The mighty Carrickfinn Beach is, in our opinion, one of the finest beaches in Donegal.
A stunning sandy beach, Carrickfinn has received blue flag status for its cleanliness and the quality of its water.
Located close to Annagry, this gorgeous beach is popular with tourists and locals alike. Oh, and the world’s media, but more on that below!
Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Carrickfinn Beach
Although a visit to Carrickfinn Beach is fairly straightforward, below you’ll find some tips and tricks to make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
The stunning Carrickfinn Beach is a beautiful sandy beach with impressive dunes situated a stone’s-throw from the little village of Annagry and right next to Donegal Airport. It’s a 15-minute drive from Gweedore, Dungloe and Burtonport (the departure point for Arranmore Island).
There’s a decent-sized car park right next to the beach that, unless you’re visiting during the busier summer month, is rarely full (it’s here on Google Maps).
Carrickfinn Beach is a frequent winner of the Blue Flag award. There’s lifeguards on duty during June, July and August and for the first two weekends in September (note: this may change).
4. The airport
Carrickfinn is located right next to what has been voted as the ‘Most scenic airport in the world’ – Donegal Airport! Scroll down to find out why!
5. Water safety (please read)
About Carrickfinn Beach
Carrickfinn is a gloriously white sandy beach that’s rather unique thanks to its proximity to Donegal Airport. Now, don’t let the airport worry you – you won’t have too many flights disturbing your walk!
The beach is backed by some extensive sand dunes and machair grasslands, both of which attract stunning wild flowers during the warmer months of the year along with unique plants.
Carrickfinn is an absolute joy to stroll along and, once you visit outside of summer, you’ll often find that you have the place all to yourself.
How Carrickfinn Beach helped Donegal Airport become the world’s most scenic
Donegal Airport was recently voted most scenic airport in the world for the third year in a row! What is the secret behind the airport’s success?
Well, many have put it down to the fact that the near 5000 foot long runway here sits beside Carrickfinn Beach.
With exceptionally clean sand, clear waters and hundreds of tiny islets dotted offshore, the landing approach into Donegal Airport is something truly special.
So far the airport has won this prestigious prize for three years running. With such a stunning locale, we don’t see it being knocked off its perch anytime soon!
Things to do near Carrickfinn Beach
One of the beauties of Carrickfinn Beach is that it’s a short distance away from some of the best things to do in Donegal.
From hikes and walks to islands, historic sites and much more, below you’ll find some of our favourite places to visit nearby.
1. The Arranmore Island ferry (15-minute drive)
2. Mount Errigal (25-minute drive)
Measuring 751 metres, soaring Mount Errigal is a mystic place much revered in local mythology. For those with an adventurous spirit, climbing the highest peak in Donegal is a great way to enjoy the region!
3. Glenveagh (35-minute drive)
FAQs about Carrickfinn Beach in Donegal
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it hard to get parking?’ to ‘Can you swim here?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Can you swim at Carrickfinn Beach?
Yes, if the conditions allow for it and you’re a capable swimmer. However, note that lifeguards are only on duty during the summer.
Is parking at Carrickfinn a nightmare?
For most of the year, you’ll have absolutely no problem with parking. However, on fine days during summer, people flock to Carrickfinn from far and wide.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).