Tramore Beach Donegal is a stunning (but hard to access) beach in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal. (NOTE- There is more than one beach in Ireland called Tramore! More on this later)
Ger and I love to explore the countryside, as well as the mountain hikes and coastal trails in Ireland.
Aisha used to live in NZ and keeps saying Ireland in the sun makes NZ pale in comparison! But we all know the Irish sun is perpetually shy ha!
Anyway, Tramore Beach is the perfect beach to explore Ireland’s rugged countryside, because there are actually no roads to this amazing beach!
You have to actually do a bit of legwork for the view, and walk along a marked path to reach the beach
Which means there are less pesky tourists (like us O_O), causing noise pollution, taking pics for the gram’ wanting the world to know they #hadaclassweekend #butyoudidnt #lookatme
Gripes with noisy influencers aside, in this guide we will share everything you need to know about this secluded beach including where to park, how to actually reach the beach, and how to stay safe.
(Yeah, you shouldn’t swim on this beach, no matter how good that instgram shot will be!)
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First things first, what do you need to know about Tramore Beach in Donegal?
Tramore Beach is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in Donegal, probably because it is definitely the most secluded, as there are no roads to it!
I personally feel this seclusion makes Tramore Beach really peaceful. We live in a busy world full of noise, with so many things calling for our attention 🙁
Tramore Beach is the perfect place to have a bit of peace and quiet, sit back and relax and *hopefully* have a digital detox
Tramore Beach is situated on the northern coast of Donegal offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s a pretty amazing secluded beach, close to the town of Dunfanaghy.
The proximity to Dunfanaghy makes Tramore Beach particularly appealing because the little coastal town offers excellent places to eat and drink and also serves as a great base for exploring Donegal.
You can find the precise location of Tramore Beach on Google Maps.
2. Where To Park
As there are no roads to the beach it’s a bit complicated to get to… but don’t worry!
The easiest way to get to the car park is by heading from Dunfanaghy and driving along the road towards Horn Head.
Note- We rented a car as it gave us flexibility and freedom. We recommend DiscoverCars (super affordable and reliable ).
You will cross the long low bridge and then look out for signs for parking. The drive from Dunfanaghy to the car park only takes about 6 minutes.
3. How To Get To The Beach
Once you find the signs along the road and reach the car park the real journey begins.
You walk through the gate and follow the tree-lined pathway that will take you all the way down to the beach.
The walk along the trail takes about 30 minutes through trees, hills and fields.
At this point, you may curse the person who invited you to go on this trip and wonder when it’s going to end (*ahem*, that might have been me ….) and then suddenly …
As you follow the trail the sounds of the sea begin to grow louder and soon enough you are rewarded with stunning views of Tramore Beach. (yahoooo! Time to get the caramel biscuits and hot flask of tea out)
The trail is not suitable for buggies or strollers or anyone with limited mobility
BUT If your limited mobility is the fact that you are unfit and enjoy scoffing doughnuts all day, that doesn’t count. Well that’s what Ger told me and I disagree -_-
My doughnut eating habits aside, the walk to Tramore Beach is challenging in places, but the views are well worth the effort!
Tip From The Locals: If the weather is clear while you’re in the area, the walk to Tramore Beach is the most amazing place to experience the sunset.
You have our permission just this time to be a pesky tourist and take a cheeky selfie of the sunset and upload some deep quote involving Gandhi. You are welcome.
4. Staying Safe at Tramore Beach
I LOVE me some crystal clear sea water. But you know what I love more? Living, breathing and generally, staying ALIVE.
The clear waters of Tramore Beach can be alluring but it is NOT SAFE to swim here!
This is because there are vicious riptides and strong currents that will suck you under. EEEP! O_O
Also as the beach is so secluded, there are no lifeguards on duty here.
The thought of any of you flailing away trying and failing to get help gives me the heebie jeebies , JUST DON’T SWIM AT TRAMORE BEACH PLEASE! *praying hands emoticon*
For further confirmation that you will most definitely endanger yourself by being a reckless prat and ignoring our advice, you may check out the Donegal Beaches Website.
5. There Is More Than One Tramore Beach In Ireland
The name Tramore comes from the Irish language ‘Trá mór’ translates to ‘Big beach’.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of big beaches in Ireland.
Tramore is also the name of a big coastal town in county Waterford in the south-east of Ireland.
So make sure to specify ‘Tramore Donegal’ in Google Maps so you don’t turn a 10-minute drive into a 6-hour drive to the other side of the country!
I am not pointing any fingers but there were two people in the car that day and only ONE of us realized we were driving the wrong way and it WASN’T GER. 🙂 #terriblenavigationGer
1- It gets windy, so pack layers. Like proper ones that won’t make your nipples so cold they become sharp as razors
I LOVE this windproof jacket, keeps me and my nips toasty
2- Rain comes suddenly, and frequently, so pack waterproofs! Ones that aren’t from Aldi and that won’t let rain seep into your knickers -_-
Love these anti- knicker seeping waterproofs
3- The water is crystal clear and beautiful! Just close your eyes and pretend the cold rain isn’t slapping your face and you will be transported to a tropical Malaysian beach 🙂
Things To Do At Tramore Beach
1. Enjoy The Walk To The Beach
There are not many beaches in the world where the walk from the car park is just as amazing as the beach itself!
The walk through the trees and fields is an enjoyable experience in its own right.
Stop complaining about how sand is getting in your shoes (like I did) and just enjoy it!
You will be back in front of your office laptop in no time, so take a moment to appreciate your boss not breathing coffee breath in your ear holes
You will be spoiled with views of the coastline, along with amazing views of New Lake, Muckish, Aghla Beg, Aghla More, Mackoght, and Errigal.
2. Enjoy The Secluded Beach
As there are no roads to the beach you could have the whole beach to yourself!
Hello, this is NOT an invitation for any jiggery pokery O_O it’s too cold for that anyway 🙂
But we had a cheeky kiss, and Ger gave me his caramel biscuit, which was an excellent trade off.
It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the sea without any interference.
Places To Visit Near Tramore Beach
You may as well visit some other cool spots near Tramore beach and further delay your inevitable return to your office for as long as possible
So, we recommend you check out these places near Tramore Beach :
The Horn Head loop is an amazing driving or walking loop around the Horn Head Peninsula in the North-West of county Donegal.
Horn Head is about 4 km North of Dunfanaghy.
The area is an Irish National Heritage Area and many amazing animals and birds can be seen when exploring here such as Grey Seals, razorbills, Fulmars, Shags, Puffins and Cormorants .
The cliffs rise to a height of about 600ft and are home to some amazing sea birds such as the European Shag and Razorbill.
The area also contains many historic sights such as Neolithic stone circles and passage tombs. These are cool ancient burial chambers made of earth or stone. Think of the pyramids but no pyramid shape …
The Art House Ireland is an art gallery situated in Dunfanaghy. The gallery showcases a range of amazing arts and crafts of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The gallery was opened in 2011 by the artist Brian O’Doherty.
The Art House showcases many different works of art from landscapes, portraits, cityscapes and much more.
They also offer private commissions and a range of workshops where you can hone your artistic capabilities.
I’ll be the first to admit that my artistic abilities only stretch as far as drawing squiggly hairs on stick men BUT I can appreciate and respect the craft and talent of these Irish artists.
Let’s support local artists and the community there by buying some art!
Because we all know Aunt Thelma keeps throwing away your Christmas present, time to get her something she will actually like!
Glenveagh National Park is an area of natural beauty in the heart of county Donegal. I LOVED this park SO MUCH!
We even got the chance to spot a waterfall!
The park also showcases the landscape of Donegal with valleys, lakes, mountains and green fields.
It’s also got LOADS of different flora and fauna, so it’s the perfect place for natural enthusiasts and hikers to explore.
Ps; swing by the cafe and get the lemon drizzle poppy cake, it’s incredible!
Glenveagh Castle is nestled within the Glenveagh National Park.
The beautiful architecture and the national park’s backdrop make Glenveagh Castle a sight well worth seeing.
Admittedly, we went there when there was a downpour of rain, but it was still beautiful!
Exploring the castle, gardens and surrounding landscape offers a glimpse into Ireland’s past. There is also a really sweet tea room, with paninis and hot soups, yum! 🙂
Tropical World isn’t really talked about but it’s a really cool spot in Donegal.
It is a fully licensed zoo in Letterkenny with a wide array of exotic creatures from butterflies to the world’s smallest monkeys.
This is a great place to visit and learn more about exotic creatures.
It is also the perfect place to experience the sights and sounds of tropical areas and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the rainforest.
Seeing as I spend most of my life wishing I was in the tropics, grazing on fruit, I felt right at home …
The Workhouse, located in Dunfanaghy, is a renovated workhouse that now serves as a heritage centre which explores local history, culture and traditions.
You can learn about the famine and life in Donegal in the past. I found this really interesting and to be honest , a bit sad 🙁
I hope we can learn from history so it never repeats itself
The Workhouse also hosts different workshops throughout the year and serves as the starting point for the Dunfanaghy Heritage Trail.
The trail takes you through the village on a historical tour with an accompanying audio track and app.
Dunfanaghy Stables is an equestrian tourism destination based at Arnolds Hotel in Dunfanaghy.
They offer pony trekking and horse riding along the wild Atlantic Way, through the Irish countryside and along beaches. (how COOL eh ?! )
They have a varied selection of horses to match visitors’ horse riding capabilities, which is a nice way of saying if you are super short and are hopeless at horse riding, they have a sweet little pony to accommodate …..
You can also take horseriding lessons at Dunfanaghy Stables.
The Dunlewey Centre offers a great experience to learn about the past and explore the local area.
You can visit the homestead of the world-renowned weaver Manus Ferry and listen to stories from experienced tour guides. In the middle of the century many people came to this homestead to visit Manus Ferry and to purchase his tweed
You can take a boat trip around Dunlewey Lough and even see the Guinness Estate. The Dunlewey Centre also has a play area and bumper cars on site.
I didn’t tackle this myself but I plan to! Ate too many doughnuts and didn’t fit enough …
Mount Errigal is one of Irelands’ most impressive mountains with its sharp peak and incredible surrounding landscape.
The mountain stands 751 meters high and is the tallest one in Donegal.
Mount Errigal is a great place to walk or hike and it offers amazing views of the surrounding area including Lough Dewey.
Fanad Head Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. It is located on the northern point of the Fanad Peninsula.
You can check out the visitor centre and also take a guided tour of the lighthouse.
Where To Stay In Donegal
Luxury: Lough Eske Castle
Lough Eske Castle is a beautiful 5 Star hotel located just 10 minutes drive from Donegal Town. This hotel provides top-class service and amazing views of Lough Eske and the Bluestack Mountains.
Lough Eske Castle has 3 restaurants to choose from on-site but we would recommend Cedars Restaurant. The steak was amazing!
Spa and indoor swimming pool, 3 restaurants and 2 bars/lounges, free WiFi, 24-hour room service, free parking and valet parking.
Price: $259 per night
Value: Mill Park Hotel
Mill Park Hotel is conveniently located in Donegal Town. There is so much to do in this area from golfing at the Donegal Golf Club to checking out the historical architecture of the town.
It is a great location to explore Donegal from, you can explore the Bluestack Mountains or even go surfing or scuba diving.
Swimming pool, hot tub, restaurant, free WiFi, bar and business services.
Price: $164 per night
Budget: The Gateway Lodge
The Gateway Lodge is also located in Donegal Town.
This is the perfect location to start your Donegal adventure as you can easily head west to explore the Slieve League Peninsula or travel North through Letterkenny towards the Inishowen Peninsula.
The town itself also has a lot to offer from beautiful architecture and amazing restaurants to interesting museums and lively pubs.
Free parking, free WiFi and an exceptional breakfast.
Price: $99 per night
Glamping: Portsalon Luxury Camping
Portsalon Luxury Camping offers the most amazing views across Ballymastocker Bay. This luxury camping site is located just 2.2 km from Portsalon Beach.
The accommodation offers amazing sea views and modern comforts.
The tents have stylish and comfortable furnishings which creates a luxurious space in the countryside. Visitors can embrace nature while maintaining modern comforts.
You can check out this article for more glamping spots in Donegal.
Amenities: Free parking, a kitchen, an outdoor fireplace, and barbeque facilities
Price: $120 per night
FAQs About Tramore Beach
If you want to know more about Tramore Beach and other beaches in Donegal, we’ve got you covered!
In the following section, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Where Is Tramore Beach Donegal?
Tramore Beach Donegal is located on the Horn Head Peninsula which is just outside Dunfanaghy. Go towards Horn Head Dunfanaghy and you will cross a long low bridge. Look out for parking signs. Just note that, it is a 30-minute walk from the car park to the beach.
What Is The Longest Beach In Donegal?
The longest beach in Donegal is Rossnowlagh Beach, which is located in the South West of Donegal.This beach stretches about 4km (2.5 miles) in length and is also renowned as one of Ireland’s best surfing beaches! Rossnowlagh is also is a Blue Flag beach
How Far Is Donegal Town From A Beach?
Donegal Town is about 5 kilometres from the nearest beach, which is Murvagh Beach. Warren Beach is the next closest beach to Donegal Town which is 12.5 km away and then there is Rossnowlagh Beach, which is 18 km away.
What Is The Main Town In Donegal?
Letterkenny is the main town in Donegal, with a population of over 22,000. [this should be 50-55 words but aisha was editing at midnight and tired ]
So, there you have it, our in depth guide to Tramore Beach!
In my experience, Tramore Beach, Donegal is one of the most beautiful secluded beaches in Ireland!
I personally think the 30-45 minute stroll/hike where you huff and puff and question your life choices… that eventually leads you to the beach is an added bonus when visiting this beach.
It makes you appreciate the end view, even more.
Make sure you bring a nice hot flask of tea, a wind breaker, waterproof and a good attitude and you will have a great time!
After you finish checking out Tramore Beach here in Donegal, you can also explore other interesting locations such as Glenveagh National Park and Mount Errigal ( hiking this is high up on my bucket list!).
Hope you enjoyed this guide and if you want to find out more about what Donegal has to offer you can check out the articles below! 🙂
Related Posts on Donegal :
- 27 Donegal Cottages By The Sea: [Scenic & Family Friendly]
- Tramore Beach Donegal Guide + Safety Warning 
- 29 Best Restaurants In Donegal Must Try!
- Maghera Beach Donegal [Unique Tips + Safety Warning] 
- All You Need To Know About The Secret Waterfall Donegal
- 27 Fun Things To Do In Donegal In The Rain
- 35 Epic Best Things To Do In Donegal
- Discover 27 Adventurous Places For Hiking In Donegal
- 15 Amazing Spots Surfing in Donegal