WITH summer just around the corner, it’s that time of year when you start planning a trip to the Irish seaside.
But with over 200 beaches to choose from along the Irish coast, it can be hard to whittle them down.
Now a record number of seaside spots have been awarded a coveted Blue Flag Award - celebrating its 30th anniversary this year - which recognises the highest level of cleanliness and water quality across the world.
88 Irish beaches were selected at the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards in Cork on Monday – eight up on last year’s number.
Just five beaches were awarded both Blue Flags and Green Coasts – Portmarnock in Fingal, Salthill and Silver Strand in Galway, Rosses Point in Sligo and Ballinskelligs in Kerry.
Three beaches awarded a Blue Flag in 2016 – Lisfannon in Donegal, Killiney in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Balcarrick, Donabate in Fingal – did not retain their blue flag status this year after falling short of water quality standards.
Meanwhile, three beaches that lost Blue Flag status in 2016 - Redbarn and Garretstown in Cork and Ross in County Mayo – regained their status.
From Keel strand in Achill Island, to Dunmore Strand in Waterford and White Strand Doonbeg in Kerry, there's a place for everyone to enjoy the summer sun this year on some of the best beaches in Europe.
Here’s the full list of Blue Flag beaches and marinas in Ireland...
White Strand Doonbeg
White Strand Miltown Malbay
Kinsale Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht club
An Trá Mhór (Inverin)
Cill Mhuirbhigh (Aran)
Trá an Dóilin
White Strand Caherciveen
Councillors Strand Dunmore East
Ballymoney North Beach
Kilmore Quay Marina
New Ross Marina
Brittas Bay North Beach
Brittas Bay South Beach
Bray South Promenade