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Considering we are an island nation, the one thing we are not short of is coastline, and Ireland boasts some outstanding beaches.

Have a swim, soak up some rays (fingers crossed!) or just watch the world go by. Not a bad way to spend a summer’s day in Ireland. So if you are in the Cork/Kerry region on vacation, here are some IrishCentral picks for beaches to toast your bun this summer.

Inch Strand

Inch Strand, a few miles outside Dingle, is one of the most beautiful beaches on earth.  Its name is an utter paradox, as it is actually the longest beach in Ireland. It stretches as far as the eye can see, and the view is untouched for centuries. Craggy mountains, pounding surf, and beautiful landscapes all add up to an extraordinary vista.

There is also incredible local history. Some of "Ryan's Daughter" was filmed here. It was on this beach that former Bishop Eamon Casey, whose Bishop's palace was nearby, first struck up a relationship with Annie Murphy, a young visiting American, which led to one of the great clerical scandals of all time.The palace later became a coffee shop where you could sample the local confectionery and stare out over one of the most romantic views on earth. Little wonder the bishop fell in love. Inch is also close to Killarney and other astounding beauty spots.

Ballybunion beach

Split by a cliff with old castle ruins, Ballybunion beach was historically divided into men's and women's sections. In the old Ireland the men were confined to one beach while the women swam on the other.

Those days are long gone and nowadays the beach is a busy hub of families and kids having fun during the summer.  A busy town with plenty of pubs and eateries, Ballybunion is a vibrant summer town with one of the most famous golf courses in the world (Bill Clinton's favorite- check out the story - Click here). 

Fenit Beach

Fenit Beach is located not too far from the pretty fishing village that bears the same name in a designated natural heritage area that is renowned for its flora and fauna .

So if you are in Tralee later this month for the 50th Rose of Tralee festival (Check our our Rose of Tralee feature - Click here) and fancy getting away for some tranquility and calm on a beautiful beach, then Fenit should be right up your alley.

Banna Strand

Not too far from Fenit you will find Banna Strand, one of the most beautiful and historic beaches in Ireland. Famous for its lengthy beach with stunning vistas and many sand dunes, the strand was immortalized in a song called “The Long Banna Strand,” which tells the story of how Sir Roger Casement was caught hiding in the dunes while trying to smuggle arms into Ireland in 1916.


An hour outside Cork City, this beach is located in West Cork, very near Clonakilty. A perfect beach for strolling, swimming and even surfing, this West Cork delight offers up a little something for everyone, and you can’t beat the Cork hospitality boy!

If you need a break from the beach, visit the famous Model Railway Village and make sure to enjoy West Cork, one of the places to visit in Ireland