The stunning Lahinch Beach in Clare is arguably one of the best beaches in Ireland for surfing.
The Blue Flag Beach in County Clare is subject to strong waves and currents that attract surfers from around the country.
However, the town of Lahinch is also a great holiday resort and is usually extremely busy come summer time (there’s lots of things to do in Lahinch).
In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need to know if you’re debating a visit to Lahinch Beach.
Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Lahinch Beach in Clare
Although a visit to Lahinch Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Water safety warning: Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!
Lahinch Beach is a long sandy stretch of beach along Liscannor Bay on the north west coast of County Clare in the lively town of Lahinch.
2. Parking (and potential mayhem!)
There’s parking right next to the beach but it gets insanely busy during summer to the point where parking is basically impossible. If you’re staying in town, it’s best to walk down to the beach rather than drive.
Lahinch Beach is one of the most popular surf spots on the west coast of Ireland. It’s routinely ranked amongst the best, especially for beginners. There are lots of surf schools around where you can have lessons and hone your skills for all ages and abilities.
Lahinch Beach is a Blue Flag Beach (at the time of writing) and it has lifeguards in operation daily, from July to August from 11:00 to 19:00 (times may change).
About Lahinch Beach
Lahinch Beach is a long crescent-shaped beach along Liscannor Bay in County Clare. It’s located just a short drive away from the Cliffs of Moher, making it a popular stop for people exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
The flooding tide makes the beach ideal for surfing, kayaking and kite surfing, with strong currents and waves making it one of the most popular places to go surfing in Ireland.
There are plenty of surf schools in the area, catering for people of all levels and skills. The beach is lifeguarded during the summer season.
The beach is right in front of the town of Lahinch which is a popular holiday destination with many different restaurants and accommodation to choose from.
Lahinch Beach surfing
Surfing on Lahinch Beach is one of the more adventurous things to do in Clare. Lahinch is considered one of the best surfing destinations in Ireland. The wide sandy beach offers conditions for almost anyone, but is particularly popular amongst beginners.
At high tide, the beach is completely covered so it’s best to head out at low or mid tide. When the wind is blowing, you’ll also find wind surfers and kite surfers out there too.
If in doubt, drop into one of the surf schools to get the low-down on the surf or ask one of the many surfers you’ll encounter suiting up in the car park before hitting the waves.
Lahinch Beach Surf Schools
There are quite a few surf schools down at Lahinch Beach, with a longstanding reputation for helping beginners get on their feet.
Lahinch Surf School
Lahinch Surf School: Based at the beach hut on Lahinch promenade, this surf school is one of the most popular in town and provides a fun introduction to the sport of surfing.
Lahinch Surf Experience
Lahinch Surf Experience: With high quality equipment and experienced staff, this surf school offers lessons for kids up to advanced surfers. They’re located to the northern end of the Lahinch promenade.
Ben’s Surf Clinic
Ben’s Surf Clinic: Founded by a passionate surfer, this school has been operating since 2007 and is open all year round to teach beginners up to advanced surfers how to improve their technique. They’re located on the Lahinch promenade close to the end of the main street.
Ollie’s Lahinch Surfing Centre
Ollie’s Lahinch Surf Centre: Operating for over 15 years, this surf school is run by a professional big wave surfer with years of experience competing around the world. His school is based to the northern end of the Lahinch promenade.
The Green Room Surf School
The Green Room Surf School: Established in 2000, the Green Room is a small surf school and eco surf shop right at the end of the main street in Lahinch. They provide a range of surf, sup and bodyboard lessons to suit all abilities and ages.
Things to do near Lahinch Beach
One of the beauties of Lahinch Beach is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Lahinch Beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Food and drink in Lahinch
If the surf is tiring you out, there are loads of good places to nip into for a meal and a pint. The main street running parallel to the beach has quite a few good pubs strung along it, including the Corner Stone Bar and Restaurant, Danny Mac’s and Kenny’s Bar. See our Lahinch restaurants guide for more places to eat.
2. Cliffs of Moher
One of Ireland’s most famous natural landscapes, the towering Cliffs of Moher are found along the rugged coast of Clare. Lying just to the north of Lahinch, it’s a popular place to visit on any trip along the Wild Atlantic Way.
There’s loads of things to do in Doolin! The Doolin Cave has a huge free-hanging stalactite on the western edge of the Burren or you can check out Doonagore Castle, a 16th century hilltop fort with sweeping coastal views.
4. Lovely towns and villages
There’s lots of towns and villages close to Lahinch Beach. Spanish Point, (15-minute drive), Miltown Malbay (13-minute drive), Ennistimon (5-minute drive) and Ennis (30-minute drive) are all a handy spin away.
5. Aran Islands
Just off the coast of County Galway, the Aran Islands are known for their ancient sites. You can reach them by ferry from either Rossaveel or Doolin and explore the unique coastal isles. The combination of rugged scenery, historical sites and friendly Irish-speaking locals make them great places to visit.
FAQs about visiting Lahinch Beach in Clare
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to park at Lahinch Beach to whether or not it’s OK to swim.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is it easy to get parking at Lahinch Beach?
During the summer months, Lahinch Beach gets insanely busy, so you need to get there early to avoid any hassle.
Is it safe to swim on Lahinch Beach?
No. There are currently signs telling people not to swim here. Lahinch Beach is a Blue Flag Beach (at the time of writing) and it has lifeguards in operation daily, from July to August from 11:00 to 19:00 (times may change).
Is there much to see near Lahinch Beach?
There’s an endless number of things to see and do near Lahinch Beach in Clare, from Spanish Point and the Cliffs of Moher to Loop Head and much more (see guide above).
Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.