Although famously known as a city break destination, Dublin boasts many wonderful beaches worth exploring. With caramel sands, beautiful waters and an array of wildlife calling these beaches home, a Dublin beach holiday will impress the whole family.
Whether you are looking for a tranquil retreat along Killiney Blue Flag beach, a dip in Irish waters at Portmarnock, or some hearty freshly caught fish and chips at Dalkey, the beaches in Dublin offers something for everyone.
Visitors to Dublin’s coastline can choose from a great selection of Dublin beach hotels for families, couples and solo travellers. There are eight brilliant beaches within an hour of Dublin city. Here you can find anything from 4-star golf and spa resorts to waterside hotels with panoramic views of the sea. Hotels along Dublin’s beaches have something to suit all tastes. It is advisable to book early as these hotels are popular during public holiday periods when many locals flock to the seaside.
Ireland’s East coast is a great location to try a variety of water sports. Canoeing, paddle boarding and windsurfing are just a few of the options you can have a go at. Kayak out from Bullock Harbour to Dalkey Island, spotting seals, falcons, jellyfish and cormorants along the way. On your journey, you will see Muglins Lighthouse and upon landing at Dalkey Island, you can explore the ruins of Saint Begnets Church and its well. If the weather permits, you can try kite surfing or take a three-hour beginners’ class if you are trying the sport for the first time.
Dublin’s beaches are a golfer’s paradise with clubs found at Skerries, Rush, Donabate, Malahide, Killiney and Bray, to name but a few. Sea views and links courses have developed this area into a golfer’s haven. Many will have heard of the world-class Portmarnock Golf club, approved by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington.
Keen walkers can enjoy a number of coastal trails in the area, traversing Dollymount Strand, Velvet Beach in Portmarnock, Howth Peninsula and Malahide Estuary. Along the coast, you can find Martello Towers - small defensive forts that were built during the 19th century and remain intact until this day.
Many castles and Demesnes can be found near Dublin’s beaches, with Malahide Castle Swords Castle, Ardgillan Demesne and Skerries Mills within an hour drive from the coast.
Sandycove is well worth a visit to see James Joyce Tower, a Martello Tower now devoted to the life of the international writer most associated with Dublin. Joyce briefly stayed in the area and it is said to have inspired the opening of his great novel Ulysses.
Dublin’s coastline offers some of the best seafood in the whole of Ireland. Beachside towns of Skerries, Malahide, Portmarnock and Bray are bustling with diners enjoying freshly caught Pollack, Mackerel and Flounder. Howth is best known for its waterside restaurants, of which there are plenty to choose from. Visit Howth Market Deli for artisan Irish produce, organic sandwiches and coffee to go. A perfect stop to get a picnic to enjoy on the beach. Dublin’s seaside towns offer an array of beer gardens and outdoor cafes to enjoy the sea air.
No trip to the beach would be complete without an ice cream. Teddys right next to Dún Laoghaire harbour has been selling ice cream there for over 65 years and is recognised by locals as an institution.
There are many bars and pubs where you can enjoy a pint along Dublin’s beaches. Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire are two popular towns to enjoy pints with friends. Here you can also find a wide selection of international wines and spirits.