Connemara – Wild swim at Glassilaun Beach

You don’t end up at Glassilaun by chance. It is a place you seek out.

Seek it out, we did, all the way from Westport where we were staying for a family do. I’d done my research and spotted it at no. 3 on the Salty Sea Sisters’ Swim Map of Ireland.

Glassilaun was calling to me somehow. Something about its name suggesting crystal green water – ‘glas’ means green in Irish. (If anyone has any info about the meaning of the name ‘Glassilaun’, please come forward.)

Glassilaun Beach is found at the end of a narrow boreen that winds and camel-backs its way from the Connemara Loop, down to the crescent of white sand rippling out to a turquoise sea.

Definitely one to add to my list of the most stunning Irish beaches!

Related / Similaire  10 stunning Irish beaches / 10 plages d'Irlande à couper le souffle

On the way there, I got reacquainted with Connemara’s fields of purple boulders between patches of thin windswept grass. Here and there, blackface sheep grazed, or crossed the road.

Our first wild Atlantic swim of the year was one of giddy excitement and childlike fun in the waves and the breeze. Even if wavelets rudely slapped me in the face once or twice! The view was something else – soft white sand, water like creased green silk, and Mweelrea Mountain sternly lording it over us from the far shore of Killary Fjord.

The fierce wind swept the sand towards the water. Ceaselessly pushed back the shallow waves lapping at the shore. Unfazed, the sea answered again and again with a stubborn ssshhh that travelled from one end of the beach to the other. The tide would flow the beach eventually, drawing ripples on the white sand, whether the wind agreed or not.

It had been a very long time since our last family adventure. So we hung out. The acorns rescued a crab. The boys played hide-and-seek in the dunes. The girl spun on the sand until she felt dizzy. Then she scrambled up the rocks to explore. I followed her, while Brian played with Pebbles, and then Squirrel, inside his changing robe. Nobody wanted to leave.

In the end, while attempting a family selfie, I pressed the video button by mistake. And we ended up with a family GIF! Good times ☘️




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