Two Irish beaches named among best in Europe

The Guardian has published its official ranking of the 40 best beaches in Europe, and two stunning Irish strands have made the cut.

From the Copper Coast of Ireland’s southeast to the beautiful northern headlands of Donegal, Ireland is home to some magical coastal stretches.

Although we can’t always boast the same tree-splitting sunshine that countries across mainland Europe enjoy, Ireland has plenty of stunning sandy beaches to rival those throughout the continent.

So, are you wondering where to dip your toes in the sand, breathe in the sea air, and head out on the water? If so, read on as two Irish beaches have been named among the best in Europe.

The beauty of Irish beaches – stunning sandy stretches

Credit: Tourism Ireland

The Guardian revealed their ultimate ranking of best beaches in Europe, and two Irish beaches have made the list.

Ranking alongside idyllic golden strands in the likes of Greece, Portugal, France and Turkey, the Irish coast has gained recognition for its breathtaking beaches.

The two stunning strands are located along Ireland’s whimsical Wild Atlantic Way. So, there are now even more reasons to visit this beautiful coastal drive.

Two Irish beaches named among best in Europe – discover the Atlantic coastline

Credit: Tourism Ireland

First up was Ballybunion in County Kerry, which is one of the places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland. Located in the north of the county, the resort town of Ballybunion is actually home to four incredible beaches.

Ranking these Irish beaches among the best in Europe, The Guardian wrote, “They have been popular since Victorian times and still draw a huge crowd on sunny summer days.

“But it’s easy to escape the throng by climbing the path to the stunning cliff walk above.”

While here, you can visit the stunning Nuns Beach, home to beautiful caves and the famous Virgin Rock sea arch. Alternatively, you can take a walk along the coast or take on the waves for a surf.

The coastline of County Galway – not to be missed

Credit: Tourism Ireland

The other of the two Irish beaches named among the best in Europe was Glassilaun in County Galway. Set in the idyllic Connemara region, this area is home to some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in Ireland.

With so much beauty to offer, The Guardian writes that the sandy stretches here “could rival those of the Caribbean – if the weather would only cooperate more frequently.”

With views of Killary Harbour and Achill Island and overlooked by Mweelra Mountain, the scenery around here is truly breathtaking.

Other European winners – the most beautiful beaches in Europe


Joining the two Irish beaches named among the best in Europe are beautiful white strands dotted all across the continent.

Notable mentions include Simos on the Greek island of Elafonisos and Praia de Cacela Velha in the eastern Algarve. Others include Plage de la Vieille Église in Normandy and Punta della Suina in Puglia,

So, next time you’re planning a beautiful beach holiday, remember you don’t need to look past the breathtaking Irish shores. However, we can’t make any promises about the weather.

More useful info on Irish beaches

The 10 best and most beautiful beaches in Ireland

Top 5 beaches in Dublin you need to visit before you die

Top 10 best beaches in Northern Ireland, ranked

Top 5 best beaches in Wicklow,

The 5 best-known nudist beaches in Ireland, ranked

Top 5 most beautiful beaches in Donegal

The 3 best beaches in County Meath

Top 5 best beaches in Sligo

The 5 best beaches in County Mayo

Top 5 best beaches in County Wexford

Top 5 best beaches near Limerick

Benone Beach: when to visit, what to see, and things to know

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