How does a beach make it to our list of best beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way? Each beach we have chosen provides that relaxing feeling that comes with crashing waves and is breathtaking from all angles of the view. Some beaches are renowned for the great surf, others for the serene surroundings. Either way the beaches that can be found along the Wild Atlantic Way coastline are there to inspire.
Inch Beach, County Kerry
Walking towards Inch Beach from the path of the Kerry Camino on the Dingle Way is one of the most exhilarating experiences you will ever get as a walking enthusiast. The beach stretches for almost five kilometres with magnificent views of the Dingle Peninsula. It is also sheltered by two of Ireland’s famed mountain ranges ‘The MacGillyCuddy Reeks’ and ‘Sleevemish Mountains’.
Although this beach is not recommended for swimming as the tide can be quite dangerous the strand still makes it to our top ten for visiting. The beach was used on the set of the Oscar nominated movie Ryan’s Daughter. Giant cliffs shelter the soft sanded beach below. If you are planning a romantic escape along the Wild Atlantic Way this bay is the perfect stopping point.
Keem Bay, County Mayo
Keem Bay has got a reputation as one of the most stunning beaches on the island of Ireland. It is a sheltered beach on Achill Island. The remote location, calm seas and shelter from the cliffs at either side make it an ideal beach for snorkeling. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the basking shark circling the water edges.
Allihies Beach, County Cork
Located on the Beara Way this is a perfect beach for relaxation and exploration. Wander in and out of the tidal pools to cool down when you are sunning yourself in the summertime. Although this beach is smaller than some of the others on the list, it is renowned for its crystal clear waters. While you are in the area pay a visit to the Allihies Copper Mine Museum which preserves the Copper Mining heritage of the area.
Barleycove Beach, County Cork
Situated close to Mizen head peninsula in the south of the Island Barleycove is an area of stunning natural beauty. This beach is backed up with numerous sand dunes and popular among families.
Mullaghmore, County Sligo
If you are fond of giant waves and watersports then Mulloughmore is a great choice of beach to visit. The Lonely Planet voted the bay in this small village one of the best locations in the world for big wave surfing in 2013. Waves in this part of the country and especially in Mulloughmore are known to reach heights beyond 7 metres on a regular basis.
Lahinch, Country Clare
Take a trip in one of Ireland’s most popular beaches. The main activities at Lahinch beach include diving in to the salty waves and witnessing some epic surfing. Lahinch has got the great beach plus all the village atmosphere to go alongside it. Grab a coffee in Joe’s Cafe and if you are staying a night in Lahinch drop into Kenny’s Bar for some traditional Irish music.
Fanore, County Clare
This is a sandy beach on the edge of the famous karst landscape of the Burren Way between Ballyvaughan and Doolin. It is known for having great surfing conditions and you can have plenty of fun hiding out in the sand dunes.
Ballymastocker, County Donegal
The views from Ballymastocker Bay are simply breathtaking. If you are travelling through this remote, rural landscape you will feel like a true adventurer. It is ideally located between Fanad Head and Rathmullen where you can look out onto the Inishowen Peninsula. In the distance you will see the lighthouse at Fanad head which still plays a vital role in maritime safety today.
Rossnowlagh, County Donegal
A popular location for kite and wind surfers the 3km stretch of beach is easily accessible for everyone. It is one of only a few beaches in Ireland that you are permitted to drive on. Although drivers are warned to be aware of sinking sand that could lead to them getting stuck on the beach. If you have time pay a visit to the visitor centre at the Franciscan Friary at the southern end of the beach which is home to the Donegal Historical Society.
A number of the beaches on the list are located in remote parts of Ireland. They are a great stopping point for a swim, a photo opportunity or a coffee but may not be suitable for spending a night. If you have visited any of the beaches on the list we would love to hear about your experiences? To find out more about the wild atlantic way beaches or to book your next walking holiday contact one of our Travel Specialists.