Mayo is one of several surfing meccas along the Wild Atlantic Way with waves that welcome the amateur surfer as well as the experts. The Salmon Capital of Ireland, Ballina acts as a fantastic gateway to several of the area’s most popular surfing locations. Only a 10 minute drive away, Enniscrone is a town that has in recent years built up a strong reputation as a surfing destination for beginners and enthusiasts alike. Also within reach is the beautiful surfing village of Easkey. Easkey has two fantastic reef breaks and in 1979 hosted the Pro/Am Surfing World Championships. The location was also listed as “one of the places a travelling surfer has to visit” in Surfer Magazine, the biggest surfing publication in the world. Other major surfing spots include Keel Beach, located adjacent to the village of Keel on Achill and Carrownisky Strand in Louisburgh, which is a very popular surfing beach as it provides one of the only consistent breaks in the area.
Stand-up paddle boarding is a fast-growing sport which combines a surfboard and a long one-handed paddle. It’s a traditional Hawaiian sport which promotes balance, strength and general fitness. It’s excellent for surfers and non-surfers alike and a fantastic way to explore the stunning natural landscapes of Mayo from a different angle.
North Mayo has a number of dedicated stand-up paddle boarding groups and companies such as Harbour Sup n’ Sail located in Ballina, that are equipped with everything you need to dive into this unique water activity.
Scuba diving and snorkelling allows you to experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and unlock a myriad of treasures that lay below. Dun Briste sea stack in Ballycastle, Benaderren Head, Horse Island, Lacken Pier, Benwee Head and The Stags of Broadhaven all host a number of superb diving locations with vast geological features such as splits, gullies, ridges and caves that have been carved into the rugged cliffs. Also on offer is a diverse array of sea and plant life including Devon cup coral at Benwee Head and the most spectacular display of jewel anemones at the Stags of Broadhaven. The area hosts a number of diving classes for all ages.
Coasteering is the ultimate adventure activity that mixes adventure swimming, cliff jumping and rock scrambling through exhilarating and dramatic landscapes. Witness the rugged beauty of the West Coast of Ireland and experience the movement of the wild Atlantic swell against rocks in whirlpools and stoppers. A number of groups in Mayo offer this exciting activity which includes all the equipment needed and fully qualified supervisors.
Visit www.wavesweeperseaadventures.com, a family run soft adventure company based on the Erris Peninsula, for more information and to book your coasteering experience.
Mayo North has a flood of outstanding kayaking spots to explore. Kayak along the world-renowned river Moy in Ballina with the town’s iconic cathedral as your backdrop. Witness the serene beauty at Killala Bay and look out for the exceptional marine life on the way. There are also a number of fantastic lakes with breath taking vistas, including Lough Conn and Lough Cullin. Take to the seas on specialist tours and explore the rugged coastline at Ballycastle in a sea kayaking experience to remember.
Visit http://www.paddleandpedal.ie/ to book your kayaking tour.