Escape the crowds and have the waves to yourself at these hidden surf hotspots
Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Strandhill, Inch – these beaches should be well known to any Irish surfer. With good reason, they’re great. The waves are great, the beaches are great, it’s all great, but they’re busy, especially in summer, and the line up can get crowded. If you’re in need of somewhere new to hit then we’re happy to share our secret list of surfing beaches away from the crowds.
1. Dunlaughin, Connemara
The Connemara coastline is one of Ireland’s great beauties. It’s also criminally underappreciated. Take advantage of that while you can and grab your board and head to Dunlaughin. This secluded beach, just down the coast from Ballyconneely, is wonderfully isolated and offers decent waves that cater for beginners and moderately experienced surfers. The break is best when the wind hits from the South West. This is also a great spot to pitch a tent if you fancy a bit of wild camping.
2. Streedagh, Sligo
This beach is just down the road from Donegal’s surfing hotspot Bundoran and it tends to slip under the radar for many people. Streedagh is much quieter than its neighbour but can still offer great waves. The beach is beloved by kite surfers though so you’ll have to pick your spot carefully and play things safe. Ben Bulben provides a beautiful backdrop as you while away your day in the lineup.
3. Doolin Point, County Clare
County Clare is renowned for its surfing and Doolin Point is a great example of that. It’s just down the road from the much busier Lahinch and offers up some killer waves. The Cliffs of Moher provide a breath taking and intimidating backdrop to Doolin Point. With the biggest breaks running along the cliffs this is one for experienced surfers, as it has the potential to get pretty huge.
4. Coumeenoole, Dingle Peninsula
Coumeenoole is perched on the West Dingle peninsula and offers gorgeous views of the Blasket Islands. It is a great place to unwind after your session. While on your board though you’ll need to focus as this is a spot for the experienced surfer thanks to its feisty currents. The waves are best in late summer but the clear water and fresh Atlantic air will keep you coming back all year round.
5. Portsalon Beach, Donegal
Portsalon is one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Ireland and well worth the effort to get there. The best waves can be found on the beach at the southern end of the golf course, right in the shadow of Knockalla mountain. You’ll not find much competition for space up here and will be rewarded with decent waves and idyllic views.
6. Carnivan Beach, Wexford
The south east is not exactly known for its waves. Aside from Tramore, there’s not much to shout home about. But out on the stunning Hook Peninsula, in Fethard-on-Sea, there’s a beach called Carnivan, just around the head from Tramore. It needs a North West wind blowing offshore to get clean surf but it’s pretty reliable as it receives almost everything Tramore strand does. However, it’s a dangerous beach with rips rocks and undertow heavy all year round, so we recommend only experienced surfers try it out. It’s dead in the summer months but in the winter it can get some giants!
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