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When one thinks about Ireland, a couple of things spring to mind: Guinness, friendly and hospitable people, and a lot of rain. Often overlooked are the hidden gems of Irish beaches that our small island possesses.
Understandably so, seeing as we (if lucky) get, I would say, around a full month of complete sunshine year round. Not a lot, but enough for the Irish and the country’s visitors to fully take advantage of the beautifully scenic beaches throughout the country. Let’s take a little look now at the most stand-out Irish beaches that you simply must step foot on if you have the chance post COVID-19.
1. Great Blasket Island, County Kerry
Steeped in a richness of nature, history and wildlife, the island boasts a breathtakingly scenic and secluded beach. Located on the Dingle Peninsula, the Great Blasket Island is the most famous of the seven islands in the isle of the Blasket Islands off the coast of county Kerry.
The island boasts having one of the largest seal colonies on the Atlantic Coast. It so too possesses one of Ireland’s most private beaches that our land has to offer. With a crystal blue sea, surrounded by invigorating green mountains, the Great Blasket Island beach is the ideal one if you’re looking for a private, soul-lifting experience.
2. Silver Strand, County Donegal
Located on the most western point of Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, in Malin Beg, Donegal’s Silver Strand is another delightful beach that our Éire (Ireland) has to offer for Irish citizens and visitors. Protected by a horse-shoe shaped bay, the landscape is awe-inspiring. Said landscape makes a visit to this stunning location worth it alone, before even stepping foot on the beautiful beach.
The considerably high cliffs that surround the beach in its entirety stands this particular seaside apart from its best Irish beach competitors. A sense of protection and a beautifully secluded environment both offered by the enormously big cliff-size mountains. What could be better?
Ever imagined a day at the beach without having to worry about the wind? At Silver Strand, you won’t need to worry about the initial freshness of the wind causing your whole body to freeze up like a smurf.
Nor will you have to think of thousands of different ways of avoiding the onslaught of the mini sand storm so often caused by the blustery sea breeze. Thanks to these looping cliffs, this is a wish made reality type of situation at Donegal’s marvelous Silver Strand beach offering.
3. Kilkee Beach, County Clare
The mightily impressive headland George’s Head extending into the beach’s Atlantic Ocean. A painting of Che Guevara pasted loud and proud on one of its sea walls. Make no mistake about it, there certainly is something quite extraordinary about Kilkee Beach.
Whether it’s a stroll with your dog along the impressively long and clean seashore, or a simple picnic overlooking the beach in all its tranquil glory from the steps, Kilkee beach has quite a lot to offer its guests. With a beautiful view of the pollock holes from every angle of the beach, it’s the ideal place to create a painting inspired by your surroundings.
One thing’s for sure: after your must-do visit to Kilkee and its beach, you’ll either have learned the historic connection between Che Guevara and Kilkee, have painted quite the picture of Kilkee Beach and its jaw-dropping and calming background, or you’ll have eaten a delicious Fish n Chip meal on the steps of the beach. A smile on your face will be a certainty after a day at Kilkee’s beach offering.
4. Salthill Beach, County Galway
Diving boards. Promenade walk. Restaurants and ice-cream shops galore. A simply beautifully refreshing Atlantic Ocean dip. What does Salthill Beach, County Galway not have to offer? It has something for every kind of visitor.
Maybe you might fancy undertaking the rewarding tradition-based promenade walk, or you might feel like doing something quite daring and launching yourself into the freezing and wild Atlantic from a at least four times the size of an average person diving board.
Whatever your plan is at Salthill Beach, there will be no escaping that chilly sea breeze. Just because it’s a pleasant summer’s afternoon doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have a cold-free, wind-free experience.
Don’t panic though, for I bring good news for all. A hearty, soul-warming seafood chowder will be readily available for all you bravehearted people out there. With restaurants galore to choose from, you’ll never be short of options to warm yourself up after a trip to Salthill Beach. An extra plus: all of these typically Irish restaurants are within no more of a ten minute walk from the promenade.
At the end of the day, you simply MUST visit at least one of these alluring beaches if you are to step foot into this beautiful Emerald Isle. And hey, even if you’re out of luck and it starts to pour out of the heavens on your planned day trip to one (or hopefully all) of the locations mentioned above, let me tell you, the experience will be worth getting potentially soaked in the process.
Be sure to also check out Babylon’s ten hidden places in Ireland article here.