It was recently announced that over 80 Irish beaches were awarded blue flags ahead of the summer season. The blue flags indicate beaches with the cleanest sand and safest water, and an awful lot of them are dotted along the west coast.
So, we decided to highlight ten of them you should definitely check out this summer.
Stroove Beach, Co Donegal
Donegal was voted the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ in 2017, and one of the coolest places in Donegal is Stroove Beach, nestled on the east coast of the Inishowen peninsula close to the village of Greencastle.
Rosses Point, Co Sligo
Set against the backdrop of Dartry mountain range, Rosses Point Beach is the ideal spot for a bit of windsurfing and other exciting watersports.
And the nearby tranquil Lissadell House & Gardens is definitely worth exploring.
Mulranny Beach, Co Mayo
With its incredible coves and high risen sand-dunes, Mulranny Beach is truly stunning.
And while you're there you can check out the Great Western Way, explore Ballycroy Wild Nephin National Park and cycle or trail through Nephin Beg mountain range.
Lahinch Beach, Co Clare
Lahinch Beach in Co Clare is known as one of the country’s top spots for surfing. It’s also an ideal location for sailing, swimming, kite surfing and sky-diving.
Lahinch is also a great spot for golfers.
Ventry Beach, Co Kerry
Ventry Beach, which is known as Ceann Trá to locals, is known as one of the most beautiful untouched beaches in Ireland. Ventry is a wee little village with one pub, one shop and one church, so it feels totally unspoilt.
And it's only four miles away from the bustling town of Dingle, where you can listen to live trad music and get an ice-cream in Murphy's.
Garretstown Beach, Co Cork
This beach is divided into two parts; the sandy bit when coming from the Old Head and a smaller part when passing by Ballinspittle. There’s a surfing school on the beach with all the equipment you need for surfing, body boarding and stand up paddleboarding.
Clare Island, Co Mayo
During the summer, there are plenty of ferries that will take you from Roonagh Pier to Clare Island. The beach is situated right next to the harbour where you will be dropped off.
The island also has loads of other fun stuff to do, like biking and even yoga.
Magherabeg Beach, Co Kerry
Magherabeg Beach is a super family-friendly beach that comes alive during the summer with the buzz of windsurfers and surfers. Plus, it’s a five-minute drive from the picturesque village of Castlegregory where you can devour a bag of chips after your day out in the sun.
Spanish Point, Co Clare
Named after the Spaniards who were buried here after the wreck of their Armada ships along the coast in 1588, Spanish Point is a sandy beach west of Milltown Malbay where you can actually hire a currach in the fishing village of Quilty and visit the site of the wreck.
Carrickfinn Beach, Co Donegal
Located next to the breath-taking Gweedore Bay, Carrickfinn beach is the perfect quiet escape.
While you’re there, you can venture over to Arranmore Island where you can hire electric bikes, go bird-watching and explore the inland and coastal walks.