Maghera Beach, Donegal
Maghera Caves. Photo by Philip McErlean.A trip to Donegal is an absolute must for beach-enthusiasts and Maghera Strand is one reason why. The secluded beach is located off the Wild Atlantic Way, about 9km west of Ardara, and provides stunning views of the Slievetooey mountains. At low tide, the Maghera Caves can be reached at the foot of the mountains. And while you're in the area, take a look at the Assaranca Waterfall which is a mere kilometre from the beach.
Dog’s Bay, GalwayWay out west, and a seven-minute drive from Roundstone Village lies Dogs Bay. There's no turning back once you head down the narrow country road to the car park, but the view at the end is worth it. It’s a horseshoe-shaped bay with more than a mile-long stretch of white sandy beach and turquoise water. With your back to the sea, you'll be facing in the direction of Gurteen Bay, which lies back-to-back with Dog's Bay, barely a kilometre away.
Keem Bay, Achill, Mayo
Keem Bay, Achill. Photo by Eric Verleene.Looking like something out of a travel magazine, Keem Bay can be found at the western end of Achill Island, past Dooagh Village. Overlooked by the Croaghaun Mountains, it's well worth the trip way out west. If you're looking for an uninterrupted and peaceful walk, this is the beach for you. It's virtually uninhabited, with the only building being an old lifeguard hut.
Inchydoney Beach, CorkInchydoney Beach near Clonakilty in West Cork is a Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point. The beach is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, with a surf school located on the shore for some lessons before heading out. With the colourful shopfronts of Clonakilty a 10-minute drive away, we dare you not to stop off in the famous Cork town after a dip.
Inch Beach, Kerry
Inch Beach. Photo by Fred Montwell.Inch Beach is a 5km long strand located on the stunning Dingle Peninsula. It holds views of Dingle Bay and is ideal for swimming, surfing and water sports. You'll have plenty of overnight options while visiting as the beach lies within 30-minutes' drive of both Dingle and Tralee. While you're in the area, pay a visit to Annascaul Village, the birthplace of Antarctic explorer and famous Kerryman Tom Crean.
Rossnowlagh Beach, DonegalRossnowlagh is a seaside village about 8km north of Ballyshannon and 16km southwest of Donegal Town. The beach has spectacular views over Donegal Bay taking in the dramatic sea cliffs of Slieve League towering over the Atlantic Ocean. Rossnowlagh is one of Donegal's best surfing spots too, with plenty of opportunities to learn at the various surf schools.
Curracloe Beach, Wexford
Curracloe Beach. Photo by Vasiok1.If it's good enough for Spielberg it's good enough for us. You heard it right, Curracloe Beach is quite the celebrity after featuring in the opening scenes of World War II epic Saving Private Ryan. If that doesn't leave you star-struck, the 11km sandy coastline sheltered by dunes will. Its waters have the coveted Blue Flag status, meaning they're perfect for a swimming and with life guards stationed on the stretch known as White Gap in the summer, you can splash around safely.