Posted by: daisycottage | June 15, 2009


 Beaches of Donegal

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Donegal is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.  The beaches of Donegal are nearly all sandy and with a coastline of over 1,200 km/800 miles, the longest in Ireland, there are many beaches to explore ~ from vast expanses of beach to tiny little coves.   This year, 2009, Donegal was awarded Blue Flags for 12 of our beaches ~ the joint 2nd with Kerry (the most awards went to County Mayo with just one more beach awarded a Blue Flag.  About Blue Flag Beaches from the Donegal County Council site: 

A Blue Flag at a beach indicates that it has a high standard in:

Water Quality, Environmental Management, Environmental Education and Information, & Safety and Services

During the Blue Flag season the water samples must be tested at least fortnightly and analysed for fecal and total coliform and fecal streptococci. It is important that adequate litter bins, toilet facilities and first aid are available. Environmental management states that the beach and its hinterland must comply with development plans and planning laws. There should be no industrial or sewage discharges into the water. The beach should be supplied with adequate safety equipment and lifeguards if deemed necessary.”

The word for beach in Irish is Tra so keep your eyes peeled as you drive along and you can discover many gems of beaches.  Some of the beaches near Daisy Cottage (with the distance to the beach from Daisy Cottage) include:

(Note you can click on some of these photos to bring you to my flickr site with further pictures of that area).


Coral Beach, St. John's Point

Coral Beach, St. John's Point

 The Coral Beach at St. John’s Point, just around the corner from Daisy Cottage and along the Point, is a lovely pink coloured beach with the ‘sand’ made up of the tiniest crumbs of shells.  It’s very pretty and from there you can take a walk to the end of St. John’s Point down as far as the lighthouse.  The diving at the lighthouse is said to be excellent and amongst the best in Europe, with crystal clear waters.  The promontory that is St. John’s Point, is at 9km/6 miles long one of the longest in Ireland.  At the tip, near the lighthouse, you have 360 degrees of stunning scenery including views across MacSwynes Bay and Donegal Bay and out to the Atlantic.

INVER BEACH ~ 5.5 km/3 miles

Inver Beach

Inver Beach

 Inver is a small, fairly private sandy beach in the tiny hamlet of Inver just off the main Dunkineely to Donegal Town road.  It is signposted to the right as you drive towards Donegal Town.  There is a little pier at Inver and another at nearby Port.


Mountcharles Beach

Mountcharles Beach

The beach and pier can be found by driving down the hill through the village of Mountcharles which is signposted as a right hand turn on the main road from Dunkineely to Donegal Town.  There is also a little pier at the beach with locally crafted stone seats to sit and enjoy the views.

 FINTRA BEACH ~ 14km/10 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach  

Fintra Beach

Fintra Beach

Fintra Beach is located a few miles outside Killybegs on the far side of the town.  There is a signposted turn to the left to take you down to the beach.  The road down is very steep and the view from the road to the beach is fabulous.

SILVER STRAND, MALINBEG ~ 40 km/25 miles

Silver Strand, Malinbeg

Silver Strand, Malinbeg

 A fabulous sandy beach set into a cove and very popular with visitors and locals alike.  The one thing though is that there are many steps down to, and back up of course, from the beach.

ROSSNOWLAGH ~ 35km/22 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

Rossnowlagh Beach

 Rossnowlagh is a huge, wide sandy beach of at least 3 or 4 miles long.  It is famous for surfing and wind surfing and the European Surfing Championships have been held here a number of times.

It is signposted as a right turn on the main Donegal Town to Bundoran road.

NARIN/PORTNOO BEACH ~ 29km/18 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Narin Beach

Narin Beach

 Narin & Portnoo Beach is a huge expanse of sandy beach in the village of Portnoo.  Whilst there you can, when the tide allows, walk to the little island of Inishkeel ~ you must take local advice and do as instructed of course.  From Dunkineely you take the road to Ardara (the road is just across the street from Daisy Cottage).  Once in Ardara you take the signposted ‘Narin’ road to the left.

MURVAGH BEACH ~ 30 km/19 miles ~ Blue Flag Beach

Murvagh Beach

Murvagh Beach

 Murvagh Beach is on the far side of Donegal Town from Dunkineely off the main Donegal Town – Ballyshannon road.  Beside the beach there is a forest where there are picnic tables.

These are just some of the beaches of Donegal.  There are many more but I have just added beaches within an easy driving distance of Donegal.  I will add to this list over time.



  1. Would you like to send me details of your cottage for review and possible inclusion in Irelands Hidden Gems, self catering gems? regards Susan, love your photos by the way, heading up to stay in Solis Castle, Lough Eske for Easter so was amused to see the ‘before’ photos….

  2. Hi Susan

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    I am emailing you my contact details now and would be happy for you to visit Daisy Cottage when you are in the area.


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