A mecca for both professionals and beginners in search of an adrenalin rush, the country’s breathtaking coastline has helped grow some of the most passionate surfing communities in the world. Surfers will be spoiled for choice, and when the day is done the après surf fun is second to none. Here is a round-up of 10 of the island’s best surf spots, all with their own unique charm.
Lahinch, County Clare
Fondly referred to as LA by the locals, the town here has an abundance of surf shops, surf schools, accommodation and pubs serving a creamy pint of Guinness. The beach is ideal for beginners while the surrounding coastline has countless points, slabs and reefs to suit all abilities.
Easkey, County Sligo
Featured in surfing magazines the world over and the base for the Irish Surfing Association, the beach here is home to not one, but two reef breaks. A superb spot for confident surfers to get their adrenaline rush at any time of year.
Portrush, County Antrim
Some of the best waves in Northern Ireland are found here, and there will be plenty to do in this surfing hub after a day on the waves. The perfect holiday town base for a family surf trip on the Causeway Coastal Route.
Rossnowlagh, County Donegal
This spot has been embedded in Irish surfing history since the 1960s, with the beach break offering excellent conditions for beginners, improvers and long-boarders alike. Good surf at all stages of the tide here, and rarely crowded.
Ballybunion, County Kerry
These four miles of golden sand offer waves for beginners and intermediates, while the Atlantic cliff break provides exhilarating waves for advanced surfers. When travelling the Wild Atlantic Way, this spot is simply not to be missed.
Benone Strand, County Londonderry
With a surf school and coffee shop right on the beach, this is a great location for surfing beginners or those who want a recap on skills and techniques. The scenic sands stretch for about seven miles and there are multiple peaks to choose from.
Inchydoney, County Cork
Approachable surf can be found here, with lots of different types of waves depending on the spot you choose to paddle out to. A usually busy surfing spot, but the locals are friendly and the vibe totally chilled.
Strandhill, County Sligo
If you’re looking for a surf trip in Ireland, this could be the perfect spot. A fun beach break with an easy paddle-out and tasty waves all year round. There’s a surf shop, and the village is a mecca for surfers from far and wide.
Inch, County Kerry
A must-go destination on the Dingle Peninsula loop of the unbelievably scenic Wild Atlantic Way. Lovely mellow long rideable waves, super friendly locals at the surf school on the beach and awesome views all around.
Aileen’s Wave, County Clare
One of the best locations for tow-in big wave surfing in the world, this wave is a legend among the international surfers who have conquered it. The wall of water arises just offshore from another of Ireland’s great natural attractions, the Cliffs of Moher.