Ten of Ireland’s best outdoor swimming spots

Badger’s Cove, Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Dunmore East is a haven for sea-swimming enthusiasts. Offering a host of inviting bathing spots to choose from, including ladies’ and mens’ coves, we reckon Badger’s Cove is one of the best. Steep steps lead their way to a small sandy cove, which is backed by imposing cliffs and a cave. Adventurous souls can swim out of the cove, where an abundance of rocks, ranging in height, are begging to be jumped off.

Annagh Bay, Achill Island, Co Mayo

Tucked away, completely out of sight, Annagh Bay has to be one of the most breathtaking sea swimming spots in Ireland. Sitting adjacent to Ireland’s lowest corrie, with its white sand and turquoise waters, you’d be forgiven for thinking you have landed on a desert island. The only drawback is the fact that access is not the easiest. Annagh Bay is about a 1½-hour hike over the hill from Lough Acorrymore. But with the effort comes reward. And this spot really is something very special indeed.

Portacloy, Co Mayo

While the picture-perfect beach at Portacloy would be worthy of a place on this list, there is a swimming spot even more mind-blowing just a short distance up the coast. A short distance from the small harbour, which is adjacent to the beach, lies a waterfall that flows directly from the vibrant green headland into the turquoise waters below. You will have to traverse some rocks to get down to the water, but the scramble is well worth the effort.

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