When it is time to choose a surfing destination, the mind often wanders to faraway lands, often in the distant southern hemisphere. However, you don’t actually need to travel that far in Europe to enjoy great surfing conditions, not even in places that feel a world away from surfing.
Here are 3 of Ireland’s best surfing destinations, which, depending on where you live in Europe, could be just under an hour away by plane.
3 of Ireland’s best surfing destinations
The best surfing in Ireland can be found in and around the north western coast – after all, last year’s Eurosurf competition was held in the area, and for very good reasons.
Bundoran is the country’s prime surfing sport – at Bundoran’s beaches, waves are consistent, offshore wind conditions are excellent, and the swell height is almost always over a metre high.
The average sea temperature stands at 10°C, so you would need a full-body wet-suit to last more than a few minutes!
Bundoran is a laid-back town geared towards surfers, where those looking to take lessons can choose from a surf academy and a considerable number of schools offering everything from beginner lessons to improver weekend courses.
If you want to stay in Bundoran during your surfing trip you can reduce your accommodation expenses by taking advantage of the many surf lodges in town that offer discounted “surf and stay” packages.
Located in the north west of Ireland, the village of Easkey is blessed with some dramatic geological features, and is a stunning place to stop for any reason, but particularly popular for surfing in Ireland.
Easkey is also unique in that it has two reef breaks: Easkey Right and Easkey Left, just under a mile apart from each other.
The waves break over the rocks at both, providing surfers with a swift sea surf. Nonetheless, most people agree that Easkey Right is more challenging.
Easkey’s fully exposed beaches and continuous offshore winds create the perfect conditions for a demanding yet rewarding surfing practice.
Swell heights easily reach 2 metres (7 feet), and heights of 3 metres (10 feet) are not unusual.
The Irish Surfing Association recently chose Easkey as its permanent base, so if you happen to be in town, pop into their premises and check the many events they organize throughout the year, they also offer surfing instructor courses, typically during the spring months.
Close to the border with Northern Ireland lies the peninsula of Inishowen. Since the peninsula is encircled by the Atlantic Ocean, the existence of appealing surfing spots is guaranteed.
Buncrana, the largest town in the peninsula, is home to a fully insured surfing school that makes the most of Inishowen’s superbly consistent waves.
Buncrana’s main beach is Lisfannon beach, a 3 mile-long stretch of sand which has blue flag status.
Twenty miles to the west of Buncrana you will find Culdaff beach, a favourite among surfers and other water sports lovers.
Here you can expect wave periods of up to 16 seconds, and an average swell height of 1,5 metres (5 feet) – these conditions make of Culdaff an ideal beach for beginners looking to go surfing in Ireland.
Before you decide on where to go surfing in Ireland, remember that having comprehensive insurance during your surfing adventure is as important as choosing a location – shop around for an insurance provider that guarantees medical cover, board damage and personal liability.
(photo credits: 1)