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The Irish seaside town where you can watch dolphins from festival & go surfing

THIS is the Irish seaside town that is known for its beachfront beauty, surfing scene and major annual festivals.

The Co Donegal town is visited by tourists from abroad and staycation lovers, but it’s also frequented by stunning wildlife.


A music festival takes place in the seaside town every yearCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The stunning sandy beaches are popular during the summer months


The stunning sandy beaches are popular during the summer monthsCredit: Alamy
Geroid McDaid performs during Expression Session, part of annual Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival, 2014


Geroid McDaid performs during Expression Session, part of annual Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival, 2014Credit: Alamy

Bundoran, Co Donegal, is best-known to most as the location of the annual Sea Session Surf and Music festival – but it has plenty more to offer.

Playful pods of dolphins are regularly spotted swimming off the coastline, with images and footage shared by local RNLI members.

Bundoran is a highlight of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way – a 2,500 km long scenic driving route along the entire west coast of Ireland from Donegal in the north to Cork in the south.

Bundoran is also one of the surf capitals of Ireland, with surf shops, clubs and accommodation lodges.


Bundoran beach is located  just 250 metres off the town’s Main Street.

The sandy beach is facing Donegal Bay and the Atlantic.

The beach is very popular with surfers, but beginners are advised to be aware of the rocks and reefs.

These can be quite dangerous, so swimmers and beach goers should check with locals on the conditions before dipping in.

Bundoran Surf Co. offers budget accommodation, surf board and wetsuit rental, lessons and surf camps for those interested in trying the sport.


Aside from the beach, there are plenty of other activities to keep visitors busy.

Waterworld Bundoran is an aqua adventure playground that sits on the sea front.

The water playground is open to all ages and has fully trained lifeguards to supervise and assist everyone.

Waterworld contains a number of exciting waterslides, including the Tornado, Gravity and the Twister.

Bundoran Glowbowl and Macks Amusements Complex has a number of other indoor fun activities. The amusements area has a 10 pin bowling centre and large family entertainment complex.

They cater for all the family, young and old and the premises is wheelchair friendly.

There’s also Bundoran Golf Club for any budding golfers and Bundoran Adventure Park, which has funfair rides, adventure golf and petrol go-karts.

And Bundoran Star, a charter boat service offers deep sea angling, sightseeing, whale and dolphin watching trips in the Bay.


The popular music and surf festival Sea Sessions takes place every year in Bundoran.

This year the festival is taking place on the weekend of June 16 to 18.

Tickets for the festival start at €69.90 for single day passes and €174.90 for weekend camping.

Some of the acts already announced for this year’s gig include Kasabian, Becky Hill and The Coronas.


There are several different accommodation options in the Bundoran area.

One night at the weekend towards the end of May for two adults will cost around €90 in the Bank House Guest House.

A room in the Allingham Arms Hotel will cost around €110.

And an entire family stay, with three bedrooms, in a Unique Mobile Home will cost around €130.

However visitors should note that there can be a high demand for hotels and rooms in the area during the Sea Sessions festival in June.

Dolphins spotted swimming off the coast by Bundoran RNLI


Dolphins spotted swimming off the coast by Bundoran RNLICredit: RNLI Bundoran
The Surfers' Hostel, Bundoran, Donegal


The Surfers’ Hostel, Bundoran, DonegalCredit: Alamy

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