There’s some glorious beaches in Donegal and Falcarragh Beach is up there with the best of them.
You’ll find it a short ramble from Falcarragh where it’s best rambled along with something tasty from the Mountain Melts coffee truck!
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and swimming to where to visit nearby. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows about Falcarragh Beach
Although a visit to Falcarragh Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Falcarragh Beach is located on County Donegal’s north coast and is approx 3km north of Falcarragh Town. It’s a 15-minute drive from Gweedore and Dunfanaghy and a 30-minute drive from Dungloe.
There’s a handy car park just beside the Ray River inlet in the centre of the beach (here on Google Maps). You should be able to spot it easily enough as it’s at the end of the main road to Falcarragh Beach
While Falcarragh Beach looks lovely, we can’t find any official info about its swimming credentials so your best bet is to ask around locally (Falcarragh Town would be a good place to start). It’s best to leave it unless you get the word that it’s all good to swim.
4. Water safety (please read)
Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!
About Falcarragh Beach
Like many beaches in Ireland, Falcarragh Beach goes by a fair few names! Also known as the Back Strand or Drumnatinny Beach, all you need to know is that this is one gorgeous spot no matter what you call it!
Awarded Green Coast status because of the purity of its Atlantic waters, the area around the beach and the shores of Ballyness Bay are a Special Area of Conservation so make sure not to drop any litter while you’re exploring Falcarragh.
If you visit at the right time of year (and the sun’s out – never a guarantee up here!), you’ll notice that the coastline takes on something of a turquoise colour and makes for a pretty spectacular scene, especially with the gorgeous Donegal landscape surrounding it.
Things to do at Falcarragh Beach
There’s a handful of things to do in and around Falcarragh Beach, our favourite of which involves the tasty wares dished up by Mountain Melts. Here’s some suggestions:
1. Grab something tasty from Mountain Melts
With a great name like Mountain Melts, it would be rude not to give this deadly little foot truck a try when you’re feeling a bit peckish!
Serving up indulgent cheese toasties in the Falcarragh Beach car park, these guys are in the ideal location for a quick bite to stop and take in the views (there’s even a handy sea-facing bench nearby).
Choose from generously-filled toasties, sweet treats like cakes and doughnuts and of course a selection of coffees and teas. They even serve hot chocolates with marshmallows on top – now who’s going to grumble about that!?
2. Then head for a long saunter along the sand
Once you’ve got yourself sorted with a bite to eat and a nice hit of caffeine, ease yourself onto the soft golden sands of Falcarragh Beach and ramble along one of Donegal’s (and Ireland’s?) finest stretches of sand.
Although we weren’t sure about the swimming situation, there’s nothing to stop you from kicking off your shoes and going for a paddle while waves gently lap against your feet.
At 4.5km, t’s a long old beach too and walking the length of it and back will certainly burn off a few calories from the cheese toastie!
3. Or just kick back and soak up the views
But if a walk of that length isn’t your game, then no bother. Falcarragh beach offers some stunning views if you’d rather just sit back and take in Donegal’s unique coastline.
Find a bench or a dune and enjoy spectacular views of Horn Head, Tory Island and the Derryveagh Mountain range, including Muckish and Errigal. Just past the very western end of Falcarragh Beach, you can also enjoy beautiful sunsets from Ballyness Pier and the sand dunes of Drumnatinny.
If you’re here later in the day and it’s a sunny afternoon, then waiting for that golden sunset is one of the absolute highlights of visiting this cracking spot.
Places to visit near Falcarragh Beach
One of the beauties of Falcarrah is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Donegal.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Falcarragh!
1. Beaches galore (1-to-35-minute drive)
If you wanted beaches then you’ve come to the right place! Falcarragh isn’t the only player in town here, so make sure to check out the likes of Tramore, Marble Hill, Killahoey Beach and Magheraroarty Beach.
2. Horn Head (25-minute drive)
Sticking out into the North Atlantic from the north Donegal coast, Horn Head offers some seriously epic views! Home to sweeping panoramas, dramatic cliffs and even a WW2 lookout tower, it’s a ragged windswept spot that’s less than half an hour’s drive from Falcarragh Beach.
3. Tory Island Ferry (20-minute drive)
Isolated 12km off the coast of northern Donegal, Tory Island is Ireland’s most remote inhabited island…so why wouldn’t you want to check it out!? Luckily, the ferry that takes you out to Tory Island is just a handy 20-minute drive from Falcarragh and the journey time over there is around 45-minutes.
4. Muckish Mountain (25-minute drive)
Distinct for its long flat top, Muckish Mountain is one of Ireland’s more unique mountains and is visible for miles around. At 2,189 ft, it’s the third-highest peak in the Derryveagh Mountains and there’s a cracking 4.3km loop trail located near Creenasmear (make sure to descend the same way you come up though, as the remainder of the loop gets very steep).
FAQs about Drumnatinny Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where do you park?’ to ‘Can you swim there?’.
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 Falcarragh Beach?
Although we’ve tried, we can’t find any official information online about whether or not it’s OK to swim here. Your best bet is to check locally.
Is Falcarragh Beach a hassle?
It’s only during the warmer summer months that parking here can become an issue. If you arrive when it’s full, you can always try and find parking in the town.