The Mystery of ‘Scave Holes’ on Ballybunion Beach

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By jeroen

Although the day started with rain, we began to notice that the weather was slowly clearing up. Still, we wondered whether this was just typical Irish changeable weather or if there was more in store. One of our goals for the day was Ballybunion, a place often mentioned as one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. When I hear or know something like that before I arrive, I always feel a sense of doubt. I can already picture myself struggling to find a parking spot amidst all the crowds. Or the crowds of tourists often selfishly pursuing their own experiences, walking over my and each other’s feet, making me wonder if I can safely carry my belongings or if I need to take extra precautions. That’s not usually my ideal situation, but there was something about this beach that drew me in, something mysterious that I absolutely had to discover. This mysterious element was the “scave holes*” on the west side of the beach, and for me, that really sparked my imagination. I had to… wanted to and would visit them.

So, we decided to take a chance and spent more than an hour on the beach. By the end of our visit, my initial enthusiasm had somewhat waned due to people who seemed self-absorbed and wanted to showcase their lives on YouTube or Instagram, standing in every shot, be it a video or photo. But when I look at the photos they have taken, they, in my eyes, obstruct the view I want to see.

In hindsight, was this really the most beautiful beach in Ireland? Honestly, no. But what I didn’t know then was that I would come across beaches that would truly amaze me.  But let’s just say that this is the most beautiful beach so that we can keep the real gems to ourselves. 😉

Can you visit it with the camper or overlander?

Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, it’s best to reach the beach by car. There is a parking lot at the edge of the beach. The beach is open from sunrise to sunset. Visiting the castle is free, but if you’re traveling in an overlander or camper, finding a parking spot might be challenging.

Capturing the Enchanting site Ballybunion Beach

A nerdy deep dive into Ballybunion Beach

Ballybunion Beach is a sandy beach in the southwest of Ireland, located in the town of Ballybunion in County Kerry. The beach is approximately 2 kilometers long and 100 meters wide and is surrounded by high cliffs. The beach is a popular tourist destination and is often cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.

On the west side of the beach, you’ll find Ballybunion Castle, a ruin of a castle built in the 13th century. The castle was constructed by the Normans and underwent multiple demolitions and rebuilds over the centuries. The current ruin dates back to the 16th century.

Ballybunion Castle is a popular tourist attraction, offering stunning views of the beach and the surrounding area. The castle can be visited via a walking path that starts from the beach. Note that only limited ruins of the castle remain.

Here are some key details:

The Beach

  • Length: 2 kilometers
  • Width: 100 meters
  • Setting: High cliffs
  • Popular Activities: Swimming, sunbathing, hiking, surfing

The Castle

  • Construction Year: 13th century
  • Background: Norman castle that underwent multiple demolitions and rebuilds
  • Status: Ruin!!!
  • Access: Accessible via a walking path from the beach

*what are ‘Scave Holes’?

The rocks with the caves on Ballybunion Beach are a natural geological formation created through sea erosion. These rocks are made of limestone, which is a soft stone easily worn away by water. Over the years, the sea has sculpted the rocks into their characteristic cave-riddled shapes.

These rocks are a popular tourist attraction and can be found on the west side of the beach. They are easily accessible via a walking path that begins at the beach.

The rocks stand at approximately 20 meters in height and feature various types of caves. Some caves are small and round, while others are larger and elongated. These caves have formed as the sea eroded the limestone.

The rocks serve as a beautiful example of Ireland’s natural beauty and are a must-see for visitors to Ballybunion

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