deter some. However, this excellent beach can be found in an amazing spot along the Ring of Kerry and is worth the trip.

Spanish Point, Co. Clare: Spanish Point can feel hard done by as it is just over an hour from Limerick. This is a nice beach along the west coast of Ireland, a perfect spot with amazing views. 

FAQs about the best beaches near Limerick

Keem Bay is one of the best beaches in Ireland.

Are there any beaches in Limerick?

No, there are no beaches in Limerick. Limerick city itself is build along the banks of the River Shannon, but the country has no beaches of its own. County Limerick also has the Lough Gur, a natural attraction found Herbertstown and Bruff. 

How far is Limerick from the ocean?

This depends on which part of the ocean. However, the closest beach on our list is located on the west coast and is only 69 km (41 miles) away, thanks to Google Maps. 

Is there any further information on Limerick?

Yes, we have a range of articles relating to Limerick and how best to spend your time there. Read more here.

What are the best beaches in Ireland?

This is a near-impossible question to answer as there are so many. But some of the best beaches in Ireland are Keem Bay, Banna Strand, Ballyquinn Beach and Ballymastrocker Bay.

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