Surfs up out West

Check out the surf forecast for Ireland and discover the best surf spots along the Wild Atlantic Way. Surfers staying in Westport, Ireland, are truly spoilt for choice, as the seaside town is within striking distance of some of the region's best surf spots, including Westport Surfing. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are surf schools in Ireland that can cater to your needs.

Here are five reasons to dig out your wetsuit, throw your board in the back, and hit the road for Westport. The perfect base for an unforgettable surfing holiday in Ireland, where you can experience the thrill of surfing Ireland's legendary waves.

Mayo’s famously sinuous coastline, the longest in Ireland, is home to stunning sea stacks, amazing natural arches, windswept vertiginous cliffs, glorious golden strands and countless craggy inlets – all formed by beautiful, pounding waves.

The rugged Atlantic coastline creates spectacular waves and ample opportunities to ride the waves amid stunning scenery. Is it any wonder surfers from all over the world are drawn here?

The Mayo coastline is festooned with fabulous beaches. Louisburgh’s Carrowniskey Strand, its neighbouring beach, Cross, and closeby Carrowmore Beach are surfing meccas. Spend the day riding the waves, then head to nearby P Dan’s Pub and Restaurant in Killadoon, where you can enjoy a well-earned feed and compare notes with fellow surfers while watching the waves roll in.

Or head north to Achill Island, and discover the delights of magnificent 3-kilometre-long Keel beach. Achill is the first land mass in Europe to get the wind from the Atlantic, creating some serious waves – needless to say, kite-surfers love it here too!

Head further north still and be blown away by Belmullet, where beach breakers – which can get as high as ten feet in summer and winter – pound wonderful sandy beaches.

The county’s mellow surf scene is famed for its friendliness and good vibes – it’s all about getting away from it all, being at one with the sea and feeling the power of nature, while having fun. And as for catching the waves with Mayo’s majestic mountains as a backdrop? Magical.

Mayo has also produced some renowned surfers, including the legendary Fergal Smith and Rory Tuey. And with young up-and-coming local talent like Danny Hedley from Louisburgh blazing a new trail, Mayo’s surf culture is set to grow and grow.

With schools aplenty, surfers of beginner and intermediate levels can easily get some serious tips from the pros. Carrowniskey is home to SurfMayo, run by Elvis Beetham. Established in 1998, it is one of Ireland’s longest-running surf schools and surf-hire companies, and its reputation is solid. BigStyle Atlantic Lodge in Killadoon – Built around P Dan’s pub – offers surfing lessons, as well as coasteering, stand-up paddle boarding, kite-surfing and yoga. Delphi Resort, on the border with Galway, also offers surfing lessons.

On Achill Island, you’ll find Blackfield Surf School, which does surfing, stand-up-paddleboarding and kitesurfing lessons. Check out Achill Surf & Kayak and the Achill Outdoor Education and Training Centre too.

Up in Belmullet, Tonn Nua Surf School uses several breathtakingly stunning beaches along the Mullet Peninsula – moving locations to ensure the best surfing conditions.

No one wants to pick their way through a litter-strewn beach to swim in dodgy water. What a buzz kill. Have no fear, Mayo has some of the world’s finest unspoiled beaches, kissed by crystal clear seas, and all just a short spin or a day trip from Westport.

The county is also home to no less than ten Blue Flag and seven Green Coast beaches. Boasting Blue Flags are Carrowmore and Silver Strand in Louisburgh; Achill’s Dooega, Dugort, Keel, Keem; Elly Bay and Mullaghroe in Belmullet; Ross in Killala; Mulranny Strand; and Clare Island.

The Green Coast beaches are Carrowniskey, Louisburgh; Cross, Belmullet; Termon, Blacksod; Rinroe, Erris; Tranaun, Inishturk; Srah, Claggan Island; and Portacloy, Kilcommon.