Ireland is a popular country for tourists from all over the world but it is not normally our beaches that draw in the crowds.
Many people visit from the UK, America, Australia and more because this is the land of their ancestors and they want to come and see where their family is from.
Ireland also has plenty of history and culture that tourists like to enjoy, even if they have no previous connection to the country.
The music, food, local people, and stunning scenery are just a few of the reasons that Ireland proudly welcomes millions of visitors each year.
However, we are not particularly famous for our beaches. Anyone from Ireland will know that you are just as likely to need a raincoat and umbrella as your sunglasses and suncream on any given day – even during the summer.
With all that said though, we do have a hidden gem on our shores – Keem Bay.
The Co Mayo beach has just been named as the eleventh best beach in the world by travel website Big Seven.
That is one hell of an accolade given the famously beautiful coastlines in the likes of Miami, Thailand, the West Indies, Mexico, Australia, Spain, France, Portugal… the list could go on and on.
However, the writers at Big Seven also recognised there was something special about Keem Bay, which is located on Achill Island off the coast of Co Mayo.
This is what the travel review site wrote about the beach: “Keem Bay is a breathtaking rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland’s largest island – Achill Island. Its gleaming white sand rivals tropical islands and the water is superbly clear.
“The sun might not always be shining, but when it does it’s world-class. And yes, it’s beautiful even on a rainy day.”
Eleventh place for the best beaches in the world is a more than acceptable result for Ireland.
The number one beach according to Big Seven is Vaeroy Beach in Norway, another somewhat surprising host country for a world’s top beaches list.
The rest of the top ten had mostly expected locations around the world, perhaps with Iceland being the only surprise inclusion.
1st. Vaeroy Beach – Norway
2nd. Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Islands, Australia
3rd. Fig Tree Bay – Protaras, Cyprus
4th. Grace Bay – Turks and Caicos
5th. Secret Lagoon – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
6th. Reynisfjara Beach – Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
7th. Source d’Argent – Seychelles
8th. Playa Ruinas – Quintana Roo, Mexico
9th. Kanuhura Maldives – Lhaviyani Atoll Maldives
10th. Pig Beach – Bahamas
11th. Keem Bay – Mayo, Ireland
You can read the full top 50 list with a brief report on each beach by visiting bigseventravel.com.