Thinking about paddle boarding Ireland? This small country is magical and has a little bit of everything to wow you in every corner. Prepare yourself for amazing landscapes and stunning views from over the mountains and across beautiful beaches.
With countless green spaces and jaw-dropping blue spaces, it is safe to say that Ireland is a fantastic place to get stand-up paddle boarding. Explore the raw beauty of Ireland from the water and trust us, you will not be disappointed.
Discover the iconic flavors in the cities or taste the Atlantic sea spray on your lips from the Irish coastline. Ireland’s rugged beauty is the perfect place to SUP. From harbors to flat waters in protected bays, here are the best places to paddle board in Ireland.
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Thinking about paddle boarding near Dublin? Here is a selection of the best places to get in the water with a SUP near the Irish capital!
Dublin has two canal systems weaving through the city center: the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal. Both canals offer flat water that is ideal for beginners to give paddle boarding a try. There are plenty of access points along the waterways and have some land nearby on either side the whole way.
Surfdock provides a range of SUP lessons to suit every level in the heart of Dublin city center. You can even join in with one of the SUP yoga classes they offer to improve your balance and discover new zen to your SUP life.
Read More: Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Basics
Ireland’s Eye is a small offshore island just off the east coast, less than an hour away from Dublin’s center. It is untouched and is home to several species of sea birds and seals. This is the perfect place for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin and have a paddle boarding adventure.
Make note, that this is a location for the more experienced paddle boarder. There are strong currents between the south coast of the island and Howth Harbour. Paddling here is best in low wind conditions to help you keep on your route.
As you SUP around the island, you are sure to discover hidden coves that are great for a swim or even a little cliff jumping if you are feeling brave! Make sure you take a SUP anchor with you to secure your paddle board while you enjoy the Irish Sea.
Killiney Beach offers a picturesque paddle experience and is one of Dublin’s favorite places to take a refreshing dip in the sea or cast out a fishing line. On a calm day, pair up your paddle boarding and fishing and put together a perfect SUP fishing set-up.
There is beachfront parking available and public toilets nearby on this long and stony beach. To get the best paddle boarding experience out of Killiney Beach, you want light wind and sunshine! This will give you clear views all the way around the bay up to Dalkey Island.
If you are looking for your next best paddle boarding expedition, you need to check out Tower Bay Beach in Portrane. This area of incredible natural beauty is on the northern borders of Co. Dublin. The rugged coastline is perfect for exploring caves and paddling alongside seal colonies.
When you launch your SUP from Tower Bay Beach, you have two options:
For these expeditions, you need to get yourself a lightweight touring paddle board. The GILI 12’6 Meno Touring Inflatable Paddle Board is made for easy paddling in open waters and exploring remote coastlines.
Head to Scotsman’s Bay to watch the sunrise or sunset from your SUP. The sheltered waters are typically perfect for a relaxing paddle and ideal for those new to SUP-ing! The beautiful Dún Laoghaire Harbour is picturesque and has loads for you to look at while enjoying the waters.
If you have not got your own SUP equipment yet, do not worry. Head over to BigStyle SUP School And Rental for great paddle board hire, a variety of lessons, and even guided tours of this beautiful area of Dublin.
When you paddle board on the waters surrounding Bull Island you will need to pinch yourself to remind yourself it’s not a dream. These clear waters and sandy shores are all part of the Bull Island Nature Reserve, home to some fantastic wildlife and great hiking trails.
Escape to nature in County Kerry and discover the true beauty of Ireland. These stand-up paddle boarding destinations will blow you away!
Large sections around the County Kerry are part of the Dark Sky Reserves, an award-winning region that protects natural light and limits the amount of light pollution. If you are keen for a super special paddle boarding experience, then head this way for a night SUP!
Check out Wild SUP Tours for one of the most unique and incredible experiences in Ireland. The nighttime tour takes you over glassy waters under a canvas sky of stars. If you are lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!
Caragh Lake is best explored from the water. On a still day, this place is a paradise with mirror reflective waters of the surrounding mountains and forests. The best place to launch your SUP is from the north shore. There is a clear public footpath to the beach area that is perfect for inflating your stand-up paddle board.
If you were up for a long day out on the water, why not pack a dry bag of supplies and head out for an expedition? The shoreline of this lake offers loads of exploring and has the potential to keep you busy all day.
It is no secret that Galway is a magical place. Now add in a SUP and you have got yourself a beautiful adventure ahead of you.
Paddle boarding the Killary Harbour offers breathtaking views across the rugged coastline of Connemara and overlooking Aran. Launch your SUP from Leenaun, a small village on the south side of the fjord which is perfect to explore the calm waters of the protected harbor.
From here, you can also discover Aasleagh Falls and dine on some of the freshest shellfish in Ireland!
Inisbofin is a charming island off the west coast of Ireland’s Galway. It offers fantastic trails, impressive cliffs, remote beaches, and rare bird wildlife. All of this makes for excellent paddle boarding!
Visiting Inisbofin is like going back in time. There are old castle ruins to paddle up close to along the coastline and quiet beaches to relax on. Taking your own SUP is hassle-free, however, there is a paddle board rental store on the island if needed.
Often referred to as the “capital of Connemara”, this coastal town is one of the most recommended places to visit in Ireland. Clifden has a rugged beauty from the water and conditions can sometimes bring a small wave to give SUP surfing a try.
On a calm morning, head out for a sunrise paddle to see Clifden in all its glory. It is best seen with a high tide to give you optimum paddling space. There are also plenty of galleries and museums in the town to give you something else to do in between all the paddling.
Discover some stunning places to paddle board near Cork. The east coastline of Ireland is often sheltered in the summer months.
Old Head is a peninsula just 1-hour drive from Cork and has some of the best paddle boarding opportunities in Ireland! Start your paddle boarding tour from the east side of the peninsula, from the car park. Along this coastline, heading towards the lighthouse and golf course is a hidden tunnel that runs completely through the rock to the western side.
Exploring these mysterious sea caves is truly magical. However, because the paddle is quite far out at sea and at the base of cliffs, this is a place best suited to more experienced paddle boarders. It also pays to have calm conditions to get the most out of exploring the caves.
Crookhaven is one of the best spots for a safe paddle boarding session. This idyllic location is one of the most protected areas of the ocean in Ireland and is perfect for learning the basics or simply just enjoying a SUP day.
Always be sure to check the weather conditions to stay safe while on the open water. Check out Summer SUP & Kayak for beginner introductory lessons and equipment hire in this stunning summer vacation getaway.
Fountainstown is a popular seaside resort for the Irish and one of the great spots to get out on the water with a stand-up paddle board. The beach is sandy and there are rolling fields of farmland in the distance. It really is a great place to get away from reality for a moment!
If you want to book on to a SUP lesson or learn the basics of how to paddle a kayak, check out Funkytown Adventure Centre. They are operated by an ex-RNLI lifeguard, so you know you are in safe hands and are located directly on the beach.
Ireland is known for its rugged coastline and breathtaking views. Take a new perspective of this incredible country from a paddle board!
Downpatrick Head is one of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring places to visit in Ireland. Everyone comes here to see the Dún Briste rock stack formation rising out of the ocean, and the lucky few get to see the Northern Lights over the night sky.
Most people take the hike over land, only taking five minutes from the car park to the cliffs. However, if you are up for a mega-adventure, why not paddle the coastline from Ballycastle Beach? Be warned, this is open water paddling so you will be exposed to choppy waters and challenging conditions, therefore, it is not for paddle boarding newbies.
Clew Bay is one of the most spectacular places to paddle board in Ireland. These waters have over 300 islands dotted throughout and are home to whales and dolphins.
You can stop off and begin your great paddle boarding adventure from any of the blue-flagged beaches along the coastline. Prepare to spend hours exploring the waterway or take on the challenge to reach Achill Island. Just be aware that the water can get rough as you explore further out of the bay.
Keep your eyes peeled for seals swimming past your SUP when you are out at Clogherhead Beach. Clogherhead is a picturesque and traditional fishing village. It has clean waters and a long sandy beach, perfect for a day out with the kids!
During the summer season, there is normally a lifeguard on duty. Conditions on this Irish east coast tend to stay relatively calm, so you can rest assured knowing that the family will be safe while paddle boarding here.
Dunmore East is a protected cove that is perfect for taking out a SUP. This traditional fishing village has thatched cottages dotted along the cliffside and pretty streets weaving towards the water. If you are lucky, you may get to see a pod of dolphins or fin whales sharing the waters with you.
The harbor does fill up on the high tide, so many people choose to paddle here on a low tide instead. Also, it is important to note, that during winter months and bad weather conditions, Dunmore does get a hammering and it is best to avoid it.
Prepare yourself to be blown away by the beautiful golden sands and expansive dunes of Curracloe Beach. This stretch of coastline is recognized as an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are even classified sections, nature reserves, and a protected sand dune system just south at The Raven.
From the water on a paddle board, you will be treated to breathtaking views of this part of the Irish coastline. It is a perfect place to jump in the water after work and catch the changing color skies at sunset as well.
Dingle is a small port town best known for its rugged coastline, stunning trails, and sandy beaches. Dingle Harbour offers flat waters that are great for beginners to learn how to paddle board in Ireland. If the weather permits, you can explore further afield to paddle up to the cliffs and sea caves, see wildlife and the spectacular headland of Ceann Sibéal.
If you want to paddle board on flat water lakes then Ireland will not disappoint. These places are immersive and offer a great escape into the Irish countryside.
Lough Derg is an enormous body of water that offers a whole range of water activities. From fishing and kayaking to sailing and boating, you can find it all here. But, even on the busiest of days, this huge lake never feels crowded.
This lake is often considered a pilgrimage destination for avid anglers. Get set up for some SUP fishing if you fancy ticking something off the bucket list. Or give some SUP yoga poses a tryout on the calm waters close to shore.
Lough Leane offers fantastic views from a paddle board. All around this lake are the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey and the 15th-century Ross Castle. Make sure you pack your camera to capture these sites from a new angle!
There is an abundance of hiking trails around Lough Leane as well. This location lets you delve fully into nature and discover Ireland’s beautiful wild side. We recommend using an inflatable stand-up paddle board here so you can access the water easily from the walking paths.
If you have not got your own SUP equipment yet, or want to join a lesson or guided tour, then you have plenty of options across Ireland.
Here are some of the most highly recommended water sports centers in Ireland:
There are plenty of places for beginners to learn how to paddle board and have the safety of calm and sheltered waters. The Grand Canal in Dublin city center is a good place to start. Crookhaven and Dingle are also two fantastic places for beginners to paddle board in Ireland.
Dublin has a number of great spots nearby where locals and visitors should get paddle boarding! The Grand Canal and Royal Canal sweep through Dublin’s center. Ireland’s Eye, Killiney Beach, and Tower Bay Beach are also within a short driving distance of Dublin and offer fantastic paddle boarding opportunities.
If you are looking for a memorable adventure with your SUP then you need to head to Clew Bay on the Irish coast. This bay has over 300 islands that you can paddle around and explore! Keep in mind that most of the Irish coast is rugged and breathtaking.
When paddling the Irish coast, you can expect to see a whole range of marine life. From dolphins and fin whales to large seal colonies and nesting birds, the wildlife of Ireland is beautiful. Paddle boarding gives you a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
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