Nestled in the southwest of Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula boasts some of the best beaches in the country. Consistent Atlantic waves crash against the coastline sending large swells through the waters in the area, making. Known for its beautiful rugged landscape and scenic driving routes, the county has so much to offer. Zip up your wetsuit, wax down your surfboard and ride the waves at the five best surf spots in Kerry.
The longest stretch of beach in the country lies on the northerly side of Dingle Peninsula, halfway between Tralee and Dingle. Separating Brandon Bay on the west side from Tralee Bay on the east, the beaches of Castlegregory have some of the best surf breaks in the south. For the best conditions paddle out at Brandon Bay. The beaches here are open to the North Atlantic and often experience long rolling swells creating exceptional surf. For the non-surfers, the area is still well worth a visit, with its golf course, fishing and forest walks in Glanreenassig. There’s plenty of surf schools on the beaches so whether you’re a pro or just curious, you can have a go at getting in the water.
Surf’s up all year round at the Blue Flag Inch Beach. The long sand spit juts out into the sea between outer Dingle Bay and inner Castlemaine Harbour, overlooking the spectacular Iveragh and Dingle Peninsula. With a surf school directly on the beach, the spot that was once a film location for the movie Ryan’s Daughter, has an easy gradient making it a safe environment for novice surfers. Try Dingle Oysters at Sammy’s Restaurant and look out over the views of Dingle Bay and the mountains of Kerry. Supposedly one of the longest reefs in Ireland, Inch Beach undoubtedly makes it onto the list of Kerry's top surf beaches.
A small Gaeltacht village in the Iveragh Peninsula, Ballinskelligs has three beaches to choose from. Hidden in The Glen, Saint Finian’s Bay is the smallest of the three but has the strongest riptides and often the best waves for surfing. Not one for the beginners, the strong currents are more suited to experienced surfers who know how to handle unpredictable waters. One for everyone, Reenroe beach is the longest in the area, stretching about 1.2 kilometres and has a smooth, sandy slope with very few rocks. Attracting all kinds of surfers, the wide space creates a great environment for wind and kite surfers to take off. If you’re in need of some lessons this is the beach to visit. Finally Ballinskelligs beach itself is ideal for beginners with its gentle, smooth slope but can also pick up steam and produced some major waves challenging even the best boarders.
Set in the picturesque surroundings of sheer cliffs and breath-taking ocean views, the small secluded strip of golden sand is a haven for surf enthusiasts. Getting even narrower during high tide, the wild beach is easily accessible via the small car park at the top of the cliff face. Non-surfers can spend the afternoon strolling along the hidden stretch of sand and dipping their toes in the shallow pools. Looking out over views of the Blasket islands and Dunmore Head, the waters at the beach are feisty and are definitely not suitable for weak surfers. The area is peppered with caution signs so this is not the place to go if you’re after a leisurely swim. Arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland, Coumeenoole is definitely worth adding to your list of what to do in Kerry when you visit.
Surrounded by an abundance of rocky headlands, Ballybunion’s north and south Blue Flag beaches are perfect for taking a long stroll, dipping in for a swim or donning the wetsuit and testing the waters on a board. With high cliffs and caves to explore when the tide is low, the beaches also feature sand dunes and a picture-perfect castle which stands on a cliff separating both beaches. Accessible by steep concrete walkways, the south beach has a surf school suited to both beginners and intermediates. After you’re done in the water, head up to the cliff top scenic walkway for views of the sea stacks and local wildlife.
Heading west soon? Be sure to tag us in your photos of the best places to surf in Kerry using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media channels.
Flights to Kerry
- Lucy Norris