Keem Bay on Achill Island off the coast of Co Mayo was once named one of the best beaches in the world.
The horseshoe-shaped bay, located past Dooagh village, lies at the head of a valley between the cliffs of Benmore and Croaghuan mountain. The bay has a fine sandy beach and is mostly uninhabited, with the only building a former coastguard watch-house, according to VisitAchill.com. It was once the site of a basking shark fishery.
Big 7 Travel wrote: “Keem Bay is a breathtaking rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland’s largest island – Achill Island. Its gleaming white sand rivals tropical islands and the water is superbly clear.
“The sun might not always be shining, but when it does it’s world-class. And yes, it’s beautiful even on a rainy day.”
According to the website, the rankings were determined by votes from Big 7 readers, aggregated scores from previous media results, official Blue Flag locations, and contributions from the Big 7 Travel editorial team.
Here are the top ten 2019 rankings:
1. Zlatni rat (Golden Horn Beach) – Brac, Croatia
2. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Islands, Australia
3. Fig Tree Bay – Protaras, Cyprus
4. Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos
5. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
6. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
7. Source d’Argent – Seychelles
8. Playa Ruinas – Quintana Roo, Mexico
9. Kanuhura Maldives – Lhaviyani Atoll Maldives
10. Pig Beach – Bahamas
* Originally published in 2019.