With one of the longest-defined coasts in Europe, there is a huge number of incredible beach towns in Ireland to choose from.
Ireland is surrounded by over 3,000 kilometers of coastline. So you won’t be short on options when it comes to choosing the destination for your idyllic country escape or adventure-filled weekend.
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From Ireland’s ancient east to the copper coast, to the shores of Northern Ireland, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches and coastlines in the world here. Especially along the wild Atlantic way in the west of Ireland.
In this list, we are sure there is something for everyone. In fact, Ireland’s stunning seaside towns are one of the country’s top highlights, drawing in tourists and travelers from all over the world.
So, whether you’re planning a vacation on the Irish coast or looking to work remotely while making the most of nature during your downtime, here are the most dreamy beach towns in Ireland.
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Lahinch is a bustling town in the west of Ireland and is known as a complete paradise for surfers because of its incredible waves and surfing conditions all year round.
This beach town is the perfect destination for your holidays no matter what time of year. There is so much culture, and traditional Irish music to be enjoyed in the local pubs here.
After a day of exploring, you will have some amazing hotels and guest houses to stay in.
This is a perfect spot for lovers of water sports with a huge variety of surf schools here and many other water activities to choose from including kite surfing, fishing, and sailing.
Lahinch is also home to an impressive golf course, and you are a short drive from the Cliffs of Moher which is one of the top tourist attractions in the country.
Dunmore East in county Waterford is an ideal holiday location in Ireland. It’s got several beaches and coves for you to take a dip or enjoy a coastal walk.
Councilors Beach and Lawlors Beach are two beaches right in the village itself and two of the best for a chilled seaside day.
If you want a change from the beach, you can also enjoy the Dunmore East Woods. Here you can walk on well-kept paths through 42 acres of woods.
Just a short walk from the heart of the village, the recently refurbished coastal walk along the cliffs in Dunmore East has some incredible views of the Irish Sea on offer.
In the center of Dunmore East and overlooking the turquoise clear waters, you will find the Strand bar, which is a perfect spot for a pint at the end of a cliff walk or sea swim.
Dunmore East is about a 20-minute drive from Waterford city which is Ireland’s oldest city. Here you will find an array of restaurant and shopping options.
The picturesque town of Carlingford is another perfect spot for a beach getaway. It is conveniently located just an hour from both Dublin and Belfast so is also a great base for exploring the country.
Carlingford is perfect for an active outdoorsy holiday. It’s known for its adventure sports and this is the main reason many people travel from all over the country to visit.
From Carlingford, you can explore the close-by Mourne Mountains for a variety of breathtaking hikes, cycles, or afternoon drives.
If adventuring isn’t your thing, Carlingford is also a picturesque town to ramble around and enjoy some food and drinks.
There is a cozy atmosphere in Carlingford during the winter, especially if you find a pub with a roaring fire.
You can also enjoy incredible sunrises over the water in Carlingford.
Dingle is a popular beach town in Ireland for Irish people and travelers alike. It is situated along the coast in county Kerry in the West of Ireland and it really has something for everyone.
Dingle offers a buzzing nightlife with a host of seafood restaurants and traditional Irish pubs. It is especially known for its New Year’s Eve celebrations.
During the day, there are endless options for activities. Including a boat trip to visit Fungi, Ireland’s famous dolphin, or the incredible aquarium along the beachfront in Dingle.
Along the coastline of Dingle, you will come across some dramatic cliffs with incredible views out across the Atlantic Ocean.
Dingle town is also the perfect place for exploring the Dingle peninsula.
Here you can find winding roads weaving through the mountains of county Kerry and incredible secluded beaches with impressive views as far as the eye can see.
Dingle is also a great destination for movie fanatics as across the Dingle Peninsula, you will find some spots that were used for scenes in Star Wars movies.
Located right on the Irish Sea, Greystones is the perfect option for those that want to be close to Dublin city while having the bonus of being in a seaside town.
This is one of the most built-up beach towns in Ireland and is a short drive to the country’s capital city which means you can easily access it from Dublin airport.
It’s also a great base for exploring Ireland. You are close to Dublin to enjoy all the history and culture it has to offer, but you also are in a perfect spot for seeing all of Wicklow, which includes the incredible Glendalough lake and nature trail.
This seaside resort is a perfect location for some shopping too and you will find lots of boutiques and vintage stores here.
Greystones has a big culture of healthy living and you will find the Happy Pear vegan restaurant based here which draws big crowds every day of the week.
Sunrise swimming is also a popular pastime here and you will see lots of people coming together to swim and have tea and a chat.
If you have some extra time, venture further up the northern coastline to Donegal, one of the largest counties in Ireland.
Here you will find some of the best sunsets in Ireland and also some beaches that look like they belong on a tropical island.
A must-see is Malin Beg. This is an incredible beach located in an Irish-speaking area. So this is the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Irish culture.
Here you will be greeted by a golden sandy beach and turquoise glistening water.
Malin Beg has several little cafés and pubs for you to enjoy and it’s a great base to explore other beaches along the coast of Donegal.
The village of Malin Beg is a Gaeltacht, which means the inhabitants communicate primarily in Irish. However, everyone is able to speak English fluently, so you will have no issue communicating with the locals.
Kinsale is located at the start of the Wild Atlantic Way and is the perfect seaside destination for a weekend in Ireland. There are incredible restaurants and bars here and there are always events and festivals taking place here.
Every Summer, Kinsale is home to the Rugby 7’s tournament which draws crowds from near and far to the beach town to create an electric atmosphere.
A must-see in Kinsale is Newman’s Mall. This is a street with buildings painted in bright colors and several independent shops and cafés to stroll around.
While staying in Kinsale, you are a short drive to Cork City, so it’s a perfect option for someone who wants a mix of beach and city life.
You will find live music in Kinsale almost every day of the week during the Summer.
Tramore is the ultimate beach town in Ireland for a family holiday. Here you will find a 5km long stretch of sandy beach and great swimming conditions.
In the town itself and just a few meters from the beach, you can enjoy the funfair that is there for the majority of the year.
There are also several arcades for those inevitable rainy days in Ireland.
You will get some of the best fish and chips in Ireland in Tramore, with Dooly’s being the most popular and often have a queue outside.
Tramore has a long promenade walk alongside the beach which is in great condition and even has a café for you to grab a takeaway coffee for your stroll.
From Tramore, you can easily explore the Copper coast, which is an outdoor geological museum that stretches for 25 km through Waterford.
The county of Kerry in Ireland is a popular destination for locals and travelers and Inch is one of the top attractions.
Inch is a tiny village with an impressive beach. It has an incredible sand dune system which is perfect for a beach walk no matter what time of the year it is.
Inch is a popular surf spot with great conditions for surfing all year round.
Inch village is small and lacks the amenities that some other beach towns across the country have. But it has a general store, 2 pubs and a church, like many other villages across Ireland.
You will have stunning views of the Kerry mountains as the backdrop for your walk along the beach here.
Spanish Point is a village on the west coast of Ireland in the county of Clare. Here you will find lots of great options for accommodation as there are hotels and b&bs all along the coast.
One of the most popular activities in Spanish Point is swimming in the sea all year round. Especially at the weekend, you will find groups of people going for swims together no matter what the weather.
You can also visit the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point which offers the ideal spot to enjoy a hot beverage while overlooking the beach.
From Spanish Point, you will be in a perfect position to explore the Burren national park. An expansive and really impressive national park covered in limestone rock in lots of different formations. There are cliffs and caves to be seen here.
Final Thoughts On The Irish Coastline
With so many beautiful coastal towns in Ireland, narrowing them down is difficult. However, as you can see, Ireland’s coastal towns differ significantly in ambiance.
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