17 hidden beaches in Ireland you need to check out

By Katy Thornton

August 30, 2023 at 12:13pm


It's not too late for a little beach day.

Summer is on the way out, it's true, but that doesn't mean a visit to the beach is off the cards until next year.

Betfair have put together a list of the must visit hidden beaches in Ireland, and with the possibility of an Indian summer on the way, you could still have up to a month to check them out before the weather takes a major turn.

Using figures from Google rating, Tripadvisor, and Instagram, with several beaches tying, these are the 17 beaches you ought to check out in Ireland.

10. Dunmoran Strand, Sligo & Howth Secret Beach, Howth, Dublin

Tying for 10th place comes Dunmoran Strand and Howth Secret Beach.

Dunmoran Strand is a beautiful secluded beach, providing an easy 4km stretch for a stroll, and sits just under 30 minutes from Sligo town.

Howth Secret Beach is one of Dublin's worst kept secrets, sitting 45 minutes from the city centre, and providing somewhere more private for reflection and swimming (although this beach is quite rocky, so be mindful of your footwear).

Dunmoran Strand, Sligo

9. Killiney Beach, Dublin, Glassilaun Beach, Galway & Five Finger Strand, Donegal

Three beaches tie for ninth place.


Killiney Beach in Dublin can be viewed from Killiney Hill, with a 4.5 Google rating, and over 13,000 Instagram hashtags.

Glassilaun Beach in Connemara has beautiful white sands, and in the sun would almost make you forget you're in Ireland.

Five Finger Strand in Donegal is hidden amongst impressive sand dunes, some of which are 30m in height, making them some of the tallest in Europe.

Glassilaun Beach in Renvyle, North Connemara, Ireland

8. Ballymastocker Bay, Donegal

The pure white sands at Ballymastocker Bay take eighth place on this list of the best hidden beaches in Ireland.

This Donegal beach has an impressive 4.9 Google rating, and was once awarded the second most beautiful beach in the world by Observer Magazine.

7. Streedagh Beach, Sligo

The site of three shipwrecks, Streedagh Beach is a 3km sandy strand linking Streedagh Point to Connor's Island, which makes for gorgeous views of the Sligo coastline.

Streedagh Beach, Sligo


6. Gurteen Bay, Galway

Gurteen Bay is based near Connemara, situated by back to back with Dogs Bay.

According to Visit Galway, the "area is internationally important for its rare and interesting ecological, geological and archaeological features" and is popular for swimming and water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Image via Visit Galway

5. Barleycove Beach, Cork & Portsalon Beach, Donegal

Coming in joint fifth place is Barleycove Beach in Cork and Portsalon Beach in Donegal.

Barleycove Beach is based close to the villages of Crookhaven and Goleen on the Mizen Peninsula, and is about two hours from Cork City. It's a popular spot for swimmers but caution is advised especially during off-season where riptides and dangerous currents can occur.

Portsalon has a 4.9 Google rating, known for its beautiful sunsets.

Barley Cove, West Cork


4. East End Beach, Galway & Burrow Beach, Dublin

Galway’s East End Beach is one to tick off the bucket list as long you’re happy to clamber over some rocks to find the blissful, secluded cove on the Island of Inishbofin.

Burrow Beach, or the Hole in the Wall in Dublin offers spectacular views of Ireland’s eye, and is a twenty-five minute drive from the city centre.

Burrow Beach, Sutton, Dublin

3. Banna Strand, Kerry, Fanore Beach, Clare & Enniscrone Beach, Sligo

Drawing for third place is Banna Strand in Kerry, Fanore Beach in Clare, and Enniscrone Beach in Sligo.

Banna Strand proved to be popular with its beautiful views and crystal clear waters while Fanore Beach, located in the little village of Fanore, also has much to offer, with it being on the southern shore of Galway Bay. Sligo’s Enniscrone Beach is a hidden gem described as a ‘walker’s paradise’ on the shores of Killala Bay.

Fanore Beach, Clare

2. Curracloe Beach, Wexford

In second place comes Curracloe Beach, situated in Wexford. It’s no surprise that the sandy beach scored so highly, with it being featured in the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan as well as being known for being one of the cleanest and longest beaches in Ireland, backed by grassy dunes.

Curracloe Beach, Wexford


1. Silver Strand Beach, Sherkin Island, Cork

Silver Strand Beach hit the top spot and is an absolute must-see on Sherkin Island, accessible by ferry from Baltimore.

The sandy beach is one of Sherkin Island’s most beautiful spots, with magnificent views of Cape Clear Island and the Atlantic Sea.

Header images via Getty


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