Rossnowlagh Beach

Rossnowlagh in South West Donegal has a wide, sandy, Blue Flag beach which stretches about 4km (2.5 miles) in length.  The beach faces west and has spectacular views over Donegal Bay towards the sea cliffs at Slieve League and out into the Atlantic Ocean. 

The funnel shape of Donegal Bay can generate some incredible swell, and waves in the bay have been known to reach as high as seven metres (20ft) in height, particularly in winter.  Not surprisingly the beach is very popular with surfers – this is one of Ireland’s top surfing destinations. 

The beach is also popular with picnickers, families, sunbathers and wind surfers who come to make the most of the soft, golden sand and breath-taking views. Walkers also enjoy the area.  From the beach it is sometimes possible (depending on the tides) to walk further along the shore to Murvagh Beach.  The beach is also a good place to come beach casting.

Although there is a good car park here, there is a long tradition of parking directly on the beach, making it easily accessible for those with mobility problems.  Cars driven onto the beach need to observe the speed limit and drivers need to watch out for children running along the strand.  Cars left here can also be caught out by rapidly incoming tides.  Notices at the beach and beach patrols may be able to give more information on tide times.

There are plenty of facilities nearby, including a hotel adjacent to the beach, and a number of shops, cafes and restaurants in the area.  Not far from the beach, the Franciscan Friary is home to the Donegal History Society Museum.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs must be on a leash and droppings removed.

County Donegal dog friendly beaches »


  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing


  • Shop

Nearest town


OS grid ref.


Parking available.


Blue Flag Award

Submit a correction

Rossnowlagh Beach Reviews

Jan 07th 2021

Majestic - spacious- sunsets are out of this world

Kevin Higgins
Jul 27th 2019

Absolutely fabulous beach.

What did we get wrong?