Feel The Wind In Your Hair And The Sun In Your Face As You Walk Along The Golden
Whether you are looking for a family friendly beach with all the facilities, a world-class surf spot or a beach to yourself, you'll find it in County Kerry.
Sitting on the most westerly tip of Ireland and Europe, Kerry has some
of the finest and unspoilt beaches you will find in the World. The Kingdom of Kerry boasts the most stunning beaches from the sweeping
curve of Brandon Bay to secluded sandy coves of the Peninsulas.
Take long walks on the strands of Inch, Banna, Ballyheige and Ballybunion. Or if you prefer you can easily find a deserted beach with nothing but the sound of the ocean and crying gulls for company.
The coastline section of the Ring of Kerry makes up a good section of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way route, a 2,500 km (1553 miles) driving route stretching from the tip of County Donegal in the north to Kinsale, County Cork on the southern coast.
year the county is awarded blue flags for its beaches. Along with Mayo it's the
highest number of flags received nationwide. Overall Ireland now has over 100 blue
flags, going up every year. Some of the beaches in Kerry to receive the
international award are Ballinskelligs, Rossbeigh, Derrynane,
Whitestrand/Caherciveen, Kells Bay, Ventry, Magharabeg, Banna, Fenit,
Ballyheigue, Ballybunion North and South, and Inch.
take a stroll along the famous beaches of County Kerry. We will explore them
from the north of the county near the Limerick Kerry border Ballybunnion to the
Cork and Kerry mountains at Kenmare.
Ballybunion, my favourite of the beaches in
Kerry, is a popular seaside resort, full of attraction and distraction. With
three spectacular beaches.
commonly used beaches in Ballybunion, accessed by large, very steep concrete
pavements, and divided by the cliff atop which stands the ruined castle.
The beach to
the left of the castle (if looking toward the sea) is called the "Men's
Beach", and the one to the right the "Ladies Beach", given to
the fact that men used to bathe on a separate beach from women and children.
has not been observed for decades. There is a small cafe, hot seaweed baths and
ice cream shop on the women's beach. The large cliffs to the right of the
women's beach have shallow caves.
The sheer cliffs over the beach have a scenic walking path, featuring a blowhole, views of sea stacks and a multitude of wildlife. The path takes about 20 minutes to walk, and goes round to the "Nun's Beach", a beautiful beach with no access (There is one, but that’s a secret) that is overlooked by an old convent.
Personally I think that the stretch of beach from the castle to the Cashen is one of the most peaceful beaches in Ireland, let alone County Kerry Ballybunion.
It is about 5 Kilometres long, with Ballybunion Golf Course on your left, a good 100 metres width of beach and the Atlantic waves to look out on. If you can’t find a spiritual uplift taking this bracing walk on a windy day you had better head up into the town and order a double Powers.
Here are a few comments about Ballybunion Beach
This beach is simply stunning--there are caves to explore, a long stretch of
beach and the beautiful water...best braved with a wetsuit!
Spotless big sandy beach with coves to shelter from the sea breeze. lovely pools for the kids to paddle in when the tide is out. hardy swimmers only. has a life guard
The beach is lovely , big blue wave. We enjoyed a lot . And the caves they are just awesome. Kids loved the beach and the caves too. Would love to go again . :)
our kids had great fun playing in the massive rock pool that formed at the base of the cliff, they spent hours there and had to be prised away
One of the finest beaches in Ireland with a Blue Flag status. Beautiful golden sand. Extremely safe with lifeguards on duty in the summer season. It now has, recently installed showers on the beach to clean the sand off yourself before departing. Beautiful walks around it and on the cliff's above it. A little piece of Heaven in, Happy ~ Ballybunion.
Could stay there forever just love the beach there, clean and safe, lifeguards very good. Shop and tea room very good.
I have been coming to ballybunion since I was a child . Now I'm 31 and still come here with the new generation . The beach is beautiful . There's a cliff walk that is straight out of lord of the rings ( not literally ) the people are great, the golf is great , food is great- please go to the beach - breathtaking.
Looking Down South Beach Ballybunion
Further south along The Wild Atlantic Way
you will arrive at Ballyheigue
Beach. This is a beautiful blue flag beach in North Kerry. The Beach runs from
the village of Ballyheigue for 3km south. The beach ends at Black Rock, the
outlet from Lough Akeragh.
This is a popular beach that is patrolled by lifeguards throughout the bathing season. In peak season you might prefer to go to Ballyheigue as it is generally not as busy as neighbouring beaches.
Ballyheigue is a small and intimate sea side village in county Kerry, Ireland. The village sits directly over a sweeping bay that leads ones eye off over the distant horizon, as it is in fact one of the most westerly points in Ireland.
Ballyheigue beach is the first of a sequence of beaches that lead for many miles along a beautiful crescent that culminates at Brandon Point. Ballyheigue beach is exceptionally safe for bathers, and holds an impeccable saftey record. A number of individuals in the village have over the years established a sea rescue unit, accoutered with all the modern facilities needed should an unforssen incident occour.
Kerry head is the Peninsula leading out from the village and completes in a circuit of ten miles, leading back to the entrance of the village once more. This is a wonderful drive, walk or cycle, where the land is primarily farm land, and the ditches are filled in Spring and Summer with a multitude of wild flowers and berries. The views become more dramatic as the lay of the land elevates allowing for tremedous vistas across to the Maherees.
There is plenty social life in the village in the evenings, with Cafés, restaurants and the local bars which put on nights of music and song, as well as the dance hall in the back of MacMahons where traditional life can be observed and celebrated by you along with the many tourists that come from other counties within Ireland and those that have travelled from further afield.
Other attractions include the playground, the castle, church and the grotto. If you want to stay in Ballyheigue for any length of time I would highly recommend O`Neills Bed & Breakfast: http://www.bedandbreakfastkerry.com/ballyheigue/.
Here are a few comments about
As a young chap I spent my summers with family in Ballyheigue and racked up some fantastic memories, most of which on that beach. From the rocks to the soft sand to the sand dunes I had many an adventure there. I just visited again today for the first time in over 10years and it not lost any of its charm.
Some amazing scenic views there as from the strand if you look right you can see the beautiful landscape of kerry head with a castle near the cliffs, If you look straight or to the left you can see the Brandon mountains way off through the haze and the Ring of Kerry. If you are in this neck of the woods you must visit, sit down and stare out at the ocean leaving all yours worries behind you!
Went to Ballyheigue for the first time in 40 + years. The White Sands Hotel was still there and just around the corner was the superb beach. The beach has a free car park just above it and the walls to the beach are in the shape of steps to allow visitors to sit and enjoy without getting sand in their shoes. The beach itself is comprised of white clean sand, Naturally this month the beach was quite busy with the tropical temperatures but there was plenty of room for all who ventured onto it.
Beautiful and clean - amazing considering it's use.
and ice creams were available nearby and a local shop a few metres away made
sandwiches for us.
I did not actually stay in Ballyheigue but visited it often while on holidays in the area. It offers everything I love on holidays. Ocean waves, sandy beach, mountains of the Dingle peninsula ringing the bay. And the all-important Blue Flag! When the sun shines it's a wonderful bonus.
When the tide is out you can walk as far as the Black Rock and back, a total of 4.5 miles. If you are feeling particularly energetic you can continue on for another 25 minutes to Banna Strand, another very beautiful beach. To do that, you just need to leave the beach for a few minutes, follow the river inland and cross the bridge-10 minutes at most.(You don't need to fret about incoming tides, as the beach is backed by sand dunes).
The beauty of this area is that you can drive on coach-free roads, away from the heavily-touristed attractions further to the south. The beaches, however, will be busy on sunny days during the summer months; but not uncomfortably so. Surfing has become popular on both Ballyheigue and Banna Strand. If you don't possess a surfboard they are often available for hire. Sometimes there is a surf school there, providing lessons for children. Best to check with Kerry Tourism, for further information.
The small town of Ballyheigue is set on a hill overlooking the sea. As you drive /walk down towards the prom you will see a green area with picnic tables, and right beside that , a well-equipped childrens' playground. It's lovely to sit there on a warm day, eating a cone from the nearby shop, or fish and chips from the nearby takeaway.
I cannot vouch for the hostelries, nor the hotel, as I have never used their facilities. There is a small restaurant/coffee shop near the beach however, where the food is tasty and also reasonable. For those who are self-catering, there are two small but well-stocked supermarkets, and a pharmacy. Again, Kerry Tourism will have info regarding self-catering. If you are a golf enthusiast, the entrance to the course is right beside the car park, through the gateway to Ballyheigue Castle grounds, at the top of the hill.
If what you seek is a day of shopping, and nights of clubbing, then Ballyheigue is not for you. If you prefer to be active outdoors, whether it be swimming, surfing, walking, or golfing, then a trip to Ballyheigue is worth it.Ballyheigue is about 15kms from Tralee town. The village of Ardfert, through which you pass on your way, is very picturesque. It boasts a fabulous old Cathedral, dating from the 12th century, which is worth a visit.
Banna Strand is an extraordinary stretch of wild Atlantic beach front on Tralee Bay which extends all the way from the end of Ballyheigue Beach at the Blackrock in the North to Barrow Beach at its southern edge.
Located just 7km from Tralee town, Banna is a gorgeous beach offering you the perfect place to relax and get away from it all! Why not paddle in the clean waters or take a leisurely stroll along the strand.
It features fabulous sand dunes along its entire length, some of which rise to 40 feet in height. The dunes are protected and are a designated area of conservation, Loads of rare plants and animals can be found around here – perfect for the wildlife enthusiast!
And all of this great beauty is set in a stunning landscape of steep mountains and irrepressible sea. The many peaks of Dingle Peninsula merge with broken cloud just across the bay, and great Atlantic rollers break relentlessly along all seven miles of sandy ocean frontage.
Banna Strand is another blue flag beach, reflecting the very highest standards of cleanliness and water quality as adjudged by the European Union, and it does, of course, have lifeguard coverage for the entirety of the summer holiday period.
But Banna Strand is known for much more than just the best of swimming, surfing, and kite surfing. It was on this beach that Roger Casement was captured on 21st April 1916, while in the process of landing arms from the German vessel the “Aud”. A memorial to this audacious Irish Republican plot can be seen by the strand.
The monument for Casement and Robert Monteith, reads:
"At a spot on Banna beach adjacent to here Roger Casement - Humanitarian & Irish revolutionary leader - Robert Monteith & a third man came ashore from a German submarine on Good Friday morning 21 April 1916 in furthering the cause of Irish freedom."
The mysterious 'third man' was Daniel Julian Bailey, a soldier in the Royal Irish Rifles in the British army who when a POW was recruited (as Daniel Beverley) into the “Casement Brigade”.
The monument was erected in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing. A decision was taken by the 1966 Banna Strand committee to deliberately omit the name of the "third man" from the monument because, following his capture, he turned "King's evidence." The sod was turned, for the construction of the monument, by Florrie Monteith, the daughter of Robert Monteith. Florrie was also the author of a biography of her father that was entitled "The Mystery Man of Banna Strand."
Banna Beach is a walkers paradise with views of the mountains of the Dingle Peninsula on the south west horizon, Kerry Head and the Maulin Mountain to the North West and straight out to sea you can see Mucklaghmore Rock.
Shore Fishing is excellent here , North and east of the Black Rock and Carrahane, which is north of Banna Beach, known as “an Poll Gorm”, are recommended fishing spots.
The Golfing enthusiast will be well catered for at Ardfert Golf Centre (9 hole) and Tralee Golf Club (18 hole) nearby. The picturesque heritage village of Ardfert has much to offer those in search of history and architecture with Ardfert Cathedral and Friary and a choice of quality restaurants and pubs. Accommodation is available in local B & B's and the Banna Beach Hotel.
Children will love the endless stretch of beach, perfect for sandcastles with a wide choice of sea-shells and some lovely little rock pools to explore while the sand dunes offer much shelter to enjoy picnics by the sea-shore. Banna Beach is an ideal day trip from Tralee, Fenit or Ballyheigue
Here are a few comments about Banna Strand
I went here on a wild and windy morning and thoroughly enjoyed my walk on the beach the scenery is breath-taking the Atlantic ocean is framed by the towering mountains, moody and wonderful. It's very close also to the Roger Casement monument who is immortalised along with this beach himself in the famous ballad. One of the best beaches in the country.
This is one of Ireland's finest beaches. I love walking this beach, you can walk for miles. It is clean and very blue. I love this beach so much and the surf is wild and great for surfing.
One of the best beaches in the world, especially on a sunny day. Great waves if surfing is your thing,and there's a lovely long walk with a nice sea breeze. And what a sunset! Spent a family holiday down here for a couple of years, and the kids love it.
This is a fantastic beach. Brilliant spot for children. Highly recommend paying a visit !! Super sandy and not deep a good distance from the shore. There are on site washing facilities to clear of the sand , this is a great idea. The surfing offers are good value for older children say 10 and upwards.
We are so lucky to live so close to one of the most wonderful beaches in the world. Banna is only 7 miles from Tralee town, easy to get to even when you are cycling. It is a vast wide beach, safe for swimming, as there are lifeguards on duty during the Summer. You can walk for miles and enjoy the scenery while doing so. The toilets are always kept spotlessly clean. The large car park is huge so you never have to worry about parking. The mobile shop is also handy especially when you have children with you.
If Carlsberg done beaches this would be in the top list. After a few swift pints around Tralee the night before I needed a brisk walk and thank god I picked the lovely beach to do so. I parked at the large car park where you can just sit in the car and look out to sea , the large sand dunes on each side give the children plenty to do but to be honest they'd no interest in the dunes as the beach was much more appealing, little round stones fall on to golden sand , miles of the stuff , some days you can watch the wild surfers or bring a kite, it does get windy at times, this beach is where roger casement was caught running guns ashore from a German submarine, there's also a memorial which was interesting if your into Irish history, bring a pick nick, you'll be starved after the long walk as I was, but a great way to cure a hangover, about 10k north of Tralee and 7k from Ballyheigue, children and old will enjoy this beach and you will never forget it.
Fenit Blue Flag Beach
This Blue Flag sandy beach is a small but clean beach close to the harbour in the little fishing village of Fenit. A big favourite for swimmers, sailers and kayakers.
The area is a designated natural heritage
area important for flora and fauna. It is ideal for bathing and swimming and has
great facilities including a large car park, toilets, picnic tables and a
The beach lies within the Tralee Bay and Magharees Peninsula, West to Cloghane Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA).
The beach is lifeguarded during the summer and more information can be found on the noticeboard located at the beach.
If you enjoy walking, there is a beautiful walk you can enjoy right from the beach. The Fenit coastal walk is a scenic and rewarding moderate 2 to 3 hour (9 km) walking route along this stunning coastline.
This walk starts along the great Fenit Blue Flag beach, then on a great coastal path and shore with views across Tralee bay to Fenit Lighthouse and Mount Brandon in the background.
On the walk you pass the unique place names of Fenit Without and Fenit Within and some of the nicest and most appealing beaches in Ireland, in particular the blue waters at the Fenit Within beach. You also pass some great Castles and other points of interest along this great walk.The beach is just a short distance from the Tralee town, which is famous for its August festival, The Rose Of Tralee.
Camp Beach is located in the small village of Camp on the Tralee to Dingle road before the Maharees, on the seaward end of Glen Fas and lies west of the Slieve Mish mountain range. It is a safe golden sandy beach, popular with swimmers, walkers and horse riding.
Near Camp village in the centre of a field is a gravestone which bears a simple cross, an Ogham inscription and a Latin script. Tradition tells how Fas, wife of a Milesian chieftain, was killed in the first battle between the Milesians and the original settlers.
There are the derelict remains of the 3 foot gauge Tralee and Dingle Railway opened in 1891 and proved to be extremely slow and accident-prone due to high gradients and curves.
Fine restaurants, pubs a petrol station are all in the village and if you can't keep away from 'surfing' an internet cafe is located in Camp Village.
There is a very interesting pub on the main road called “The Railway”. The landlord is a bit of a character and he has some amazing old paraphernalia in the and around the pub. You can get access to the beach from his car park.
Maherabeg Blue Flag Beach
Maherbeg is one the many sandy beaches to be found on the Maharees Peninsula. It is a very extensive sandy beach and dune system stretching for 37km from Derrymore to the east, near Tralee.
The whole area is protected and is a Special area of Conservation. You will find this beach near Castlegregory, which is located on the north side of the Dingle Peninsula, halfway between Tralee and Dingle. There are life guards during summer season. Surf schools, water sports equipment and wetsuit hire.
Stroll along the vast coastline and let the magnificent waves crash at your feet. Wander around the secretive dunes or if you more energetic do a spot of surfing! The area is renowned for its great watersports!
The area is composed of Carboniferous limestone and the
area in general including the islands off the
coast are important wintering grounds for birds including Brent and Barnacle Geese.
Maherabeg On The Maharees Peninsula
Brandon Bay Beach
Brandon Bay is on the left hand side to the Maharees peninsula and is officially Ireland's longest beach at 17km.
It is a long crescent shaped bay with a multitude of different peaks scattered along its shoreline. Hugely popular with windsurfers and kite surfers, horse riding and walking.
Brandon Bay has a number of beaches which are popular with swimmers, anglers, walkers, horse riders and surfers alike.
Cappagh Strand/ Trá an Cheapaigh adjacent to Cloghane Village.
Fermoyle Strand/Trá Fhormaoileach is a sandy beach near the village of Cloghane. Ideal for walking, swimming, angling, surfing and other water sports.Kilcummin, Stradbally and Gowlane Strands: Twelve miles of unbroken sand beaches.
Brandon Bay has hosted three Professional World Tour wave sailing championships and countless Irish and UK events. On its day it is as good as or better than any other wave sailing location in Europe, but generally it is just an awesome easy going wave sailing location, with particularly friendly wave riding conditions with miles of sandy beach to ensure nothing can go very wrong!
Clear green Atlantic Ocean swells roll gently into the bay, where Ireland's second and third highest mountains meet them on the beaches, providing the most scenic wave sailing back drop this side of Hawaii and my favourite windsurfing place on earth.
As you travel round from Ventry you will
see the amazing Coomenoole Beach is a very small beach and was used as one of
the locations for the filming of Ryan`s Daughter. A bbeautiful tiny beach but with fine white sand.
It is the closest beach to Slea Head and the views are dramatic.
However the currents here are extremely dangerous, so do not enter the sea. But by all means take a visit there, you will not regret it. You will find the beach on the A559 road a few miles before Dunquin.
After you have spent a bit of time on the beach why not take an exhilarating walk on the Coumeenole Headland Walk. It is only about 1.3km long and will take you about an hour.
Suitable for: little legs (but watch them near cliff edges); babies in carriers, anyone able to climb. N.b. the Coumeenole Headland Walk has one high wall stile.
You will have fantastic views of the Dingle coast, cliffs and of the Blasket Islands, grassy walking, beautiful Coumeenole beach next to the start, cliff-top walking.
The Coumeenole Headland Walk is one of those gorgeous Kerry walks that gives you breathtaking views for very little effort! The views from here to the Blasket Islands are superb and looking back onto the wild Dingle peninsula behind you from the highest point is equally beautiful. It’s a great short stop off on the Slea Head Drive round the Dingle peninsula.
The Walk is not hard for young children but parts of it are very close to cliff edges so do take care. The other obstacle is a high stone wall stile that requires a bit of a clamber to get over. We managed this fine with a baby in a carrier, Roo and Granny but we did notice a few people were turning around when they got to it.
The walk starts from the parking area above Coumeenole Beach car park. Head slightly down the hill on the road and the path clearly leads off towards Coomeenole Headland up to the right on a grassy track.
Follow the trail as you walk uphill with some great views of Coumeenole Beach and the sheer cliff face below. Soon you come to a wall with rough stile stepping stones built into it. It’s a bit of a scramble to get over here but at least is much easier climbing down the other side than getting up over it!
From here, follow the left hand trail and walk along the cliff tops. The path is clearly trodden. As you reach the headland the views open out toward the Blasket Islands, which feel just a stone’s throw away. The left hand trail leads down to a dead-end ledge from which you can view the islands and churning sea below but if you have young kids I’d stick to the upper trail here from which the views are pretty much as good.
Continue on the upper trail until you reach the top of the slope. Just in the lee of the hill here is a great spot for a scenic picnic! Turn right and straight up the hill to the shelter above. From here the walk continues towards the standing stone that perches in solitary drama against the backdrop of Dingle’s hills and coastline behind.
the path to the right as it heads back down over the grassland and back to the
stile, from where you can return to the car park the same way as you set out.
Coumeenole Beach is a lovely place to finish your walk though perhaps for
paddling only – the currents are strong here.
Travel on towards Ballyfertier many more spots can be explored but the next great beach is Clogher Strand. This is a small stony beach with dramatic views of the Blasket Islands. A wild and dangerous beach, beautiful to look at and maybe paddle but def not to swim. Very pretty but windy with fine white sand.
Walk along the fine soft sand and enjoy a day on this beach. However due to the winds it can get dangerous and it is suggested you don’t swim in the sea here.
Even on a calm day, the little circular bay of Clogher, Co Kerry, is enchanting, with a pocket beach encased by battered cliffs and, offshore, stretched in repose, the arresting Fear Marbh, or Dead Man, the most northerly of the Blasket Islands.
However with a strong westerly wind blowing on some days, it can be transformed into a maelstrom. Waves up to eight metres high thunder into the cove and break on the cliffs in great fountains of spray that seem to hang suspended in the air for seconds, before falling back into the turmoil beneath them.
You could become so mesmerized by the scene on days like this. You will find the beach just off the same road about half way from Dunquin to Ballyferriter.
Clogher Strand On A Wild Day
Ferretir’s Cove is a small stony bay on the same coast road as you travel towards Ballyferritier near Doon Head. It is also more importantly an ancient archaeological site, where evidence of the human occupation in the Mesolithic era has been found.
The cove offers fantastic raw scenery, with strong Atlantic waves gushing into the bay. It is a popular sea-fishing spot. Catches here include cod, sea bass, coalfish, cod, dogfish, pollock and flounder. You might find it a bit hard to find, best to stop off in Ballyferriter , have a pint of the black stuff and ask there, but once you have found the cove you will want to keep it a secret.
Beal Ban, Wine
Strand and Murrragh
After the town of Ballyferitier we come to a cove known as Smerwick Harbour with not one but three startlingly scenic beaches of Wine Strand, Beal Ban and Murreagh. Travel just north of Ballyferitier and infront of you is Beal Ban, then Wine Strand and Murreagh is further around the cove.
Béal Bán and Wine Strand/Trá an Fhíona: these popular beaches are closest to the village of Ballyferriter/Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.
All three beaches are sandy, safe for swimming and provide stunning views. In June of each year an impromptu horse-racing festival is held at Béal Ban, with associated events in the public houses of Ballyferriter.
Nestled by Smerwick Harbour, Béal Bán (White Mouth), Wine Strand and Murreagh beaches are very popular. Sheltered from the wind, they are prime spots for swimming, water sports, and cycling, and boast vistas of the Three Sisters. Béal Bán was named a Green Coast beach of 2013 – the only beach in all of Kerry to hold such a distinction.
These are beaches that have EU water-quality standards and an unspoiled environment but that do not have the other facilities required for Blue Flag status. You have a good chance of having the beach to yourself at most times of the year.
At the end of the beach, a small headland is occupied by a scattering of caravans beyond which is Wine Strand. Slightly smaller than Clogher, it is much more sheltered and has darker sand, from which it gets its name.
It is a
peaceful spot in which to rest and contemplate the peaks of the Brandon range.
Murreagh village, Muiríoch (Seaside Marsh), is a delightful village of winding roads, a beautiful beach and fresh sea breezes, set on the eastern edge of Smerwick Harbour. The village has a shop, a community hall, a national school and is also the home of the Gaeltacht Football team with its proud tradition of Gaelic Football and the home of Rugbaí Corca Dhuibhne, Europe’s most westerly rugby club.
Its stunning beach is not only popular with families for wonderful swimming and sand castle building, but it is popular also for both shore angling and amazing beach walks.
Now lets us take a look at the Kerry beaches of the Dingle Peninsula on the other side of Dingle Town as we head out towards the Iveragh Peninsula. The first beach you will arrive at is Doonsheane.
Take the N86 out of Dingle Town heading towards Anascaul. Only a few miles down the road you will see a sign on the right side of the road of Dun Seanna. Take this right (it’s a bit of a sharp turn) and then take the next left. Follow the road for a few miles passing farm houses (and Camp Hill) until you come to fork in the road. Take the right exit here and this’ll bring you to the beach.
Doonsheane otherwise known as Dún Síon is on the Lispole to Dingle Town road near the village of Kinard. It is a sandy beach but not safe for swimming on the left side due to dangerous currents and there is limited car parking.
The village itself gets its name from the Dún, translating to doon, and Síon which comes from the word síneadh meaning a stretch of land. The Doon is accessible by walking through the fields. There are many fairy forts in the fields which hold great significance, people used to reside there long ago; there is a great sacredness about these forts.
The population is only approximately 25 people and the main language in the village is English, although, historically, Irish was also used as a day to day language. The various families worked the land and still continue to do so till this day.
The renowned beach boasts tremendous views of the village of Kinard in the neighboring parish of Lispole. The "Siorrach", meaning foal, is a sea stack which can be seen from the beach and is said to resemble a foal. The "Trá Bheag", meaning small beach, runs along the picturesque beach until it meets the sea. There are many small fishing boats moored on the stream in which the Dún Síon residents used to fish in the earlier times and where the women would enjoy picking cockles and mussels.
The path leading to the beach is magically scented with woodbine and blackberry blossoms and when you reach the beach you will find it clean and the waves hit the beach straight on, making it ideal for bodysurfing.
There is, however, a catch. It’s only at its best at low tide, when the water pulls back to reveal a whole series of sandy coves that let in the sun and keep out the wind. At any other time, there are better beaches, and at a high tide, there is very little beach at all. So check out your tide tables first!
One small word of warning – on the left of the beach there is a strong and dangerous riptide. Stay to the right, and it’s perfectly safe.
If you see anyone (and it’s unlikely except high season), don’t tell them it was me who passed on the (loosely guarded) secret of this lovely spot!
Here are a
few comments from visitors to Doonsheane:
A Quiet Family Friendly Beach:
Doonsheane is one of those places on the Dingle Peninsula that does not get a huge amount of visitors because it’s a bit out of the way, and to be honest most people don’t know it’s even there. Recently, on probably the hottest day in July, we brought the kids and their cousins off to this beach. I counted about five people on the other side of the beach, near the rocks. There wasn’t another soul to be seen all day. This same day on Inch the beach was packed.
We had a picnic and the kids played with their body boards in the water, the sea was calm and mild and shallow enough for the kids to play in. The beach was absolutely spotless, as was the river. When the tide is out there’s lots of little pools for kids to paddle in.
Note: I’ve been
told that there is a strong riptide but if you keep right of the beach this
will not be an issue.
Kinard/Tra Beag Beach is a small stony beach on the village of Kinard off the main Lispole to Dingle Town road. However it is an exposed beach break and not safe for swimming due to the strong currents, however experienced surfers love it. It is a very peaceful and quiet beach and there are excellent views of the Searrach sea stack and Great Blasket Island and on a clear day you will also be able to see as far as Ventry to the West.
Finding Kinard beach is not so easy. Drive along the N86 Dingle to Lispole road then when you see a sign to your right Kinard R559, head down that way and explore.
Minard is a storm beach consisting of rounded boulders in the shadow of Minard castle. It is an amazingly exhilarating beach; you will find it off the Lispole to Annascaul road as you head from Dingle Town to Tralee.
The beach is located in Kilmurry Bay and you will be amazed by the large boulder beach. The Cill Mhuire Sandstone boulders along the beach have been rounded by the waves knocking them off each other over countless aeons. They were thrown along the stretch of beach by the sea, creating what is one of the finest storm beaches in Ireland.
The act as a natural barrier preventing erosion and flooding of the fields just inshore. The cliffs of Minard are also of great geological interest as they consist of 380 million year old fossilized desert sand dunes that make up the yellow colored stone in the Cill Mhuire Sandstone.
When the tide is out this is great beach for paddling and swimming. The water is generally calm and there are no major currents to be concerned with. In fact, generations of local children have attended organized swimming lessons at Minard because it is usually very calm water with a gradually sloped beach.
There’s a little bridge at the foot of the castle’s ground, and this is also good for children paddling.
The precariously balanced ruins of Minard Castle dominate the hillock at the western end of the bay, with a fine view across the water to the Iveragh Peninsula on the other side. This rectangular tower house, which originally may have been four stories tall, is now a tottering three-story pile with walls up to 3.35 m (11 ft.) thick.
The ruins may be entered within the virtual-reality environment, but due to widening fissures in the walls they should not be entered in person. This former stronghold of the Knight of Kerry was one of the last of the Fitzgerald castles constructed on the peninsula, probably in the late sixteenth century. While we know this as Minard the area is actually called Min Aird Castle or in Gaelic Caisleán na Mine Airde.
The beach, Minard castle, the ring fort and holy well is a little tricky to find but worth the effort. It is about 15minutes drive from Annascaul Village, or if you are walking it should take just under 2 hours at a reasonable pace. It’s perfect for a day-trip from the village.
Directions To Minard Castle
To reach Minard from Annascaul, head out of the village in the Dingle direction (south-west) and take the first left where you see the sign post for Inch. In about 450 m take the right off this road, and just follow the road which will lead to you Minard Castle and then onto the beach. This is a nice road for walking, there’s little traffic and stunning scenery along the length of the road.
Make A Wish
Minard has a couple of hidden gems besides the castle and beach. Continue walking up the high road around the castle and you’ll come to a gateway trail that leads to a wishing well or holy well. The well probably precedes Christianity in Ireland and may be a pagan site. Alternatively, it might just have been a source of drinking water and had no religious significance. This is a nice hideaway and a great place to visit.
As a side-note, this is the beach the young Tom Crean came to before he joined the British Navy, thus starting a career that would eventually lead him to his heroic adventures and explorations in the frozen Antarctic.
Now, head back to the crossroads and turn right onto the R561, just about 15 minutes down the road at the head of Dingle Bay is the sheltered seaside resort of Inch.
Where an inch is not a mile -well as a matter of fact the beach is four miles long. Located on the main Killarney to Dingle Road, Inch beach has been a holiday makers favourite for years now!
Inch has a magnificent strand of firm golden sand, backed by sand hills, which are well known, to archaeologists for Kitchen Middens and old habitation sites.
The beach is actually a sand spit, which juts into the sea between Dingle Harbour and Castlemaine Harbour. It might even look familiar, as it was the place where Ryan’s Daughter was famously filmed.
Dingle Bay sweeps gently in, affording safe bathing, and presenting a beautiful picture of blue waters with softly tinted mountains on either side.
Inch is a
particularly convenient centre for motor and cycling tours, and amongst the
local excursions which may be suggested are drives to Dingle, Slea Head, Ballyferriter,
Connor Pass, Camp and Castlegregory.
You’ll have to park on the sand so be careful of the tides. There is a very popular restaurant located on the Beach itself.
Here are a few comments about Inch Beach
Clean expansive beach, solid enough to drive and park on. We enjoyed watching kite boarders and the 'God Rays' from the sun through the clouds as the tide came in leaving wonderful streams in the and. Just a beautiful beach!!!
We visited Inch Beach on a superb summer day. It offers a magnificent vista: a vast expanse of sand juxtaposed with the endless aqua of the ocean, the undulating green of the landscape and the infinite blue of the sky. Ah, what beauty!
Very scenic, windy, good place to bring a lunch and enjoy the fresh air. The water was a little nippy so we didn't go all the way in. Good restaurant and shop right at the beginning of the beach.
This is a surfer's paradise but for those of us a bit beyond such activities the huge beach is a wonderland of sheer space with nobody crammed next to you blowing cigarette smoke in your face. If you are addicted to fresh air and beautiful scenery, this is the place for you.
From when you park up your car, open the door and get that sea breeze smell, welcome to Kerry! Inch is an amazing beach! You can see everything and anything! Any type of water sport, quads on the beach, dogs coming from dog shows, horses, people taking rabbits for walks, I could go on the list is endless! In Inch beach you'll find a lot of things to keep everyone in the family happy! Surfing is defo something for everyone! €20 for 2hrs lesson (wetsuit incl)! Best day you'll ever spend at the beach and with Sammy's (a shop) on the beach (literally) you won't go hungry!
you fancy something different there is Bathing In The Nude At Inch
The head of Dingle Bay is cut off by two narrow sand-hill promontories, facing south, is the sheltered seaside resort of Inch and the other offshoot of the Dingle Peninsula is Rossbeigh – which enclose the harbour of Castlemaine.
Rossbeigh is a gorgeous beach located just five minutes drive from the Town of Glenbeigh. Here you will find a stretch of one of the finest beaches in Ireland.
Glenbeigh, a small tourist village located on the Ring of Kerry. Drive along the sea front until you find the perfect parking space where you can walk down the rocks/path to meet the long sandy shore.
Rossbeigh Strand is 5 Kilometres of uninterrupted beach, pointing out into Dingle Bay. Fine soft sand with the sea on either side
The beach has some great waves and is patrolled by lifeguards at designated times during the summer months, so it safe for swimming, great for surfers, ideal for horse riding, and there is a nearby pub.
If you’re bringing the kids be sure to have a bucket and spade on hand.
the beach bear right at the fork in the road as you leave Glenbeigh heading for
Here are a few comments about Rossbeigh Strand
Incredibly beautiful beach which has been repaired tastefully after devastating storms of 2014. So safe to swim here or take bracing atlantic walks along its miles of golden sands
Miles and Miles of Majestic sand and scenery. Walk The dunes, soak in the salt air and loose yourself in the most picturesque place god ever created. Stop and talk to the locals and see how freindly the Kerry people are
Rossbeigh Beach has now been restored to its former glory after last winters storms. In fact, it has been improved as there are now more pathways down to the beach, The sandhills are in a dangerous state at the moment and there are signs up warning of the danger. The playground has been fixed up and new rocks/stones have been put in place along the road. Great to see one of Kerry's best beached back to its former glory.
Lovely quiet beach with plenty of parking. Fabulous views and at the foot of a mountain. Beach area is not commercialised and great for long walks.
Two of us did a one hour trek on the beach. Paddy and Ted just perfect. Ride for beginners but was a fantastic experience for my beginer fiance to ride on the beach on such a safe horse. Two guides with us, excellent and very friendly.
Burke's Horse Trekking staff was awesome they communicated well answering emails promptly, even accommodating our schedule when our plans unexpectedly changed. We're novice riders and our guide Kate was patient, kind, and very knowledgeable about the horses and the community. Trotting along the ocean shore at Rossbeigh Beach was the most memorable ride I've had, thank you Burke's Horse Trekking Centre.
Absolutely loved this me and my friend had great fun galloping on the beach and riding up the mountains the horses were great and we felt so welcome and relaxed here, the scenery all around is beautiful too so if your looking for a fun ride out on horses I would recommend burkes horse trekking centre to anyone it was brilliant! Definitely worth a visit! I Couldn't of asked for anything better just what I was looking for
My friend and I went on the 2 hour beach and mountain trek last week and it was so much fun! We are both intermediate riders and it was just the two of us on the trek which was nice. The horses we rode were experienced and fun to ride, they were neither nags that you had to constantly urge to go faster nor acted all crazy especially on the narrow road as cars paced which was an initial concern of mine as the trek started. The views were absolutely spectacular going up the mountain to see the whole beach! And the cantering on the beach was amazing! On our particular ride we ended up going on the back part of the beach and around the sand dunes to get to the ocean because there were people training race horses down on the main beach but I honestly think I liked that better we didn't have to worry about maneuvering around people. I highly recommend Burke's Beach Trekking and for those more experienced riders you definitely want to do at least the 2 hour trek so that you get plenty of time down on the beach because it does take a little bit to actually get down to the beach so that you can canter!
Loved this beach, excellent views and a great spot for families. I got really good photos from our day there but was really gutted to miss a chance to catch the sunset there as it was summer and the sun set too late for us to wait for it as we had our little boy with us. It did get quite chilly for me though, so if you're from warmer climes, best to dress up - though it didn't seem to bother the locals much! We'll be sure to pack wetsuits the next time we come. There's also a lovely playground for kids and a football field, basketball court and I think a tennis court as well if memory serves me right. Excellent all around.
It would be hard to find a nicer beach in the whole of Ireland than this
one. It has a beautiful front beach to swim on and a much calmer back beach for
a stroll. Beach is spotless and is very well maintained with an excellent road
and ample parking. It also has a lovely playground for the kids and a tennis
court and basketball court.
If you are in Kerry and are looking for a beach to enjoy then Rossbeigh is the one.
P.S Go for a drive up the high road (near the entrance to the beach) for magnificent views of the bay.
Rossbeigh is a pristine sandy beach set in an unspoiled rural environment in the South West of Ireland. Rossbeigh Beach is located about 1.6km from the scenic village of Glenbeigh on the Ring of Kerry and directly opposite Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula.
Rossbeigh beach is lifeguard patrolled, lifeguard times can be viewed by clicking on the tab on the main menu or by checking out the information noticeboard at the beach. Please page attention to the flags on the beach which will indicated if the beach is being protolled by a lifeguard or not.
Rossbeigh Beach is popular on weekends especially Sundays.
The whole area is part of the Castlemaine Harbour Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA), and proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA), with important habitats and flora and fauna present.
Every year there there is a Racing Festival at the beach. In 2013 the the annual Glenbeigh Horse and Pony Races will take place on Rossbeigh Strand on Saturday 24th August and Sunday 25th August.
Rossbeigh Beach is also part of the Castlemaine
Harbour Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA), and
proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA), with important habitats and flora and
It is located near the village of Glenbeigh on the South Kerry Peninsula and is directly south of the Inch sandpit.
A lifeguard is on duty during the bathing season and further information can be found on the noticeboard which is located at the beach.
White Strand Beach
White Strand beach is a lovely extensive stretch of unspoilt sandy beach, located in a designated natural heritage area. Another spot not to be missed on your visit to the Ring of Kerry. As you might imagine the sands are white and this beach regularly receives the Blue Flag award.
White Strand is located 3 miles west of Cahersiveen Town accessible via the N70 from Killarney. There are some great views of Valentia Island and Begnis Island. From here you could also visit Ballycarbery Castle and Cahergal and Leacanabuaile Forts nearby.
The beach also forms part of the Valentia Harbour and Portmagee Channel Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Iveragh Peninsula Special Protection Area (SPA).
Kells Blue Flag Beach
This Blue Flag beach is located on the Ring of Kerry. Ideally situated between Glenbeigh and Cahirsiveen, 11km north of the town of Caherciveen off the N70.
Kells beach epitomises the unspoilt nature of South Kerry. The beach is located within the Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Caragh River Catchment Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA).The beach is also located within the Iveragh Peninsula Special Protection Area (SPA). It is small and sheltered, the sand is fine and there are many rock pools to explore, fascinating for children.
The beach is quite private and is much quieter than other beaches that are found in the area. One word to describe Kells - Perfect! Rock Fishing is possible close by, ask a local for directions. There is a little harbour nearby and loads of fun can be had jumping off the pier!
You will see some breathtaking views of Dingle Bay and the mountains beyond and great water sports and nearby walking routes. There are a variety of water Sports which take place here including surfing, kayaking, swimming, jet skiing, snorkeling to mention just a few.
There are no lifeguards present here, however lifesaving equipment is available. A wide range of flora and fauna surrounds the beach. Close by is Kells Bay House and Gardens with almost 18 hectares of sub tropical planting and forest. Well worth a visit and also including a great Thai Restaurant, perfect for lunch or dinner.
Derrynane Beach and Bay
If you want to view an incredible beach with miles and miles of sand ringed by sparkling dunes take a walk from Coomaduff Hill towards Caherdaniel.
Down below is Derrynane Beach and Bay. A really wonderful stretch of white sandy shore, reaching as far as two rocky areas, which act as a border to the beach and is reputed to be one of the cleanest and most picturesque beaches in the world
Located on the Ring of Kerry in a Natural Heritage Area (NHA) is the natural harbour of Derrynane Bay. Within this bay is a beautiful beach of fine sand with rocky outcrops.
The beach and harbour is a classy destination to visit if you are travelling the Ring of Kerry. Not due to any sophisticated modern development...In fact quite the opposite! Here the great beauty that you will find has barely changed in many centuries.
The largest stretch of sand is known as 'Danger beach' on account of there being dangerous currents here. This section is marked and during the summer there are lifeguards on duty so swimming is safe.
The natural harbour is stunning and deceivingly calm during strong Winter storms. Over the centuries there would have been a great deal of smuggling activity in this area. Like the smugglers and a great many people who have visited Derrynane over the years it is my ambition to one day sail into this harbour. For now, at least, an hour or two messing around in sea kayaks would happily suppress this dream.
This Blue Flag Beach is renowned for its waves - perfect if you fancy doing a spot of surfing. If you are at the beach for the day, why not walk along the shore or perhaps you’d prefer to explore the park that lies just behind Derrynane beach.
fragile sand dunes backing this mile long stretch of sand protect a rare area
of wetland - home to a diverse range of wildlife including wading birds,
butterflies and amphibians.
If you can paint, paint it. If you have a good camera take plenty photographs and if you have a good memory, remember the view. Then go down and enjoy yourself on the strand.
At the western end of the beach, and now connected
to the mainland by a spit of sand, is Abbey Island. On the side of the island
overlooking the bay are the ruins of St Finian's Abbey which date back to the
Also of historic interest is Derrynane House which is set back from the bay a little way. Now open to the public this was the home of politician Daniel O'Connell, also known as the Liberator due to his work against slavery.
Directions - From Kenmare take the Ring of Kerry to Caherdaniel. In the centre of Caherdaniel turn left and head just over 2km down to the coast.
Here are a few comments about Derrynane Beach
We stumbled upon this beach and were so impressed. It is absolutely stunning with beautiful sand, fantastic views and clear water. It was a great place to go for an autumn walk.
Wild beauty on a quiet beach in a remote part of Kerry. Walked and swam in clear turquoise water. Just be careful to swim at the safe end of the beach, near Abbey Island.
just the most fantastic place to walk or horse ride enjoying the fabulous views and sands the water lapping on the seashore, the peace, the quite the beauty heaven on earth
brilliant beaches and carrolls cove is a definite visit as it has the only beach bar in Ireland. Food is excellent in this restaurant.travel to derrynane house and visit Derrynane beach. Don’t shop in Caherdaniel as they charge well because they are a tourist area. There is a nice coffee shop there but stay away from the antique shop as he over charges for what he has.
We had a great morning walk on the beach at low tide. The sand was firm so you could walk easily without sinking. The cool weather was exhilarating & our local guide provided a history lesson along the way. Quite a few surfers out which added to the day. We finished our day with some pastry & coffee on the outside patio of a beachfront cafe. Very enjoyable experience.
Totally unspoilt. Lots of rock pools for children to explore.If the tide is right you can stroll over to Abbey Island too.
The most beautiful beach ever! We went here for 4 days it was just too beautiful not to go back. Very calm clear waters esp for our young kids. Lots of sand for sandcastles. Nice walks and toilet facilities. Pier nearby by husband & son (7) went canoeing in bay really safe enclosed in bay. They also jumped off the pier with others. He still talks about fun he had there. Highly highly recommended followed by trip to Derrynane house to do fairy hunt if you have young children. A HUGE hit in our house. Beautiful part of Ireland
It is quite close to Derrynane House. Follow directions for Derrynane House and you will then see signs for Derrynane Beach. The village of Caherdaniel is located two miles to the north west of the beach and is on the Ring of Kerry.
This is an extensive sandy beach in Derrynane Bay. The beach is situated in proximity to a Natural Heritage Area of national importance. The village of Caherdaniel is located two miles to the north west of the beach and is on the Ring of Kerry.
Ballinskelligs Blue Flag Beach
The stretch of coast between Valentia Island and Waterville at the far west of the Ring of Kerry is wild and beautiful and undisturbed apart from a scattering of holiday cottages and the little village resort of Ballinskelligs, with its fabulous broad, 4-mile sweep of white sandy beach.
Ballinskelligs or “Baile na Sceilge” is an extensive sandy beach in a rural environment, a well known beach for its long golden sand and clear water. The area is a designated Natural heritage area. The beach is located on the western side of Ballinskelligs Harbour, 2km south of the village of Dungeagan located in the Gaelic speaking part of the County.
There are some beautiful sandy beaches around Ballinskelligs, the main Ballinskellig Beach (also known locally as Ladies Beach) comes complete with an old castle ruin known locally as McCarthy Mór Castle (or Ballinskelligs Castle). It was used back in the 15th & 16th century to guard against pirates. It makes for a lovely backdrop to the beach.
Ballinskelligs is accessible via the N70 from Killarney, then changing to the R566 after Cahirciveen/ before Waterville. The beach is lifeguard patrolled during the bathing season (lifeguard patrol times are displayed on the information notice board at the beach).< table border="0" align="right">
The area has a history steeped in the Irish language and the village can trace its origins right back to monks in the 5th or 6th century who made their home on the nearby inhospitable Skelligs rock. It is from the Skelligs that the village gets its name. "Baile" is the Irish for town and hence "Baile na Skelligs" is the town of the Skelligs.
The Village has changed a lot since the sixth century and in particular during the first decade of the 21st century. You can still however find the old character and charm of this area by exploring a little of the surrounding countryside.
The bowl of shamrock presented to President Barak Obama on Saint Patrick's Day 2013 came from Ballinskelligs!
If you don’t fancy lying on the beach all
day why not head across to Valentia Island, which is just a short drive from here.
You can take a cruise from here to the famous Skellig Islands.
Here are a few comments about Ballinskelligs Beach
The beach is small, yet just the right size to relax, have a picnic and just listen to the waves. A darling neighbour dog came over to us wanting to be petted. He then discovered a scraggly scrap of blue paper and brought it to us and set it in front of us, looking at us like we were supposed to play fetch this wee piece of discarded paper. This smart and creative pup spent almost half an hour playing fetch with us. The wind caught the paper and he caught it every time! A lovely time at the beach.
I was blown away by the scenery in Ballinskellig, I thought I had seen it all in Kerry but the views here are just awesome. Worth taking walks up some of the steep hills to look back on the beautiful unspoilt countryside. Can't wait to go back again I was blown away by the scenery in Ballinskellig, I thought I had seen it all in Kerry but the views here are just awesome. Worth taking walks up some of the steep hills to look back on the beautiful unspoilt countryside. Can't wait to go back again
We drove the Ring of Kerry, and one of our favourite parts was finding Ballinskelligs Beach. It was a gorgeous sunny day the day we went, and the beach looked Mediterranean. The water was calm and clear. It was absolutely picturesque. We wished we could have spent all day there!
The beach was lovely; you could walk out onto a small piece of land with a ruin there. Watch for jellyfish in the water though. We didn't have time to swim here so I can't comment on the swimming. It was just nice wading in the water and walking on the beach.
We had a great morning walk on the beach at low tide. The sand was firm so you could walk easily without sinking. The cool weather was exhilarating & our local guide provided a history lesson along the way. Quite a few surfers out which added to the day. We finished our day with some pastry & coffee on the outside patio of a beachfront cafe. Very enjoyable experience.
Beautiful beach with historic buildings scattered along the beach. Camping is technically forbidden, but I camped there, along with other campers and camper-vans, no problem. A great pub is close-by and the ferry to Skellig Michael if you're lucky enough to have a day with calm enough seas to allow landing on the island. I wasn't that lucky, but even though the Skellig Michael ferry was the reason I went there, I was still happy to have visited the area. There's a tough, but very rewarding cycle to Portmagee on the other side of the peninsula with stunning views from the Kerry cliffs.
Stunningly beautiful and unspoiled beach, beautiful clear water, spectacular scenery, and a castle!! The ruins of an abbey are just a short walk from the beach.
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