Keem Bay named among world’s best beaches

Beautiful Keem Bay on Achill Island on the Wild Atlantic Way has again been included in a list of top beaches.

Already considered to be one of the top beaches in Europe, stunning Keem Bay has now been named on Lonely Planet’s list of the best beaches in the world.

The recently published Best Beaches: 100 of the World’s Most Incredible Beaches, describes Keem Bay as “one of Ireland’s most glorious, secluded strands”. Describing the setting it says: “Sloping green hillsides spill down to a deep-set horseshoe bay, where a Blue-Flag delight of a pale-blonde beach sits framed by the Croaghaun Cliffs – Ireland’s highest sea cliffs – and the thundering moody-blue Atlantic.”

The accolade is not the first one the beach has received. In 2023, it made the list of ‘The 50 Best Beaches in the World’ compiled by Big 7 Travel and this year was named among 20 of Europe’s most stunning beaches to explore in 2024 by Lonely Planet. And in 2022 it was listed as the number one wild swimming spot in the UK and Ireland.

Keem strand also has movie credits to its name having been the backdrop for many scenes in the multi-award-winning The Banshees of Inisherin

Keem Bay is a great reason to visit Achill Island but it is not the only one. The County Mayo island is a place of rugged beauty that has five Blue Flag beaches, numerous hiking trails and two Blueway snorkel trails. It’s the perfect place for swimming, surfing and kayaking or just taking a leisurely stroll along a golden strand or a peaceful pedal along quiet lanes. 

Achill Island, Co. Mayo

There are also a number of fascinating historical sites on the island including Neolithic tombs, the tower house of the famous pirate Grace O’ Malley, and the remains of a pre-famine village which evokes the past lives of the islanders.

But it’s not all about the past. Achill has a thriving community and a packed calendar of events for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. From boat trips and alpaca walks to pub tours, seaweed baths, and beach saunas there is something to suit everyone.

Achill is also an Irish speaking island and in July Scoil Acla presents a summer school of traditional music, dance, arts and culture. There is the opportunity to learn a range of traditional musical instruments, a highly respected writers workshop, regular concerts, poetry readings, drama performances and art exhibitions.

And in September the Battle for the Lake watersports and music festival is a unique experience that attracts people from all over the globe to compete and party.