A Local’s Guide to Some of the Best and Most Beautiful Beaches in Sligo, Ireland

Ever since we moved to Sligo five years ago, we’ve wandered around its many beaches, secluded forest trails, tourist attractions and various landscapes that tugged at our heartstrings. Yet, some of our best memories of exploring Yeats County were solidly tied to the evenings when we made the time to watch the last rays shine out over the ocean.

There’s a reason why this stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, leading from south Donegal through Leitrim and Sligo to far-flung Erris is known as Surf Coast – the area is rich with beaches famous for their sprawling stretches of sand, biodiversity, and consistently surfable swells.

If you are planning a trip to Sligo or are just curious to take a look at our favourite beaches, then keep on reading as in this post we share some of the best seashores in County Sligo worth exploring.

Sligo beaches are a popular surfing destination. Don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand at surfing during your visit. There are a number of surf schools based in the county that offers first-timers the chance to learn the basics.

*Understanding water safety is crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these tips.

The carboniferous limestone rocks at Streedagh contain many species of fossil coral

Streedagh Beach

Streedagh Strand is an impressive 3km long sandy beach where three ships belonging to the Spanish Armada named La Lavia, La Juliana, and the Santa Maria de Visónwere wrecked in 1588.

The beach is flat and very wide when the tide is out, making it a perfect place for walking and as an added bonus you’ll get to enjoy the views of Benbulben Mountain.

It’s refreshing to walk along the beach while listening to the waves come in and out and the sound of seagulls filling the air. Whether you walk the entire length or just bask in the glory of one small piece, Streedagh Beach is a must-visit when in Sligo.

This is an exposed beach with reef breaks which create ideal surfing conditions all year round. So grab a board and tackle the gentle breakers at Streedagh Beach or sit back and look on as rookies and experts surf the waves together.

Did you know – Streedagh Beach is one of several locations used during the filming of the 12-part BBC series, “Normal People”

  • Swimming: Swimming at Streedagh is recommended for experienced swimmers, only, due to strong tides and undercurrents. A lifeguard is on duty during the summer months.
  • Parking: There’s a decent car park with plenty of space near the beach

Read More: 5+ Benefits of Cleaning Up Your Local Beach & How to Get Started

Streedagh Beach, Sligo

Enniscrone Beach

Go for a rejuvenating walk or ride the waves at a picturesque Enniscrone beach where many people come to unwind and relax. Surrounding the beach is a lively little seaside town bearing the same name.

Enniscrone Beach is a popular place for learning how to surf. So grab a board and tackle the gentle breakers or sit back and look on as rookies and experts surf the waves together.

If surfing is not your thing, you can also go for the Enniscrone Coastal Loop Walk, enjoy golfing, try paddle boarding, soak in the Seaweed Baths or trek along a sandy beach on horseback.

In the summer, it is the perfect place for a family day out of sandcastles, beach sports, and picnicking.

There is also a play area for children and restrooms.

  • Swimming: Enniscrone Beach is perfect for an open-water swim.
  • Parking: There’s a large parking area right next to Enniscrone Beach

Read More: 10 Essential Items To Pack For An Unforgettable Trip To The Emerald Isle

Enniscrone Beach, Sligo

Strandhill Beach

Strandhill Beach has pretty much everything in its vicinity you would need for a relaxing time by the sea.

Here you’ll find the bustling village of Strandhill with its many restaurants and cafes, towering sand dunes, Voya Seaweed Baths, a golf club, coastal walks and a spectacular backdrop.

Strandhill Beach is a year-round recluse for surfers, both pro and amateur. Here, you’ll see all sorts of surfers, from those who have only surfed in their daydreams and have not yet touched a board, to seasoned professionals to whom the sea is a second home.

It is cold, however, and wetsuits are needed. The warmer months are more popular with newbies, and there are a variety of surfing schools in Strandhill for you to learn the ropes.

Summer is the perfect time for beginners to learn and you can book your surf lessons with Strandhill Surf School.  If you’re nervous, that’s okay. Beginners don’t go out very far and you’ll only be surfing the whitewash in shallow water. Try it! It’s a blast!

  • Swimming: It’s not allowed to swim on Strandhill Beach due to dangerous rip currents
  • Parking: Parking is free on the seafront, however, it can be difficult to find a spot, especially on weekends

Read More: A Fantastic Walk For A Weekend: The Killaspubrone Loop Walk In Sligo

Strandhill Beach, Sligo

Mullaghmore Beach

Gentle waves, white sand dunes and wondrous nature make this beach a delight for Mullaghmore visitors of all ages and abilities.

During the summer, visitors and locals alike flock to Mullaghmore Beach to enjoy its calm waters and family ambience.

Claim a spot on the sandy beach for you and your family to sit on a picnic and enjoy a scenic view of the ocean. While the beach is a hotspot for sunbathers and swimmers in the summer, many walkers, cold water swimmers and surfers visit Mullaghmore throughout the year.

If you wish to keep your feet dry, be mesmerized by blue waters on a beach walk. After your walk, head to Eithna’s by the Sea Seafood restaurant or Pier Head hotel for something to eat.

Meanwhile, advanced surfers will love the bigger, more powerful waves that break further out to sea on the other side of Mullaghmore Head.

  • Swimming: Mullaghmore Beach is perfect for swimming and other water activities. Always use caution when entering the water.
  • Parking: There are plenty of parking spaces near the beach. But on sunny summer days finding parking could be difficult.

Read More: Sligo Travel Guide: 8 Best Things to Do in Mullaghmore Village

Mullaghmore Beach, Sligo

Rosses Point Beach

Rosses Point is a charming seaside town located 8km from Sligo town. It is a popular seaside resort with stunning views of Benbulben to the north and Knocknarea to the south.

You’ll find plenty of restaurants and great hotels in the nearby  Rosses Point village, a world-class 18-hole championship links golf course, and a yacht club.

Offshore is the Metal Man, a 3.7-metre guardian statue built in 1821 points out a safe course for seafarers into the harbour. Close to the Sligo Bay lifeboat station is the heart-wrenching “Waiting at Shore” monument, built in memory of those lost at sea.

When it comes to beaches, Rosses Point has three superb beaches which are ideal for swimming, kitesurfing, hiking, and just taking it easy.

This is a place to come for long, scenic walks at any time of year.  If your itinerary allows, stay for the sunset and then retire for a pint at one of the friendly pubs in the village.

  • Swimming: It’s perfectly safe to go for a swim, but always use caution when entering the water.
  • Parking: There is a fair bit of public parking just back from the beach area with steps and ramps to reach the shore

Read More: 11 Amazing Things To Do In Sligo That Will Make You Stay For More

Summer sunset at Rosses Point, Sligo.

Easkey Pier & Beach

The rocky beach nestling on the edge of the Atlantic is a must on the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ for any traveller. It is an internationally renowned surfing destination and a Sligo Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point.

If you are looking for a nice quiet place away from tourist crowds then this is it. On a low tide there are plenty of rock pools for kids & adults to explore, millions of fossils to study, surfing for the more experienced surfers and a quiet bench or two to rest at along the way.

In the nearby Eskey village, you’ll find little craft shops, Rosies Pottery Studio owned by renowned designer Rosemary Mc Gowan, two pubs and a Pudding Row cafe where you can get great food and where you can find some gorgeous bits for presents or for yourself.

There’s also a picturesque river walk which takes you to the shore and the ruins of 800-year-old O’Dowd Castle also known as Roslee Castle. Although much of the original structure has been lost over time, it is still a dominant landmark that’s a well-known feature along the north coast of County Sligo.

  • Swimming: You can dip in Easkey’s glorious natural saltwater pool known as ‘Poll Gorm’
  • Parking: Free parking in gravel lay by next to the pier and castle

Read More: A Fantastic Walk For A Weekend: Hiking Queen Maeve’s Trail In Sligo

Easkey Pier, Ireland.

Cliffony Beach

Cliffony Beach is a 5kg long soft sand beach popular with walkers and surfers located on the western side of Mullaghmore Head, south of Roskeragh Point.

Its panoramic view of ocean and sky, an endless supply of sand and, of course, the incredible surf that crashes will stay etched in your memory as you think back about your trip here.

The calm waters of this beach make it an ideal spot for families to take a break from their busy life and relax under the sun during the summer months. Cool off in the summer by dipping your toes in the water. Swimming is not really an option, because the rip currents here can be very strong.

Keep in mind that there are a few gates you have to walk through to get to the beach, so make sure you are careful and respectful of the field you cross.

Also – Cliffony Beach is a popular place with naturists who use the more secluded right-hand side.

  • Swimming: Swimming is not allowed due to strong currents
  • Parking: You can park just up on the road close to Cliffoney Beach

Read More: A Local’s Guide To Exploring Wonderful Caves of Keash In Sligo, Ireland

Cliffony Beach is sure to dazzle any traveller

Things To Know Before You Visit Sligo Beaches

Like pretty much all of Ireland and Northern Headlands, your experience on Sligo Beaches will vary wildly depending on what time of year you visit. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know to make your visit fun and safe.

  • Never swim alone – it’s always safer (and more fun!) to stay in groups and this applies to swimming at the beach too. No matter how good of a swimmer you are it’s important to apply the buddy system for beach safety.

  • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then, turn and swim to shore.

  • Tide pool tips – if you peek under a rock, put it back where and as you found it. Leave the animals and plants alone.

  • Keep Sligo beaches litter free – bring a bag with you to pick up any plastic, paper, glass, or metal trash on the beach.

  • Wear reef-safe sunscreen – many sunscreens contain chemicals that can harm marine life, including corals, mussels, fish, and even dolphins!

  • Keep an eye on the tides, and always check the weather conditions and the tides before you go.

  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you’re expected back. Don’t forget your mobile phone.

Read More: A Fantastic Walk For A Weekend: Bnbulben Forest Walk In Beautiful Sligo

One of many ocean views in Sligo, Ireland.

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Now, over to you!

Have you been to any of Sligo’s Beaches? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Sligo and have travel-related questions!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

59 thoughts on “A Local’s Guide to Some of the Best and Most Beautiful Beaches in Sligo, Ireland

    1. There is something so magical about a day at the beach. The waves crash, people laugh, and the feel of the fresh ocean breeze makes it a memorable time. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Francisco. Sligo Coast is the stuff of dreams. Stretching for more than 190 km long, the Sligo coast is lined with breathtaking landscapes that will leave even the most seasoned travellers in awe of what Mother Nature is capable of. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I quite agree, it is a place that I would certainly love to visit, and thanks to your complete and very informative post, now I have all the info I need for a nice, well planned visit. I just hope I can get away from the continent long enough to do it. 😊 Thank you Aiva and have a lovely week.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Such a beautiful part of Ireland Aiva. We adored our road trip 18 months ago and would love to return sometime to explore further. Your gorgeous photos brought back fond memories of our overnight stays at both Strandhill and Rosses Point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Marion. These are just a few of the most beautiful beaches along Sligo’s magnificent coastline. I love how the rugged coastline comprises a series of long, sandy beaches interspersed with rocky headlands, making it one of the most photogenic shores in the country. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for all these fabulous Irish photos Aiva. I have always wanted to spend more time in this area and do hope to get back one day. We have been to Mullaghmore & Mullaghmore Beach in 2017. This was not a good place for Mountbatten, but the scenery around the area and Cassiebawn was fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing and have a great week. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Allan 🙂 I hope you guys do come back one day, I’ll be more than happy to meet up and show you around.

      The coastline around Sligo is unmatched in its beauty. Its wide open beaches stretch for miles in either direction and the sand drops so subtly towards the Atlantic Ocean that it can be hard to tell where the beach starts and ends. And we couldn’t be happier to call this place home. And when it comes to the death of Lord Louis Mountbatten – for residents of Mullaghmore, there is no escaping the events of 27 August 1979. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


  3. I’m not good at surfing but I love walking on the beach … so I think I’ll definitely enjoy the beautiful Sligo beaches you show here. And beaches always make the most beautiful sunrises or sunsets – as your photo of the summer sunset at Rosses Point clearly shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If there’s one thing Sligo is known for, it’s for its stunning and rugged coastline! And what better way to enjoy it than by going for a walk? As the natural beauty of the seashore provides a pleasing backdrop for pursuing the renewal of your soul on a variety of levels, I find that walking on the beach is a great way to refresh your body and mind. You can increase fitness, increase your connection with nature, engage in quiet problem-solving, and enhance your spiritual mindfulness. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anita 🙂 There are few beaches as special as those in Sligo. And even if chilly water keeps beachgoers on the shore, sunsets on Sligo’s coast are a perfect ending to a day at the beach. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So pretty, Aiva. My grandfather’s farm was actually in the district of Cliffony. There is a fantastic view from the farmhouse to the sea. Thank you for a lovely glimpse at the old country. K x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you imagine living in a farmhouse in the midst of a picturesque setting and unspoilt landscapes? Cliffoney is one of the most scenic parts of the North West of Ireland, Kerry. It overlooks Donegal Bay and is surrounded by sea and mountains. We had our hearts set out on buying a house in Cliffony last year, but there weren’t many on the market. Thanks for stopping and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only imagine… The last time I visited the farmhouse was occupied by a cousin. When my grandfather died, the farm was bequeathed to a brother rather than my grandmother. I believe that was normal Irish inheritance law at the time (circa 1940s). So sorry that you didn’t manage to get a home in Cliffony. How strange that our lives intersect on one little place when we come from so far away. K x


  5. Your photos are STUNNING!! It makes me want to hop a plane and hit the beaches — which is funny as it’s not the first thing I think about when I think about Ireland. I always imagined that the ocean was flipping cold there but I guess at the right time of year it would be great. We really want to return to Ireland and your posts will help guide us in areas of great natural beauty. Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Bernie 🙂 Sligo’s beaches are gorgeous and serene or rugged and untamed. I know that the North West of Ireland might not be the first place you think of in Europe for a seaside escape but the best beaches in Sligo boast sands as soft as icing sugar, turquoise waters and wild backdrops that make for an excellent trip to the coast. And in the summer and early autumn months, they show off their full breathtaking potential. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva xx


  6. There’s something about going to the beach at sunrise or sunset– not only are there less people about, but also the golden hour offers some of the most dramatic views that make it all seem otherworldly. It’s remarkable, and Sligo is nothing short of breathtaking beauty! You’re incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place on Earth, and enjoy all you can of it, Aiva!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true, Rebecca! Nothing can beat seeing the sun peek up over the horizon on the water. It makes you feel special like you got a private show from Mother Nature. It’s even better if I’m the only one on the beach as far as I can see and can enjoy this time alone. I always feel proud of myself that I got up in time to see the earth start its day. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I love living so close to the shore – the ocean is restless and never quiet; there are always waves and splashes and a lot of action. And when life gets so overwhelming that I feel like I am losing myself in all the craziness, an afternoon at the beach watching the waves roll in is just what I need to find myself again. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! The Ocean has a way of enchanting me, capturing my imagination and intriguing me with mysteries of the unexplored. And I am so fortunate to have so many different beaches and coastal views to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jo 🙂 The Ocean means many hours of fun at the beach with my family, exploring the rockpools, jumping through the waves, participating in beach cleanups and watching sunsets. There’s no place I’d rather be, than Sligo. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. After a decade of living in Dublin, I still pinch myself whenever we explore the rugged coast around Sligo – I am so glad that we made a decision to make the move. Living by the sea is a dream for many, but achieving it takes dedication and hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the work and take a chance on your future, living by the sea may be closer than you think. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 Living near the ocean is an incredible experience and I am so lucky to have so many wonderful beaches nearby to explore. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


  7. The Wild Atlantic Way seems to have so many beautiful nature spots within it and gorgeous coastal views as well! The Easkey Pier looks so magnificent, and a great way to get amazing vantage points of the ocean. Thank you for providing these detailed travel tips, and we will definitely use them when we travel to Ireland someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 I love where we live and wouldn’t change that for anything! Spending so much time around the water made me want to learn more about the marine environment and the animals that live there. Finding out about the diversity of marine life, the importance of the Ocean for the health of the entire planet, and that there is so much more out there still to be discovered fascinated me. The more I learnt, the more reasons I discovered to love the Ocean. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


    1. Thank you, Tanja. Yes, you are right – the water is cold even in the summer. Sea temperatures off the Irish coast range from an average of 16°C in the south to 13°C in the north Irish Sea in August. But there are plenty of adventurers – young and old – who enjoy a dip all year round! All you need to get started is comfortable swimwear, a towel and lots of layers to wrap up in afterwards. If you reckon you’ll be in the sea frequently, swimming gloves and shoes will help keep those extremities warm while protecting feet from sharp stones on a pebbly beach. Thanks for stopping b and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a lovely stretch of coast Aiva – Isn’t it wonderful to have so many great beaches nearby. I’m familiar with the main ones on your list – although for walking rather than swimming!! Its been a long while since I braved the Atlantic!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie 🙂 The ocean provides a sense of relaxation and peace therefore it is fantastic to have so many beautiful beaches nearby. I took up swimming last year and have to say that I very much enjoy swimming in cold water because of the physical and mental benefits, as well as that invigorating feeling you get afterwards. But don’t just take my word for it – give it a try and see for yourself! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


    1. Thank you, Ali 🙂 There’s truly nothing like the beach to soothe the soul. Time by the ocean always leaves me feeling awakened and cleansed – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These are some stunning beaches. There’s always something so mesmerizing and comforting about being by the water. Plus it’s probably the best spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. I’ll have to add these spots to my list for when we finally make it to Ireland. Hopefully soon. Thanks for sharing. Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Linda 🙂 I believe that being by the sea is incredibly good for your mental health – it has a therapeutic quality. With so much going on in the world right now; a trip to the coastline is a great way to reflect and remember all the positives and beauty we have around us. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Maggie 🙂 Being near the ocean is restorative and uplifting, and I couldn’t be happier to have so many wonderful beaches on our doorstep. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a perfectly dreamy post. I love the ocean and by association, love a good beach! The photo of Enniscrone Beach reminds me so much of the beaches in Tofino on Vancouver Island- wide expanses of beach with great surf and an endless horizon. What a gift to have so many amazing shorelines nearby! 🌊💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Laura! I love where we live! We are literally a few feet away from the Atlantic Ocean and these are just some of the beaches we get to explore daily.

      We lived in Dublin for a decade but always dreamed about calling Ireland’s West Coast our permanent home. It was one of those dreams that made my life worth living and kept up a spark that made me want to do things. There were some ups and downs along the way, but eventually, we made it happen. This reminds me that I have to check out your post about relocating to Vancouver Island. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx


      1. Hearing you describe this touches my heart as I resonate with it so deeply- this is how I felt when I moved to the west coast of Canada. My life was forever changed in the best way. I am so glad you were able to make that move to Ireland’s west coast and reap its many soulful rewards 💕


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