Ireland’s Blue Flag Beaches are Perfect for Family Seaside Fun!

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

May 21, 2023

keel beach achill island mayo

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With 94 Blue Flags and 65 Green Coast Awards – a new record number – issued in 2023 for beaches and marinas, Ireland boasts some of the most scenic, safe and splash-worthy beaches. We’ve rounded up Ireland’s Blue Flag beaches by county so you can start planning for family days of sandcastles and seaside fun!

The beach is such a fun place to explore with so many exciting ‘treasures’ to find along the way, from shells and sea creatures to driftwood and seaweed. If you’re planning a trip to the beach, why not check out 50 Fun and Interesting Things to Do at the Beach with Kids, guaranteed to keep them busy for hours.

What Are Blue Flag Beaches?

The Blue Flag is recognised around the world as an eco symbol of merit, with 49 countries worldwide participating.

The goal is to raise environmental awareness, and criteria includes excellent water quality, safety, cleanliness, clear signage and information, and more.

This year 84 beaches and 10 marinas have been awarded Blue Flag status for 2023, with the addition of 3 additional Blue Flag beaches in Mayo: Bertra, Clare Island (Louisburgh) and Old Head, which was awarded for the first time since 2012.

Additionally, the Green Coast Awards recognise beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. The award was given to 65 Irish beaches this year, up three since last year. Eight beaches were awarded both a Green Coast Award and Blue Flag status for 2023:

  • Fountainstown, Cork
  • Inchydoney East Beach, Cork
  • Balcarrick, Fingal
  • Donabate, Fingal
  • Salthill Beach, Galway
  • Silverstrand Beach, Galway
  • Trá Inis Oírr, Galway
  • Baile an Sceilg, Kerry
  • Ballinskelligs, Kerry
  • Rosses Point Beach, Sligo

Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland – By County

Blue Flag Beaches in Clare

Kilkee Beach, County Clare outdoor places in Clare Tourism Ireland
  1. Ballycuggeran (Killaloe)
  2. Fanore
  3. Kilkee
  4. Lahinch
  5. Mountshannon, Lough Derg
  6. Spanish Point
  7. White Strand Doonbeg
  8. White Strand Miltown Malbay

Find out more about family-friendly walks in Clare that make a great alternative for a day out, and don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Clare with kids – we’ve even got FREE things to do too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Cork

Blue Flag Beaches in Cork
  1. Barley Cove
  2. Fountainstown
  3. Garrylucas, White Strand
  4. Inchydoney East Beach
  5. Inchydoney West Beach
  6. Owenahincha, Little Island Strand
  7. Redbarn
  8. Tragumna
  9. Youghal, Claycastle
  10. Youghal, Front Strand

Find out more about the best beaches in Cork for families, as well as a round-up of playgrounds in Cork that parents recommend.

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Cork with kids!

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Blue Flag Beaches in Donegal

Pollan beach Donegal
  1. Culdaff
  2. Bundoran
  3. Carrickfinn
  4. Downings
  5. Fintra
  6. Killahoey
  7. Marble Hill
  8. Murvagh
  9. Naran
  10. Portsalon
  11. Rossnowlagh
  12. Stroove

Find out more about the best Donegal beaches for families, as well as family-friendly walks in Donegal that make a great alternative for a day out.

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Donegal with kids – we’ve even got FREE things to do too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Dublin

  1. Killiney
  2. Seapoint
  3. Balcarrick, Donabate
  4. Portmarnock, Velvet Strand Beach
  5. Rush, South Beach

While Dublin may not have a wide selection of Blue Flag beaches, it does have LOTS of options for family days out.

You definitely won’t want to miss these 40 fun and FREE things to do in Dublin with kids that includes a huge variety of options – or perhaps these ideas that are ideal for older kids and teens to do in Dublin.

Don’t Miss…

Start planning your trip with our Guide to Dublin for families – we’ve got all the details on where to eat, stay, play and explore!

Mykidstime Ultimate Guide to Dublin for Families lead container

Blue Flag Beaches in Galway

Blue Flag Beaches in Galway
  1. Salthill Beach
  2. Silverstrand Beach
  3. An Trá Mór, Coill Rua, Indreabhán
  4. Bathing Place at Portumna
  5. Cill Mhuirbhigh, Inis Mór
  6. Loughrea Lake
  7. Trá an Dóilín, An Ceathrú Rua
  8. Trá Inis Oírr (Main Beach)

If you’re looking for more ideas, these family-friendly walks in Galway make a great alternative for a day out.

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Galway with kids – we’ve even got you covered with some fun rainy day ideas too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Kerry

Blue Flag beaches in Kerry
  1. Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs)
  2. Ballybunion North Beach
  3. Ballybunion South Beach
  4. Ballyheigue
  5. Banna Strand
  6. Doire Fhíonáin (Derrynane)
  7. Fenit
  8. Fionntrá (Ventry)
  9. Inch
  10. Kells
  11. Maharabeg
  12. Rossbeigh, White Strand
  13. White Strand, Caherciveen

Don’t miss these 40 fun family things to do in Kerry that includes caves, waterfalls, dolphins, surfing, prehistoric footprints, and so much more!

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The beach is such a fun place to explore! If you’re planning a trip to the beach, why not check out our fun Beach Scavenger Hunt for kids?

beach scavenger hunt

Blue Flag Beaches in Louth

Blue Flag Beaches in Louth
  1. Clogherhead
  2. Port/Lurganboy

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Louth with kids – we’ve even got you covered with ideas for FREE things to do too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Mayo

Keel Beach, Achill Island, Co Mayo ICP (1)
  1. Shelling Hill/Templetown
  2. Dooega Beach, Achill Island
  3. Dugort Beach, Achill Island
  4. Elly Bay, Belmullet
  5. Golden Strand, Achill Island
  6. Keel Beach, Achill Island
  7. Keem Beach, Achill Island
  8. Mullaghroe Beach, Belmullet
  9. Mulranny Beach
  10. Ross Beach, Killala
  11. Bertra
  12. Clare Island, Louisburgh
  13. Old Head

Find out more about the best Mayo beaches for families, as well as family-friendly walks in Mayo that make a great alternative for a day out.

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Mayo with kids – we’ve even got FREE things to do too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Sligo

  1. Rosses Point

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Sligo with kids – we’ve even got FREE things to do too!

Blue Flag Beaches in Waterford

Blue flag beaches in Waterford
  1. Ardmore Beach
  2. Clonea Beach
  3. Tramore Beach

Find out more about the best Waterford beaches for families, as well as family-friendly walks in Waterford that make a great alternative for a day out.

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Waterford with kids!

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Plan a whole range of family days out with this brilliant checklist of 99 fantastic places to visit around Ireland!

Crop Download 99 Places to Visit in Ireland with Kids Checklist - Mykidstime

Blue Flag Beaches in Wexford

Blue flag beaches in Wexford
  1. Ballinesker
  2. Ballymoney North Beach
  3. Carne
  4. Curracloe
  5. Morriscastle
  6. Rosslare Strand

Find out more about the best outdoor places in Wexford for families, as well as family-friendly walks and some of the county’s best playgrounds that make a great alternative for a day out.

Blue Flag Beaches in Wicklow

beach outdoor places in wicklow
  1. Brittas Bay South
  2. Brittas Bay North
  3. Greystones South Beach

Don’t miss our pick of the top things to do in Wicklow with kids, as well as lots of great outdoor places around the county that make a great alternative for a day out.

Ireland’s Blue Flag Beaches are Perfect for Family Seaside Fun Pinterest

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Published On: May 21st, 2023 / Categories: Ireland / Last Updated: June 15th, 2023 / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

About the Author: Emily Manning

Emily Manning
Emily is the coffee-loving Editor of MyKidsTime. Mum of one daughter and two naughty Tibetan Terriers, she is particularly partial to Curly Wurlys and unable to resist pretty stationery and new cookbooks. As an avid foodie and domestic goddess-wannabe, she is most likely to be found in the kitchen.

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