As a seaside resort, Lahinch is best known for two things – its amazing surf and its world-renowned golf course. The town has been a holiday destination for well over a century and remains popular today.
Located on the west coast close to Ennistymon and Liscannor, Lahinch is one of Ireland’s best surfing spots. In May 2006, 44 surfers entered the Guinness Book of Records for catching the same wave just off the coast of Lahinch. If you haven’t surfed before, why not take some lessons and try it out? You can also try some kitesurfing and windsurfing while you’re there! There are many surf schools along the prom and in the village, catering for all levels.
While you are on the promenade, drop into some of the lovely gift shops – ranging from knitwear and jewellery to Waterford Crystal and even a Cuban cigar shop! You can also pop into one of the many cafés and enjoy an ice cream or coffee while you watch the surfers trying their best to stay up and the kids hunting in the rock pools.
If the rain stops your play or you just fancy an indoor activity, the aquarium and indoor pool is an ideal way to pass the time and is suitable for all the family. Lahinch has 1.6km of beach which is supervised by Life Guards. Only certain areas are suitable for simming and you need to be careful and pay attention to what the Life Guards have to say. This area of the Athlantic has many rip currents and can be dangerous for bathers.
You can take a beautiful walk north along the beach when the tide permits. You will pass the golf course on your right and can then double back by the road keeping the golf course on your right. This is a short walk and a great way to clear the morning cobwebs.
Founded in 1892 and redesigned and extended by Alister MacKenzie (one of the co-designers of Augusta Golf Course), Lahinch Golf Course has it all – superb views, huge sand dunes and deep valleys. Lahinch is one of the most famous links in world golf and each year it hosts "The South", The South of Ireland Amateur Open. The South has been played by many a golfer who has gone on to turn professional including Ireland’s own, Padraic Harrington, Greame McDowell, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke. The competion brings an atmosphere of its own to Lahinch as the golfers mix with the surfers and the musicians. Be prepared to party late into the night during "The South".
There are a few historical spots worth seeing – the remains of Dough Castle, a 14th century castle once owned by the O’Connor’s; and Kilmacreehy Church, a 12th century church with interesting carved features including a carved head with flat head medieval headdress and serpents of different styles.
There are many fine restaurants and bars to relax in after a day in the water or on the course. Accommodation is plentiful and there are caravan parks and camping areas as well as traditional B&Bs and hotels. This is a popular resort with surfers and golfers year round, so be sure that you have your accommodation sorted before you arrive.