7 Coastal towns to visit on any trip to Ireland

Ireland is often known as the ‘Emerald Isle’ and famed for its endless green fields, stunning landscapes and friendly locals.  A popular travel destination, and indeed a popular group of people, it’s not really surprising that over 70 million people around the world consider Ireland to be home.  With a thriving tourism industry driven in recent years by events such as The Gathering and The Wild Atlantic Way, it’s hardly surprising to see millions of people flock to the “green green grass of home” every year.  Ireland has many popular cities that are making big strides in the modern world with Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast all leading the way.  With popular tourist attractions throughout these cities and off course, a warm welcome and a real party atmosphere, it’s easy to see why so many of us want to travel to Ireland to enjoy the hospitality of this warm, friendly nation.  It doesn’t have to be city breaks though, as the coastal towns and villages throughout Ireland offer tranquillity like nowhere else, and give you a real taste for the Ireland that the locals simply love.  From quiet walks in the country, to evenings in traditional pubs and trips to the seaside, coastal breaks in Ireland provide a perfect getaway to relax and unwind.  If Ireland is on your bucket list of places to visit in the coming years, here are 7 coastal holiday destinations you may want to consider.

7 Coastal locations to visit in Ireland:

Bundoran, Donegal:

The coastal town of Bundoran in county Donegal, is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, with a range of activities to suit all ages.  From gorgeous sandy beaches to cosy country pubs, Bundoran is that little slice of Ireland we’ve all dreamt of visiting.  For the adventurous among you, Bundoran is also one of the most popular surfing destinations in Europe and was recently voted in the top 20 surfing towns in the world by National Geographic.


(Bundoran beach)

Connemara, Galway:

Next on our list is a trip down the west coast of Ireland to the peninsula of Connemara in Galway.  The Connemara area is blessed some stunning scenery and wonderfully sandy beaches.  From the picturesque and rugged Twelve Bens mountain range to the Roundstone Bog and Connemara National Park, the area is perfect for a short getaway to Ireland, and will always give you something to do.  The main town of Connemara is the popular seaside resort of Clifdon.


(Rock beach, Connemara)

 Dingle Peninsula, Kerry:

Moving further south, we come to another famous Irish peninsula, the Dingle peninsula in Galway.  Once mentioned as ‘the most beautiful place on earth’ by National Geographic and a top 100 destination by Trip Advisor, the Dingle peninsula is a truly spectacular area that you will instantly fall in love with.  The Dingle peninsula is home to some wonderful beaches and if you’re lucky you’ll also catch a glimpse of Fungie on your trip; Fungie is Dingle’s resident dolphin.  With many great restaurants and pubs, the Dingle peninsula is sure to provide you with lots to do on your trip, and top of the list should be a trip to the nearby Blasket Islands, a deserted group of islands at the most western point in Europe.  Look out at the natural beauty of Ireland as the waves from the Atlantic crash off the cliffs.


(Dingle Peninsula)

Tramore, Waterford:

Moving along the south coast of Ireland, we come to the seaside town of Tramore in Waterford, a popular seaside resort for many Irish holiday goers.  Tramore is home to 2 blue flag beaches and the town itself has a range of restaurants, bars, shops and accommodation to suit all budgets.  With festivals throughout the year and activities available including surfing, sea kayaking and cycling, Tramore is bustling seaside resort that will keep all the family entertained.

Waterford-The Copper Coast

(Copper Coast, Tramore)

Malahide, Dublin:

Dublin city centre is the most popular tourist destination in Ireland and while we can often become blinded by the bright lights of Dublin, the surrounding towns and villages also offer tourists and locals so much to do, none more so than the seaside town of Malahide.  Malahide beach stretches for miles and joins on to another popular Dublin beach, Portmarnock.  With a stunning marina, a wide choice of restaurants, bars and hotels, a botanical gardens and a world class cricket pitch, the small town of Malahide packs a big punch in the Dublin tourism scene.  Pride of place in the town is the stunning and famous medieval Malahide Castle, which dates back to 1185.

Malahide Castle on a sunny day

(Malahide Castle, Dublin)

Carlingford, Louth:

Next up is a short trip up the east coast of Ireland to the town of Carlingford, which borders Northern Ireland.  This medieval town is famous for its small cobbled streets and friendly atmosphere, making it a popular destination throughout the year.  The scenic surroundings of Carlingford make it a popular summer destination.  Located in the Cooley peninsula at the foot of Slieve Foy mountain and at the shores of Carlingford Lough, the town has a vibrant nightlife and some great views and walks to take in during the day.  With a great view of the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford truly is one of Ireland’s hidden treasures.


(Street in Carlingford)

Causeway Coast, Antrim:

Last on our list is a trip across the border to the north coast of Northern Ireland and the Causeway Coast and Glens.  Home to the popular seaside resorts of Ballycastle, Portrush and Portstewart, a trip to the Causeways Coast will not leave you short of things to do.  With a range of great beaches and a thriving surfing scene, the Causeway Coast offers something for all the family.  The Causeway Coast is home to some great golf courses including the world famous Royal Portrush, and of course, the location of the captivating world heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway.  Relax and unwind in one of the many welcoming country pubs, and enjoy a glass of the area’s finest – Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

Causeway Coast

(Causeway Coastal Route, Antrim)


We can often become distracted by the bright city lights when it comes to going on holiday, but to really enjoy the beauty of Ireland and embrace the culture and heritage of this popular nation, take a coastal trip – it will be a holiday you’ll remember for a lifetime.  Check out some of the great deals with Expedia Ireland and plan your memorable coastal holiday to Ireland.