Earlier this year, Failte Ireland introduced The Wild Atlantic Way, a new long-distance touring route along the west coast of Ireland. The route takes in the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork and is divided into five sections. You can choose from several itineraries depending on how much time you have but great adventure, history, food, people and places are guaranteed. And you’ll find fantastic accommodation options on Irelandhotels.com.
We picked out a 1-day and 5-day adventure and if you’re lucky enough to have more time you can combine these adventures and explore even more of the stunning west coast of Ireland.
If we had just one day to explore we’d pick the Kinsale to Clonakilty route in West Cork. Starting in the picturesque town of Kinsale, we would wind our way along the coast to The Old Head passing ruined forts and majestic lighthouses and taking time out to enjoy a bracing coastal walk. Clonakilty is a short drive from here and the perfect place to enjoy some wonderful food with several award-winning restaurants and pubs to choose from- head to De Barras for a good trad session.
If we had 5 days to explore, we’d choose the Donegal to Mayo itinerary. We love that we get to surf, connect with Irish literary culture and enjoy a remote island experience on this journey. We start at Donegal Town and after a delicious feed of freshly caught oysters we head south to Mullaghmore Head and its unique seascape with incredible waves and swells. It has become a world famous surfing spot and watching the experienced surfs take on the mighty waves is a thrilling sight to behold. The work of one of Ireland’s greatest poets, WB Yeats, is synonymous with Sligo and the famous mountain Ben Bulben features in one of his most well known works ‘Under Ben Bulben’. The spectacular views continue as we reach Downpatrick Head and take in the Staggs of Broadhaven, rising 100m out of the sea, these five rocky islets formed millions of years ago and can be explored close up if you like deep-sea diving or kayaking.
Hugging the coast all the way down to Clew Bay, we stop off on Achill Island, a beautiful little island with more resident sheep than people and a fantastic choice of blue flag beaches- this is the perfect place to dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean. Our 5-day tour ends in Westport, a buzzing coastal town, voted best place to live in Ireland in 2012, with a superb gastronomic scene so we’ll round off this fantastic trip with a delicious seafood feast.
Find great places to stay all along The Wild Atlantic Way on Irelandhotels.com.