The Best Beaches in Connemara
The Connemara landscape is among the most beautiful on the island of Ireland and the beaches are no exception. The Connemara coastline on Galway’s Wild Atlantic Way is dotted with breath-taking beaches that vary from unique white sandy beaches to rocky shores. Discover Mannin Bay in Connemara which is made up of a type of coral-line seaweed and the skeletal remains of barnacles, mollusks and sponge.
For your next self catering holiday in Galway we have put together a list of our favourite must see beaches in Connemara. You will be spoilt for choice with the selection and variety of beaches you can stroll, paddle and explore while on your next holiday in Ireland.
Dog’s Bay Beach near Roundstone
Distance: 4.1 km from Roundstone / Coordinates: 53.3788564,-9.9639833
Dog’s Bay beach is one of the most beautiful and must see beaches in Connemara. The sandy beach of Dog’s Bay has a huge horseshoe shape more than a mile long. A popular holiday destination in Galway, the beach is well sheltered and a good place for swimming and other water-based activities such as windsurfing and kite-surfing.
The white sand is made up of fragments of shells from tiny sea creatures known as foraminifera which gives the sand a magical pure white colour. The beach has international importance for its rare and interesting ecological, geological and archaeological features. The grasslands, made up of machair vegetation is considered rare, found only on the west coast of Ireland and Scotland.
Next door is the beautiful beach of Gurteen. The beautiful beaches of Gurteen and Dog’s Bay lie back to back, forming a tombolo which separates the two bays and beaches.
Distance: 4.1 km from Roundstone / Coordinates: 53.373573,-9.9709727
Gurteen beach is the larger of the two beaches providing views of Errisbeg a 300 metre height mountain situated in Roundstone. The name Gurteen derives from the Irish Goirtín meaning ‘small plot’ or ‘small field’.
The water is ideal for swimming and other water-based activities such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, making our pretty holiday cottages in Roundstone the perfect base for exploring these beautiful beaches. Both Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay are 4.1 km from Roundstone, a picturesque village in Galway.
Together both Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay form one of the finest stretches of coastline in Connemara. Like Dogs Bay, Gurteen beach and area have international importance for its rare and interesting ecological, geological and archaeological features.
Eyrephort Beach on Sky Road Drive
Distance: 8.6 km from Clifden / Coordinates: 53.5109141,-10.1379297,16
Eyrephort beach is a short drive from the vibrant seaside town of Clifden, just off Sky Road, a popular coastal and scenic drive in Galway.
Follow the Sky Road, a 20 km picturesque loop from Clifden in delightful Connemara. Sky Road is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Sky Road is one of the top attractions in Connemara, rich in heritage with Megalithic Tombs, Standing Stone and Promontory Forts. A Viking sword and shield are just some of the items found when an archaeological excavation uncovered a grave here over a decade ago.
A little piece of heaven and off the beaten track, children will love exploring the unusual seashells, seaweed and rock pools on Eyrephort beach.
Walk or drive on Omey Island
Distance: 2 km from Claddaghduff / Coordinates: 53.5342181,-10.1777482
Imagine you could drive onto an island directly from the mainland in Ireland, well in Connemara you can! On your next self catering holiday in Connemara take a trip to magical Omey island but be warned, the clock is ticking.
Omey a tidal island, is one of Ireland’s most beautiful islands on the western edge of Connemara, Ireland. When the tide is out you can drive across the beach to access Omey Island. There is a signposted route for cars down the road from Sweeney’s Strand Bar. Pedestrians can also cross the half-mile sandy beach to the island.
Rent one of our coastal holiday cottages in nearby Claddaghduff and you could easily walk to Omey Island. Omey is a fantastic place to go horse-riding, cycling, walking, swimming and just slow down. The famous Omey races are held every August on the strand. The annual summer races in Claddaghduff have been steadily attracting greater numbers every year. For a unique family day out in Connemara head to Omey island in August and experience the beach races!
Kids will love exploring the rock pools on Omey’s huge beach, bring a packed lunch and make wonderful family memories on your next holiday to Connemara.
Coral Beach or Trá an Dóilin
Distance: 3.4 km from Carraroe / Coordinates: 53.2491508,-9.6999505
Visit the unique coral beach near Carraroe village on Galway’s Wild Atlantic Way. Also known as Trá an Dóilin, this beach has views across the bay to the wild and rugged fields of Connemara.
Well-known for it’s unique fine coral sand this beach is a a popular visitor’s attraction. The beach is a biogenic gravel beach, made of coralline algae known as “maerl.”
The small but pretty beach is lifeguard patrolled during the summer months and there are toilets and changing facilities available. The crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming and the many coves will entertain inquisitive kids for hours.
Renvyle Beach in Connemara
Distances: 1.5 km from Renvyle / Coordinates: 53.6071222,-10.0587181
Renvyle beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Connemara with 1 km of pure white sand, crystal clear water and awesome views. From this beach in Connemara you can walk to the local shops, pubs and restaurants in Renvyle village via a narrow country road.
Renvyle beach is overlooked by the Twelve Bens and in the distance spot the Mweelrea mountains, Achill Island and Inishturk Island just off the coast.
Mannin Bay in Connemara
Distances: 2.7 km from Ballyconneely / Coordinates: 53.4435658,-10.1057334
Mannin is a gorgeous clear water area with a variety of inlets. The Blueway, a series of kayaking and snorkelling trails, is located nearby at Coral Strand on the main road from Clifden.
For a fun family day kayak and explore the rocky shoreline dotted with beaches on this beautiful coastline of Galway’s Wild Atlantic Way. Distances vary and the more experienced kayaker can venture to Truska beach 7 km away.
The white sand allows for clear views of the marine life passing. The sand consists of a type of coralline seaweed and the skeletal remains of barnacles, molluscs and sponge. Look out for the reddish coralline seaweed. When this seaweed is broken it becomes the bleached white skeletons that forms the local sand. There are a series of rocky pools, a haven for a variety of sea life which the children will love discovering.
Glassilaun Beach in Connemara
Distances: 7.4 km from Tully Cross / Coordinates: 53.6135293,-9.9485734
Glassilaun beach is a white sandy beach located between Renvyle and Killary Bay. The backdrop of impressive mountains make the beach very picturesque and yet another great spot for a sea swim on your next holiday in Connemara. The water here is crystal clear and the beach is perfect for snorkelling, long coastal walks or runs. Car parking is available here which is adjacent to the beach.
Self Catering Holiday Cottages in Connemara
Many of our holiday homes and holiday cottages in Connemara are situated within easy walking or driving distance to our favourite beaches. Renting a holiday cottage in Connemara allows you the freedom to explore these breathtaking beaches at your own pace, creating a memorable holiday in Ireland.
To view our range of pretty holiday cottages in Connemara click here or call our office today on +353 1 201 8440 to discuss your holiday home requirements. We would love to help you find you picture perfect holiday home in Connemara.
Eilís M – Editor of the Trident blog
- Favourite escape: Exploring the Beara Peninsula and trail running in the Wicklow Mountains
- Top tip: Pack a big smile and an open mind.