When you think of holidays to Dublin, sunbathing on or walking along beaches might not at first spring to mind. The capital of Ireland is a short drive away from mile upon mile of stunning countryside, stretches of sand, forests and the mountains.

GRAFFITI IN KILLINEY

Killiney Beachinfomatique

Once you have taken in all the sights and experiences you want to in the city centre, you can venture further afield. This is where finding a good deal for Dublin Airport car hire is useful, as you’ll be free to jump behind the wheel and set off wherever and whenever you like.

Here are the top five stretches of sand to relax on and walk along during a holiday to Dublin.

1. Killiney Beach

Located in County Dublin, Killiney Beach is 800 m long and made from stones. Don’t let this put you off, though, as the beach is claimed to offer the best views compared with others in Dublin. This is because you can see Sorrento Terrace to the north, where houses sell for millions of euros, and Bray Head to the south.

You can sunbathe and swim here, as the beach is sheltered, so if you’re travelling with children, Killiney Beach can make a great family day out.

2. Skerries North and South Beaches

While these are two separate beaches, you might as well visit both if you’re making a day of it in Skerries. Skerries North Beach is 1.2 km long and if you time your trip for a clear day, you will catch glimpses of the Mountains of Mourne and the North Antrim coast. While it is tempting to lie on the beach all day when the weather is beautiful, make sure you stroll along the Red Island Coastal Walkway, where you can soak up further breathtaking views. Skerries South Beach has parking for up to 100 vehicles, a playground, 2.5 km of sand, a pretty esplanade and the Rockabill lighthouse.

3. Sandycove

Also situated in County Dublin is Sandycove, which as the name suggests is a cove that is perfect for enjoying the sunshine and is hugely popular with families. It is also a great place to visit for a fun day out with friends or a romantic trip with a loved one. Sunbathing and splashing about in the waves aside, grab an ice-cream and take a walk to the James Joyce Tower and Museum. According to some, the author started writing Ulysses from the gun platform on the roof of Martello Tower.

4. Velvet Strand North Beach

If it is lots of sand that you’re after, Velvet Strand North Beach is perfect for you. Stretching for 5 km, the beach was awarded Blue Flag status in 2011. This means you can be sure of the safety and quality of the sand and water, which is ideal if you have little ones in tow. Located in Portmarnock, the beach is close to several golf courses, if you or a member of your party fancies a round or two.

5. Loughshinny Beach

Drive to North County Dublin’s Loughshinny and you will be greeted by a small seaside village and a sheltered cove-like beach. It is a working fishing harbour, so grab some lunch in a nearby cafe and watch the locals go about their daily business. Alternatively, there is a picnic area, which is a lovely way to wish away a couple of hours in this beautiful location.