Best beaches for a summer vacation in Ireland

With the days lengthening and summer holidays on everyone’s mind, summer is the perfect opportunity to take time off and recharge your batteries on a much deserved vacation in Ireland. A holiday to the scenic and laid back surrounds of Ireland; could be just the thing to provide you with a welcome break.

On a trip to Ireland, the many beaches dotted along the Irish coastline are a must-see. From Dollymount Beach in County Dublin to Inch Beach in County Kerry and Inchydoney Beach in County Cork, Ireland boasts a range of excellent beaches to choose from.

Ideally explored on a self drive tour of Ireland, 97% of Irish beaches have met the Environmental Protection Agency for safe swimming and Ireland’s beaches also met the minimum EU standards for water quality in 2013.  Take a look at top picks for beaches in Ireland:

Dollymount Beach, County Dublin.

Also known as ‘Dollyer’ to the Dublin locals, Dollymount Strand on Dublin City‘s northside stretches right across the bay and is immensely popular in summer months. The iconic twin peaks of the Poolbeg power station also dominate the horizon.

Brittas Bay in Co Wicklow.

This beautiful beach is actually split into two parts, north and south. Both are incredibly popular with many sun seekers on the eastern seaboard, with sand dunes stretching over 100 hectares.

Sandycove Beach in County Dublin.

This secluded spot in South Dublin is the home of a Martello Tower that sets the opening scene in James Joyce’s Ulysses. It’s also popular for a quick (but freezing) dip at Christmas in the nearby Forty Foot.

Tullen Strand in Bundoran, County Donegal.

A world famous surfing spot, Bundoran is a sandy strand facing the Atlantic Ocean. There’s plenty to do in the summer months with a golf course and the town itself nearby.

Fanore Beach in County Clare.

This sandy spot located on the edge of The Burren is loved by tourists. The name means ‘golden slope’ in Irish, so you’re guaranteed some beauty.

Silverstrand in County Galway.

A short, small, and shallow sandy beach on the west coast, Silverstrand is popular with young families and faces Galway Bay, giving great views.

Inch Beach in Co Kerry.

This spot is known for its extensive sandy beach that spans five kilometres and for being the location for films such as Ryan’s Daughter, The Field and Playboy Of The Western World.

Inch Beach in County Kerry | Ireland Vacations

Inch Beach in County Kerry (courtesy of An Taisce)

Portmarnock Beach, County Dublin.

Another beach in the capital, the northside’s Portmarnock is also popular with wind and kitesurfers when the weather is right. It’s also a whopping five miles long.

Gurteen Bay in County Galway.

Known for its white sands, Gurteen Bay in Galway is one of many secluded inlets in the region. There are a lot of rare rock features and different animal life in the area.

Coumeenole Beach in County Kerry.

Another lovely spot on the Dingle Peninsula nestled at the bottom of some stunning cliffs. Decent for surfers, too.

Murvagh Beach in County Donegal.

Great for walking with your family, Murvagh beach almost has a feel of exclusivity as it is more calm and sheltered than many of the beaches on this list. The dune system in this area is also a designated Special Area of Conservation by An Taisce.

Ventry Beach in County Kerry.

The dunes and marshes on this popular beach are filled with plants and flowers but this spot, on the Dingle Peninsula, is great because of the sheltered bay.

Inchydoney Beach in County Cork.

This sandy retreat is located on Inchydoney Island near Clonakilty and is one of West Cork’s most popular spots.

Inchydoney Beach in County

Inchydoney Beach in County (courtesy of An Taisce)

Ballybunion Beach in County Kerry.

This shot shows a rainbow over the lovely Ladies’ beach in Ballybunion, which in general is a star spot known for its cliffs, seaweed baths, dolphin sightings and much more.

Ballybunion Beach in Ireland

Ballybunion Beach in County Kerry (courtesy of Luther1968/Wikimedia Commons)

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One Response to Best beaches for a summer vacation in Ireland

  1. Maire says:

    Barleycove Beach by Mizen Head Peninsula is also one of my personal favourites. The beach in Inchydoney as well as neighbouring Owenahincha beach is also a popular with stag parties in Ireland, as the surfing there is pretty amazing! All we need now is the weather this Summer!

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