The surfing season is getting into full swing now and runs right through until May when we have the biggest waves and the clearest water. Ireland has a world class reputation as a top surfing destination, with our rugged coastline, gorgeously long sandy beaches and wide variety of reef and break points.
So get in on the action and ride the waves this autumn. Never tried it before? Now is the perfect time to take a beginners lesson with all surf schools catering for all ages, levels and abilities.
Check out www.discoverireland.ie/surfing for surf schools all around the country.
Dive into Donegal
Bundoran in Co. Donegal isn’t known as the surf capital of Ireland for nothing, boasting some of the best known surf spots in the country. From the world class reef break of The Peak to the ever reliable Tullan Strand, it has something to offer every level of surfer. Bundoran town also has great evening entertainment, with lively pubs and stunning restaurants. The beach at Rossnowlagh is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers while you will find more challenging waves in the wilds of Inishowen, Fanad Head, Dunfanaghy, Bloody Foreland and Dungloe. With 10 Irish Surfing Association schools in the county to choose from, you’ll be hanging ten in no time.
Surf’s up in Sligo
Neighbouring Sligo is one of the best known adventure destinations in the country, with top notch surfing to boot. Beaches at Strandhill and Enniscrone are great for seasoned surfers but also perfect for learners, with loads of surf schools in the area devoted to getting you up on your feet in no time. The beach at Easkey is legendary but wherever you are along the coast you can consistently bag big waves, clean waters and great surfing. In August Mullaghmore Head made the list of USA Today's 'World's Most Surprising Surf Spots' alongside such destinations as Dubai, India and Iceland. How swell is that!
Mayo is rich in great surfing beaches including Bertra, an arm of land extending into Clew Bay. By day enjoy spectacular views over Clare Island and by night enjoy the craic in the buzzing pubs and restaurants just up the road in Westport. For a total getaway, head for the windswept beaches of beautiful Belmullet, or bag a big one at Keel Strand in Achill, a longstanding favourite among surfers. Surf Mayo at Carrownisky Strand in Louisburgh is one of the first surf schools established in Ireland and is open seven days a week every month of the year – apart from Christmas day! Don’t miss the Pure Magic 'Battle for the Lake' Kitesurfing & Music Festival (25 – 27 September) where audiences will be enthralled, entertained and captivated by the kitesurfing action, music, funfair, food village, BBQ competition to entertain all ages. An exciting line-up of home grown acts including The Eskies and Amazing Apples will take to the music stage along with The Pale, Beef Supreme, The Witch Trails and many more. Superstar magician Shane Gillen will also be making an appearance, mystifying and hypnotising all around him!
Any surfer worth his or her sea salt will be familiar with the surfing mecca of Lahinch in Co. Clare with waves scattered all along this exposed coastline. Throughout the year the surf schools here are a hive of activity, including Ben’s Surf Clinic who offer one off lesson’s or longer weekend surf clinics, making it a buzzing spot for a surf holiday. After a day riding the waves kick back and enjoy live music and the craic in local pubs at night. If you are looking for something a little quieter try the less crowded beaches such as Doolin, Doonbeg and Spanish Point. If you want to practice languages too sign up to the Aloha Surf School in Fanore where they have instructors speaking French, Spanish or Portuguese!
Surf the Kingdom
The diverse coastline of Co. Kerry hosts many surf spots from beach to reef point. Inch and Banna Beaches are long, sandy, bordered by the Kerry Mountains. In beautiful Ballybunion, world class surf breaks along four miles of golden sands ensuring a trip you won’t forget whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate, while the Atlantic cliff break ensures exhilarating challenges for serious surfers. At Brandon Bay you’ll find the longest beach in the country and plenty of waves including “Mossies”, a classic wave and the ledge out at Gary William point which is ideal for the more experienced surfer. You can join in the Brandon Bay Surf Classic, (October 4TH and 5TH) in Castlegregory with Open and Women's Surf and Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
Wild West Cork
Wild West Cork has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country so grab your board and take advantage of the rebel county’s rebellious seas at scenic highlights such as Barley Cove, Garrettstown or Castlefreke. Or how about the endless beach at Inchydoney, the perfect place to get all the family wet suited and booted, with lessons that run all year round.
South East makes waves
Don’t miss Waterford’s gorgeous Copper Coast, fringed with sandy beaches that, in the right conditions, can rival the west for fun, including Bunhahon. Terrific Tramore is a centre of surfing round here and it’s perfect for beginner and intermediate alike. A great seaside resort, you’ll find loads of surf schools to keep you up on your board by day, with lots of great restaurants and evening entertainment to keep you up all night too! The Oceanics Surf School in Tramore is holding a Ladies Surf Weekend later this month (September 21st – 23rd).