Surfing in Ireland

Hawaii in all but climate, spring in Ireland is the perfect time to take a surfing break.

Whether you're an experienced surfer in search of the big one, like the world-famous ‘Aileen's’ wave off the cliffs of Moher in Clare, or a novice looking to get started in more gentle conditions, there are no shortage of options.

And so what if the water is cold - that’s what wetsuits are for.

Surf Season 2014

As spring gets into gear, there’s nowhere hotter than Ireland when it comes to surfing. Blessed with a rugged and beautiful coastline, we have a fantastic variety of beach, reef and break points to choose from. Little wonder serious international surfers make a beeline for Irish shores. 

The surfing season started in September and runs right through until May when we have the biggest waves and the clearest water. So grab your board - a world of watery wonder awaits.

And when you’ve had your fill of riding the ocean waves make the most of the ‘après surf.’ A host of fun pubs, top-notch restaurants and great value accommodation awaits, wherever the current takes you.

Surfers on Bundoran beach

Bundoran in Co. Donegal isn’t known as the surf capital of Ireland for nothing. Boasting some of the best known surf schools and break points in the country, it appeals to every surfer. Bundoran town also has a terrific nightlife, with lively pubs and stunning restaurants. But wherever you travel on the Donegal coast you will find fantastic surf spots and with 10 Irish Surfing Association schools to choose from, you’ll be hanging ten in no time.

Learn to surf in Donegal and Bundoran

Mayo is rich in great surfing beaches by day, and by night, you can relieve every surfing second and enjoy the craic in the buzzing pubs and restaurants. For a total getaway, head for the windswept beaches, bag a big one, or try your hand, or rather your foot, at stand up paddle boarding.

Check out the surf scene in Mayo
surfers paddling out for a lesson

Sligo is one of the best known adventure holiday spots in the country, with top-notch surfing to boot. Wherever you travel along the coast you can consistently bag big waves, clean waters and great surfing, not to mention the surf schools devoted to getting you up on your feet in no time. And surfing is not just for dudes - check out the women-only surf classes with professional female instructors and let’s go girls!

Find out more about surfing in Sligo
surfer riding large wave

Any surfer worth his or her sea salt will be familiar with the waves of the surfing mecca of Lahinch in Co. Clare. Throughout the year the surf schools here are a hive of activity, making it buzzing spot for a surf holiday. Less crowded beaches include Doolin, Doonbeg and Spanish Point.

Find out more about surfing in Clare

The south west is the great surfing secret of Ireland, just waiting to be uncovered. The diverse coastline of Co. Kerry hosts many surf spots from beach to reef point. Gentle beach breaks perfect for novices and world class surf breaks ensure a trip beginners or an intermediates won't forget. And the Atlantic cliff break ensures exhilarating challenges for serious surfers.

Find out more about surfing in Kerry
surfer in spray

Don’t miss Waterford’s gorgeous Copper Coast, fringed with sandy beaches that, in the right conditions, can rival the west for fun. Terrific Tramore is the centre of surfing around 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 plenty of pubs and clubs to keep you up all night too!

Discover surfing in Waterford
surfers at sunset

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.

Catch some waves in Cork

Just because you’re heading to the east coast doesn’t mean you can’t surf! The county’s most famous beach, Brittas Bay, now has its own surf school, which opens to students right through the autumn and, depending on demand, beyond. Famous for its gentle rollers, and with all the fun of Wicklow Town just up the road, it’s the perfect place to dip your toe in.

Check out surfing in Wicklow

Surfing at Tramore beach Sunset surfing in Lahinch
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