5 Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay Connemara With a lit

first_img5. Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay, ConnemaraWith a little imagination, and if you wrap up warm, a sunny day in Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay in peaceful Connemara could transport you to the Caribbean. These two white sand crescents look like a mirror image of each other when viewed from above, with just a few hundred metres of flat green headland keeping them apart. The sand here is part of the appeal, consisting of shells from sea creatures or foraminifera, which gives the sand its dazzlingly white colour. The beaches are some of the safest in the area, protected from waves and without any major currents to be cautious about. The only thing you may need to fear is the temperature of the water – in January and February the weather in this part of Ireland can be pretty dreek, with temperatures as low as 2°C. While there are no facilities by the beach, there is a decent supermarket in the village of Roundstone, just three miles away. 2. Coumeenole Beach, Dunquin, Co. KerryBefore visiting you’ll have thought such natural beauty only existed in holiday brochures and filtered Instagram feeds, but Coumeenole Beach in Co. Kerry is the real deal. Rocky outcrops jut into the Atlantic, covered in long grass and surrounded by perfect patches of sandy beach. It’s so stunning that Lonely Planet once described it as “one of the most beautiful places on earth”, and after a few minutes exploring the peninsula, you will surely agree. While swimming here is sadly not recommended due to strong and unpredictable currents, surrounding cliffs make for a nice place to walk and provide an opportunity for some stunning photographs. As this is real, untouched middle-of-nowhere Ireland, you’ll be hard pushed to find any toilet facilities or even shops near by. You may also encounter a small language barrier, with most locals speaking Gaelic as their first language. 3. Brandon Bay, Co. KerryHome to some of the most consistent waves and the most breathtaking sunsets in Ireland, Brandon Bay’s golden strand is a water sports mecca. With great offshore breaks and big swells from the North Atlantic gracing the Kerry coastline, it’s a hot spot for both beginners and big-wave surfers from Ireland and abroad. To try your hand at surfing, book a lesson with Jamie Knox Watersports, and choose between wave surfing, windsurfing or even kitesurfing. Back onshore, join the post-surf crew at nearby O’Connor’s pub where they serve equally large portions of food, drink and mighty craic. 9. Skerries, DublinOur last beach on the list is beautiful Skerries in north Dublin, which is a quintessential Irish seaside town, complete with playgrounds, rock pools and an array of watersports on offer. If you’re looking to get out on the the water – instead of just enjoying the view from the terrace of Blue Bar and Restaurant – check out Outdoor Dublin which offers kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, blo karting and surf lessons from their base in the sheltered harbour. 7. Dunmore East, Co. WaterfordBesides Sandycove, Dunmore East is the only other beach on our list that is not situated along Ireland’s famous West Coast, or the Wild Atlantic Way. Instead, this part of the country is known as the ‘Sunny South East’ as it gets more sunshine and warmer weather than any other part of Ireland – reaching a balmy 26 or 27°C regularly during the summer months. One of the best places in Ireland to go snorkelling, the coastline around Dunmore East consists of sheltered coves and calm waters teeming with interesting sea life. If you’re a good swimmer, head out along the coast from cove to cove, ending up on the warm (sometimes) sun-drenched sands of Councillor’s Strand. Qualified local lifeguards are on duty from June to August. There’s ample parking space and excellent public facilities here, and hungry swimmers can refuel at Bay Café, where you can indulge in delicious open crab sandwiches with views across the harbour. Credit: ©Raymond Fogarty6. Sandycove Beach, Co. DublinOne of the (many) amazing things about Ireland is how many great public beaches and swimming spots there are close to the city centres. Sandycove Beach in south Dublin, for example, can be accessed from the city centre by car, DART (rail) or even by bike. On a quiet day, you can have the place to yourself but any sign of sun in the sky and you’ll be queuing up with hundreds of other brave souls to take the plunge in this natural swimming hole. Sandycove is most famous for the Forty Foot and their Christmas Day swimming events which attract foolhardy swimmers dressed in Santa suits. Not even the Irish winter will deter people here, with cold water swimming clubs meeting many mornings to brave the icy waters. Once you’ve taken a dip, reward yourself with some locally caught seafood and a hot whiskey at nearby Caviston’s Food Emporium. If you’re staying in Dublin for a few days, check out our local’s guide to find out where all the hidden pubs and bars are, so you don’t just end up at Temple! 4. Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. MayoThe most photographed spot on Achill Island, Keem Bay is in a coastal class of its own. Driving down the steep and narrow roadway along Achill’s coastal route, as wandering sheep overtake you on either side, Keem Bay will emerge ahead of you, inviting you to explore it’s beautiful shores. Here the Atlantic Ocean could be mistaken for a tropical paradise, with the water a magical blue, contrasting with the elevated cliffs and dramatic Slievemore mountain which form a backdrop for this beautiful horseshoe bay. This Blue Flag beach comes complete with friendly lifeguards in the summer and some of the softest white sand to dip your toes in. The area is rich in marine life, with frequent sightings of dolphins, seals and even basking sharks.Feeling peckish? Head on over to what might be the cutest and most retro sweet van in Ireland. The friendly owner sells a variety of soft drinks, chocolate and novelty treats…along with a incongruous collection of DVDs!center_img With green grass covered cliffs, spotlessly clean white sandy beaches, bays with perfectly flat stones for skimming and waves big and small for all water sports fans, Ireland has plenty of pretty coastal spots for you to explore. Sure the weather can be slightly, er, unpredictable, but that only keeps the beaches quieter and somehow keeps the water that little bit warmer – or so it seems!Below is our list of the top ten beaches in Ireland, as chosen by a local in the know. If we’ve left out your favourite hidden bay, be sure to let us know so we can include it in our next post, just like we did with our readers’ tips on the best beaches in Britain.1. Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty, Co. CorkCork’s most loved beach, Inchydoney, is as popular with those out for a Sunday drive as it is with hard-core surfers (riding waves even in the midst of Irish winter) honeymooners and newlyweds looking for the perfect spot for their wedding photos. The pristine sands of Inchydoney are divided up into two magnificent beaches that stretch out as long as the eye can see. Broken by Virgin Mary’s Point and the end of the main road, you’ll find Inchydoney Surf School on the beach to the right, as they make use of the excellent off shore breaks to teach beginners how to catch their first wave. The area has a lot of nearby facilities including a small shop that opens during the summer, public toilets next to the beach, and the luxurious Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, which has panoramic view across both beaches and out across the bay. Dunes Pub and Bistro is the perfect place to warm up after a long walk (or surfing session!), serving up local seafood dishes and cold pints of Guinness! The only tricky thing when it comes to this beautiful beach is actually getting there. You can catch a public bus as far as Clonakilty but you’ll need to get a taxi to reach the beach – the easiest method is to rent your own car giving your freedom to stay as long as you like. You might want to stay a bit longer and explore the surrounding countryside with your new set of wheels – check out this article for five of the best scenic driving routes in Ireland. 10. Easkey, Co. SligoHome to the headquarters of the Irish Surfing Association, Easkey Beach in Sligo (Ireland’s newly nicknamed ‘Adventure Capital’) is pounded by consistently good waves and draws big name surfers from the world over. The nearby headland, just past the ruined castle, is the perfect place to watch the action as the surfers glide in or get thrown off their boards in spectacular style. These waves are big and fast, so best to leave them to the professionals unless you really know what you’re doing. As the area is quite remote you’ll not find any public toilets here nearby. Your best option is to drive to the nearby McGowan’s pub, in Easkey village, a great place to grab a pint and a sandwich and listen to the post-surf chat. 8. Glanleam Beach, Valentia Island, Co. KerryWhile Glanleam Beach may well be on the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s more subtropical shoreline than wild and rugged. Situated along the Gulf Stream and at the foot of a sheltered valley, Glanleam is one of the warmest beaches on the west coast and a top spot for sunbathing during the slightly warmer summer months (highs of 18°C in July and August). Had enough of the sand between your toes? Time to get steamy in Glanleam House gardens and greenhouse, founded in 1775 and home to exotic plants from Asia and the southern hemisphere. Open from April to October, with tours available on request. RelatedAlternative beach holidays for summerFancy a beach holiday, but don’t want to battle through the crowds to find a good spot for your towel? We’ve rounded-up some exciting destinations that are a little off the beaten track – some in far-flung countries such as Japan and Malaysia, while others are a little closer to…50 of the world’s most beautiful beaches: in picturesDreaming of summer and longing to park your bum on some sand? Here’s our selection of 50 of the most perfect beaches in the world, including beautiful spots in Bali, hidden coves in Cornwall and spectacular stretches of black sand in Hawaii.9 of the best UK beaches you probably haven’t heard ofJust one day at these paradise bays is never enough, so make your British beach break a staycation to remember with our Fly Stay Save offer. You can unlock exclusive discounts for your hotel, B&B or hostel when you book a flight through Skyscanner, leaving you more money to spend… Fancy more fun day trips or longer staycation inspiration? Read more tips and ideas on what to see and do in the UK and Ireland here:Top 10 historic castles in the UKFrom imposing hilltop fortresses, visible from miles around, to stumpy relics of power hidden throughout the countryside, you’ll find castles here of all varieties from all corners of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Readers’ tips: 10 of Britain’s best beachesYou shared your beaches in Blighty with us, from Bognor to Barafundle, but did your favourite spot make the cut?The 10 best villages in the UKVillage life; bowls on the green, quaint pubs, red phone boxes and Morris dancing in the village hall. It’s the quintessential English stereotype of country living in the UK. But there’s way more going on in this chocolate-box towns.How much does it cost to go to Ireland?A quick look at how much it would cost you to visit Ireland for a week.10 spellbinding places in the UKYou’ll be spellbound by these pictures of Britain’s most mystical spots.Top 10 gorgeous gardens in the UKBloomin’ eck, these gardens are gorgeous, check out the photos!Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img

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