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Holidays in IrelandLightening Deals

10 Family Staycations Between Christmas & New Year – 3 Night Stays from €325!

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From Kilkenny to Killarney, check out these festive family hotel deals in Ireland with prices from €325!

 

I love a break away between Christmas and New Year!  Its the perfect way to finish off the festive season, and a good excuse to take advantage of left over annual leave days. Stephens Day is a chill day though, right? With this in mind, I have chosen these family hotel deals in Ireland departing on the 27th of December. However if you wish to depart earlier or later, or change the duration of your stay, simply edit the search dates to suit your requirements.

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Hopefully you will get lots of crisp clear days, but if not, don’t worry, because all of my family hotel deals in Ireland are based in family friendly hotels with swimming pools!
 

 

 
However, it is important to point out that some facilities may have restrictions. I always recommend booking a room with free cancellation incase there are any changes to facilities, or you need to cancel your booking due to personal reasons. Most of these festive hotel deals are priced with free cancellation and include my affiliate links – where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 

1. The Inn at Dromoland, Co. Clare: Family Room €370 for 4, or €398 for 5  

family hotel deals in Ireland - The Inn at Dromoland Hotel

Situated on the famous Dromoland Estate, The Inn at Dromoland offers endless outdoor walks over 450 acres of countryside. With Bunratty Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and beaches  just a short drive away, there are plenty of options for outdoor pursuits, as well as an indoor pool with separate kids pool at the hotel. This is one of the best festive family hotel deals in Ireland and the large family rooms cater for families of five.
 
View offer here   
 

 

 

2. Breaffy House Hotel & Spa, Co. Mayo: Family Room sleeps up to 6, €603 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We stayed in Breaffy House Resort this summer and had a wonderful experience. Children are well catered for with a swimming pool, two playgrounds, crazy golf, and plenty of opportunities for forest walks. There are plenty of dining options too and a host of family friendly activities close by.

Read: 10 reasons to choose Breaffy House Resort for your next staycation

View offer here
 

 

 

3. Talbot Suites at Stonebridge, Co.Wexford: 2 bed Apt €461

stonebridge apartments in wexford are ideal for families

Rated number 1 on TripAdvisor the luxurious Talbot Suites at Stonebridge is a super choice for families looking for large modern apartments in the heart of Wexford Town. Guests have access to the swimming pool and Talbot Quay Leisure Centre and all the facilities of the Talbot Hotel Wexford. 

Read: 5 things to do in Wexford with kids

View offer here
 

 

 

4. The Park Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford: Family Room for 4 €420

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Park Hotel is centrally located just five-minutes walk to the lively centre of Dungarvan. With a Leisure Centre on site, and five acres of gardens to explore, it is no surprise that it is very popular with families. We stayed here last year during our trip around the Munster Vales. We cycled 10km along the Waterford Greenway from Dungarvan to Durrow – it is the most scenic section of the Greenway and suitable for children too. Dungarvan is a pretty coastal town with a great scene, making it an ideal choice for a family staycation.

Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales

View offer here
 

 

 

5. Great Northern Hotel Bundoran, Donegal: Family Room for 4, €558

family hotel deals in Ireland - The Great Northern Hotel in Donegal

The Great Northern Hotel is not only located beside a Blue Flag beach, but it boasts a wellness and leisure centre, as well as a kids club that usually operates during school holidays. This 4-star hotel is one of the most popular family friendly hotels in Donegal.

If you happen to be lucky with the weather, the possibilities for day trips are endless in Donegal. It is home to some of Ireland’s best beaches, Ireland’s tallest sea cliffs, the Slieve League Cliffs, and Wilde Ireland,  Ireland’s newest animal sanctuary. 

View offer here
 

 

 

6. Ballykisteen Golf Hotel, Tipperary, Family Room: €325pp

Ballykisteen Golf Hotel swimming pool

Enjoy a last minute getaway in Ballykisteen Golf Hotel. Treat yourself to a round of golf on the superb 18-hole Championship Parkland Golf Course, or relax in the leisure centre with pool, jacuzzi and sauna. The family friendly Junction One Bar and Restaurant,  will serve up tasty food to round off your stay in style.

View offer here
 

 

 

7. Schull Harbour Hotel & Leisure Centre, 2 bedroom Apartment: €510

mizen head, cork
Mizen Head Bridge, Cork

Located in West Cork, overlooking Schull Harbour, this hotel is superbly located to explore Cork’s coastal towns. Close to Mizen Head, and the beaches of Barleycove and Inchydoney, as well as the pretty towns of Baltimore and Glandore, you will be spoilt for choice if you like exploring. You will also have access to a leisure centre with a 16 metre swimming pool, sauna and steam room and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants close by.  

View offer here
 

 

 

8. Bunratty Manor Hotel, Limerick: Family Room B&B: €507

family staycations over Halloween break

The 20-room Bunratty Manor Hotel receives outstanding reviews from repeat guests and is a Travellers Choice winner on Tripadvisor. Located just five minutes walk from Bunratty Castle and the Folk Park, and within an hours drive of the Cliffs of Moher and The Burren, the location is ideal for exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy a tasty meal in the Bunratty Manor Restaurant or venture across to Bunratty Village which as a selection of restaurants to choose from. 

View offer here
 

 

 

9. Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin, Family Room: €381

Cheap Five Star Hotels in Ireland - Radisson Blu St. Helens Hotel

This luxury hotel break will you see you stay in a stunning Georgian mansion that dates all the way back to the 16th century. It is situated close to Dublin City Centre, yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Its rare to find a five-star hotel deal at such a low price! 

View offer here
 

 

 

10. Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, Family Room: €429 for 4, €597 for 5 

things to do in Wexford with kids - National Heritage Centre
National Heritage Centre, Wexford

The 4-star Riverside Park Hotel and Leisure Club  in Wexford is a firm favourite with families. The leisure club with separate kids pool, and the lively Alamo Steakhouse prove popular with guests, as well as its close proximity to Curacloe Beach, the National Heritage Centre and Wells House and Gardens.

Read: 5 things to do in Wexford with kids

View offer here
 

 

 
I hope this post on family hotel deals in Ireland will help you plan a festive break away.  It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual hotel for clarification. I always recommend booking a room with free cancellation incase there are any changes to the listed facilities that may not suit you, or you need to cancel due to personal reasons.
 

 

 
These deals were researched across various hotel booking sites. When you make a booking you do so via a third party website. Prices are correct at the time of publishing but may change. Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

 

10 cosy cottages to rent in Ireland on Airbnb

The best beach hotels in Ireland – my top 20 picks

12 Irish hotels deals in Ireland in August

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in Ireland

10 Cosy Cottages to Rent in Ireland on Airbnb

cosy cottages to rent in Ireland on Airbnb

Think traditional cottages with open fires and all mod cons – check out these cosy cottages to rent in Ireland on Airbnb, and get planning your next autumn / winter break.

 

Now that summer is almost over, its time to start thinking of autumn or winter breaks. We all know how unpredictable our weather can be, so I have chosen some great cosy cottages to rent in Ireland on Airbnb, perfect for relaxing nights in with an open fire.

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I am an Airbnb Associate, so I spent hours searching the Airbnb website and found these cottages to rent in Ireland across various counties. All cottages have TVs, a fireplace and WiFi, and many are old cottages that have been beautifully restored – just the type of place I would like myself! Hopefully there will be one here to suit you, and you will be planning your next staycation soon.
 

 

 

1. Beachcombers Cottage, Killybegs, Co. Donegal

cottages to rent in Ireland in Donegal

Beachcombers Cottage is a modern two-bedroom house located beside the fabulous Fintra Beach in Donegal. The fireplace and a modern 50-inch TV with Netflix, are perfect companions if you fancy cosy nights in, or the town of Killybegs is just 3km away if you want to venture out. If you like hiking, Ireland’s tallest sea cliffs, the Slieve League Sea Cliffs, are just a 20 minute drive away.  

See more here
 

 

 

2. Bettys Cottage, Gap of Dunloe. Co. Kerry

cottages to rent in kerry

Located at the famous Gap of Dunloe, and just 8km from Killarney, this has to be one of the most desirable cottages to rent in Ireland. There is WiFi, a TV and an indoor fireplace, but if you fancy a night out, it happens to be located across the road from Kate Kearneys Cottage, which offers traditional Irish music. The local Coffee Pot Café serves a full Irish breakfast every morning too.

See more here
 

 

 

3. Hogan’s Cottage, near Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford

cottages to rent in Ireland in Wexford

This 300 year old stone barn has been beautifully restored containing many original features. The roof timbers were sawn from the owners old pine trees, and the kitchen units were handmade by a local craftsman from their storm felled cedar tree.
 

 

 
However, you will also find it well equipped with strong Wifi, a power shower and a satellite HD TV. There is also a cosy open fire for the long winter nights, but if you fancy exploring, Wexford’s top attractions, including Hook Lighthouse, are just a short drive away. Pets are also welcome.

See more here 
 

 

 

4. The Studio – Blessington Cottage, Co. Wicklow

small cottage to rent in wicklow

This one-bedroom cottage is ideally located for anyone looking to explore the Wicklow mountains, Blessington Lakes and Glendalough. It is located less than an hour from Dublin, so it would also suit a couple looking for a short break. There is a fireplace, TV and WiFi, which will be welcomed after a day out exploring the beautiful countryside.

See more here
 

 

 

5. Inchydoney Beach Cottage, Co. Cork

cottages to rent in Ireland beside the beach

Inchydoney is home to one of Ireland’s best beaches and this cottage not only overlooks it, but also has a private path that leads down to it. It has three bedrooms and is very well equipped, with added amenities like waffle, toasted sandwich, and smoothie makers. There is high-speed WiFi access and a 32″ flatscreen TV with satellite freeview, local TV channels, along with a brand new Roku smart box for YouTube, Netflix and other smart app access.
 

 

 
The outdoor areas include a Zen garden, and a patio with BBQ and stunning sea views, but if you do fancy a change of scenery, Inchydoney Hotel and Spa is just a few minutes walk away and the lively town of  Clonakilty is only five minutes drive from the cottage.

See more here
 

 

 

6. Oystercatcher Seaside Cottage, Connemara, Co. Galway

cottages to rent in connemara on Airbnb

This traditional two-bedroom cottage enjoys panoramic sea views from its outside decking area, and is close to many of Connemara’s beautiful beaches. It has been fully renovated, but still maintains it’s rustic charm. The cosy sitting room has a TV, Xbox, DVDs games and plenty of books for you to enjoy, and there is also free WiFi.
 

 

 
Its idyllic location is paradise during the summer time, but I’m sure lighting the wood burning stove and watching the Atlantic Ocean outside, would be pretty special during the winter months too. This must be one of the most popular cottages to rent in Ireland, so best to book it early to avoid disappointment.

See more here
 

 

 

7. Cosy Laurel Cottage,  Coolaney, Co. Sligo. 

secluded cottage to rent in sligo

Laurel Cottage is 200 year-old traditional Irish stone cottage, located in the foothills of the Ox Mountains. If you are looking for a secluded cottage to rent in Ireland, then look no further! It is ideal for those who like walking and being surrounded by wildlife – expect to find deer, pheasants and foxes nearby. It has two bedrooms and is well equipped for cosy nights in, with WiFi, Netflix and an open fire. Located within walking distance of Coolaney village and a short drive from Dunmoran Strand and the Wild Atlantic Way, there are plenty of opportunities for day trips, should you fancy a change of scenery.

See more here 
 

 

 

8. Carleys Cottage, Fanore, Co. Clare

cottage to rent in clare near the sea

This 100 year old cow house has been lovingly renovated into a two-bedroom home on the Wild Atlantic Way. It is an ideal choice in summer or winter, but the turf fire, free WiFi and cable TV mean that you can enjoy plenty of cosy nights in, should the need arise. The village of Fanore with it’s beautiful beach is close by, as is the Burren Way walking route. The Cliffs of Moher are just 20km away.

See more here
 

 

 

9. Kitty’s Cottage, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim

modern cottage to rent near a town in ireland

Kitty’s Cottage is the ideal choice if you want a cottage to rent in Ireland that is not isolated. It is located in the heart of Ballinamore town, within walking distance to shops, bars and restaurants. It was once an old railway cottage and has been restored into a modern two-bedroom house. It is a short drive away from a host of lakes so if you happen to get nice weather, there are plenty of options for boat trips – or better still, why not hire your own?

See more here
 

 

 

10. Kylemore Hideaway in Connemara, Co. Galway

hideaway to rent in galway on airbnb

With stunning Lough Fee and the Garraun Mountains all around you, you may not want to leave this cosy cottage in Connemara. Listen to the waterfall outside as you add some more turf on the stove. Although you may feel like you have truly escaped, this two-bedroomed farm cottage is fully equipped with all mod cons including a large TV with Netflix, free WiFi, and an electric shower. There is also a BBQ with outdoor seating if you happen to get fine weather.

It is located close to Kylemore Abbey and the many beaches of Connemara, so if you fancy exploring the area, you will be spoilt for choice.

See more here
 

 

 
I hope this post on cottages to rent in Ireland on Airbnb will help you plan a staycation soon. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual Airbnb owners for clarification.
 

 

 
These homes were researched on the Airbnb website and when you make a booking, you do so via Airbnb. Note as I am an Airbnb Associate, I will receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

Best hotels in Ireland for luxury and romance

Luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

The best beach hotels in Ireland – my top 20 picks

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in IrelandTrending Posts

The Best Beaches In Ireland And Places to Stay Nearby

Sarah Achill (1)

From hidden coves that are only accesible by hiking, to wide open beaches that you can drive on to – I’ve got the best beaches in Ireland in this post, and some places to stay nearby.

 

I asked on my social media channels what you thought were the best beaches in Ireland, and I was overwhelmed with the response. I received over 600 comments and messages, so a big thanks to you all for your contributions! As promised, I have compiled a list of your favourites, along with some of my own into one long post.

 

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I have broken the list down by county, which will hopefully make it easier for you to search through, and I have also listed a hotel and Airbnb close by, should you wish to plan a trip there soon. If you are not planning a trip right now, why not bookmark or Pin this post for future reference.

some of the best beaches in Ireland are in Achill

 

 

 

 

Antrim

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Blue Flag Whiterocks Beach in Portrush proved the most popular beach in Antrim, and I’m looking forward to checking it out myself next weekend. Located just off the Causeway Coastal Route, with limestone cliffs, dramatic headlands and a labyrinth of caves and arches, you could easily spend the day there. 

Other favourites include The Strand at Portstewart and White Park Bay in Ballintoy.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Antrim?

This townhouse overlooking the beach in Portrush should tick all boxes. If you are looking for a hotel, the Golflinks in Portrush has a great beachfront location, while Bushmills Hotel, near the Giants Causeway, is renowned for its great hospitality and delicious food. I visited Bushmills and the Causeway Coast a few years ago, you can read what I got up to here:

Read: A magical few days on the Causeway Coast

View hotels here
 

 

 

Clare

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I was surprised that more of Clare’s beaches didn’t feature in your comments. The well known holiday hotspots of Spanish Point, Kilkee and Lahinch were all mentioned, but Fanore beach was the most popular. The long sandy beach at Fanore is attractive to walkers and swimmers, but it also happens to have sheltered areas, which are appreciated if the weather is not in your favour. Kids will love the many rock pools in Fanore Beach and the backdrop of The Burren makes it one of Clare’s most attractive beaches too.

White strand in Miltown Malbay, and Doughmore Beach near Doonbeg were also mentioned.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Clare?

This bright airy Airbnb in Fanore is located just 500 metres from the beach and is ideal for couples or a small family. There are many great hotel options too, including the Armada Hotel and Red Cliff Lodge in Spanish Point, or the Falls Hotel which is located close to Lahinch.

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Cork

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cork is the largest county in Ireland and it certainly has its fair share of cracking beaches. My brother lives in Cork and I have been fortunate to visit Cork many times. However, I was surprised to see that Inchydoney Beach, which is often described as one of the best beaches in Ireland, was not your favourite. Inchydoney is a stunning beach. The 6.5km loop walk is a great way to appreciate the Wild Atlantic Way and there is a surf school there if you feel that way inclined.
 

 

 
However, the beautiful Barleycove near Schull was the clear winner from your comments! I remember visiting Barleycove when my children were small and loving it. Barleycove is backed by sand dunes, which are designated special areas of conservation, it also offers safe bathing for children in the stream that flows down to the sea. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Another one of my own personal favourites is Silver Strand beach on Sherkin Island, I recall wild camping there many years ago. Catch the boat from Baltimore and spend the day exploring the island – you won’t regret it. 

Other favourites include the beaches at Mizen Head, Warren Strand, Cantys Cove, Dunmore and Dunworley Beach. Garnish beach near Dursey head was also highlighted, particularly for the colour of the sea.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Cork?

This cottage overlooking Inchydoney beach is ideal if you are looking for a holiday home, but if you feel like being pampered then it is hard to beat the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa Hotel.

See more here
 

 

 

Derry

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Derry may not be famous for great beaches, but did you know that it is home to Benone beach, one of Ireland’s longest beaches? This is a Blue Flag beach that offers views of the Causeway Coast, Donegal and even Scotland, put it on your list if visiting Derry.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Derry?

This beachfront Airbnb is hard to beat. It is located below Mussenden Temple, and overlooks eight miles of sandy beach. Game of Thrones fans will love to hear that it was filmed on the beach in front of this house.

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Donegal

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Donegal is a county that I haven’t visited in a long time so is high on my staycations wish list! I loved reading your beach recommendations, in fact I received more recommendations to visit beaches in Donegal than in any other county. Donegal’s coastline stretches for 772 miles and is home to 12 Blue Flag beaches, so I think its safe to say that some of the best beaches in Ireland are in Donegal.
 

 

 
It seems Murder Hole beach is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets – apologies if I am going to spoil that now! I hadn’t heard about it before, but listening to your stories I now know that it is a place that I have to visit. You can not go by car, you must hike from Melmore near Downings to find this secret beach, but from what I’m told – it’s worth it! 
 

 

 
Nearby, Downings Blue Flag beach, as well as Tra na Rossan are also worth a visit, while Ballymastocker / Port Salon was named one of the best beaches in the world.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The horseshoe bay at Silver Strand in Malin Beg is one of Donegal’s most photographed beaches. There’s 200 steps down to it and it is nestled between two cliffs, and now this is another one of Donegal’s beaches that I feel compelled to visit!

The Inisowen Peninsula is also home to some of Ireland’s best beaches. Doagh Strand, Culdaff,  Leenan, Tullagh Bay and Kinnagoe Bay are all classed as hidden gems by my readers.
 

 

 
Narin/ Portnoo Beach was another one of your favourites. The panoramic views of the Atlantic from this Blue Flag beach are spectacular, and if you happen to visit during low tide, you can walk from Narin out to an island where you will find the remains of two churches. This white sandy beach, backed by sand dunes which are designated a Natural Heritage Area, make it known as of the best beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dunfanaghy is another popular choice. I received many recommendations to visit Killahoey Strand and Marble Hill, both are located near each other, so they could easily be visited in one day.
 

 

 
Maghergallon beach in Gweedore should not be overlooked either. Famous for having ‘Bad Eddie’ a large shipwreck in the centre of the sand, it is also a popular beach with walkers. One reader mentioned that when you walk past the rocks it is like being in the Seychelles on a good day! 

Other favourites include Maghera Beach & Caves, Fintra beach, Derrybeg, Rossnowlagh Beach and the beaches in Tory Island, located just nine miles off the coast of Donegal.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Donegal?

This 5-star cottage has its own private beach in Donegal and is listed as one of my best Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach. I’m also a fan of Portsalon’s luxury glamping yurts, but it if you fancy a nice beach front hotel, then check out thet 4-star Sandhouse Hotel that overlooks Rossnowlagh Beach.

View hotel here
 

 

 

Down

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Murlough beach is the clear winner in county Down. The 6km Blue Flag wide sandy beach is backed by sand dunes, which also happens to be a National Nature Reserve. Its location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains makes it popular with walkers and nature lovers.

Notable mentions: Newcastle, Kilclief, Ballyhornan and Helen’s Bay.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Down ?

This log cabin by the sea might suit those looking for self-catering accommodation but if you are looking for a fabulous beachfront hotel, then it has to be the 5-star Slieve Donard in Newcastle – I stayed here myself a few times and loved it.

View hotel here
 

 

 

Dublin

 

 
 
 
 
 
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So who knew there was a secret beach in Howth? I certainly didn’t, and I hope by posting this I’m not going to ruin it for the rest of you… Many of you commented about a hidden beach that is accessed from the Howth Cliff Walk towards the lighthouse. After conducting some more research I am told that it does exist! It can be tricky to get to – with slippery narrow steps, but I’m sure that’s is all part of the experience. See more information from here.
 

 

 
If you are looking for something a little larger, Velvet Strand in Portmarnock, or Sutton’s Burrow Beach have been awarded Blue Flag status, and are popular choices for sandy beach days in Dublin.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Dublin?

The King Sitric in Howth or the Portmarnock Hotel are good options if you want to be close to the beach in Dublin, but first check out this cosy cabin that is close to Howth and has private access to Burrow Beach.

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Galway

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Connemara is home to some of the best beaches in Ireland, and it seems that Dogs Bay is the one to beat. This was by far the most recommended beach by my readers, and I can’t wait to visit! Located in Roundstone, this horseshoe shaped bay is blessed with a white sandy mile long beach.
 

 

 
Dogs Bay, together with Gurteen Bay form a tombolo, whose sand is made from fragments of seashells which give it a pure white colour. Sand dunes separate both beaches, but it is clear that the whole area is one of great beauty, with swimming possibilities available on three sides. 

Connemara has certainly some of the best beaches in Ireland, with Clifden, Glassilaun, Renvyle, Eyrephort and Moyrus also recommended by my readers. However, the islands should not be overlooked…
 

 

 
Inishbofin and Mweenish Island off the coast of Connemara have some stunning beaches, and the Aran Islands’ Inis Oirr beach along with the Blue Flag Kilmurvey Beach on Inis Mór, should not be missed if visiting Galway.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Galway?

There many great places to stay in Connemara, but this Airbnb in Roundstone is pretty special. Located just meters from a quiet sandy beach, this three-bedroom house has been rebuilt from two ruined stone cottages.
 

 

 
There are many great hotels in Connemara too, including the 4-star Connemara Sands Hotel, Ballynahinch Castle, Abbeyglen Castle Hotel or Renvyle House Hotel. The Carna Bay and Roundstone House Hotel are good value 3-star options.

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Kerry

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are no surprises for guessing what your favourite beach in Kerry is – it’s Inch beach! The 5km long sandy beach is situated on the Dingle Peninsula. You can enjoy fabulous walks, try a host of water sports or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
 

 

 
In fact the Dingle Peninsula is home to some of the best beaches in Ireland. The Maharees, Ventry and Coumeenoole Beach are definitely worth a visit, and if possible take the boat over to the Great Blasket Island, I’m told that Trá Bán (White Beach) is spectacular.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Derrynane Beach and Rossbeigh also deserve a special mention, and if you want to try beach horse riding, Rossbeigh is the place to do it. 

Other favourites include Kells Bay near Killarney, Banna, Poulgorm and Barrow Beach near Tralee and the beaches in Ballinskelligs. Fermoyle Strand, which stretches for 14 kilometres make it the largest beach in Ireland. 
 

 

 
Another recommendation that might be worth checking out is the tiny coral beach beside Gleesk Pier outside Sneem. This is one of two Irish coral beaches, which are rare geological gems – the other beach is near Carraroe in Galway. The dried algae is different from the coral that you find in a tropical island, but a nice spot if you like sea shells. The pier is also a popular spot for children, who like to jump into the sea below.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Kerry?

This stone cottage in Dingle is one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach but there are also plenty of hotel options in Kerry too. The Seafront Inn on Inch Beach, the Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville, and the Derrynane Hotel are firm favourites, if you want to stay close to the beach in Kerry. 

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Louth

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The sheltered Templetown beach on the Cooley Peninsula is Louth’s best beach, according to my readers. It has a Blue Flag status and is ideal for families and water sports enthusiasts. Clogherhead and Seapoint are other popular choices.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Louth?

Roseanne’s Seaside Cottage is located right on the beach and just 5km from Carlingford, however if you are looking for a hotel stay, Templetown House or the Whistledown Hotel are probably your best bet.

Search hotels here  

 

 

 

Mayo

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Many of you many know that I’m just back from a fabulous few days in Mayo, and I was blown away by its stunning beaches. In fact the reason I decided to compile a list of the best beaches in Ireland was because I was so surprised that I hadn’t even heard of some of the beaches I discovered there.
 

 

 
I am delighted to say that you all agreed with my top recommendation, as Keem beach in Achill was the clear winner! I remember catching a glimpse of Keem beach while driving the Achill coastal route and having to pull in to see it properly. It really was hard to believe we were in Ireland when we gazed at it from this viewpoint. Believe it or not, it got even better when we got to the beach. The while sandy cove with turquoise coloured water really gave me Caribbean vibes. Don’t miss the hike up behind the beach for the best views.
 

 

 
I also loved Keel beach in Achill. It is a larger wide sandy beach, that is popular with families and water sports enthusiasts. I’m told Annagh and Dugort are also unmissable, but I guess I’ll have to go back to Achill to verify that. 

Read: 3 beaches in Achill you have to visit

It’s not only Achill in Mayo that is blessed with stunning beaches. Silver Strand beach near Louisburg stole a little piece of my heart – it also won a Green Coast Award in recognition of the beach’s clean environment, water quality and natural beauty. We only enjoyed a short visit as we stopped on our way home, so I’m thinking I might have to pay a return visit.

 
 
 
 
 
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Other favourites include Mulranney, Old Head, and Rinroe beach, as well as the more unspoilt beaches of Belmullet – Elly Beach and Claggan Island were amongst the favourites.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Mayo?

You only have to look at this house in Achill, with its own private beach access to know that this is a dream staycation house! However, the Achill Cliff House Hotel is a great option if you are looking for a hotel stay in Achill, while the 4-star Mulranny Park Hotel and the Talbot Hotel in Belmullet are very popular hotels that are close to the beach in Mayo.

Search hotels here 
 

 

 

Sligo

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sligo was the only county where I received the the equal number of recommendations for three beaches, Mullaghmore, Enniscrone and Streedagh Beach.

Mullaghmore is a 3km long, wide, sandy beach, that is backed by sand dunes. There are plenty of water sports opportunities available, and on the far side of Mullaghmore Head you will find one of Ireland’s best surfing locations.
 

 

 
The Blue Flag Enniscrone beach is renowned as one of the safest beaches on Ireland’s west coast. Its golden sand stretches for 5km, making it popular with families and water sports enthusiasts – there is a surf school here if you fancy braving the sea on the Wild Atlantic Way. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Streedagh Strand is another beautiful long sandy beach in Sligo. It offers stunning views of Donegal and Ben Bulben, and there is a sandbar linking Streedagh point to Connor’s island, which makes it another ideal spot for surfing. 

Cliffoney beach was also mentioned, this relatively unspoilt beach is ideal if you want to escape the crowds, although swimming is not recommended.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Sligo?

If you are looking for a large family home, check out this three-bedroom house that is located right on the beach in Enniscrone.  However if you prefer a hotel stay, the 4-star Diamond Coast Hotel or the 3-star Ocean Sands Hotel are probably your best bet.

Search hotels here
 

 

 

Waterford

 

 
 
 
 
 
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According to my readers, there are many great beaches in Waterford to choose from. Tramore’s three-mile long sandy beach was always going to be a favourite, but Ardmore, Bunmahon Beach and Kilmurrin Cove were also popular – all of which I can whole heartedly agree with. I was lucky enough to try sea kayaking in Ardmore beach (above), while staying at the stunning Cliff House Hotel.
 

 

 
I also enjoyed exploring Bunmahon Beach and Kilmurrin Cove on the Copper Coast last year. My kids loved crab hunting in the the rock pools in Kilmurrin Cove, and its also a great place to forage for seaweed. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales
 

 

 
Other favourites included Kilfarrasy, Dunmore Beach and Goat Island, and older kids love diving from the cliffs at Guillamene Swimming Cove. I’m also told that there are lots of beautiful beaches located between Ring and Ardmore – perhaps beach hopping could be a thing in Waterford?
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Waterford?

The Boatstrand Beachhouse on Waterford’s Copper Coast is one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach, in fact the beach is at the end of its garden! If you prefer a hotel stay, check out the Majestic Hotel in Tramore or the Strand Inn in Dunmore East. I am also a big fan of the Cliff House Hotel, so if you can stretch the budget, it’s worth it!

Search hotels here 
 

 

 

Wexford

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Wexford has over 250 km of coastline with lots of wide sandy beaches to choose from. I have joint winners in Wexford, The seven mile long Curraloe (Ballinesker), made famous for its filming of Steven Spielberg’s movie, Saving Private Ryan, is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Ireland, but the lesser known Dollar Bay was equally favoured by my readers.
 

 

 
I’m told Dollar Bay is somewhat of a hidden treasure. This small cove beach is located on the Hook Peninsula. Surrounded by high rocky cliffs and green fields, with turquoise coloured sea and golden sand – you may think you are in the Caribbean instead of Ireland.
 
Other favourites include Carne Beach, Cullenstown Beach past Duncormick Village, St. Helens and Baginbun.
 

 

 

Where to stay near the beach in Wexford?

If you are looking for a beach hotel in Wexford, look no further than Kellys Resort Hotel in Rosslare. I stayed here a few years ago and it reminded me of a hotel in the Mediterranean, it has a real ‘resort’ feel to it. It is quite family orientated though, so best to avoid it during school holidays if you are travelling without children.

Read: Is Kelly’s the best family hotel in Ireland?

Read: 5 things to do in Wexford with Kids
 

 

 
There are many other hotels close to the sea in Wexford to choose from. I took a shine to this thatched cottage near Curracloe beach – is an ideal choice if you are looking for an authentic Irish stay.

See more here
 

 

 

Wicklow

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I was delighted to see that Brittas Bay was your favourite beach in Wicklow, as it is mine too! I am a regular visitor and love its wide golden sandy beach, as well as the sand dunes that lay behind it – these act as a natural shelter if you want to sunbathe on a windy day.
 

 

 
Silver Strand beach is another favourite. Although much smaller in size, it is surrounded by dramatic cliffs on both sides and tends to escape the massive crowds that frequent Brittas Bay.

Where to stay near the beach in Wicklow?

Wicklow has some fabulous hotels including the 5-star Druids Glen Resort and Powerscort Hotel, however there is not a huge choice of options if you are looking for a beachfront hotel. Why not check out this Brittas Bay retreat on Airbnb instead?

See more here
 

 

 
I hope this post on the best beaches in Ireland  will help you plan a staycation soon. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity. The hotel search boxes are linked to Booking.com where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 
The holiday homes were researched on the Airbnb website and when you make a booking, you do so via Airbnb. Note as I am an Airbnb Associate, I will receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

Best hotels in Ireland for luxury and romance

Best Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

The best beach hotels in Ireland – my top 20 picks

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Holidays in Ireland

25 Airbnbs in Ireland for Groups or Large Family Holidays

Large Airbnbs in Ireland

From private islands to private pools, check out these Airbnbs in Ireland for groups or large family gatherings, and get planning your next staycation.

 

With more extended families holidaying together and the desire to stay in rather than go out, a holiday home can be the perfect solution. I am an Airbnb Associate, so I spent hours searching the Airbnb website and found plenty of great Airbnbs in Ireland for groups and extended families, who want to holiday together.

 

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I’ve got beach houses and country houses, some are located on hotel grounds, while others are set in their own private estates. I have chosen a variety of sizes too, from 4-bedroom luxury townhouses, to 11-bedroom mansions. Some houses even have their own pools, and one is located on its own private island! So why not get a few friends together or plan a family gathering away from home for a change – hopefully one of these large Airbnbs in Ireland will suit the occasion perfectly.
 

 

 

1.  Sunnybank House with private pool, Clifden, Galway – 11 Bedrooms

11 bedroom Sunnybank in Galway is one of the best airbnbs in Ireland for groups

Located in the heart of Connemara this 11-bedroomed country estate can sleep 16+ guests. It has an outdoor pool that is heated from late May – mid September, as well as a sauna and tennis court. It is just 150 metres from the town square, where you will find a great selection of bars and restaurants. The nearby private leisure centre with indoor heated pool and gym is also available for use all year around.

See more here 
 

 

 

2.  Collanmore Island Lodge, Westport, Co. Mayo – 4 Bedrooms

Collanmore private island is a great airbnb in Ireland for groups

Fancy holidaying in your own private island? Collanmore Island Lodge is located in Clew Bay, just 10 mins from the vibrant town of Westport, but it will seem like worlds apart… Just hop on the ferry from Westport (€10pp return) and enjoy the freedom of island life for a few days. The lodge has its own private beach, a BYOB bar, a hot tub and a steam room. This is one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland for groups, the house sleeps up to 22 people.

See more here
 

 

 

3. Sheen Falls Country Club, Kenmare, Co. Kerry – 4 Bedrooms

Sheen Falls Lodge - luxury airbnbs in ireland for large families

This luxury detached four-bedroom house at Sheen Falls Country Club in Kenmare is furnished to the highest standard, and provides complimentary access to the swimming pool at the Sheen Falls Lodge Hotel.

Kenmare is located on the Ring of Kerry and is a delightful town with a great selection of shops, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. This is the ideal getaway for a large family our group of friends. 

See more here
 

 

 

4. The Boat House, Baltimore, Co. Cork – 4 Bedrooms

The Boat House in Baltimore - luxury airbnbs in ireland for large families

West Cork is one of my favourite parts of Ireland and The Boat House location is idyllic. This four-bedroomed house is one of ten properties on an island estate, reached by a stone bridge. It is also located close to Baltimore and Skibbereen, so if you fancy a change of scene, you don’t have too far to go. You will also have access to an indoor heated swimming pool during your stay. 

See more here
 

 

 

5. Large Family Home in Dingle, Co. Kerry – 5 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Kerry for a large family

This modern five-bedroomed Dingle home is ideal for a large gathering in one of Ireland’s most loved towns. It is located less than five minutes walk to the centre of the town and has a relaxing conservatory opening out to a private garden.

Make sure you experience the Slea Head Drive, take a boat out to the Skellig Islands, or enjoy a swim with Dingle’s favourite friend, Fungie the dolphin – there is so much to do on the Dingle Peninsula.

See more here
 

 

 

6. Guitane Lakeside House, Killarney, Co. Kerry – 5 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Killarney for large families

The five-bedroomed Guitane House overlooks Lough Guitane in Killarney. Located on 7.5 acres, with private access to your own lake, with boating and fishing rights to Lough Guitane, this is the ultimate in Airbnb luxury. You can enjoy a unique retreat with the benefit of being just ten minutes drive from Killarney town and its famous National Park. 

See more here
 

 

 

7. Villa Yeats, Ardmore, Co. Waterford – 5 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Waterford for large families

Villa Yeats is a modern 5-bedroomed home with private beach access in one of Waterford’s most idyllic locations. Set on a five-acre estate with a sister property, Villa Galileo, it is ideal for large gathering as both houses can be rented together, and can accommodate up to 29 people.

Each house has a separate garden and an outdoor terrace with BBQ, and there is a shared shed with two kayaks and tennis rackets for guest use. The five-star Cliff House Hotel is nearby with its award-winning Michelin star restaurant – but make sure to book it in advance!

See more here
 

 

 

8.  The St George at Ross Castle, with Pool Access. Co. Galway – 6 + Bedrooms*

luxury airbnbs in ireland for groups

The St George House accommodates up to 12 guests with the added benefits of having access to the grounds of the estate and all its common areas, including the indoor heated pool, Billiards room, tennis court and lake boats.

There are three cottages on the estate which can be booked together, making it one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland for groups. You can view The Park Hall here, which sleeps up to 16 guests. With Connemara, Mayo and even Clare all within driving distance, the possibilities for day trips are endless. 
 
See more here 
 

 

 

9. Golf Lodge at Mount Juliet Estate, with Pool Access, Co. Kilkenny – 4 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for families

This spacious 4-bedroom golf lodge in Mount Juliet Estate is a great find on Airbnb. I stayed in Mount Juliet recently and loved it. The house is very well equipped and modernly furnished with a dining suite for 10 and a log burning stove – perfect for a large family get together. The large south facing garden is furnished with an outdoor table and chairs and the pièce de résistance –  you have access to the hotel’s swimming pool.

Read: My review of Mount Juliet Estate

See more here
 

 

 

10. Driney House with Indoor Pool & Private Jetty, Co. Leitrim – 4 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland with private jetty

This four-bedroom house is located on the waterways in Leitrim. There is a private jetty and access to the lake just 50 metres from the garden and there is also a heated indoor pool with lake view, which is open from April 1st – December 31st. The BBQ and outdoor terrace offer the perfect place for al-fresco dining, and the house is well equipped with WiFi and a fireplace if you fancy a cosy night in.

See more here
 

 

 

11. Modern beach house, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo – 4 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Mayo for families

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Mayo and I can confirm the beaches near Louisburg are spectacular! This villa-style 4-bedroom beach house offers panoramic views of the Atlantic and Croagh Patrick, with a small beach just 100 meters from the house.

There is also a pier for crab and mackerel fishing, and plenty of options for waters ports in the beaches nearby. The house is well equipped with all mod cons including Apple TV, Netflix, WiFi, as well as a fully fitted wet room to help clean sandy bodies easily. 

See more here
 

 

 

12. The Lime House, Slane, Co. Meath – 6 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for large families

If you are looking for large Airbnbs in Ireland for groups, then look no further than The Lime House eco lodge – it can sleep up to 22 people. There are six ensuite bedrooms, as well as a wood-fired hot tub*, pizza oven and BBQ area beside the house. There is also a natural swimming pool about 300 metres away, which can be used all year round, but warmest from May to September.  

See more here
 

 

 

13. The Boatstrand Beachhouse, Co. Waterford – 4 Bedrooms

modern airbnb house in Waterford near the beach

If you are looking for a modern Airbnb in Ireland near the beach, this one ticks all boxes – in fact it has a beach at the end of the garden. Beautifully decorated with panoramic sea views, this Copper Coast hideaway is ideal for families and friends alike. The house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large garden with a BBQ – perfect for family nights in.

See more here
 

 

 

14. Log Cabin in Kinsale, Co. Cork – 5 Bedrooms

log cabin airbnb in Ireland near the beach

This five-bedroom log cabin offers superb sea views and is located just ten minutes drive from Kinsale. This will house up to 11 guests, so it is ideal for an extended families. There is a large garden, a balcony with views towards the Old Head of Kinsale, an office and a home gym. There is a small beach at the end of the road which is ideal for canoeing, and there are plenty of sandy beaches a short drive away.

See more here
 

 

 

15. Inch Country House, Co. Tipperary – 6 bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for groups

You only have to look at the image of Inch House to know that it is something special. A Georgian Country Mansion dating from 1720, if you fancy a family get together in true Downtown Abbey style – then look no further. It was a guest house and restaurant for 25 years before being transformed back into a stately home in 2018.
 

 

 
You will have exclusive use of the six-bedroom house which can accommodate up to 19 people, and the proprietors own home is behind the main house, which can house a further six people if required, at an additional cost. The Library Bar can be stocked to your own taste, including draft Guinness! There is also a unique little chapel and extensive gardens to explore. A private chef can also be arranged if you would rather not cook during your stay. 
 

See more here
 

 

 

16. The Old Quay House, Fethard on sea, Co. Wexford – 6 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for groups

This magnificent period house is located right at the harbour and offers panoramic views from three separate balconies. It can sleep up to 17 which makes a one of the most popular Airbnbs in Ireland for groups. Located on the beautiful Hook Peninsula, you will find plenty of shops and restaurants close by as well as some superb beaches – I’m told there are 14 different beaches nearby.
 

 

 
The extensive gardens have a patio with BBQ area and there is a games room with a full-size table tennis, 6ft pool / snooker table, and a cross trainer. There are also fishing nets, boules and buckets and spades for kids on site.  

See more here
 

 

 

 17. Radestown House, Co. Kilkenny – 7 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for groups or extended families

Radestown House is a four-storey, 8,000 sq.ft. house set on 11 acres. If you are looking for a luxurious house for a large party or family event, then look no further – its sleeps up to 35. There are plenty of places to dine: you can choose the formal dining room, the kitchen dining area, or the two large outdoor terraces. However if you fancy dining out, the house is located less than 10 minutes from Kilkenny city centre. This must be one of the largest Airbnbs in Ireland for groups.

See more here
 

 

 

18. Killadangan, Westport Period House, Co. Mayo – 5 Bedrooms

airbnbs in ireland for large families

This villa-style period house overlooking Clew Bay is one of a kind. Located just ten minutes from the vibrant town of Westport, on the Wild Atlantic Way, it is an ideal venue for an extended family holiday or group of friends. Situated on eight acres, the five bedroomed house has been fully restored over five years, and now has a wonderful mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. 

A concierge service is available with housekeeping, a private chef and waitress. The hosts can also arrange bespoke itineraries including guided tours and boat trips.

See more here
 

 

 

19. Ethan House, Killarney, Co Kerry – 4 separate houses

airbnbs in ireland for groups

Ethan House Killarney is one of the best Airbnbs in Ireland for groups, as it offers four self-contained suites on a two-acre site. It allows friends or extended families to holiday together, with the benefits of having privacy in their own home.

If all houses are rented together, they can sleep up to 21 guests, however if you only wish to rent three of the houses, contact the host for individual prices. It is located just 4km from Killarney town centre, and close to all of its top attractions.

See more here
 

 

 

20. Zephyr Lodge, Bundoran, Co. Donegal – 6 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Donegal for large families

Zephyr Lodge was originally an award-winning guesthouse, and is now a luxury holiday home that can sleep up to 14 guests. Recently refurbished, the lodge is well equipped and located just five minutes walk to the lively town centre of Bundoran and its stunning beach. 

See more here      
 

 

 

21. Award Winning Designed Home with Ocean Views, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo – 4 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for large families

This modern award-winning four-bedroomed house offers stunning views of the Atlantic, with a road that leads down to a great sea swimming spot. The house is connected with the HARBOUR SUP school and equipment and lessons can be arranged from the house. It is just three minutes from Dromore West which has a pub, cafe and Chinese take-away, while the seaside town of Enniscrone and its stunning white sandy beach, are just 17 minutes away. 

See more here
 

 

 

22. Bunker Lodge Beach House, Co. Clare – 4 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Clare for large families

Bunker Lodge is a four-bedroomed luxury beach house that is just minutes from the white sandy beach at Doughmore and the Trump International Hotel at Doonbeg. Its unique design includes an L shaped sunroom and a first floor living room, which offers panoramic views of the Atlantic through its windows and balcony.
 

 

 
This home can sleep up to 10 and is ideally suited to an extended family gathering, as group parties are not allowed. Located close to the village of Doonbeg, with the Cliffs of Moher, Clare’s seaside resorts and the Aran Islands close by, the possibilities for day trips are endless.

See more here
 

 

 

23. The Glendalough Lodge, Co. Wicklow – 5 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in ireland for mountain walks

This beautiful five-bedroomed Victorian Lodge is located in the pretty village of Laragh, close to Glendalough’s lakes. It is listed by the Irish Government as a building of historical significance and importance, and is ideally located for nature lovers, walkers and hikers.
 

 

 
Why not cook a nice family roast on the vintage AGA cooker after a day on the mountains? There is also a private courtyard with a custom built BBQ area if you are lucky to rent it during the summer time. If you fancy dining out, the popular restaurant, ‘The Wicklow Heather’ is within walking distance as well as traditional country pubs.

See more here
 

 

 

24. Portrush Harbour Townhouse, Co. Antrim – 6 Bedrooms

luxury airbnbs in Nothern Ireland for large families or groups

This six-bedroomed townhouse in the harbour town of Portrush, is ideally located if you want to discover the Causeway Coast with family or friends. This house can sleep up to 19 guests and comes with a child friendly garden with trampoline and BBQ, two small dogs are also welcome. This luxurious holiday home is located within walking distance of the town and beach, and all of the Causeway Coast’s top attractions are close by.  

See more here
 

 

 

25. Bella Vista, Carlingford, Co. Louth – 7 Bedrooms

best airbnbs in ireland for groups or parties

The medieval town of Carlingford is always a popular choice for group getaways. The lively village is only a 12 minute walk away, and offers some great bars and restaurants. There is also a host of water sports available on Carlingford Lough. This is one of the most popular Airbnbs in Ireland for groups as it can sleep up to 23 in seven bedrooms, and it has a garden with patio area and BBQ for large family gatherings.

See more here
 

 

 
I hope this post on Airbnbs in Ireland for groups or large family holidays will help you plan a group getaway soon. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual Airbnb owners for clarification. 
 

 

 
These homes were researched on the Airbnb website and when you make a booking, you do so via Airbnb. Note as I am an Airbnb Associate, I will receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.  Read more in my privacy policy.

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

 

Luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

The best beach hotels in Ireland – my top 20 picks

Top picks for glamping in Ireland

Top Airbnb glamping sites in Ireland

20 Hotels with lodges in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in Ireland

10 Reasons To Choose Breaffy House Resort in Mayo For Your Next Staycation

Breaffy House Hotel

Looking for inspiration for your next staycation? From family friendly activities to soothing spa treatments, I’ve got 10 reasons why you should choose Breaffy House Resort in Mayo.

 

We spent three wonderful nights as guests of Breaffy House Resort. The staff were so friendly, the facilities top class, but most of all, there was a genuine holiday atmosphere throughout the hotel. Breaffy is aptly named a ‘resort’ hotel, and from the moment we arrived we were in holiday mode. There are outside tables overlooking the gardens, the perfect place to unwind with a pre or post dinner drink. We enjoyed listening to live music while the kids played happily – isn’t that what holidays are all about? 

Breaffy House Hotel

Breaffy House was built in Victorian style in 1890 and you can not help but admire its recessed facades, turrets, and extensive grounds. There are many reasons to choose Breaffy House Resort for your next staycation – here are my top ten.
 

 

 

1. There are two hotels to choose from, with a wide selection of hotel rooms, suites and apartments.

A member of Select Hotels of Ireland, Breaffy House Resort consists of two hotels on a 101-acre estate. The 4-Star Breaffy House Hotel and the 3-star Breaffy Woods Hotel are located just minutes from each other. You are welcome to use the facilities in both hotels, regardless of which hotel or room type you are staying in.

breaffy house hotel family rooms

The Breaffy House Hotel has 106 bedrooms including luxury suites and large family rooms that sleep six. The Breaffy Woods Hotel was built in 2006, along with a sports and events area. This was designed with events and families in mind and has large family rooms and interconnecting family suites, as well as six spacious self-catering apartments – one of which we stayed in. You can see a full tour of our apartment on my Instagram highlights.

 

Instagram

 

2. Breaffy House Resort is situated on 101 acres and there are delightful looped walks to enjoy.

Breaffy House grounds

Breaffy House Resort is beautifully set in 101 acres of wide-open space. There are forest trails as well as 2km, 3km and 5km looped walks. You can download maps that outline the routes and highlight 13 points of interest along the way. These include the remnants of the Walled Garden, Breaffy’s own beehives, as well as a delightful fairy trail beside the lake. We enjoyed a leisurely walk along the 5km trail, it is a lovely walk to start the day, before or after breakfast.
 

 

 

3. There is a Leisure Centre with swimming pool, gym, fitness classes and health suite.

swimming pool at Breaffy House Resort

 
I was really impressed with the 20 metre indoor swimming pool and kids pool in the Breaffy House Hotel. Pool slots needed to be pre-booked in advance, but this is standard practice during Covid-19. The numbers were restricted in the pool, so there was plenty of space. Bath robes are provided in your room so you can get dressed into your swimwear before you arrive at the pool – this avoids having to use the changing facilities.
 

 

 
The fully equipped gym and health suite with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi were closed during our visit, but they are expected to re-open later in the year. The Leisure Centre also run aqua aerobics and fitness classes – these are also expected to return, but please confirm availability with Breaffy directly before booking.

The Breaffy Club has held the White Flag Award since the club was established over 10 years ago. The White Flag Award is the quality mark that is endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation. It is the only industry quality standard for sports/leisure centres, gyms, health/fitness clubs, swimming pools & Spas.
 

 

 

4. Breaffy House Resort has four dining options and a Scandinavian BBQ Hut!

There are plenty of dining options available in Breaffy House Resort. We were delighted to learn that the breakfast buffet was still available! Breaffy have managed to follow Covid-19 guidelines by having staff serve food from the buffet stations without guests having to touch any food or utensils. So if you like a full Irish breakfast and plenty of buffet options, you will find it in Breaffy House Hotel. We also had a delicious lunch in Healy Mac’s Bar, and a relaxing dinner in the Mulberry Restaurant which overlooks the beautiful gardens. 

Goats cheese salad starter

Legends Bistro and Woods Bar are the dining options in Breaffy Woods Hotel, and although I didn’t personally get a chance to try them, we did enjoy some authentic Italian pizza from their in-house Pizzeria. If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can even host your own private BBQ in their new Scandinavian BBQ Hut!

Breaffy House Hotel BBQ Hut
 

 

 

5. There is a Spa with a choice of treatments available.

Breaffy Spa at Breaffy House Resort

I visited Breaffy Spa before I checked out – this was a massive mistake! I had booked badly needed pedicure, (which was great by the way),  however, what I should have booked was one of Breaffy Spa’s signature treatments. There are 12 treatment rooms, including two Dry Floatation therapy beds, a hydrotherapy bath, and what looked like a must-do if you are visiting Breaffy House Resort – their signature Rasul Mud Chamber.

You begin the treatment by applying a traditional eastern cleansing mud to your whole body, and then sit back and relax while the herbal steam soothes away all your stresses. This Rasul Mud Chamber sits up to 4 people so it is ideal for couples or friends, however you can also go it alone and prices are very reasonable. Price for four is €100, three is €85, two is €60 and solo is only €30.

The hydrotherapy bath has 252 powerful jets and I’m told 30 minutes on the the dry floatation bed is equivalent to eight hours bed rest – I’m sorry to say I didn’t try this either…
 

 

 

6. Breaffy House Resort is very family friendly.

grounds with playground at Breaffy House Hotel

From the minute we checked-in, we could see how family friendly Breaffy House Resort was. There is super playground and mini-golf course right in front of the restaurant and bar area. We were able to enjoy some al fresco drinks while the kids played happily in the gardens.
 

 
The Leisure Centre’s 20 metre swimming pool is 1.2 meters deep all the way around, which is ideal for family swimming, and there is a kids pool for younger children. The kids club was not open during our stay due to Covid-19 restrictions, but this normally runs during school holidays. There is also a fairy trail on the grounds, as well as another play area at Breaffy Woods Hotel.

Fairy Trail at Breaffy House Resort

The fact that the hotel has so many family rooms that can sleep up to six, as well as interconnecting rooms and apartments, also separates Breaffy House Resort from many of its competitors. 
 

 

 

7. There is a cool wine cellar.

wine cellar at Breaffy House Hotel

If you are a wine lover – don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Bordeaux in the Breaffy wine cellar. This cellar opened in 2018 and was a labour of love for Wilson Bird, the General Manager of Breaffy House Resort. Wilson’s passion for wine shone through as he showed us wines from the Bordeaux region, the Loire Valley as well as a selection of new world wines. We enjoyed a wonderful wine tasting experience (well a little more than a tasting if truth be told) in the wine cellar. This is something I can highly recommend. Top Tip: Breaffy’s House wine is great too! 
 

 

 

8. It has Ireland’s only Healy Mac’s Bar – voted the best Irish bar in the world!

lunch at Healy Macs bar

I was lucky to visit Healy Mac’s bar in Kuala Lumpur, which The Irish Times and Diageo voted it the best Irish Bar in the World! But you no longer have to travel overseas to visit the multi-award-winning bar, because it has arrived at Breaffy House Resort. We enjoyed a delicious lunch there, food is served from 1230pm – 9.30pm daily and the bar is open from morning until night.
 

 

 

9. There are luxury champagne & spa packages available.

Breaffy House Resort suite

While Breaffy House Resort is very much suited to families during school holidays, it is an ideal hotel for couples or groups during the autumn or winter periods. Breaffy House Hotel also offers excellent value in their suites with dedicated Moet & Chandon spa breaks available. The junior suites are modernly furnished with free-standing baths and are the perfect choice for a romantic getaway. Prices for a two-night stay in a junior suite are from €250pp and include:

  • Bottle of Moet & Chandon – served chilled in your room on arrival, or on the south terrace during your stay.
  • 5 course evening meal on the night of your choice in the Mulberry Restaurant
  • Full Irish Breakfast each morning in the Mulberry Restaurant
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • His & Hers Elemis gift sets
  • €50pp spa credit
  • Late check out 2pm

There are various packages available, and if you travel from October – April you can claim a 20% tax rebate (up to a maximum of €125pp) with the ‘Spend and Save’ staycation incentive from the government. 

See more here
 

 

 

10.  Breaffy House Resort is close to Mayo’s top attractions and stunning beaches.

I am very much aware that during our short visit to Mayo that we only scratched the surface. The vibrant coastal town of Westport is only 20 minutes drive from Breaffy House Resort and the Great Western Greenway stretches all the way from Westport to Achill. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to cycle it – hopefully next time. The award-winning Ceide Fields is also in Mayo, along with Ballycroy National Park, the locals favourite Lough Lannagh, and if you are feeling up to to the climb, Croagh Patrick is only a 35 minute drive away.
 

 

 
However, we did get to visit Dún Briste at Downpatrick Head, Ireland’s most impressive sea stack. Located in North Mayo, its location on the Atlantic coast is really impressive. There are no barriers, crowds or visitors centres, it is still relatively unspoilt – sshhh…. It is also home to a WWII lookout post and the EIRE 64 sign, which let WWII pilots know that they were flying over a neutral country.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I am convinced that some of Ireland’s best beaches are in Mayo, it is home to eleven Blue Flag beaches. We missed out on visiting most of them, but the three we did visit were spectacular.

Achill’s Keem beach has the wow factor and is definitely a contender for Ireland’s best beach. The sheltered cove has white sand and crystal clear water – it felt like a beach from the Caribbean, rather than the west of Ireland. Make sure you take the 40-minute hike behind the beach to catch one of Ireland’s best Instagram locations. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Keel Beach is also worth visiting, it stretches for 4km and is one of the most popular sandy beaches on Achill Island. It is a haven for water sports such as kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing and of course swimming.

Silver Strand Beach is another stunning secluded beach, and although remote and unspoilt, it is only 15km from Louisburgh. It is surrounded by green headlands, high sand dunes, and blessed with crystal clear waters. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Read: 3 beaches in Mayo you have to visit
 

 

 

For booking and information visit BreaffyHouseResort.com

** Note: We were guests of Breaffy House Resort, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

holidays in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Travel Tips

Travelling During Covid-19 – Make Sure To Fill Out Passenger Locator Forms in Advance

shutterstock_Greece during covid-19

Travelling overseas anytime soon? Make sure you fill out the passenger locator forms before you travel to ensure you are not denied entry.

 

Most countries have introduced Passenger Locator Forms to help manage and trace Covid-19 cases, but did you know that in some cases you need to fill these out 48 hours before you fly? You may be denied boarding at the airport or refused entry to a country if you have not filled out the locator form in time. Some countries require you to print documentation and have it with you when you arrive, while others they want you to complete the form online – even Ireland’s Passenger Locator Form needs to filled out online from 26th August 2020.

Fill out Irish Passenger Locator Form here

 

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Important information:

At the time of publication (9th August 2020), the following European countries have put these and other measures in place. However, it it important to note that the information below are guidelines only from my own personal research – policies are changing on a daily basis and need to be confirmed by you before you travel. If Ireland’s Covid-19 cases continue to increase we may be obliged to show negative PCR Covid-19 tests on arrival to certain European countries, this is already compulsory in many countries around the world, and will need to be obtained 72 hours before departure.

It is imperative that you check with the country you are travelling to before your departure to ensure that you are following the correct entry guidelines. 

 

Read: My top tips for travelling during Covid-19
 

 

 

Greece:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory Passenger Locator Form online at least 24 hours before you travel. If you don’t, you will be denied boarding. One form can be completed for all members of the same household. Once completed you will receive a QR code which you will show on arrival in Greece.
 

 

 
Covid-19 tests are being carried out randomly at airports. These are spot checks and do not apply to all visitors. However, any visitor who is tested is required to self-isolate for 24 hours. If you test positive, you will be notified and will need to quarantine for 14 days. Passengers arriving from high risk countries have to provide a Covid-19 negative molecular test (PCR) result,  performed up to 72 hours before entering the country.

Fill out form here
 

 

Italy:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory self-declaration form. This my be collected on the aircraft or handed to officials on arrival. Additional registration is required for travel to Sardinia.
 

 

 
Passengers travelling from high risk countries, which currently include Spain, Greece, Croatia and Malta, have to present a negative C-19 test (performed up to 72 hours before departure) or declare that they will complete a C-19 test within 48 hours after their arrival in an Italian health centre.

Print form here
 

 

 

Spain, including Canary Islands

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory Passenger Locator Form online 24 hours before departure, paper forms will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. When you fill out the form, you will receive a QR code which you will need to show on arrival.  

Fill out form here
 

 

 

France:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory Passenger Locator Form and sign a statement confirming you have no Covid-19 symptoms. These may be collected on the aircraft or handed to authorities on arrival.

Print health form here

Print Passenger Locator form here
 

 

 

Portugal

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory Passenger Locator Form which can be handed to authorities on arrival. Visitors are subject to temperature checks on arrival and anyone with a high temperature may be tested for Covid-19.

Additional measures are required if travelling to the Azores and Madeira, including a negative PCR Covid-19 test that was taken 72 hours before departure.

Print form here
 

 

 

Malta:

top 10 reasons to visit Malta

You MUST complete a mandatory Passenger Locator Form AND a Public Health Declaration before arrival. These will be collected on the aircraft or in the terminal building when you arrive. Passengers arriving from high risk countries should present a negative PCR test taken within 72hrs before arrival. Passengers who fail to produce a negative test may be subject to testing on arrival or quarantine.

Print Passenger Locator Form here

Print Public Health Declaration here
 

 

 

Cyprus:

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You MUST complete a mandatory Flight Pass at least 24 hours before departure, if you don’t you will be denied boarding. Everyone travelling must complete a separate form, including children. Once completed, you will receive a confirmation email, which you’ll need to show when you arrive in Cyprus.
 

 

 
Covid-19 tests are being carried out on passengers at random. The tests are free of charge and you will receive the results by text message within 48 hours. If you test positive, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel – this will be arranged and paid for by the authorities in Cyprus.
 
Note: residents from selected countries are required to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test on arrival. Currently (9th August 2020) Ireland is not required to do this, as we are on the Category A list, however this is subject to change as the list is updated weekly. See more country categories here.

Fill out form here
 

 

 

Croatia

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You MUST complete a mandatory form online before you travel. You will also be required to present a Passenger Locator Form on arrival. 

Fill out form here

Print Passenger Locator from here
 

 

 

Germany

passenger locator forms required for entry to Germany

You must complete a mandatory passenger locator form, which will be collected on board the aircraft. Passengers returning from risk areas have to undergo PCR test upon arrival. 

Download form here
 

 

 

Turkey

Istanbul

All visitors must fill out a Passenger Locator Form before entry, this will be collected on arrival in Turkey. All passengers with symptoms will be examined and tested on arrival.

Download form here

 

 

 

UK

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Visitors (excluding Rep of Ireland Channel Islands and Isle of Man citizens) MUST complete a Passenger Locator Form online before arrival. Visitors arriving from high risk countries may be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Fill out form here 
 

 

 
See Passenger Locator Forms for other European markets here

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Holidays in Ireland

3 Beaches in Mayo You Have to Visit

Mayo-22

Missing the Med? These beaches in Mayo might make up for it.

 

I’m just back after a fabulous few days in Mayo, a county that really surprised me. There is so much to see and do in Mayo and we only scratched the surface. I have yet to cycle The Great Western Greenway, climb Croagh Patrick, take a boat trip to Clare Island or visit Ballycroy National Park – needless to say I am already planning my return trip. However, I did manage to check out some of the best beaches in Mayo, and I was seriously impressed. Check out my Instagram Highlights from my trip to Mayo here.
 

 

 
I am convinced that some of Ireland’s best beaches are in Mayo. I missed out on Mulranny Breach, Old Head and Cross Beach – from what I am told these are equally as stunning, but from my own personal experience, these are beaches in Mayo that you simply have to visit!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Keem Beach, Achill

Keem Beach is a little piece of heaven. So many locals from Mayo recommended that I visit Keem, so I duly obliged. It is located at the western end of Achill Island, and is easily accessible by road – the clifftop drive is pretty impressive too. I recommend going early so you can get a parking spot right at the beach.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It is virtually uninhabited so you wont find surf schools or coffee shops, but that’s part of its charm. The sheltered cove beach has white sand and crystal clear water – it felt like a beach from the Caribbean, rather than the west of Ireland.
 

 

 
It is surrounded by mountains and cliffs which you must explore. Make sure you hike the mountain behind the beach to catch the most breathtaking views, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top. Watch out for the former look-out post, it is one of Ireland’s best Instagram locations. You can also choose to walk along the top of the cliffs towards Achill Head, the most westerly point of Achill Island. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Keel Beach, Achill

Keel Beach stretches for 4km and is one of the most popular sandy beaches on Achill Island. It is a haven for water sports such as kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing and of course swimming. This is the place to experience the surfy vibes of Achill. Don’t miss lunch, or even a home-made cake, at The Beehive. Pure Magic Lodge is a great place to stay if you are looking for an active holiday with a lively atmosphere, and I’m told their pizzas are pretty good too.

best beaches in Mayo
 

 

 

Silver Strand Beach, Louisburg

Silver Strand Beach is another beach that came highly recommended, but I made the mistake of only visiting it on our way home. It is a stunning secluded beach, and although remote and unspoilt, it is only 15km from Louisburg. Surrounded by green headlands, high sand dunes, and blessed with crystal clear waters, it is the picture perfect Irish beach – I’m thinking Failte Ireland need to come here for their next Wild Atlantic Way campaign.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are eleven Blue Flag beaches in Mayo, these three are favourites from my own personal experience. I am sure when I visit the rest of them I will be editing this post accordingly. Watch this space. 
 

 

 

Like this post? You might also like:

20 luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

Top Airbnb Glamping sites in Ireland

 

holidays in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Holidays in Ireland

The Best Adventure Holidays in Ireland

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Whether you want to captain your own cruiser on the River Shannon, or climb Ireland’s tallest sea stacks in Donegal, I’ve got 20 great adventure holidays in Ireland to suit all tastes and budgets.

 

Did you know you can actually climb ‘Dun Briste’, the sea stack in Down Patrick Head? I didn’t either when I visited it last week! Fancy yourself as another Bear Grylls? You can book a bushcraft skills course in Cork, where you will overnight in the wild, in a shelter that you have built… Perhaps you are looking for a digital detox  – why not enjoy a three-day canoe and wild camping holiday in Kilkenny, for just €120? There are so many great adventure holidays in Ireland that I was not aware of – I can’t wait to get out and try some of them myself. 


 

Being cooped up at home for so long has given us all a new found appreciation for outdoor activities. I have never seen so many people take up cycling or sea swimming, and wetsuits and SUP boards are like hens teeth! Staycations have never been so popular and I have had many requests from people looking for adventure holidays in Ireland – here are my top 20.

 

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1. Climb Ireland’s tallest mountain – Carrauntoohil, Co. Kerry

 

 
 
 
 
 
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And then I woke up

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Standing at 1,039 metres in the middle of the MacGillycuddy Reeks lies Ireland’s tallest mountain. I still can’t believe I actually climbed this many years ago. I’m not sure so I would be able to do it now, but I would certainly like to give it another try. The climb should take between 6-7 hours round trip, depending on your fitness levels, but the views from the top are definitely worth it. 

Search accommodation here

 

Read: Top Airbnb Glamping sites in Ireland
 

 

 

2. Go Skydiving in Edenderry, Co. Offaly

adventure holidays in Ireland - skydiving

Release your inner action hero and try a skydive this year! Skydive.ie are a non-profit organisation that offer full training from beginner level to advanced. You can go solo, take a tandem dive, you can even complete an Assistant Free Fall course. Many choose to skydive for charity, but you can also choose to skydive for fun, prices from €199.

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

3. Drive the Causeway Coastal Route, Co. Antrim

 

 
 
 
 
 
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As well as boasting a stunning coastline, the Causeway Coast is a great destination for adventure holidays in Ireland. You can visit the Giants Causeway, walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, try a sea safari with Aquaholics or if you really want to up the adrenaline, try coasteering – a combination of rock climbing and jumping into the sea.
 

 

 
Although currently closed, the Gobbins cliff path walk is one of Europe’s most unique cliff walks – hopefully this will re-open again soon. The best way to unwind after a day’s outdoor pursuits is to indulge in a seaweed bath at Sea Haven therapy in Ballycastle or enjoy a whiskey tour at Bushmills Old Whiskey distillery.

Read: A magical few days on the Causeway Coast

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

4. Go Sea Stack climbing in Donegal

Sea Stack climbing is probably the most adventurous activity available in Ireland. I was amazed to learn that you can actually climb Dun Briste, the sea stack I visited recently at Down Patrick Head. UniqueAscent.ie “will take you to places that have been visited fewer times than the moon” – now thats a pretty cool claim to fame. You don’t need any previous climbing experience, in fact 80% of people that Iain Miller, (the world’s only professional sea stack climber), takes out have never rock climbed before. They also offer a host of other outdoor adventure sports including abseiling and coasteering. Voted Tripadvisor’s top outdoor activity in Donegal, if you are looking for adventure holidays in Ireland – look no further. 

Search accommodation here

 

And you might find some cool places to stay here:

Read: 20 luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach
 

 

 

5. Captain your own cruiser on the River Shannon

A river cruise is a more relaxed way to explore Ireland’s towns and villages, but you also get a great sense of achievement by captaining your very own boat. You don’t need a license to rent a cruiser, and you can enjoy the freedom of deciding where or when to stop. Self-drive River Shannon cruisers range from 2-10 persons and can be hired in Carrick-on-Shannon, Athlone, Lough Ree and Banagher, Portumna and Whitegate on Lough Derg. 
 

 

 
You can also enjoy the lakes around Lough Erne, in Co. Fermanagh. They tend to be quieter than the Shannon, so you really get the feeling you are exploring on your own. Cruisers can be hired from bases in Tully Bay, Aghinver, Enniskillen, Killadeas, Carrybridge and Belturbet. Day trip rentals are also available.

See more here 
 

 

 

6.  Surf, Cycle & Climb in Mayo 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We are just back after a fabulous few days in Mayo and I was blown away by the stunning beaches and the amount of outdoor activities available. It seemed everyone was either surfing, SUPing or biking! The Great Western Greenway is in Mayo and stretches 42km from Westport to Achill – you can also decide to cycle part of the way.
 

 

 
If you like hiking, why not climb Croagh Patrick while you are there. It takes about four hours round trip, so it is something that even older children can enjoy too.

Mayo is also home to 11 Blue Flag beaches, there are five in Achill. Achill is Ireland’s largest island, and it’s one of the best places to enjoy watersports. Check out PureMagic.ie who run various courses and one off surf lessons. They also have a lodge where you can stay, and I’m told their pizza is the best in Mayo too! 

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

7. Hike Ireland’s highest sea cliffs in Co. Donegal

Slieve League Cliffs Donegal
Image by Holzauge222 from Pixabay

Donegal’s Slieve League Cliffs (or Sliabh Liag) are three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher, yet many people I speak to haven’t even heard of them. I should point out that they are actually the highest cliffs on the mainland of Ireland, the Croaghaun Cliffs on Achill Island are slightly higher, but who’s counting!  There are many walking / hiking trails to choose from, and there is even a car park near the top if you are not feeling the urge to climb. You can read more about the the various trails and viewing points here.

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

8. Visit Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry

One of Ireland’s oldest sites is now one of our top tourist attractions. Skellig Michael is one of only three UNESCO world heritage sites in Ireland, and is one of the famous locations in Star Wars, The Last Jedi. However it is not the easiest place to get to, visitor numbers are restricted and the boats only visit the island if there are calm seas.
 

 

 
The boat trip is 45 minutes long and sea-sickness is common, so be prepared! You also won’t find any toilet facilities on the island and the terrain is rough, so bring comfortable shoes. You need to pre-book your experience by phoning one of the local boatmen. However, if you are unable to step on to Skellig Michael, Portmagee or Valentia Island offer superb views of the islands too.

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

9. Drive the Beara Peninsula & take a cable car to Dursey Island, Co. Cork

I love driving the Beara Peninsula. The colourful towns of Allihies, Eyeries and lively Castletownbere are just some of the reasons. But did you know that the Beara Peninsula is also home to Ireland’s only cable car? It connects the mainland to the tiny island of Dursey. Catch stunning views of Ireland’s south coast 30 meters below, before rambling around the unspoilt island of Dursey. You may even see some whales or dolphins who often frequent these shores.

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

10. Go scuba diving along the Wild Atlantic Way 

adventure holidays in Ireland
Photo Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Unsplash

Unfortunately we don’t have the warm temperatures of the Indian Ocean on our doorstep, but we do have surprisingly good dive sites. Baltimore in Cork is not only a gorgeous port town, but it is also home to the MV Kowloon Bridge which sank here in 1986. The wreck is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, as well as a variety of marine life.
 

 

 
Brandon Bay in Kerry has a Gulf Stream that keeps the water relatively warm. Divers are often seen swimming with dolphins and basking sharks, and whales are also a common sight here.

County Clare is home to two of Europe’s top 10 dive sites, Fanore, and Diamond Rocks in Kilkee. Diamond Rocks gets its name from the quartz crystals that glisten when the sun shines on the rocks.
 

 

 
Donegal’s Tory Island is renowned for its excellent visibility and the wreck of HMS Wasp, while Killary Harbour between Mayo and Galway is a natural fjord and is a unique place to dive. There are many other dive sites in Galway, check out Scubadivewest.com who are based in Connemara. 

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

11. Take the Stairway to Heaven Walk, Co. Fermanagh

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Cuilcagh Boardwalk trail, a.k.a the Stairway to Heaven walk, is located in Co. Fermanagh. The boardwalk was originally built to preserve the area’s blanket bogs, but it was soon adopted by hill walkers and now attracts 20,000 visitors every year. The walk can take 3-4 hours, depending on your fitness level, and there are steps to reach the viewing platform at the top – but it’s worth it for the ‘Gram… Why not combine that with a luxury stay in the 5-star Lough Erne Resort afterwards?

lough erne resort

Read: Living it up at Lough Erne Resort

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

12. Try coasteering or canyoning

Coasteering is a combination of climbing, jumping and swimming along the coast. It is an extreme sport that has gathered huge momentum over the last few years. It wasn’t until I visited the Causeway Coast a few years ago that I heard about coasteering. CoasteeringNI offer a wonderful setting in Ballintoy, which also happens to be one of the Game of Thrones filming locations. Nevsail in Kilkee Co. Clare also offer coasteering, as well as kayaking / coasteering packages.
 

 

 
Gorge Walking or Canyoning is an adventure sport that will see you hiking through streams, sliding down gorges and doing whatever is necessary to reach the bottom. Eclipse Ireland in Kenmare, Co. Kerry have a combined coasteering and canyoning activity that lasts 3-4 hours, price from €65, while Epic Ireland in Galway offer one or five day adventure tours including coasteering and canyoning.

Search accommodation here

 

 

 

 

13. Enjoy white water adventures or canoe camping in Kilkenny

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Award-winning company Go with the Flow offer white-water adventures, eco safaris and lots more in Kilkenny and Carlow. The White Water Thrills & Spills activity will see you negotiate weirs and rapids in their Canadian Canoes. Prices from €40 per adult and €30 per child. You can also rent canoes for two or three days and wild camp along the River Barrow. A three-day Canoe Trail and Wild Camping costs just €120 and you will be supplied with a tent, canoe, paddles, buoyancy jacket and storage barrel – is this not the perfect digital detox?  See more here.
 

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

14. Take a Bushcraft Skills course and be self sufficient in the wild, Co Cork

adventure holidays in Ireland - camping
Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

You will feel like Bear Grylls after completing this two-day Bushcraft Skills course in West Cork with OutdoorsIreland. You will learn how to forage, fish, and cook your own food, how to build a fire, and you will overnight in the wild in a shelter that you have built. Cost from €250 per person and beginners are welcome. Killary Adventure Company also run a bushcraft and survival skills day time activity which is suitable for children age 8+ and costs just €52 per person.

Search accommodation here
 

 

 

15. Go mountain biking and wake boarding in Ballyhoura, Co Limerick & Co Cork

mountain biking one of the adventure holidays in Ireland

It seems that everyone in Ireland is cycling these days, so why not go a step further and try mountain biking instead? The Ballyhoura Mountain range has the largest mountain biking trails in Ireland. Trailriders Bike Rental/Shop is based at the trailhead of the 92km Ballyhoura Bike Trails in Co. Limerick, and Co. Cork. There are trails for beginners as well as serious bikers.  
 

 

 
Pay a visit to nearby Ballyhass Lakes too, it is home to Ireland’s largest wake boarding facility and offers ziplining, ringo rides, axe throwing and lots more. We visited Ballyhass last year during our trip around the Munster Vales. 

Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales

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16. Learn to surf in Lahinch, Co. Clare

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Whether you are a beginner or want to improve your surfing techniques, you can book a three-day weekend surf course with Lahinch Surf School. Lessons are held in waist deep water so you don’t need to be an amazing swimmer, and each lesson lasts two hours. Prices from €90 for three lessons.

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17. Go cycling and sea kayaking in Co. Waterford

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Waterford Greenway is our most famous cycle way, it is 46km long and stretches from Waterford City to Dungarvan. We cycled a small portion of it last year (from Durrow to Dungarvan) and loved it. We booked with Garvan Cummins, aka TheGreenwayMan. Garvan campaigned at length for The Waterford Greenway and provides information and insights that you may not find elsewhere.
 

 

 
We stayed in the coastal town of Dungarvan. It has a great food scene and is close to one of Ireland’s lesser known scenic areas – the Copper Coast. Home to the UNESCO Global Geopark, this coastline stretches from Dungarvan to Tramore and can be explored by car or bicycle.

Pure Adventure offers sea kayaking trips along the Copper Coast which offer the opportunity to get up close marine life and encounter sea stacks, caves, blow holes and lots more. 

Read: Top things to do in the Munster Vales

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18. Go Off Road driving and lots more at Todds Leap, Co. Tyrone

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There are over 20 action-packed activities available at Todds Leap Adventure Centre, including Off Road Driving, Clay Pigeon Shooting, a 500m ZipLine, a Giant Swing and a Free Fall Drop Zone. There are glamping snooze boxes and log cabins on site, which makes it ideal for families and groups, but if you fancy a more luxurious place to rest your head, Castle Leslie Estate is less than a half-hour drive away.

Read: Captivated by Castle Leslie

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19. Learn to kitesurf on Duncannon Beach, Co. Wexford

kite surfing - adventure holidays in Ireland

HookedKitesurfing offer a wide range of kitesurfing lessons from three hours to three days. The water in Duncannon is shallow so it’s ideal for beginners. The Zero to Hero private course consists of three hour lessons, done over two or three days, depending on the wind. All equipment is provided, with prices from €380.
 

 

 
Duncannon beach is located on the Hook Peninsula, so make sure you pay a visit to Hook Lighthouse, the world’s oldest working lighthouse, and if you are looking for a great place to stay nearby, I can recommend Dunbrody House Hotel. 

Read: My review of Dunbrody House

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20. Combine adventure with a spa break in Delphi Resort, Co. Galway

delphi adventure resort in Ireland

Delphi Resort is one of Ireland’s best known adventure resorts. You can take part in over 20 different outdoor adventure sports, with the added advantage of staying in a four-star hotel. Kayak the Killary Fjord, surf the Wild Atlantic Way, or brave the Zip’n’Trek aerial course. Surrounded by 200 acres of forest, Delphi Resort is a nature lovers paradise, and their thermal suite is the ideal place to heal any aches and pains at the end of the day. 

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I hope this post on adventure holidays in Ireland will help you plan your next break away. Note this post was published on 30th July 2020. While every effort is made to ensure that facilities and costs are accurate, please check with the individual company before making any holiday plans.
 
 

Like this post? You might also like:

20 luxurious Airbnbs in Ireland near the beach

Top Airbnb Glamping sites in Ireland

 
holidays in Ireland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

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