Ballybunion is located on the west coast of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way in county Claire, and roughly an hours drive from Limerick.

It might not always crop up in conversation about Irish travels, but perhaps it should.  I mean just look at that view …

Ballybunion Beach

So lets quick off with the obvious, Ballybunion s a beach town (duh!), and you’d preferably visit on a nice sunny (and warm) day when the water isn’t so cold that your toes instantly freeze when they hit the water.  There are actually 2 beaches in Ballybunion, both of which are blue flag – blue flag beaches a recurring theme in that part of the world it seems.

The 2 main beaches are named the ‘Men’s Beach’ and “Ladies’s Beach’. They are separated by the Ballybunion castle ruins.   Both of the beaches are comprised of beautiful gold sands, but the segregation after which they were both named no longer applies … would have been a bit awkward had it still remained in force considering I was visiting with my girlfriend.

There is also a third beach, called the ‘Nun’s Beach’, but this beach is somewhat tucked away and far less accessible.  In truth it’s probably just best observed when walking an incredible cliff top coastal route. The impressive ‘Virgin Rock’ can also be seen from the same coastal path, and if you’re lucky, your vantage point atop the cliffs may even afford you the sighting of a dolphin or two … sadly upon our visit there were no such sightings.  Shame.

Of course the water is a big draw here, and should you have toes made of steel (or a wetsuit), surfing is actually quite popular.  Ballybunion surf school offers summer camps in what is considered one of Irelands premier surf spots.

Ballybunion Beach

Ballybunion Beach

The beach aside, Ballybunion is also famous for its golf.  The statue of Bill Clinton teeing off at the corner of is the result of Clinton naming Ballybunion is favourite golf course in the world.

“I love it,” Clinton said of Ballybunion’s course. “It’s perfectly Irish: beautiful, rough, and a lot like life — you get breaks you don’t deserve, both ways. You just have to keep swinging and know it will all even out.”

Here’s my complete list of things you should do when in Ballybunion …

Things to do in Ballybunion

  • Play in the sand
  • Go Swimmimg
  • Hang 10 in the surf
  • Walk the cliff tops
  • Grab yourself an ice cream
  • Visit the castle ruins
  • Take to a pub and order a Guinness
  • Play a round of golf
  • Say hi to Bill Clinton
  • Be happy :)

Ballybunion Beach

ballybunion-beach-7

ballybunion-beach-8

Ballybunion Castle

Ballybunion Castle ruins

Ballybunion Castle

Now I mention ‘Be Happy’ in that list because a) it’s great to be smile and be happy anyway, and b) because of this incredible video I found when reading up on the beach side town.  It’s magic!

Where in the world?

life's a beach