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Best places to surf in Ireland

With many great locations to catch a wave, the island of Ireland’s gorgeous coastline is not just a feast for the eyes but also a treat for surfers.

Seasoned thrill-seekers and those just wanting to dip their toes in surfing waters will find the perfect wave waiting for them on the island of Ireland.

Northern swells

Around the island’s northern coastline there are miles of golden beaches dashed by ocean waves.

In County Antrim, Portrush is a standout surfing spot with two strands offering waves to match every ability.

Nearby Whiterocks Beach, tucked under limestone cliffs, and White Park Bay close to the Giant’s Causeway, are both great destinations for experienced wave-riders.

County Londonderry’s beautiful seven-mile Benone Strand is perfect for beginners, with a reputation for small, clean waves.

At its eastern end it is overlooked by the picture-perfect Mussenden Temple.

Just beyond is Castlerock, with its signature right-hand wave.

Bundoran in County Donegal is one of the island’s top surfing spots with awesome swells breaking onto pristine beaches.

This is the home of The Peak, a reef break that attracts surfers from all over the world.

The town has hosted European Surfing Championships several times and is known to surfers as a “cold Paradise”.

Western waves

Go west and you will find some epic surfing spots along the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way.

County Sligo's Mullaghmore Head is considered to be one of Europe's premier big wave locations with swells reaching 12m.

Easier surfing can be enjoyed at gorgeous Enniscrone Beach and Strandhill, while those looking for a challenge should head to Easkey, famous for its two reef breaks.

In rugged County Mayo, surfers can enjoy uncrowded beaches such as Belmullet, and can be sure of consistent breaks along the expanse of beautiful Carrownisky Strand.

But if you’re a serious surfer you can’t miss County Clare, location of Aileen’s Wave.

Created by a precise combination of stormy conditions and easterly winds, the wave rises just off the famous Cliffs of Moher and can reach a dizzying 15m high.

Further down the coast, picturesque Lahinch also offers plenty of surfing action.

Southern surf

The more sedate waves off the island’s southern shores are perfect for beginners and intermediate level surfers.

Stunning County Kerry provides a spectacular backdrop for surfers.

Head to 3km-long Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula to enjoy the white sands and white waves or to Ballybunion, which offers over 6km of sand and cliff breaks.

At Inchydoney Beach near Clonakilty in County Cork, the river break is ideal for accompanied beginners and doesn’t attract big crowds, making it a great place for taking your first wave ride.

And at family-friendly Tramore in County Waterford, surfers of all skill levels will find peaks to suit their ability.

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