The Most Beautiful Coastal Town in Ireland: Exquisite Scenic Gems Await

Choose the coastal town you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 05:47
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Ireland's coastal towns by participating in our exclusive ranking of "What is the most beautiful coastal town in Ireland?" Unravel the charm of these hidden gems as you explore the enchanting landscapes, rugged cliffs, and picturesque harbors that make each town a unique paradise. Join thousands of fellow travelers and locals as they cast their votes for their favorite coastal havens, or suggest a deserving addition to our list. Immerse yourself in the captivating stories and stunning visuals that accompany each town, as we take you on a virtual journey through the most alluring destinations along the Emerald Isle's majestic coastline. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to have your say and uncover Ireland's best-kept coastal secrets!

What Is the Most Beautiful Coastal Town in Ireland? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    With its colorful buildings, vibrant art scene, and stunning views of the Wild Atlantic Way, Dingle is a must-visit coastal town in Ireland.
    Dingle, County Kerry is a charming coastal town located in the southwest region of Ireland. It is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant cultural scene. The town is nestled on the Dingle Peninsula, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding mountains. Dingle is also known for its rich history, traditional Irish music, and friendly locals.
    • Location: Southwest Ireland
    • Geography: Coastal town on the Dingle Peninsula
    • Scenic Beauty: Breathtaking landscapes and panoramic ocean views
    • Beaches: Pristine sandy beaches
    • Culture: Vibrant music scene and traditional Irish heritage
  2. 2
    Known as the "Gourmet Capital of Ireland," Kinsale is a charming town with a rich history, beautiful beaches, and excellent seafood.
    Kinsale, County Cork is a picturesque coastal town located on the southern coast of Ireland. It is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, charming colorful buildings, and rich maritime history. The town is nestled between the rolling hills of County Cork and the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a truly idyllic setting.
    • Historical Significance: Kinsale played a significant role in Irish history, particularly in relation to its involvement in the Battle of Kinsale in 1601.
    • Gastronomic Delights: Kinsale is known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, offering a wide array of award-winning restaurants and cozy pubs serving delicious seafood and traditional Irish cuisine.
    • Beautiful Architecture: The town is adorned with colorful Georgian and Victorian buildings, quaint narrow streets, and charming waterfront vistas that provide a postcard-perfect backdrop.
    • Vibrant Arts Scene: Kinsale is home to numerous art galleries, showcasing the works of local artists and hosting regular exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.
    • Outdoor Activities: The coastal location of Kinsale offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as sailing, fishing, kayaking, and scenic walks along the coastline.
    Kinsale, County Cork in other rankings
  3. 3
    Located on the edge of Clew Bay, Westport is a picturesque town with colorful buildings, lively pubs, and stunning natural scenery.
    Westport is a charming coastal town located in County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant harbor, and picturesque architecture. The town offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. With its breathtaking coastal landscapes and lively atmosphere, Westport truly encapsulates the beauty of Ireland's coastline.
    • Location: County Mayo, Ireland
    • Coastline: Stunning
    • Harbor: Vibrant
    • Architecture: Picturesque
    • Historic Charm: Abundant
    Westport, County Mayo in other rankings
  4. 4
    Surrounded by rugged mountains and the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Clifden is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
    Clifden, County Galway is a picturesque coastal town located in the West of Ireland. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, Clifden offers breathtaking views of rugged coastlines, stunning beaches, and dramatic landscapes. The town itself is surrounded by majestic mountains, adding to its charm and natural beauty. Clifden is often referred to as the 'Capital of Connemara' and attracts visitors from around the world with its unique blend of traditional Irish culture and stunning natural beauty.
    • Population: Approximately 2,500
    • Location: County Galway, Ireland
    • Coastline: Located along the Wild Atlantic Way
    • Scenic beauty: Breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Connemara landscape
    • Culture: Rich cultural heritage
    Clifden, County Galway in other rankings
  5. 5
    Located just a short drive from Dublin, Howth is a charming fishing village with a bustling harbor, excellent seafood restaurants, and stunning coastal walks.
    Howth is a charming coastal town located in County Dublin, Ireland. It is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant fishing industry. The town is situated on a peninsula stretching out into the Irish Sea, offering panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs, harbors, and islands. Howth is a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, and delicious seafood.
    • Location: County Dublin, Ireland
    • Geography: Situated on a picturesque peninsula
    • Scenic Views: Breathtaking cliffs, harbors, and islands
    • Cultural Heritage: Rich history and architecture
    • Fishing Industry: Vibrant fishing community and fresh seafood
  6. 6
    Ardmore, County Waterford
    Mik Herman · CC BY-SA 3.0
    With its beautiful beach, historic round tower, and scenic coastal walks, Ardmore is a hidden gem on Ireland's south coast.
    Ardmore, County Waterford is a picturesque coastal town located in the southeast of Ireland. It is known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history, making it one of the most beautiful coastal towns in the country. Nestled between rolling green hills and the sparkling waters of the Celtic Sea, Ardmore offers visitors a unique and enchanting experience.
    • Location: County Waterford, Southeast Ireland
    • Population: Approximately 450
    • Beaches: Ardmore Beach, Goat Island Beach
    • Historical Sites: Ardmore Round Tower, St. Declan's Well, Ardmore Cathedral
    • Activities: Walking, hiking, fishing, sailing, swimming
  7. 7
    Known for its world-class surfing, Lahinch is a lively coastal town with a beautiful beach, great restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities.
    Lahinch, County Clare is a picturesque coastal town located on the western coast of Ireland. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, sandy beaches, and world-class surfing opportunities. With its charming village atmosphere, Lahinch has become a popular destination for tourists, offering a mix of outdoor activities, beautiful landscapes, and a vibrant local culture.
    • Location: County Clare, Ireland
    • Natural Beauty: Stunning coastal landscapes
    • Beaches: Sandy shores and clear waters
    • Surfing: World-class surfing waves
    • Outdoor Activities: Hiking, golfing, and water sports
  8. 8
    Schull, County Cork
    MrCorman · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Nestled on the southwest coast of Ireland, Schull is a charming town with a thriving arts scene, excellent restaurants, and stunning views of the Atlantic.
    Schull is a charming coastal town located in County Cork, Ireland. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, with picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline. The town attracts visitors with its warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
    • Population: Approximately 700
    • Location: Southwest Ireland
    • County: Cork
    • Coastline: Scenic and rugged
    • Harbor: Active fishing and sailing harbor
  9. 9
    Located on the rugged north coast of Northern Ireland, Ballycastle is a beautiful town with a rich history, stunning beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities.
    Ballycastle, County Antrim is a charming coastal town located in Northern Ireland. Situated on the dramatic Antrim coastline, Ballycastle is known for its breathtaking beauty and captivating views of the surrounding area. With its idyllic location between the Glens of Antrim and the stunning Causeway Coast, Ballycastle offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.
    • Location: County Antrim, Northern Ireland
    • Coastline: Antrim coastline
    • Scenic Views: Breathtaking and captivating views
    • Surrounding Features: Glens of Antrim and Causeway Coast
    • Natural Beauty: Abundant natural beauty
  10. 10
    Kenmare, County Kerry
    J. Patrick Fischer · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Situated on the shores of Kenmare Bay, Kenmare is a beautiful town with colorful buildings, a lively pub scene, and plenty of outdoor activities nearby.
    Kenmare, County Kerry is a charming coastal town located in the south-west of Ireland. It is nestled between the Ring of Kerry and the Beara Peninsula, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque Kenmare Bay. With its colorful buildings, quaint streets, and friendly atmosphere, Kenmare is often considered one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Ireland. The town has a rich history dating back to the 17th century and is known for its vibrant arts scene, lively music sessions, and delicious local cuisine.
    • Geographical Features: Ring of Kerry, Beara Peninsula, Kenmare Bay
    • Architecture: Colorful buildings, quaint streets
    • History: Dating back to the 17th century
    • Arts Scene: Vibrant arts scene
    • Music: Lively music sessions
    Kenmare, County Kerry in other rankings

Missing your favorite coastal town?


Ranking factors for beautiful coastal town

  1. Natural beauty
    Consider the overall natural beauty of the coastal town, including the coastline, beaches, cliffs, and nearby landscapes. The presence of unspoiled natural scenery can contribute significantly to the town's charm and aesthetic appeal.
  2. Architecture and historical significance
    Examine the town's architecture and historical sites, such as castles, churches, and traditional buildings. A distinctive and well-preserved architectural style can add character and appeal to the town.
  3. Cleanliness and environmental quality
    Assess the cleanliness of the town, including its streets, beaches, and public spaces. A town with well-maintained and clean surroundings will be more inviting and attractive to visitors.
  4. Cultural and recreational activities
    Consider the range of cultural and recreational activities available in the town, such as festivals, markets, outdoor activities, and water sports. A vibrant cultural scene and varied recreational opportunities can make a coastal town more appealing.
  5. Accommodations and amenities
    Evaluate the quality and variety of accommodations available, such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, and holiday rentals. A wide range of high-quality accommodation options can make a town more attractive to visitors. Additionally, consider the availability of amenities such as shops, restaurants, and pubs, which can add to a town's livability and appeal.
  6. Accessibility
    Examine how easy it is to get to the town. Good transport links, such as roads, trains, and airports, can make a town more accessible and thus more attractive to visitors.
  7. Climate and weather
    Consider the town's climate and typical weather patterns. A milder climate with more sunny days can be a significant draw for visitors and can contribute to a town's overall appeal.
  8. Safety and security
    Assess the overall safety and security of the town. A low crime rate and a strong sense of community can make a town more appealing to visitors.
  9. Local hospitality and friendliness
    Evaluate the warmth and friendliness of the local community. A welcoming atmosphere and helpful locals can significantly enhance the appeal of a coastal town.
  10. Unique features and attractions
    Consider any unique features or attractions that set the town apart from other coastal towns. These could include unique geological formations, marine life, or historical sites that give the town a distinctive identity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful coastal town in Ireland. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite coastal town is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 172 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each coastal town once every 24 hours. The rank of each coastal town is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful coastal town in ireland

Ireland is known for its stunning coastline and picturesque towns, each with their own unique charm and character. From small fishing villages to bustling tourist hotspots, there are countless coastal towns to explore and enjoy. But which one stands out as the most beautiful? This is a question that has been asked by many travelers and locals alike, and the answer is not so easy to come by. With its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture, Ireland's coastline is truly a sight to behold. Join us as we explore some of the most beautiful coastal towns in Ireland and discover what makes them so special.