The Donegal town was named in the top 20 surf hotspots on the planet.
This is what the National Geographic says about Donegal’s surfing paradise.
Ireland, known among surfers as “Europe’s cold-water Indonesia” should be on the bucket list of every surfer. And Bundoran should be the start of any surfing adventure on the Emerald Isle. This centuries-old fishing village catches just about any swell that steamrolls through the North Atlantic and onto a smattering of beaches and reefs that suit different levels of surfers.
The water may be cold, but the pubs and locals are always warm, serving up national specialties such as Guinness and oysters to the tune of traditional Irish music. “Bundoran is a town with many sides and the real Bundoran can only be found with the help of the locals,” says Pete Craig, surfer and owner of the outfitter Bundoran Surf Co. The main surfing beach is Tullan Strand, but if you want to venture out, ask locals about the surrounding reefs and beaches, which work on a variety of swells.
Best For: The salty surf traveler who doesn’t mind surfing in cold water or rain
Go September to November, when the water is warm(ish), the tourists have gone home, and the Atlantic is pumping.
“The Bridge Bar is a rite of passage for most surfers,” says Craig. Situated overlooking the Peak—Ireland’s most famous reef break—the Bridge is a unique mix of old-school Ireland and surf culture, always with a warm welcome and cold beer. “It’s a great place to meet locals, surfers, and musicians. If you feel like hearing a live band, go to the Chasing Bull.”
A good budget option is to get a room with the Bundoran Surf Co., where you can meet other surfers and plan trips up and down the coast. For a higher-end stay, opt for an ocean-view room at Fitzgerald’s Hotel.
Take a day trip to Slieve League, an area of sea cliffs that are some of the most breathtaking in Ireland. Closer to Bundoran, Craig recommends the Donegal Craft Village “for arty folk” or even just rambling through Donegal County. “Just driving around Donegal, you get a feel for the old Ireland that hasn’t been packaged for tourists yet.”
If you buy a round for the locals, which you should, expect to be drinking for the rest of the night.Tags: