Nearest beach to Tralee

Are you looking for the perfect beach destination? Look no further than Banna Strand!

With its pristine white sand, sparkling blue waters, and stunning views, this beach is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Get ready to soak up some sun and make lasting memories at Banna Strand!

Introduction

Banna strand is one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, located in Tralee bay in County Kerry. It is a big stretch of ocean sand between Ballyheigue Bay and Barrow Bay.

Drone picture of Waves in Banna Strand
Banna Strand

The beach has an extensive dune system which is protected by law and is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

The beach faces the Atlantic Ocean and is popular among locals and tourists alike for its stunning views, beautiful sand dunes, and its wide range of activities.

Drone picture of Banna Beach
Banna Strand

Banna Strand also offers excellent surfing conditions due to its natural winds from the Atlantic. In 2017, Banna Strand was voted Ireland’s best beach by TripAdvisor.

Where is Banna Strand Located?

The beach extends from Ballyheigue beach in the northern part of Tralee Bay to Barrow Beach and the golf club in the southern part of Tralee Bay.

Tralee Golf Course & Fenit Castle
Tralee Golf Course

It is a blue flag beach with plenty of parking nearby and public restrooms close by.

The 20-minute (12 km) drive from Tralee sets it apart from other beaches in the area, making it a sought-after destination for locals and tourists alike. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Banna Strand is during the months of June, July, August, and September. This is because this is when temperatures are warmest, making it the perfect time for swimming, surfing, and other beach activities.

During this time, lifeguards are on duty from Mid-June till Mid-September, as well as Banna Rescue, is on call 24 hours a day. Surfboarding is also popular here with lessons available in the summer season.

1 person walking on Banna Stand
Banna

In addition, these months offer consistent clean waves that are rideable with a sea breeze, making it perfect for experienced surfers. Banna Strand itself stretches for an impressive 5 km.

What activities are there at Banna Strand?

Banna Strand offers a variety of activities for all ages. For families, there is a Summer Fun Camp where kids can have fun and be entertained at Banna Beach Leisure Centre (Pirate Pete’s).

Bucket and Spade for building sandcastles

Many people go out to Banna to have a picnic and the young ones will have much enjoyment building sandcastles with the golden sand.

Rocky shore on a beach

At the northern end of the beach, there are rock pools where sea life is trapped by the tide every day.

The beach is an excellent spot for surfing and kite surfing as there are several surf schools located around the area.

The towering dunes offer breathtaking views of Kerry Head to the north, the Dingle Peninsula to the south, and Mucklaghmore Rock to the west.

Food and Drinks Options

Visitors to Banna Strand in Ardfert, have a variety of food and drink options to choose from. Kate Browne’s Bar and Restaurant is the top-rated restaurant in the area with 395 reviews.

Kate-Kearney-pub-in-Ardfert-Village

Banna Beach Holiday Homes is another nearby accommodation option that has an onsite bar with savoury food choices such as vegan tacos, chili bowls, and more.

Entrance to the Oyster Tavern
Oyster Tavern

The Oyster Tavern Bar and Restaurant are also nearby and offer fish options for those looking for a taste of the sea. The Oyster Tavern is out the Fenit Road from Tralee.

Safety Concerns

Safety is an important concern when visiting or swimming at Banna Beach.

To ensure the safety of visitors, there is a lifeguard service that operates during the swimming season. Look at the noticeboard for the times when they are on.

When swimming, it is advised to always stay within the marked areas and obey any warnings or signs posted in the area to avoid potential risks.

Banna Strand on a sunny day

It is also important to be aware of strong currents that may be present in certain areas of the beach as they can be dangerous and potentially deadly if not respected.

Lastly, it is advised to always swim with a buddy.

Is there parking at Banna?

Parking at Banna Beach is plentiful and convenient.

Car-park-1-at-Banna-Beach
Car park 1

There are 3 car parks with around 100 spaces, including disabled parking, available for those wanting to visit the stunning beach.

For those wanting to explore more of the beach, there is a beach walk to Barrow and back that takes approximately one hour.

To make your visit even easier there are restrooms nearby and a car park (Banna Car Park 1) located close to Sir Roger’s Campsite.

Length of Banna Strand

Banna Strand stretches for 5 km and is backed by sand dunes that rise up to 12 metres (40 ft).

Sand-dunes-at-Banna-Beach
Sand dunes at Banna Strand

These sand dunes create a picturesque backdrop for various activities, such as swimming, surfing, walking, and watersports.

The area also features an extensive length of sand dunes running along its entire length. Furthermore, the beach walk to Barrow and back is approximately 3.5 miles.

Barrow Beach
Barrow Beach

This stunning blue flag beach provides visitors with beautiful scenery and endless opportunities for fun and relaxation.

Dogs-friendly beach?

Dogs-friendly beaches are a great option for pet owners looking to spend some quality time with their furry friends.

While not all beaches allow dogs, there are still plenty that do, offering an opportunity to take your pup for a swim, a long walk on the sand, and plenty of playtimes.

Couple-walking-there-dog-at-the-beach-1

In Kerry, Ireland there are 13 Blue Flag beaches that allow dogs in designated areas during specific times of the year.

Banna Strand is one of them.

Dogs must be kept on a lead near car park 1 and may only access certain parts of the beach during specified periods. See more details about dogs and Kerry beaches here.

Other pet-friendly beaches include Inch, Ventry, and White Strand, all of which provide free parking and stunning views for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy.

Banna Weather

Banna Strand is typically subjected to mild weather conditions.

The average temperature ranges from 7°C to 18°C, with the highest temperature usually occurring in July and August. In the winter months, temperatures can drop to 0°C or lower.

Two people walking on Banna Strand
Banna Strand on a sunny day

Rain is fairly common year-round; however, it is lighter during July and August. Wind speeds are typically moderate with gusts up to 14 -25 m/s.

Cloud cover varies throughout the day but is generally higher in the afternoon and evening hours.

Was there a fire in Banna Beach?

There are many sand dunes that are designated conservation areas. Unfortunately, many years ago there was a fire on the sand dunes and it damaged them a little bit. Today there is no trace of where the fire was.

Learn to surf, go to Kingdomwaves Surf School.

Kingdomwaves Surf School provides surf lessons and rentals at Banna Beach.

The beautiful ‘Blue Flag’ beach offers an ideal environment for learning to surf, with calm and consistent waves perfect for beginners.

The school is an Irish Surfing Association-approved school with Level 1 & 2 instructors, who provide two-hour group lessons every day.

Cool Dog resting against a surf board

In addition to the lessons, they also offer board rentals so you can hit the waves on your own.

So if you’re looking to learn how to surf or just want to have some fun on the waves, then Kingdomwaves Surf School is the perfect place to visit!

Sir Roger’s Caravan & Camping Park

Sir Roger’s Caravan & Camping Park is a small yet modern family-run park situated at Banna Mountain near Ardfert.

The 6.5-acre park is fully equipped with toilets, showers, electricity, a Safe Play playground, and a sports field.

Drone picture of Ballybunion Castle & Ladies Beach
Ballybunion Castle

It is ideal for exploring the southwest of Ireland and is only within 20 minute drive of picturesque Tralee and Ballybunion.

At Sir Roger’s Caravan & Camping Park, you will find holiday homes to rent or have the option to bring your own caravan or motorhome and camp out in one of their hard stands with electric hookups.

Whether you want to relax on the beach or explore some of Kerry’s most beautiful attractions there is something for everyone at this family-friendly park. It is only 200 metres from the beach.

Banna Beach Leisure Centre

Banna Beach Leisure Centre is a one-stop shop for all your relaxation and leisure needs.

Ardfert Cathedral with no roof
Ardfert Cathedral

Located 1 km from Banna Beach, this resort is surrounded by countryside and just 2 km from the remains of the 12th-century Ardfert Cathedral.

The leisure centre offers a range of activities, including a 20-metre-long deck-level swimming pool, an air lounger, a bubble pool, a gym with the latest exercise and training technology, and an Astro-turf pitch.

The leisure centre has something for everyone – whether you’re looking to relax or stay active. For those looking for some rest and relaxation, there is a steam room and sauna offering some much-needed pampering time.

For those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, the astroturf pitch is ideal for soccer or any other high-energy games.

Hotel guests also have full access to a quality gym.

Pirate Pete’s is an indoor play area for children up to the age of 10. Children can try their hand at Banna’s Got Talent which is run by the hotel.

The staff at Banna Beach Leisure Centre are friendly and knowledgeable about all the activities on offer so you can be sure that you won’t miss out on any of the fun!

The Roger Casement connection

Roger Casement was an Irish nationalist and revolutionary who is best remembered for his involvement in the Easter Rising of 1916.

In 1916 Ireland was under England’s control and they were fighting with Germany in the First World War. During the 1916 Easter, Rising Sir Roger Casement did a deal with the Germans to get guns to fight England on two fronts.

Submarine

The German U-boat was off Banna beach but when Sir Roger Casement came into shore with the guns he was quickly arrested and hung after a trial.

In 2016 President Higgins attended an official ceremony at Banna Strand to commemorate the role of Casement and his colleagues in the Easter Rising. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Banna Strand is a beautiful, natural wonder that should be experienced by all.

From its expansive beach to its rich cultural history, there is something for everyone.

Whether you are looking for a peaceful place to relax or an adventure-filled trip, Banna Strand will not disappoint.

Not only can visitors enjoy the beauty of nature but they can also explore the unique culture and history of this beautiful part of Kerry.

How far is Banna Beach from Tralee?

It is 12 Km from Tralee.

How can I get to Banna Beach?

Take the R551 road from Tralee out to Ardfert. Go straight through Ardfert and take the 1st left-hand turn after the village.

The beach is only 2 km from that junction. It is about €20 each way by taxi so it would be cheaper to hire a car.

There is a bus that goes out to Ardfert from Tralee and it only drops you in Ardfert, not to Banna. It is very dangerous to walk on the road from Ardfert to Banna and I wouldn’t recommend it.

How long is Banna Strand?

Drone picture of Ballyheigue Beach & carpark
Ballyheigue Beach

I believe you can walk north to Ballyheigue Blue Flag Beach and you only have to leave the sand to cross a river. It is only 5 km away.

Banna and Ballyheigue beaches are connected together by a footbridge. There is 9 km of sand between the 2 beaches.

Does it have a beach wheelchair?

Special Wheelchair with wide wheels for the beach
Special Wheelchair with wide wheels for the beach

Yes, it does have a beach wheelchair. The wheels on the wheelchair are very wide so it won’t get stuck easily in the sand. See how to order it on my beaches in Kerry’s web page.

Does Banna Beach have plenty of parking?

There is plenty of parking because it has 3 car parks. Car Parks 2 and 3 are only for cars. Car park 1 is the main car park. Cars and campervans can park there but not overnight.

Car-park-1-at-Banna-Beach
Car park 1

If you want to park your campervan or caravan at night there are one or two places just beside car park 1. One of them is called “Sir Rogers”.

What is the closest village?

3 km away from the beach is Ardfert Village and you will get a lovely meal at Kate Browne’s Pub. Also in Ardfert, there is a Cathedral and Friary.

Ardfert Village & Cathedral
Ardfert Village & Cathedral

Many years ago it was the old diocese of Kerry before Tralee. The main church has an ogham stone and many medieval grave slabs.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.