The beautiful area of Maharees is located in the north of Dingle Peninsula and is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of Brandon and Tralee Bay, in County Kerry.
It is a 5km long tombolo which neighbours nearby Castlegregory Village and Tralee town. It is one of the Blue Flag Beaches on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The area is renowned for being the primary home of the incredibly rare Natterjack Toad as well as having beautiful sandy beach and clear blue waters.
This guide to Maharees will include the top activities and experiences you can have whilst visiting the area as well as the best places to eat and stay.
As the area of Maharees is surrounded on one side by Brandon Bay, and Tralee Bay on the other, it is understandable that watersports are some of the most highly rated activities you can partake in whilst visiting Maharees.
Since the area is renowned for its watersports, there are many watersport organizations present in the area.
Splash Sports Surfing School
For those looking to take up a brand new sport, or try their hand at surfing, then you must go to Splash Sports Surfing School.
By choosing to learn to surf with Splash Sports Surfing School, they will provide experienced and friendly staff members to teach you as well as all the necessary safety equipment for you to use whilst you are on the waves.
They also host other activities, such as kayaking, powerboating, water trampolining, and boogie boards, as well as fun water slides.
Diving with Waterworld
Maharees is also home to the oldest family-owned watersports company in the whole of Ireland, Waterworld. Perhaps you have always wanted to try scuba diving, or maybe you already are a keen diver. If so, Waterworld is the place for you.
The very experienced team at Waterworld offers a variety of different diving lessons, with complete lessons for those that have never tried diving before, to courses to help further your established skills.
Once you are ready for the adventure of a scuba diving trip, Waterworld has a variety on offer as they will take you to several of the beautiful Maharees Islands. Each island trip varies in length, with different fish and sea habitats for you to discover.
Take to the waves with Jamie Knox Watersports
If you have always wanted to try kitesurfing or windsurfing, now is your chance. The waves and wind from the Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect conditions to try either sport, and Jamie Knox Watersports offers lessons to everyone whatever their ability.
Jamie Knox Watersports also offer a wide range of fun-filled watersport activities including canoeing, paddle boats, and surfing as well as water slides and water trampolining. You cannot miss out on all of these adrenaline-inducing watersport activities, you will have to try at least one.
Play golf at Castlegregory Golf Links
With the beautiful scenic views of the rolling hills and wild seas, Castlegregory Golf Club, which is a 15-minute drive away from Maharees Beach, is a must-visit attraction for any golf lovers.
Ranked 21st in the best 9-hole golf courses in the world in 2020, the Castlegregory Golf Links course boasts spectacular facilities, including an onsite golf equipment shop and rental.
After a long day on the green, you can unwind in the clubhouse and have a delicious meal or a refreshing drink.
Be on the look-out for Maharees Natterjack Toads
The Natterjack Toad is the only toad species that are native to Ireland, and it is actually registered on the world’s endangered species list.
The area of Maharees and neighbouring Castlegregory are the primary areas that the Natterjack Toad is found and you may see them if you visit Castlegregory’s golf course or the sand dunes of Maharees’ beaches.
In order to help boost the population of Natterjack Toads in the wild, the National Wildlife Service created a series of ponds in Maharees that were specially designed to house Natterjack Toads and over 1,000 were released in 2020.
Whilst you are visiting Maharees, look out for this rare and beautiful species.
Horse riding at O’Connor’s Riding School
Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced horse rider, O’Connor’s Riding School offer a unique method to explore the beautiful scenic views that Maharees and the local area offers.
You can either go on a one-hour or two-hour horse trek around the Maharees peninsula, and a trainer from the riding school will take you on a picturesque trip along the beach on horseback.
Not only does O’Connor’s offer horseback riding experiences, but you also can go on a very cute pony ride as well.
Take an adventurous walk around the local area
Taking part in a nice and revitalizing walk around an area is the perfect, and cheapest, way to explore and learn more about the place that you are visiting. You will never know what exciting discoveries and beautiful views you will witness during any exploration.
Below, we have included an easier route and a more difficult walking route for you to do whilst you are visiting the Maharees and the surrounding area.
Maharees Heritage Trail
This 10km easy walking trail will take you along the coastal path of the Maharees tombolo.
As you adventure along, you will be able to take in the spectacular views of Brandon Bay, Scraggane Bay, and Tralee Bay, and you can listen to the relaxing sounds of the Atlantic waves as you walk by.
The path will also take you through five of the quaint but picturesque villages that are on the Maharees tombolo, which will give you ample opportunity to learn more about the local area.
This difficult walking trail will take you up a 3,000ft elevation change, so you must be prepared before embarking on this adventure.
Mount Brandon is one of the highest mountain in all of Ireland, and while the journey up the mountain will be difficult, the views that you will witness once you reach the top are spectacular.
If you do not feel confident enough to complete the route on your own, there are plenty of tours that will help you embark on this tough journey. I recommend you do the latter and requires a whole day.
Dating all the way back to 1900, the Maharees Regatta takes place annually every summer and competitors from all over Ireland travel to take part, because of the events’ historic past.
The regatta is an absolute must-see if you are traveling to Maharees in the summer, as the age-old rivalry between Maharees and neighboring Brandon heats up every year. Think Cambridge v Oxford, but in Ireland rather than England.
Fishing in Sandy Bay
Due to its unique positioning with the North Atlantic Drift, the waters surrounding Maharees have an extremely varied amount of fish species.
At any one time, you will be able to find and catch over 70 different species of fish in the Maharees waters.
One of the best places to fish in Maharees is Sandy Bay, this is because of the vast amount of flounder, dogfish, bass, coalfish, and rays (sting, thornback, and painted) that can be found there all year round.
If you wish to try fishing whilst you are visiting Maharees, there are plenty of fishing boat rentals and locals that are willing to help. You will be breathing fresh sea air in no time.
If you’ve had enough of sunning yourself on the glorious Maharees beach, then adventure further inland to see the glorious sprawling Irish countryside.
There isn’t anything more quintessentially Irish than Castlegregory if you want a traditional Irish village to explore. It’s a tonne of fun, so if you’re looking for something else to do, head here.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to research the area yourself. Just head over to our post on Castlegregory Village to find out everything there is to do.
Maharees Accommodation Options
Now that you know all about the wonderful things that Maharees offers, you will need to find somewhere to stay during your visit. Below, we have included a variety of different accommodation options that will appeal to everyone.
Camping and Caravan Options
Since Maharees is known for being a nature lovers’ haven, it is understandable that most visitors wish to embrace the outdoors and would rather stay in either a caravan or a tent.
The first thing that you must know is that it is illegal to wild camp on Maharees Beach, and you will be fined €75 if they find you doing so. This means that you will need to be on the lookout for a camp or caravan site.
Both parks are located near the sea with onsite entertainment for children as well as shower and toilet facilities. Sandy Bay Caravan Site also offers pitches for people that wish to camp rather than sleep in a caravan.
However, camping and caravan holidays are not for everyone. For those individuals that prefer their creature comforts, we can recommend two b&b’s in the local area that will exceed all your expectations.
If you are looking for a good budget b&b that still has a high rating, then the Harbour House is perfect for you. With beautiful sea views, an on-site swimming pool, and a restaurant, the Harbour House is a brilliant affordable b&b option.
If you would rather spend the extra money on a more luxurious stay then The Shores Country Club will offer you a 5-star experience.
With extravagant furnishings, incredible ocean view rooms, and access to the beach, staying at The Shores Country Club may be your perfect holiday destination.
The best restaurant and bar in Maharees
We have dedicated the last section of our guide to Maharees to recommend, to you, the very best restaurant and bar that Maharees has to offer.
Spillane’s Bar & Restaurant
The restaurant that we highly recommended in Maharees is Spillane’s Bar and Restaurant. It has a prestigious award from the Seafood Circle.
With spectacular sea views, Spillane’s Restaurant specializes in fresh and locally sourced seafood and traditional Irish dishes
That concludes our complete guide to the Maharees Beach and its surrounding areas.
This beautiful and unique area has so much to offer, from adrenaline-inducing watersport activities to scenic walks through the countryside and everything in between.
Afterwards, you can relax and recharge in one of the outstanding local restaurants and pubs that Maharees offers.
Before heading back to your chosen perfect accommodation option. A holiday to Maharees is absolutely unmissable.