WILD ATLANTIC WAY: SOME OF THE BEST SURF SPOTS IN THE WORLD

From the big swells of the north, right down to Aileen’s Wave and the gentle pace of Cork, the west coast of Ireland is a surfer’s playground. Whatever your skill level, here’s where to find a beach and wave height to suit you, and with some of the best surf spots in the world on offer, the bountiful region known as the Surf Coast delivers.

With rippling waves, ocean swells and pristine beaches, it’s not surprising that surfers flock to the Wild Atlantic Way throughout the seasons. Atlantic Way have profiled some of the essential destinations to help you find your ideal surf spot.

Mullaghmore Head, County Sligo

A legendary surf spot, the wild ocean swells found off Sligo’s Mullaghmore Head make it a big wave surfing paradise. These waves have provided the platform for the Billabong Monster Tow-In Surf Session, with pro surfers Benjamin Sanchis, Éric Rebière, Easkey Britton and Richie Fitzgerald. In winter, the North Atlantic is the most prolific wave-generating ocean in the world and the Wild Atlantic Way feels the brunt of every storm, here waves can reach nine metres.

Lahinch Beach, County Clare

Often considered the surfing gem of the Cliff Coast, Lahinch is a popular destination for surfers and kitesurfers alike. “There's a lot more to Ireland than big heavy tubes... I reckon it's got to be the best place in the world to surf,” says Lahinch native Ollie O’Flaherty.

White Strand Beach, County Clare

Nearby, Doonbeg’s secluded White Strand Beach is famous for its white sands and tranquil nature. Located in a designated natural heritage area of ecological importance, it’s a perfect spot for beginners with a regular lifeguard patrol during summer months.

Spanish Point, County Clare

The area is also home to a beautiful, long sandy beach in Spanish Point. Nestled in a sheltered location, this pristine beach makes for a perfect destination for beginners. Surf schools operate during the summer.

Bundoran, County Donegal

Home of the raucous Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival, lively Bundoran is often called the ‘Surf Capital of Ireland’. Here you’ll find breaks, peaks and waves that have attracted top international surfers in search of the world's best surf spots, such as record-breaking world champion Kelly Slater, who has described it as a “cold paradise”. Advanced surfers will find an excellent challenge and afterwards the nearby main street is lined with cafés, restaurants and bars for that all important après-surf.

Tullan Strand Beach, County Donegal

Just outside Bundoran and graced with waves that climb almost two metres high, Tullan Strand is a magnet for surfers of every level. The stunning backdrop of the Sligo-Leitrim Mountains and extensive network of sand dunes provide tremendous views, whether you’re a spectator or surfer.

Strandhill Beach, Co Sligo

One of the prime locations on the glorious Surf Coast region, Strandhill Beach offers choppy waters and gorgeous panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. The area also boasts a number of amazing trails through the region, which are great for pre or post-surf strolling. It’s perfect for seasoned surfers and also for learners, with loads of surf schools in the area devoted to getting you up on your feet in no time.

Achill Island, County Mayo

Ireland’s largest island, the distinctive Achill Island is home to five great surfing beaches, which have all been awarded Blue Flag status for their beauty and clear waters. The magnificent 3km Keel Beach is an essential destination for surfers, but before hitting the water, look for the signs that tell you which parts of the beach contain dangerous rip tides. On Keel Beach, surfing should only take place in the western half of the beach waters.

Inchydoney Beach, County Cork

Located just a short drive from the charming and lively seaside town of Clonakilty, the pristine, sandy Blue Flag Inchydoney Beach is a very family-friendly location and a fine spot for gentle surfing. Those who favour a refreshing ride will enjoy the rippling waves which often rise as high as five feet tall.

Source: https://www.wildatlanticway.com/