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Surfing in Ireland – its best kept secret.

Known to surfers as the ‘cold paradise,’ there is a stark contrast between the culture in Ireland and the typical surf aesthetic of hotter climates.
Heat is not something usually associated with the slice of Atlantic Ocean that makes up Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way but the Emerald Isle manages to make the global ranking for best waves time and time again. So, get yourself a decent wetsuit, some booties, some gloves and a hood before you go.
The best time to surf in Ireland is from September to May and with over 3000 Km of coastline, there is no shortage of epic surf spots, from beginner to advanced.
We’ve picked some that need to put on your list.

Bundoran, County Donegal

There’s no better place to take to the water than Ireland's surf capital – Bundoran, County Donegal.

The most popular surf spot in Bundoran – and one of the most favoured in Ireland – is known as The Peak. This is the wave that defines the surf here and has attracted surfers from around the world. The Peak has even played host to the European Surfing Championship.

Most of all surf trippers should have Bundoran on their list – the town is well set up for all levels, with a particularly good showing of surf schools for beginner and intermediates.

The rise of Bundoran as a major surf and seaside escape has brought with it a distinct energy. There are great bars, restaurants and places to stay. You won’t be short on apres surf, that’s for sure.

Ballybunion, County Kerry

Photo Credit: Visit Belfast

Situated on the scenic north-west coast of County Kerry, the picturesque seaside resort and world class surf breaks ensure your trip to Ballybunion will be one you will never forget.

With four miles of golden blue flagged beaches, Ballybunion offers waves for beginners and intermediates, while the Atlantic cliff break provides an exhilarating surf for the seriously advanced.

Take in views of cliffs and a castle as you roll in on the waves at Ballybunion South (Mens Beach) or surf from the golden sands backed by dunes at Ballybunion North (Ladies Beach).

Mullaghmore, County Sligo

Photo Credit: BA Street Art

Not far from Bundoran, Mullaghmore in County Sligo is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s prime big-wave surf destinations. Capable of holding the biggest swells the Atlantic has to offer, this wave is for only the most experienced surfers.

Watch the pros in action at Mullaghmore Head in Sligo, which brings in the big-wave surfers at expert level. In 2020, a tropical storm sent historic 60ft waves crashing into Mullaghmore. This saw Irish native, Conor Maguire surf quite possibly the biggest wave ever in Ireland.

As Mullaghmore may only be surfable for the select few, it does make for one of the best locations for spectators who want a taste of the action, and get inspiration for their own surfing.

The area is also home to amazing scenery, including the beautiful Classiebawn Castle and Benbulben Mountain.

If you ever find yourself in the Northwest of Ireland, Mullaghmore is a must see!

Lahinch, County Clare

Lahinch, County Clare, is a popular holiday resort on Irelands Wild Atlantic Way. It has 2kms of golden sandy beaches and one of Irelands top-rated golf links courses. Renowned for surfing too.

Lahinch or L.A as local surfers like to call it, is one of the most popular surf spots on the west coast of Ireland. It’s routinely ranked amongst the best, especially for beginners. There are lots of surf schools around where you can have lessons and hone your skills for all ages and abilities.

For the more experienced, Crab Island is a challenge to even the best surfers around. If you’re lucky you can watch some of the locals navigate some epic barrels and even get a few yourself.

The town itself has its fair share of surf shops and of course numerous spots to stop off and enjoy a perfect creamy pint of Guinness. This part of the Irish coast picks up every swell direction and is renowned for having more surf during the summer months.

Portrush, County Antrim

Photo Credit: Tourism NI - Seedhead Arts

Known as the surfing capital of Northern Ireland, the vibrant seaside town of Portrush on the North Coast, that’s perfect for surfers of all abilities.

The coast here is has two main strands for surfing - the West Strand and the smaller, more sheltered East Strand. While the East Strand is less exposed to the bigger swell, it still has powerful waves in winter. The West Strand, meanwhile, is more consistent for waves and you’ll almost always have a wave there, all year round.

Portrush attracts surfers from as far afield as Hawaii and Canada who come to enjoy the clean, barrelling waves, and the easy-going surfing lifestyle that is everywhere here. It’s still relatively uncrowded and you’ll find plenty of breaks to put your name on.

Whiterocks is a popular beach in the area, with sandbars at the end of the beach to explore turns and a nearby surf school and surf shops for all your surfing essentials.

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