For surfboard enthusiasts, Ireland has no shortage of spots to go and ride the waves. Here are our top 12 surfing spots in Ireland that every surfer must experience.
In the last few decades, Ireland has emerged as an unlikely mecca for surfers from around the world.
It seems fitting that we should put a brief guide together to explore the best places to visit to suit your experience. Here are the top 12 spots surfing enthusiasts should check out.
12. Strandhill, Co. Sligo – a classic surfing spot in Ireland for beginners
Strandhill is generally considered to be one of the best beach breaks in the country. Over the years, it has consistently produced some of Ireland’s top surfers, proving its worth on this list.
If you have never surfed and would like to try, you can take a lesson with one of our great local surf schools where all equipment is provided.
This is a perfect spot if you’re a beginner looking to get into surfing.
11. Enniscrone, Co. Sligo – an ideal location for all types of surfers
This beautiful Sligo beach is the perfect location for all abilities of surfers.
The beach is a 5 km (3 miles) strand and has an excellent surf school, named the North West Surf School. The school runs a selection of surf programmes for surfers of all abilities and ages.
Enniscrone is an ideal place to learn to surf as it is 5 km (3 miles) long, sandy, and safe.
10. Ballybunion, Co. Kerry – one of Kerry’s best surfing spots
Ballybunion has been recognised as one of north Kerry’s best surf spots. It’s a great choice for beginner surfers.
Its picturesque location and world-class surf breaks will ensure your trip to Ballybunion will be one you will never forget!
Or, if you’re looking to improve your skills, the Ballybunion Surf School has got you covered.
9. Tramore, Co. Waterford – a great surfing spot in Ireland for surfers of all abilites
Waterford’s gorgeous Copper Coast is fringed with sandy beaches, including Bunhahon.
Terrific Tramore is a centre of surfing around here. It’s perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers alike.
8. Inch Beach, Co. Kerry – great for accessibility and facilities
This beautiful beach was made famous by the film Ryan’s Daughter in 1969.
Lonely Planet has named it one of the best beaches in the whole of Ireland, so it’s no wonder it’s such a popular spot.
It’s easily accessible for surfers and has a decent sized car park. Inch Beach is a great choice for beginner surfers, however, it’s a spot that attracts surfers of all abilities.
7. Portrush, Co. Antrim – a must-see beauty spot
Often described as the centre of Northern Ireland’s surfing scene, Portrush is a must for any surfer.
The water produces good quality beach breaks for surfers of all standards.
If you’re a surfer looking for a getaway, Portrush is a great tourist spot. It’s also a popular destination for bodyboarders.
6. Castlefreke, Co. Cork – feels like you’re in the middle of France
Home to a long peeling right-hander with barrelling sections, Castlefreke’s waves aren’t unlike the ones you’d find in France.
This is an intermediate surfing location with excellent rips.
It’s good to keep in mind that this spot can get quite crowded during the weekend, but it has an amazing atmosphere when it is busier.
5. Belmullet, Co. Mayo – one of the premier surf beaches in Mayo
The “Black Shore” at Elly Bay, near Belmullet, is recognised as one of the premier surf beaches in Mayo.
This beach is ideal as it doesn’t tend to get overcrowded. It has a variety of waves to suit all types of surfers.
4. Tullan Strand, Bundoran, Co. Donegal – one of the best surfing spots in Ireland for more advanced surfers
Tullan strand is close to Bundoran in County Donegal. It is one of the best surfing spots in Ireland as it catches a lot of swell.
But be prepared for company, as this is a popular beach that can get quite crowded.
3. Lahinch, Co. Clare – where world records were made
In May 2006, 44 surfers made a new world record by riding one small wave at Lahinch.
This beach provides a wide variety of waves and conditions for all types of surfers.
However, there can be dangerous currents here, so surfers need to be careful. This beach is suitable for intermediate level surfers.
2. Easkey, Co. Sligo – one of the best surfing spots in Ireland for expert surfers
The Irish Surfing association established its headquarters here in 1995 in the Easkey Surf and Information Centre, making it a hot spot for surfers.
The waves here break over rocks rather than sand, making waves hollowed and faster than beach breaks.
Because of these potential dangers, this is a beach that should only be reserved for expert surfers.
1. Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo – crowned one of the best surfing spots in the world by Lonely Planet
This beautiful part of the country was named one of the best surfing spots in the world by Lonely Planet in 2013.
Do be warned though, the waves here are absolutely massive – up to 15 meters high. There are also high winds, and choppy surfaces can present obstacles.
Due to the potential dangers, this location is only suitable for expert level surfers.
Here is a video of what you can expect at Mullaghmore: