A stunning beach in Co. Mayo has been named as one of the best beaches in Europe by leading travel publication Lonely Planet.

In its latest round-up of sandy, wild and breathtaking beaches, the publication included Keem Bay on Achill Island at the no. 18 spot. 

The prestigious publication – long the go-to resource for ambitious and adventurous travellers – has built a global following for its recommendations and insider travel tips.

"No matter your taste in beach, Europe obliges", they write. "From the wild, wind-lashed shores of the Atlantic coast to mountain-fringed Arctic bays where whales raise their tails, and the sunlit, snuggled-away coves of Italy and Greece, we bring you the cream of the European coast with these top 20 beaches."

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With travel off the cards for most of us for now, the publication has become our go-to for travel inspiration, and we're already planning a trip to this Irish gem. 

Writing about the beach, the editors said: "Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way  hides a crock of gold when it comes dramatic coastlines – and nowhere more so than at gloriously remote Keem Bay at the far west of Achill Island."

Definitely one for those who love rugged landscapes and bracing waters, the publication notes how "a precipitous coastal drive" whets the appetite for the wilderness of the west, but once you reach Keem Bay there's the beauty of Ireland to bask in. 

"Bearing the brunt of stormy seas and the fickle whims of the Irish weather, this half-moon bay of golden sand spreads at the foot of steep cliffs and grassy slopes", they write, adding that sometimes visitors can spot basking sharks offshore. 

The stunning spot is included alongside many of Europe's most breathtaking beaches, coming just before Myrtos Beach, Kefallonia – a glowing beach crested by blue waters – at no. 19.

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In the top 10 are spots such as the golden Praia da Arrifana, Portugal at no. 7 and the crystal clear waters of Plage de Palombaggia, Corsica at no. 4, while West Beach in Scotland comes in at no. 3 and Cala Goloritzè, Italy takes the no. 2 spot. 

But in first place is Haukland Beach, Norway, an awe-inspiring spot along the Norwegian Sea bordered by granite peaks dusted with snow and often lit up by the Northern Lights. It goes to show that roaring sun and fine, pearly white sand does not a beach make, though they are pretty beautiful, too.