Although it might not be the most famous surfing destinations in the world, there are tons of underrated surfing spots in Ireland. Compared to other hotter climates where most surfer flock, Ireland isn’t known for providing a ray of sunshine. The country is famous for the sleet and hail during the winter season, and even during summer sometimes.
However, despite the cold water and air temperature, there are countless surfing spots in Ireland where you can find world-class waves.
Best Surfing Spots in Ireland
The surfing beaches in the country are one of the best-kept secrets in Ireland. Surfing has been in the country since 1949, although Ireland remains to be an underestimated surfing destination.
You may have to keep your wetsuit on, but these surfing spots in Ireland will give you some of the best waves you’ll ever experience.
#1. The Peak, Bundoran, County Donegal
If there is a surf capital in the country, it’s going to be Bundoran, which is in County Donegal, and the top surfing spot here is The Peak. It has one of the best-quality waves you can find in the country. The Peak also hosted the European Surfing Championship, which added to the place’s popularity.
Surf legends like Tom Curren and Kelly Slater already experienced the world-class waves in The Peak. However, the beach provides a great variety of waves and difficulty levels, so it’s a perfect surfing destination for newbies and pro surfers alike.
#2. Rossnowlagh, County Donegal
Rossnowlagh is one of the top surfing spots in Ireland, especially around County Donegal. It’s a family and beginner-friendly surfing destination in the country. There are high cliffs that protect the beach from massive waves, providing much calmer tides for newbies to test out the water. The beach is also known for its consistent and great shape waves, so a groveler surfboard will do great out there.
The cliffs also provide the area with impressively panoramic views.
#3. Westport, County Mayo
Westport is one of the largest towns in County Mayo and a great escape to see the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are still learning the sport, Westport is one of the top surfing spots in Ireland you should visit. You can explore up and down the coast to find some of the most famous surf beaches in the area. There are also tons of surf schools all over the oceanside.
Plus, if you are done surfing for the day, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants for freshly caught seafood around Westport.
#4. Mullaghmore, County Sligo
Most of the surfing destinations in Ireland can cater to all surfers. However, Mullaghmore is a surfing spot for advanced and expert wave riders only. Local and foreign surfers call this part of County Sligo as the mother of all waves in the country.
If you are looking for the most intense, strong, and challenging waves you can ride in Ireland, then Mullaghmore is a must-visit. It’s home to the best and biggest waves all over the world. The intense weather, combined with powerful waves in Mullaghmore, can make even experienced thrill-seekers have second thoughts.
#5. Ballybunion, County Kerry
Situated in County Kerry, you can find two main beaches in Ballybunion, the Women’s Beach and the Men’s Beach. The places got their names during the old times when men and women have separate areas for bathing.
Out of the two beaches, the Men’s Beach is more famous for surfers, especially those who are seeking the thrill of riding long waves. The six kilometers beach has various reef banks that will be perfect for different surfing levels.
#6. Strandhill, County Sligo
Another home to the top surfing spots in Ireland is County Sligo, especially the Strandhill village. It’s one of the pretties surfing village in the country and is the best surfing destination if you are looking for some of the biggest waves on the West coast.
Strandhill also provides a wide variety of tides and breaks. There are surf schools within the area, which is perfect for beginners. Seasoned surfers can also find strong and challenging waves in some breaks around Strandhill.
#7. Lahinch, County Clare
One of the famous tourist destinations in County Clare in Ireland in the popular Cliffs of Moher. However, if you go further south from it, you’ll find one of the lively surfing spots in Ireland, Lahinch. The beach is perfect for surfer of all levels, from newbies to professional surfers.
Another advantage of visiting Lahinch for surfers is its post-surf craic that you can find in the pubs within the area.
#8. Inchydoney, County Cork
Inchydoney is a beautiful Irish island with some of the best beaches you can find around County Cork in Ireland. It’s a small island you can visit if you are in the country. Two causeways attach the island to the mainland.
Aside from being one of the most famous beaches in the country, it’s also among the best surfing spots in Ireland, especially if you are a beginner. It produces some of the calmest waves, making a perfect spot for newbies.
#9. Achill Island, County Mayo
Located in County Mayo, Achill Island is one of the country’s most stunning surfing destinations. It’s the largest island off the coast of the country. The island is known as a tourist spot for various water sports like surfing. With its expansive beach, you can find different surfing spots in the area. Some beaches have smaller and calmer waves, which is perfect for beginners. A few kilometers away, you can also spot consistent rolling and strong breaks to challenge pro surfers.
Plus, Achill Island is also one of the most scenic destinations in Ireland. You can see the famous Minoan Cliffs if you are on the eastern side of the island.
#10. Castlerock, County Londonderry
If you happen to be in the Northern part of the country and are looking for some of the top surfing spots in Ireland, Castlerock is a must-visit place. Aside from being a family-friendly tourist destination in County Londonderry, Castlerock also has some of the challenging waves and breaks for advanced surfers.
An Irish summer wouldn’t be complete without spending some of your time in the top surfing spots in Ireland.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Finn McCools Tours.
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