The island nation of Ireland is a magical land of castles, green rolling hills, and picturesque coastal towns. The salt air pours in and the sea churns to create unforgettable times spent in these seaside towns. A visit to one will beckon to visit another. Need some suggestions? Start with this list of beautiful Irish coastal towns.

Clifden is a little market town nestled between the lofty peaks of the Twelve Bens mountains and the Atlantic. The surrounding landscape is lush, verdant and edged with pristine, sandy beaches. Adding to this little town’s appeal is its proximity to the nearby Connemara National Park. That means plenty of great hiking along with water activities. The town hosts several heritage festivals throughout the year.

Exciting adventures on both land and sea make Westport one of Ireland’s favorite coastal vacation destinations. Spend a day on one of the scenic Wild Atlantic Way beaches. Take another day to go for a hike to the mystical peak of Croagh Patrick. Westport also has historical sites like castles and Neolithic monuments to explore.

“Variety is the spice of life” in the South Ireland resort town of Clonakilty. Beaches like Inchydoney, Duneen, Long Strand, and the Warren range from secluded to well-known.
Couples, families, and solo travelers will all find exciting activities in Clonakilty from surf schools to whale watching tours. Located in the heart of County Cork, this coastal town is also the starting point for a road trip to the many surrounding islands.

Families and surfers alike will love a beach trip to Lahinch at the head of Liscannor Bay. Lahinch’s golden beach is one of the world’s top surfing locations. Bustling with energy, this little beach town features two excellent golf courses, fine eateries, and a lively bar scene. A lovely promenade complete with a pool and a playground make this a fun beach for kids.

Located in Northern Ireland’s Ulster province, the seaside town of Bangor boasts the largest marina in the country. Beach-goers love it for the tasty seafood found in great waterfront dining spots and its picture-postcard harbor. Don’t miss a scenic stroll through the Walled Garden and Ward Park, the town’s lovely green space.