Top 5 Beaches
Galway is an enviable city as it has an abundance of beautiful beaches close to the city, and some of the best beaches on the west coast of Ireland within its county. The closest beach to Galway is in Salthill, a short walk from the city centre along the promenade which starts in The Claddagh area. There are three separate beaches in Salthill which are very popular with visitors and residents during the summer and many of the more resilient locals continue their swimming all year round when the weather is less forgiving. The diving board at Blackrock at the end of the Salthill promenade is a magnet for swimmers and dares brave souls to test their mettle against the swirling Atlantic sea below. Salthill beach along with most of the larger beaches in the county are monitored by lifeguards from May to September. Below is our list of some but not all of the great beaches in Galway.
Dogs Bay / Gurteen Bay Beaches
Lying back to back, Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay are two of the most beautiful beaches in County Galway and probably in the West of Ireland. They are situated only 2 miles outside the picturesque village of Roundstone in Connemara, Co. Galway. Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay make up one of the finest stretches of coastline in Connemara, offering uncompromising views of Errisbeg and the surrounding countryside.
Dogs Bay is a spectacular horseshoe shaped bay with more than a mile long stretch of white sandy beach. Similar to Gurteen Bay, the sand is not comprised of traditional limestone but rather made entirely of fragments of seashells which give it a pure white colour.
Both beaches are well sheltered from currents and are considered safe for swimming and other watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. The are also wonderful destinations for walking.
Location: Roundstone, Co. Galway
Silver Strand Beach
Silverstrand has a safe, shallow, sandy beach of approximately 0.25km bounded on one side by a cliff and the other by rocks. It is particularly popular with and suitable for young families. It faces directly into Galway Bay giving spectacular views. There is a promenade with parking capacity for about 60 vehicles. It is suitable for swimming at low tide but the beach is largely covered during high tides. It is lifeguarded during the summer months. Only 2 miles from Salthill.
Location: Barna, Galway
Coral Beach Carraroe
Carraroe beach, which is also known as Trá an Dóilin is an area of great natural beauty. The beach is noted for its very fine coral. The beach is lifeguarded and has toilets throughout the bathing season. There are lots of little rock pools to explore along with good snorkling and is usually less busy that the city beaches.
Location: Carraroe, Co. Galway
The beach at Salthill is actually several small beaches separated by outcrops. Some of the beaches are sandy and some pebbly. It is located in Galway city and overlooking Galway Bay, a Special Area of Conservation. The beach is lifeguarded from mid-May to the end of September from 11 am to 7 pm. Salthill beach has been a blue flag beach and enormously popular in fine weather during the summer.
Location: Salthill, Galway City
Kilmurvey Beach is a magnificent sandy beach with blue flag status on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. It is perfectly safe for swimming for those of all ages as there are no strong currents unlike some of the more hidden and inaccessible beaches. The white sand contrasts beautifully with the blue water on a sunny day. There are some perfect picnic spots on the dunes and toilets near the roads. When the tide is right you can jump off the old pier into the clear water.
Location: Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Co. Galway