How can we help you?
Image Details:

Aengus McMahon


  • Where are the beaches in Galway City?

    Galway City Council considers our beaches to be one of the most valuable recreational facilities available to residents of and visitors to Galway City.

    There are four designated beaches in the Galway City area:

    • Salthill
    • Sliverstrand
    • Ballyloughane
    • Grattan

    View map of beach locations

  • Salthill Beach
    The beach at Salthill is comprised of several small beaches separated by outcrops. Some of the beaches are sandy and some pebbly. It is located in Galway city and on Galway Bay, a Special Area of Conservation.

    The beach is life guarded from mid-May to the end of August from 11am to 7 pm.

    Salthill beach has been a blue flag beach since 2006 and bathing water quality is monitored regularly throughout the bathing season.

    View results of bathing water quality.

    View map of beach locations


  • Silverstrand Beach
    Silverstrand has a safe, shallow, sandy beach of approximately 0.25km bounded on one side by a cliff and the other by rocks. It is particularly popular with and suitable for young families. It faces directly into Galway Bay giving spectacular views.

    There is a promenade with parking capacity for about 60 vehicles. The beach is suitable for swimming at low tide but the beach area is largely covered during high tide.

    The beach is life guarded daily from mid-May to end of August from 11 am to 7pm.

    Silverstrand beach has been a blue flag beach since 2006 and bathing water quality is monitored regularly throughout the bathing season.

    View results of bathing water quality.

    View map of beach locations


  • Ballyloughane Beach
    Ballyloughane is one of Galway's most exciting beaches for observing seashore life. At low tide large amounts of the shore are exposed and can be explored safely. Visitors can identify animals that live in sandy, rocky and tidal areas all on one stretch of shoreline. It is an important nursery area for juvenile flat fish such as plaice and flounder, as well as providing a home for brown shrimp (otherwise known as crangons), sand hoppers, seaweeds and crabs.

    Bathing water quality is monitored regularly throughout the bathing season.

    View results of bathing water quality.

    View map of beach locations


  • Grattan Beach
    Grattan Beach is a sandy beach located just before Salthill. The intertidal areas between the beach and nearby Mutton Island and Nimmo's pier hold the highest densities of wintering birds in the immediate vicinity of Galway City. In addition, the beach is home to a variety of sea life and is an ideal location for a fun family day out hunting for crabs under rocks while admiring the views of Galway Bay.

    Bathing water quality is monitored regularly throughout the bathing season.

    View results of bathing water quality.

    View map of beach locations


  • Where are the Blue Flag Beaches in Galway City?

    The Blue Flag Campaign is one of the most widely known, most recognised and valued ecolabels throughout Europe and beyond. It is awarded to beaches and marinas with excellent environmental management.

    To gain a Blue Flag, beaches have to meet 32 strict criteria covering water quality, beach/marina management, safety, services and facilities, environmental education and information.

    Galway City currently has two Blue Flag Beaches - Salthill Beach and Silverstrand Beach.

    View map of beach locations

    Both Salthill and Silverstand beaches also have a Green Coast Award and play major roles as leisure, recreation and coastal amenity areas for the city of Galway.

    The awarding of blue flags and green coast awards for both beaches is a wonderful achievement for the city and a huge asset for its residents and our many visitors.

    For more information on Blue Flag, visit

    For more information on The Green Coast Awards, visit


  • Are there lifeguards on the beaches in Galway City?

    Galway City Council, in conjunction with Galway County Council, operates a lifeguard service on all beaches during the bathing season (mid-May to end of August).

    Lifeguards are usually recruited in spring each year and are rotated between the nearby beaches in the county.

    Details of vacancies are posted in the Human Resources section of Galway County Council website - and in the local press.


  • Are dogs permitted on beaches in Galway City?

    Dogs are not permitted on Galway City beaches or their waters between the hours of 9 am and 8 pm during the months of May, June, July, August and September.

    Before 9 am and after 8 pm during May to September, dogs are permitted on the beach provided they are on a leash and are not causing danger or nuisance.

    These conditions are part of the dog control byelaws for Galway City and relate to the beaches of Salthill, Grattan, Ballyloughane and Silverstrand and to their waters.

    Promenade areas are not affected by these byelaws.

    View the Dog Control Bye-laws 2008.


  • How often are the beaches cleaned in Galway City?

    Beach Cleaning may be divided into:

    • Litter Picking
    • Seaweed Gathering

    Litter Picking is carried out on a daily basis on the beaches in Galway city during the bathing season.
    Seaweed Gathering occurs as and when necessary.


  • How often is the water quality tested?

    Water quality monitoring is carried out on all Galway City beaches on a regular basis during the bathing water season. The microbiological and the physical-chemical parameters of the bathing water are monitored in accordance with the Bathing Water Calendar and submitted to the EPA to ensure adherence to the required standards for bathing water.

    The results are displayed on the notice boards at each beach on a regular basis.

    Please click here to view bathing water quality results for beaches in Galway and around the country on the Splash website (
    The Splash website provides information on bathing water quality, and highlights if there are any current warnings or notifications for particular areas of water.


  • How do I obtain a key for the Changing Rooms at Salthill Beach?

    There are changing room facilities on Salthill Beach. Keys for the changing rooms may be purchased at the Customer Service Desk in City Hall for a fee of €10.


  • Who should I report a missing life buoy to?

    The City Council maintains life buoys along the beaches and many waterways that cross the city.

    These life buoys are placed in these locations so that in the event of a mishap life can be protected.

    Each year a substantial number of these have to be replaced, mostly due to tampering or meaningless interfering by the public. It would be a pity if life were endangered by such unwelcome behaviour.

    All members of the public are encouraged to act responsible and to speak out if they see such behaviour

    Report a damaged or missing Life Buoy.

    Alternatively, contact the Environment Section of Galway City Council


  • How do I organise a Beach Clean Up?

    Litter picking of the beaches in Galway City occur on a daily basis throughout the bathing season. There are no general cleanups planned at the moment. However if you wish to arrange a beach clean up, please contact the Environment Section of Galway City Council please email or telephone 091-536960.

    For further information, please visit The Clean Coasts Programme, run by An Taisce.


  • Are there any Beach Activities organised for Galway City beaches?

    Throughout the year, a number of events and activities take place on Galway City beaches.

    • Beach safaris
      Galway City Council, in conjunction with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland, organise beach safaris during the summer months enabling adults and children to explore the wonderful sea life on our beaches. For further information on this contact Galway Alantaquaria.

    • School projects
      As part of the green schools water theme, many city schools carry out projects relating to our beaches. For more information on green schools, visit In addition, aquariums have been installed in 4 primary schools as part of a beach education project.

    • Science workshops
      Throughout the year, the Atlantaquaria in Salthill run a series of science workshops and marine-based events. Check out for more details.


  • It is possible to park a camper van in the parking areas at the beaches in Galway City?

    Standard use of on-street Pay & Display parking facilities during normal hours is permitted. However, Galway City Council's Parking Control Bye-Laws 2009 states that the parking of mobile Temporary Dwellings (campervans, caravans, mobile homes or other vehicles) used for accommodation purposes are prohibited in the following locations.

    • R336 Seapoint Promenade (Grattan Road - D'Arcy roundabout)
    • R336 Salthill Road Upper (D'Arcy roundabout - 100m west of Threadneedle Road)
    • LT50187 Quincentennial Drive (Seapoint Promenade - 102m N/E National Acquarium)
    • LS05015 Rockbarton Road (Salthill road Upper - Revagh Road)
    • LP01002/010/011/012/013 Western Dist Road (Bishop O'Donnell Road R/abt - Cappagh Road R/abt)

    The parking overnight of Temporary Dwellings in Public carparks is also prohibited.