Tra Salin Beach, Co Galway

NOTE: I have an updated post about this beach and a few others in County Galway, including an interactive map. Click Here

Apart from visiting forest parks, my all-time favourite places to visit are quiet beaches. Having lived most of my life on the West Coast of Ireland, I would now find it almost impossible not to live somewhere close to the sea.

I believe it has become a fundamental part of my being. I spent my formative years smelling the sea salt on the breeze, dipping my toes into the cool Atlantic Ocean, and strolling along an Atlantic coastline sculpted and shaped by the ever-changing Ocean’s ebbs and flows. It is a necessary part of my soul, connecting me to my environment and grounding me every time my flighty inconsistent mind thoughts get in the way. There is no better way to recharge my batteries than to sit silently by the Ocean, even better if it can be on a sandy beach.

That being said I thought I would start a mini-series introducing you to my favourite beaches in and around the Galway area, the ones I visit when I want some me, puppy, and Alan time.

The first beach on my list has to be Tra Sailin, which is located on the far side of Spiddal. It is approximately a 25-minute drive from Galway city. Once you pass Spiddal village, keep an eye out for a left turn with a sign pointing to the beach, it leads you down a small boreen (Irish for a narrow country road) under a yellow barrier and into a small parking area, which is directly at the beach.

Passing by small fields where there are often times really cute Connemara ponies and most recently the most majestic looking cows I have seen in a while.

On very sunny days, this road can be jammed, but in general, it is quiet, with at most 2 or 3 other cars maximum. When the tide is out we can walk right out to the rock pools and sit watching the sunset. Alternatively, on a day when the tide is in, we sit on the sandy beach and watch the sea gently move the sand as it laps against the shoreline.

Our dogs just love digging down into the sand and watching the sea rush in, filling the holes.

This time I have included just a few pictures from our last day out there, but I am planning on making short videos on each of the beaches featured in this mini-series including the one feature in this post. Until then, I do have a short video shot on the road down to the beach just below.

One of my favourite playwrights Athol Fugard says it very succinctly when it comes to how I can feel sitting by the sea –

“How thin and insecure is that little beach of white sand we call consciousness. I’ve always known that in my writing it is the dark troubled sea of which I know nothing, save its presence, that carried me. I’ve always felt that creating was a fearless and a timid, a despairing and hopeful, launching out into that unknown.”


  1. Cathyou Tarmey

    Miss that left turn every time,I’m still looking for this beach😕

    • Tina O Rourke

      I know, me too for ages, there is an empty two story grey house on the corner and the turn is just directly at it. Hopefully that helps.


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