Clustered around a boat-filled harbour, picture-perfect Roundstone (Cloch na Rón) is the kind of Irish village you hoped to find. Colourful terrace houses and inviting pubs overlook the shimmering recess of Bertraghboy Bay, which is home to dramatic tidal flows, lobster trawlers and traditional currach boats with tarred canvas bottoms stretched over wicker frames.
The scalloped coastline here harbours some spectacular beaches. The Errisbeg peninsula, 3km southwest of Roundstone, has two. Gurteen Bay (sometimes spelt Gorteen Bay) has a sweep of golden sand. After a further 800m, there's a turn for Dog's Bay, a dazzling white strand formed from tiny crushed seashells. Together the pair form the two sides of the dog-bone-shaped sand spit and tombolo.