Ireland has roughly 3,500 miles of coastline with plenty of beaches to indulge in watersports – and particularly surfing! Unfortunately it’s not known for its sunshine or beach lifestyle, nonetheless surfing has become a very popular sport here. Check out our guide to the top surfing destinations, listed in no particular order.
The rolling and cascading waves make the Irish coastline a perfect place for surfers to take on the swells. And even our weather can be viewed as a positive, providing another battle that surfers have to challenge!
The water temperature in Ireland makes it even more of a test for the surfer. During the summer months of July and August our ocean temperatures do not usually rise above 60 (F) degrees on average and in winter the water is obviously even cooler! The period from September to May is widely regarded as the best time to surf in Ireland, and you can enjoy the uncrowded breaking waves against a stunning backdrop of majestic scenery!
1. Bundoran is widely regarded as Ireland’s surfing mecca – it lies in the rugged coastline of the north west of Ireland. The town has an extensive beachfront, and affords the surfer plenty of surf schools, and annual festivals, and locations so aptly named that you could be surfing at Bondi Beach, Port Elizabeth (J Beach) or in California!! Turfnsurf Lodge is one such named place!
In the past Bundoran has hosted the European Surfing Championships as well as the Quicksilver World Masters of 2001.
Bundoran and Donegal Bay have plenty of brilliant surf breaks for the more tasteful surfer, along with many beach breaks that would suit the beginner. The area around Tullan Strand is particularly good. Other beaches in the area worth sussing out include Mullaghmore, Streedagh and Rossnowlagh.
Find out more about Surfing in Bundoran.
2. Easkey, County Sligo is located in the North West of Ireland and is an ideal spot for surfing! The two waves, which are called Easkey Left and Easkey Right are legendary breaking waves, breaking up into perfect paddling channels.
It’s one of the premier surfing spots in Ireland. Surrounded by stunning cliff faces and isolated beaches that are fully exposed to the might of the North Atlantic, it gives a very challenging yet continuous wave for the surfer! In 2003, Easkey hosted the World Surf Kayaking Championships and there’s a dedicated Surf Club located here.
3. Achill, County Mayo: Keel Strand on Achill Island(3km long) is one of the most popular surfing points in Ireland. The area offers medium size waves all year round. The best winds to look out for are the ones of a northeasterly nature, and the best swell being westerly – you’ll find in the Achill area that there is a beach facing almost every direction on the island. Fisheries Cove is also well worth checking out.
Find out more about Surfing on Achill.
4. Lahinch, County Clare: The North Clare town of Lahinch not only is a mecca for golfers and holidaymakers, but it’s also perfect for surfing! The beach break is just marvellous for a beginner, and the area around Crab Island is for the more experienced surfer. The area offers many various breaks and you have great access to the nearby reefs. You are nearly always guaranteed waves at Lahinch, with any type of swell.
The Lahinch Surf Shop can give you plenty of information on surfing in the area, whether you are a pro or a beginner! The Surf Shop website affords you the view of its own surf web cam and surfing report! When you’re finished surfing, why not head to the nearby pubs and sample a glorious pint of the black stuff, or if you have time have a round of golf at the renowned golf course? The glorious Cliffs of Moher at the nearby village of Liscannor are also well worth a visit!
5. County Waterford: Tramore is widely regarded as one of the best surfing locations in Ireland, with great opportunities for the beginner. The area around Tramore beach is a beach break wave that creates much slower forming waves, which are perfect for the budding surfer! It also offers a wonderful 3-mile south facing line of beach for the more fashioned surfer, with the added challenge of continuously changing beach break waves. Bunmahon, which is located on the Dungarvan and Copper Coast Drive, offers some challenging waves too.
Have we tempted you to dip into the waters and surf those challenging waves? Find out more about Surfing in Ireland.
If you’re planning a trip to Ireland and need somewhere to stay check out our Ireland Hotels page and book online.
Have you visited our coastal locations and surfed in the past? Let us know how you got on – we’d love to hear from you.