Ireland’s Top Open Water Swimming Locations

Open water and sea swimming have become increasingly popular in Ireland with research suggesting it can positively impact our physical and mental health. An outdoor dip boots levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body (feel-good hormones) which is why many swimmers note a post-swim high.

Check out the top open water swimming locations in Ireland and find the perfect spot for your next cold-water dip.

The Forty Foot, Co. Dublin

Named one of the best places to swim in the world by the New York Times, the Forty Foot certainly is one of the most popular open water spots in Dublin. Located in Sandycove, south of the city, this popular spot can be easily reached from the city centre via train or dart. Attracting large crowds of swimmers year-round, you are likely to see people in the water from 5am up until around 11pm on summer evenings. Venture down the steps and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters of the Irish Sea. If you are looking for the best place for sea swimming in Dublin, look no further.

Solomon’s Hole – Hook Head, Co. Wexford

Located off Slade harbour, this unique saltwater pool is surrounded by natural rock which provides the perfect oasis for sea swimmers. This spot is at its best during high tide when the sea is not too rough. Solomon’s Hole is the perfect place for sea swimming in Wexford and the remarkable geology and sea life have also made it popular among divers.

Badger’s Cove - Dunmore East, Co Waterford

Dunmore East is home to numerous sheltered coves with picturesque views which provide a haven for sea swimming in Waterford. Popular swimming coves include Ladies Cove and Men’s Cove, along with the breath-taking Badgers Cove. Make your way down the steep steps into a small, secluded cove with spectacular surroundings of cliffs and an expansive cave.

Keem Beach – Achill, Co. Mayo

The turquoise waters of Keem Bay are sheltered by the vibrant green slopes of Croaghaun mountain and Moyteoge Head. This horseshoe bay provides a tranquil location for sea swimming in Mayo with a white sand beach and clear, inviting waters. This serene location shows of Ireland’s natural beauty.

Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim

Located along the coast of Antrim, Ballintoy Harbour is one of the most picturesque sea swimming spots in the North of Ireland. Nestled under towering white chalk cliffs with a background of rolling green hills, the harbour is an idyllic setting for open water swimming. You may recognise this charming village from the popular series Game of Thrones.

Kerin’s Hole, Co. Clare

A popular swimming spot among locals, Kerin’s Holes is located in Miltown Malbay. Years of bashing from the Atlantic Sea washed away safe access to the pool, however, locals fundraised and had access restored to this open water gem. The natural pool can be accessed via constructed steps down the cliff face which lead you to the water’s edge.


Cummeenoughter Lake - Carrauntoohil, Co. Kerry

Ireland’s highest swimming spot, the Cummeenoughter Lake is situated on Carrauntoohil Mountain, 707 metres above sea level. As the lake is so high, this means the water is likely to be even colder than other open water swimming spots. You will be required to climb to this spot through routes called ‘Step of the Goat’ and up ‘Brother O’Shea’s Gully’, however it is worth it when you submerge yourself in the refreshing water and take in the dramatic scenery which surrounds. A top location for open water swimming in Kerry.

So, there you have it, the top open water swimming spots in Ireland. Which one is next on your list? Remember, to check the weather forecast before deciding to enter the water and ensure you take the necessary precautions for your safety.