Despite what some US travel sites say, there’s no beach in Tralee.
There are, however, endless beaches near Tralee, many of which are a short drive away.
From the glorious Banna Strand to the popular Ballyheigue, there’s plenty of sandy spots to saunter along.
Our favourite beaches near Tralee
The first section of our guide is packed with out favourite beaches near Tralee, each of which is under a 30-minute drive away.
1. Banna Beach (20-minute drive)
Banna Beach is the nearest beach to Tralee, at a handy 20-minute spin away. This is a lovely golden sandy beach that stretches 10 kilometres along Tralee Bay.
It has amazing views all around, with craggy cliffs straight ahead, sand dunes to the back, Kerry Head to the north, and mountains to the southwest.
The Blue Flag beach has a large car park with disabled spaces, plus a short slipway providing disabled access. It’s a dog-friendly beach, but dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
Banna Beach is a popular swim spot and there’s a surf school directly on the beach for anyone wanting to try it out.
2. Camp Beach (20-minute drive)
Camp Beach is another long sandy beach that sits on Tralee Bay. It is close to Camp Village, making it a great place to spend the entire day.
There are several restaurants and pubs nearby so you can easily fuel up when you’re hungry. The beach is popular with walkers and swimmers but do note there are no lifeguards.
Camp Beach has limited parking, but it tends to be on the quieter side, so this isn’t normally an issue. In any case, it’s only a 20-minute walk from the village centre.
3. Ballyheigue Beach (25-minute drive)
Ballyheigue Beach You’ll find Ballyheigue Beach if you take the coast road between Tralee and Ballybunion. This is a huge beach that offers glorious views out over the glistening waters of Tralee Bay.
There’s a lifeguard service during the summer and it’s popular amongst swimmers, surfers and for many types of water sports.
Ballyheigue Beach stretches for 10km and it’s arguably one of the best beaches near Tralee for a long stroll in the evening.
4. Castlegregory Beach (30-minute drive)
Castlegregory Beach is a long, golden sandy beach that is a part of several interconnected beaches in Tralee Bay. It has wonderful views of the bay and its surrounding mountains.
On a clear day, it’s also possible to see Brandon’s Point! The car park is large, but it can fill up during the summer when the weather is fine.
There are toilet facilities in the car park, making it a good beach for families with small children. It is 15 minutes on foot from Castlegregory village.
5. Ballybunion Beach (30-minute drive)
So, there are several beaches in Ballybunion; Men’s Beach is the largest, followed by Ladies’ Beach and then there is the much less accessible but incredibly scenic Nun’s Beach.
Now, we’re not 100% sure on the swimming situation here, so your best bet is the check locally.
These tend be some of the busier beaches near Tralee during the summer months, as Ballybunion is a popular summer holiday spot.
6. Maharees Beach (35-minute drive)
Maharees Beach can be found on the Maharees Peninsula, a stretch of land that extends northwards out from the Dingle Peninsula.
Also called “front beach”, Maharees Beach is on the west-facing side of the Maharees, with views of Brandon Bay. The beach has very limited parking and there are no facilities.
This beautiful golden sandy beach is exposed to the North Atlantic, providing consistent swells and making it a great spot for surfing!
There are two surf schools at the entrance to Maharees beach, the Splashsports Surf School and the Jamie Knox Watersports Surf Centre.
More popular beaches close to Tralee
Now that we have our favourite Tralee beaches out of the way, it’s time to see what else is close by.
Below, you’ll find everywhere from Stradbally and Fermoyle Strand to one of the most overlooked beaches near Tralee.
1. Stradbally Beach (35-minute drive)
Stradbally Beach is a beautiful golden beach with views of Brandon Bay. It’s a part of a series of beaches that together are around 20 kilometres long. This makes it one of the longest stretches of beach in Ireland!
The beach is nestled between Fermoyle Strand to the south and Maharees Beach to the north.
It’s not as popular as other beaches in the area, so it’s good for some peace and quiet, however, parking is limited and the roads leading to the beach are narrow.
2. Fermoyle Strand (35-minute drive)
The roughly 2km Fermoyle Strand is an absolute stunner and you’ll find it right next to Stradbally Beach.
On a clear day, you’ll be able to enjoy gorgeous views of the Brandon Mountains to the west as you ramble.
Fermoyle Strand is a great place for surfers due to its consistent North Atlantic swells.
3. Inch Beach (35-minute drive)
Inch Beach is a 5.5km long spit that extends out into Dingle Bay. There is an impressive dune system at the back of the beach and it has stunning mountain views on all sides.
It’s a Blue Flag beach that is popular with swimmers, surfers, and anglers. There are several surf schools and the sandy beach break is good for beginners.
There is ample parking on site, but on busy days it can fill up pretty fast. There are public toilet facilities near the car park. There’s also a restaurant near the beach entrance with indoor and outdoor seating.
4. Brandon Bay Beach (45-minute drive)
Brandon Bay Beach is a small beach on Brandon Bay next to Brandon village. The beach is sandy with a brown/purple tinge, and it’s more exposed than other beaches on the bay, so the water can get a little choppy at times.
For more shelter, you can access the beach next to Murphy’s Bar via a concrete ramp. This small area of the beach is partially behind Brandon’s Pier so the water should be calmer.
Otherwise, the rest of the beach can be accessed by passing through a gate and walking along a sandy path.
5. Rossbeigh Strand (50-minute drive)
Rossbeigh Strand is a part of the Ring of Kerry. It is a 6km sandy beach that has incredible views of Dingle Bay. The beach is a Blue Flag beach and is popular with swimmers, walkers, surfers, and horse riders.
There is plenty of space for parking at the southern end of the beach. The car park is close to the water, giving good access to people who have limited mobility.
The southern end of the beach also has toilets, a cafe, and a children’s play area, making Rossbeigh Strand great for a whole-day outing!
Tralee beaches: What have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant beaches near Tralee from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about beaches close to Tralee
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which can you swim at?’ to ‘What’s the nearest beach to Tralee?’.
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.
Does Tralee have a beach?
No. The confusion is caused by a large US travel site that says there’s a beach in Tralee Town, which there most definitely isn’t.
What are the best beaches near Tralee?
Banna Beach (20-minute drive), Camp Beach (20-minute drive) and Castlegregory Beach (30-minute drive) are hard to beat.
Alexandra is a marine biologist turned travel writer. She loves exploring new places and faraway lands but also has an appreciation for destinations closer to home. You’ll either find her walking along a beach or in a cafe kicking back with a coffee.