Portsalon Beach, Portsalon, Co Donegal

Portsalon has the second most beautiful beach in the world, according to the Observer. Its wedge of golden sand sweeps gently under the Atlantic amidst vast skies and distant mountains. The whole place is part of a National Heritage Area, with plenty of wildlife and stunning views on offer.

A headland protects the beach from the Atlantic’s worst weather. Porsalon Beach is also a Blue Flag winner and patrolled by lifeguards in summer.