If you’re like us and love surfing, Ireland’s west coast has some of the best surf beaches and waves in Europe. Here’s our guide to the best places to go surfing in Ireland this summer – rain or hail, the waves will still be there!
1. Bundoran, County Donegal
Bundoran, or Fundoran as the locals sometimes call it, is the home of surfing in Ireland. Popular with surfers who are top of their game, International Pro surfers fly in from
around the world to surf the waves on the Donegal coastline. There are lots of fun surf hostels to stay in, be it Bundoran Surf Co or Turf n Surf Bundoran and the best part of any surfing trip is the post-surf pints, of which there are many options in this tiny surfing village. Brennan’s Bar is a local institution here, run by two sisters now in their eighties. They say it is home to one of the best pints of Guinness in Ireland, poured with love and care. Bundoran is also one of the best places to go surfing in Ireland for total beginners as there is a great mix of waves, breaks and levels of difficulty.
2. Strandhill, Co Sligo
Sligo quickly follows Donegal when it comes to the top places to go surfing in Ireland. Strandhill is a very pretty surf village on the West coast and is also home to some of the biggest waves in the world off the coast from Mullaghmore. The village of Strandhill itself is home to some nice pubs, restaurants and hostels to rest your head and a Seaweed Spa which is quite famous around Ireland and a very unique experience after a long day surfing!
3. Achill Island, Co. Mayo
No trip to Ireland would be complete without visiting at least one of Ireland’s beautiful islands. Achill, being the biggest of the bunch, is also one of the most beautiful and is home to some great surfing spots on one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastlines. No need for a boat to get there, Achill is linked to the mainland by a bridge so it’s no hassle getting your board over. You might recognise the beach in Keem Bay from postcards or posters of Ireland, as the iconic contrast of the rolling green hills and deep blue water always makes for striking photos.
4. Lahinch, Co. Clare
Working our way down the coast, a little further south of the famous Cliffs of Moher, lies another lively surf spot. Lahinch, like the others, is a popular place to go surfing in Ireland and caters to both experienced and beginner surfers. What makes Lahinch a little different to the others, is that there is a lot of post-surf craic to be found in the pubs here, which are famous for their welcoming atmosphere and live music sessions.
5. Inchydoney, County Cork
At the very southern tip of Ireland lies one of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Inchydoney has one of the longest and widest beaches in Ireland and has been voted one of the best beaches in Ireland for many years. The waves here are definitely not as big as the ones to be found on the west coast, which make it ideal for beginners. You can check yourself into the Inchydoney Island Hotel and Spa, a hotel with serious views along the coast.
6. Westport, Co Mayo
Westport is one of the largest towns on the Wild Atlantic Way and a great place to base yourself if you’re looking to try out surfing for the first time, mainly because there’s plenty to see and do in the town of your surfing attempts fail! From Westport, it’s easy to drive to some popular surf spots up and down the coast and you can even drive out to Achill Island on a day trip. There are plenty of good surf schools to choose from, and when the time comes to warm up after a day in the Atlantic ocean, there’s plenty of delicious freshly-caught seafood to be tasted.
7. Rossnowlagh, County Donegal
A beach so big that people actually drive their cars on to in summer, and you might even see a tractor or a horse and cart making their way up and down the silky strand, Rossnowlagh is one of the top surfing spots in Donegal and a favourite for surf schools to bring groups or beginner surfers to test out the waters. The high cliffs surrounding the beach provide great protection, and also offer panoramic view spots of the beach, surfers and those endless perfect waves making their way towards the shoreline. This beautiful beach is wild Ireland at its best! If the beach just isn’t enough of our wild Atlantic coast, try our 2-day tour to the Cliffs of Moher, Galway city and the Aran Islands to see more spectacular Irish scenery. Reserve your place today.