Down through the centuries, the wild and crashing Atlantic Ocean has shaped and moulded a unique coastline along the west of Ireland. From Donegal in the north right down to Kerry and Cork in the south, you’ll find the results of this natural erosion: rugged cliffs, jutting headlands, and of course, miles of golden sand. These are the best beaches in Ireland.
On your travels, look out for distinctive blue flags on certain beaches and marinas. This means they meet an internationally recognised high standard for water quality, cleanliness and safety. So whether you’re after a secluded cove where you can get away from it all, or fancy embarking on an invigorating surf adventure, the Wild Atlantic Way has a beach for you. In the special illustration below, you’ll find just a selection of the best sandy strands in Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way.
For more details on each beach, simply hover over its number, then click the image to be taken to its detailed listing in our online directory.
1. Kinnagoe Bay, County Donegal
2. Ballymastocker Bay, County Donegal
3. Mullaghmore Strand, County Sligo
4. Keem Beach, County Mayo
5. Kilmurvey Beach , County Galway
6. Fanore Beach, County Clare
7. Banna Strand, County Kerry
8. Inch Beach, County Kerry
9. Barleycove Beach, County Cork
10. Inchydoney Beach, County Cork
Of course, these are just a selection of the best of many gorgeous shorelines to be found along the Wild Atlantic Way; to explore more, use this directory. Find more inspirational stop-offs here, or if you need assistance planning your trip, this handy tool will help you put together an itinerary.