Derrynane Beach looks out of place when compared to the rest of Ireland—almost like a tropical sliver of the Caribbean that’s drifted across the Atlantic. Here at this long, white sand cove on the famous Ring of Kerry, lush green mountains serve as the backdrop to a clear, turquoise bay. The natural harbor is popular for swimming, and a flotilla of sailboats and pleasure craft are often found offshore. At low tide, stroll across to Abbey Island and scramble around on the rocks, and visit the remains of St. Finian’s Abbey on the leeward side of the island. From the vantage point on Abbey Island you can view the surrounding beaches, some of which have towering sand dunes that have been formed by fierce winter storms. Not far from Derrynane Beach is O’Carroll’s Cove Beach Bar and Restaurant—the only beachfront bar you’ll find on the entire Irish coast.
Derrynane Beach is two miles from the town of Caherdaniel on the southern Ring of Kerry. The beach is a little over an hour from the town of Killarney, although anyone driving the Ring of Kerry will surely take longer to reach the beach due to the many scenic stops. Derrynane Beach is most popular in summer, when water temperatures climb as high as 62°F.