For all those beach lovers that enjoy a relaxing day under the sun, Ireland won’t disappoint. With it’s vast coastlines there are hundreds of beaches you can sit back and soak up the rays while enjoying scenic views.
It’s no surprise that Ireland has some of the best beaches in the world. During the summer months you will find families and kids playing in the sand, floating in the ocean, or even surfing some amazing waves. We find most of the luxury beaches tend to be on the east coast due to the relevance of Dublin. However, if you are looking for a little more privacy, just drive down the coast anywhere in Ireland and you will find a secluded area.
Here are our favorite Irish luxury beaches for you to visit this year:
Cork Ireland Beaches
County Cork has over 1,000km of coastline to enjoy. With cliffs that span the horizon, you can find great harbours to visit and hopefully land on a few unbelievable beaches to enjoy. Here are a few of our top spots to check out.
Inchydoney Beach, Co. Cork
Inchydoney Island is home to some of the longest beaches in Ireland. The coastline almost appears to be one giant sandy beach, but there are a couple sections you can choose from. The areas are divided by the rocky Virgin Mary and is a good place for surfers of all levels. It’s also family friendly and has lifeguards that patrol during the summer season. This is a popular beach, but so large you don’t need to worry about finding a good spot to tan, picnic, or just play in the sand.
Due to being so popular, if you plan on driving to Inchydoney Beach make sure you get there early to take advantage of parking.
Barleycove Beach, Co Cork
As you continue your trip up the Atlantic Coast in Ireland, be sure to take a detour to Barleycove Beach. With some of the best beachfront property in Cork, it’s a popular family destination for kids to make castles, go swimming, or even surf.
In between Mizen Head and Lyroe Peninsula, this is another Blue Flag status beach and is always a safe option to go. When the weather is perfect and the sun is shining, Barleycove is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. There are also sand dunes all along the beachfront giving good homes to a wide range of animal life.
Garretstown Beach, Co Cork
Located in south Cork, Garretstown Beach is another beautiful sandy beach with a Blue Flag status. It can sometimes be confused with Garrylucas, but this stretch down Old Head of Kinsale offers public parking and toilets to all visitors. If you are looking for prime real estate to swim, surf, or even just hike around the area, Garretstown Beach is the perfect destination.
There are quite a few other family friendly beaches in Cork County. If you ask some locals they will probably point you to the most popular ones. However, if you want to go off the beaten path, you will most likely stumble upon a hidden treasure and find a beach that doesn’t even have a name.
Donegal Ireland Beaches
Donegal is the perfect area to get some beach time in. Located in Northern Ireland, they currently have 12 Blue Flag status beaches to make sure you and your family is safe. Surfers from all over the world love to come to Donegal for their waves. Even if you are just a beginner, there are great areas to go to hang 10.
Main Beach, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
For all those surfers out there, the Tullan Strand and Main beach are known for world-class surfing. In fact the European Championship was hosted in 2011 bring in International surfers to compete. The beach itself is most known for the classic hit song “Beautiful Bundoran”.
Main Beach in Donegal not only accommodates all surfer skill sets, but also has a great beach front for families to to enjoy. It does have lifeguards on duty that patrol during the summer months. If you go during the right time of the season, Tra na Draina (the actual name of the beach) hosts their own music festival.
Portsalon Beach, Co. Donegal
Another popular destination for travelers is Portsalon Beach. Luxury sandy beach fronts go down he coast on the shores of Lugh Swilly. Lifeguards do patrol during the summer season as it can be crowded with families who want to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Rossnowlagh Beach, Co Donegal
Just south of Donegal lies not only one of the best beaches to visit, but also some amazing views. Tourists from all over the world come to Donegal for surfing, but that shouldn’t take away from the other activities you can do in the golden sand. They are a Blue Flag beach and have life guards on duty.
Known as Heavenly Headland, Rossnowlagh Beach does offer surf schools and rental equipment for all ages. You’ll often find kids buildin sandcastles or running up and down the shore. We definitely put this as one of our favorite beaches to visit in Ireland.
Magheroarty Beach, Co. Donegal
With almost pink like sand, Magheroarty beach is another popular tourist attraction in Donegal. It’s scenic views of Inishbofin and Tory Islands give just another ambiance to this beautiful landscape. In 2018 Magheroarty was awarded the Green Coast Award which recognizes them for high quality water and good management / community involvement.
When you visit Dublin, you probably aren’t thinking about beaches in the area. Surprisingly enough, when you are done taking in the sites, Dublin offers some of the best beaches in Ireland. Because of the location to the capital of Ireland they can get rather crowded in the summer months, but make no mistake that some of these beaches will blow you away with their soft sand and scenic views. Here are our favorite beaches in Dublin.
Killiney Strand, Co. Dublin
When it comes to feeling like you are in paradise, Killiney Strand in Dublin stands alone. This is another four Blue Flag beach and stretches a long way down the coast with secluded areas to enjoy. Scenic views of Bray Hea, Sugar Loaf mountains, and Dalkey Island just make up a few of the reasons to visit. Killiney Beach may not be the easiest place to swim during low tide due to it’s stone sand, but when the high tide comes in, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon.
Sandycove, Co. Dublin
Although this is one of the tinier beaches in Dublin, Sandycove is a very popular spot for families with kids. Here you will see paddle boarders and even kite surfers when the wind is just right. Sandycove beach has beautiful sand for kids to build castles in to go along with their scenic views of the famous Forty Foot.
For the families that want to leave Dublin for a bit to enjoy some fresh air and swimming, come check out Sandycove Beach.
Velvet Strand, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin
In north Dublin lies a well known beach with sandy beaches all along Portmarnock. It is over five miles long so there is no problem finding the perfect spot if you’d prefer a little seclusion. Here you can see views of the Dublin Mountains while dipping your toes into the water. For those who are a little adventurous, we recommend walking the path along the beach to Malahide.
Velvet Strand has been giving the Blue Flag Beach and Green Coast awards for 2018.
Galway is not only a popular destination for tourists to stay so they can visit several historical places on the western side of Ireland, but it hosts some amazing beaches that are relatively close to the city.
Trá an Doilín, Co. Galway
Also known as Carraroe beach, this popular Galway destination is great for stunning views, sandy beaches and fine coral. There are plenty of little pools you can explore which makes it a popular place to snorkle. Probably the best thing about this beach is it doesn’t get as crowded as other beaches in Ireland.
Kerry county hosts some of the best beaches in Ireland for their scenic views and landscapes in the area. Here you can find family friendly beaches or go off and find your own personal hideaway.
Coumeenole Beach, Dunquin, Co. Kerry
Coumeenole Beach has white sandy beaches while you view the jagged mountain landscapes. ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ was filmed here because of the crazy views and crashing waves that give a foam around the shore. This beach is also family friendly as there is a good coastal stretch for building sandcastles or dipping your toes in the water. However, we recommend this as one of the best beaches in Ireland due to the scenary.
Inch Beach, Co. Kerry
Another long beach with sand dunes protruding all along it is Inch each in Kerry County. Located between the Dingle peninsula and Kerry, you can walk the trek or sit down at any time and take in the great weather and views. This is a popular beach for surfers as the tides can bring in some crashing waves.
Brittas Bay Beach – Wicklow
Wicklow finishes our places to go to view some of the best beaches in Ireland. With over a 5km strech of shoreline and white sand, travelers flock to this beach for a great day under the sun while enjoying the natural habitat. Sand Dunes, Ferns, and Grassland bring in an eclectic wildlife as you swim, walk, or even sail.
Brittas Bay Beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer season.
More Things To Do In Ireland