Though tourists tend to favour Galway when planning a west-coast getaway, Sligo offers a comparable seaside landscape with arguably fewer stag and hen parties.
On the north-west coast of Ireland, just south of Donegal, County Sligo is home to Benbulben (a rugged hunk of the Dartry Mountains), Strandhill Beach (a coastal village outside of Sligo town), and the remains of famous Irish poet, W.B. Yeats.
In addition to waves worthy of surfing, Strandhill Beach hosts the Voya Seaweed Baths, which offers what its name suggests: a tranquil dip in a bathtub of seaweed. The perfect post-surf detox, guests can enjoy a 50-minute uninterrupted soak in the slightly slimy seaweed waters (albeit without the expected seaweed smell), following a steam in a private sauna.
As a relaxing alternative to other west coast destinations, Sligo is only a 3-hour train ride away from Connolly Station in Dublin.
For a glimpse of Sligo in the sun:
Seaweed and Surfing in Sligo by Slidely Slideshow