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

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

May 25, 2021

Keel Beach, Achill Island, Co Mayo ICP (1)

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With 93 Blue Flags and 62 Green Coast Awards – a new record number – issued in 2021 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!

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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 our fun Beach Scavenger Hunt for kids?

Our beach checklist might come in handy too!

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.

79 of the 81 beaches and all 10 marinas awarded last year have retained Blue Flag status for 2021, with the addition of 4 additional Blue Flag beaches. Inchydoney East has received the Blue Flag for the first time, while Killiney Beach in Dublin, Golden Strand on Achill Island in Mayo, and Warren, Cregane Strand in Cork have all regained Blue Flag status after several years without.

Ballymoney North Beach in County Wexford and Bertra Beach in Mayo did not retain their Blue Flag status for 2021.

Additionally, the Green Coast Awards recognise beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. The award was given to 63 Irish beaches this year. All 61 beaches from 2020 retained their award, while two new beaches (Rush South Beach, Dublin and Gurteen Beach, Galway) were added for 2021.

You May Also Enjoy Our Pick of the Best Beaches in Ireland for Families

Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland – By County

Blue Flag Beaches in Clare

Blue Flag beaches in Clare

Kilkee Beach, County Clare

  1. Ballycuggeran (Killaloe)
  2. Cappa Pier
  3. Fanore
  4. Kilkee
  5. Lahinch
  6. Mountshannon, Lough Derg
  7. Spanish Point
  8. White Strand Doonbeg
  9. 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

Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty, Co Cork © George Karbus Photography / Failte Ireland

  1. Barleycove
  2. Garretstown
  3. Garrylucas, White Strand
  4. Inchydoney East Beach
  5. Inchydoney West Beach
  6. Owenahincha, Little Island Strand
  7. Redbarn Beach
  8. Tragumna
  9. Warren, Cregane Strand
  10. Youghal, Claycastle

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!

Blue Flag Beaches in Donegal

Pollan beach Donegal

Surfing at Pollan Beach, Donegal © Failte Ireland

  1. Bundoran
  2. Carrickfinn
  3. Culdaff
  4. Downings
  5. Fintra
  6. Killahoey
  7. Portsalon
  8. Marble Hill
  9. Murvagh
  10. Portnoo/Narin
  11. Rathmullan Marina
  12. Rossnowlagh
  13. 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. Portmarnock/Velvet Strand
  3. Seapoint

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.

Blue Flag Beaches in Galway

Blue Flag Beaches in Galway

Silver Strand, Barna, Co Galway © Christian McLeod Photography

  1. An Trá Mhór (Inverin)
  2. Cill Mhuirbhigh, Inis Mór
  3. Loughrea Lake
  4. Portumna
  5. Salthill
  6. Silverstrand
  7. Trá an Dóilin (An Cheathrú Rua)
  8. Traught, Kinvara

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

Derrynane Beach, Caherdaniel © Tourism Ireland

  1. Ballinskelligs
  2. Ballybunion South
  3. Ballyheigue
  4. Banna Strand
  5. Derrynane
  6. Fenit
  7. Inch
  8. Kells
  9. Magherabeg
  10. Rossbeigh
  11. Ventry
  12. White Strand Cahirciveen

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

Blue Flag Beaches in Louth

Blue Flag Beaches in Louth

Templetown Beach, Louth. Photographer: Tom Archer © Tourism Ireland

  1. Clogherhead
  2. Port/Lurganboy
  3. Shellinghill/Templetown

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

Blue Flag Beaches in Mayo

Keel Beach, Achill Island, County Mayo. Photographer: Fearghus Foyle / Failte Ireland

  1. Carrowmore Beach
  2. Clare Island
  3. Dooega Beach, Achill Island
  4. Elly Bay
  5. Golden Strand, Achill Island
  6. Keel Beach, Achill Island
  7. Keem Beach, Achill Island
  8. Mullaghroe
  9. Mulranny
  10. Ross Beach
  11. Dugort Beach, Achill Island

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

Dunmore East, Waterford © Chris Hall / Tourism Ireland

  1. Ardmore
  2. Clonea Beach
  3. Counsellors’ Strand, Dunmore East
  4. Dunmore Strand
  5. Tramore

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!

Blue Flag Beaches in Wexford

Blue flag beaches in Wexford

Curracloe Beach, Wexford © Failte Ireland

  1. Ballinesker
  2. Carne
  3. Curracloe
  4. Morriscastle
  5. 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

  1. Bray South Promenade
  2. Brittas Bay North
  3. Brittas Bay South
  4. 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.

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Ireland's Blue Flag Beaches Are Perfect for Family Seaside Fun! - Mykidstime

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Published On: May 25th, 2021 / Categories: Ireland, Travel / Last Updated: September 9th, 2021 / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

About the Author: 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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