One county that puts the ‘wild’ in Wild Atlantic Way, County Donegal is a northern wonder. Soaring mountains, serene sea loughs, ancient castles, a breathtaking national park and plenty of opportunities to use your cúpla focail, a short stay here is a break with a difference.
Take a trip to Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) Europe’s highest sea cliffs and stand on the edge of the world. Visit nearby Glencolmcille Folk Village and skip through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries where the quaint cluster of cottages at Glenbay Beach recreate different eras of Irish history.
Shorelines that set the scene for famous poetry, salty surf for the thrill-seekers and fabulous feasts for foodie lovers, County Sligo is a real beauty. Get out and about in what WB Yeats’ christened the “Land of Heart’s Desire”.
Near Strandhill and Sligo Town, follow a beautiful walking route that hints at ancient regal history with Queen Maeve’s Trail. Head to renowned vegetarian haven Sweet Beat for some tasty food and drink or get hands-on at the Sligo Oyster Experience, where you’ll learn how oysters are farmed and harvested.
Lose yourself among bay after brilliant bay in gorgeous County Mayo. Marvel at Mweelrea, its highest peak and watch the invigorating Atlantic waves roll in. Get to grips with some cultural heritage in The Lost Valley, Louisburgh with its ancient village ruins and undisturbed landscape, it’s an unforgettable way to learn more about The Great Famine.
Just an hour away, you’ll find one of Ireland’s six stunning national parks. Explore the exquisite 15,000-hectare expanse of Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park and take the short nature trail for exceptional views of Achill Island.
Island idylls, medieval history, crisp Connemara shorelines and one of Ireland’s only glacial fjords, find yourself under County Galway’s unique spell. A hive of activity and yet the perfect place for a quiet getaway, discover the intriguing puzzle of bays and coastal crannies.
Experience its rugged charm with a trip to the Aran Islands. Venture up to Synge’s Chair, a scenic viewpoint at the edge of a limestone cliff on Inishmaan (Inis Meáin), so named as it was playwright John Millington Synge’s favourite spot. Stretch your legs on the picturesque looped walks to get a real feel for the island. Watch the world go by and round off your day with a refreshing drink at a cosy pub – bliss. Access to the Aran Islands is by a short ferry trip from either Doolin or Galway.
Captivating County Clare beckons with its traditional music, thrashing surf and cliff-edges to spot marine mammals from. On this trip, let its lunar-like landscape guide you and head to The Burren, also known as the ‘land of the fertile rock’. Brimming with fascinating flora, check out the native Irish species.
The Burren is ripe for exploring on foot, but how about via electric bike? Head to Kilfenora to book in with E-Whizz’s bike tours and zip across the otherworldly scenery. Or get the best of both worlds and treat yourself to a glass of fine wine and food cycling or walking tour, have a look at Burren Fine Wine & Food’s one-of-a-kind options.
In the scenic depths of County Cork at the Wild Atlantic Way’s most southern tip sits a subtropical paradise, a flurry of island havens each with their own special charm.
See Garnish (Garinish) Island’s Gulf Stream climate or head to Dursey Island, just off the Beara Peninsula for a spin on Ireland’s only cable car. Afterwards, head to Kilcrohane and embrace the dramatic coastline of Sheep’s Head, an amazing cliff-top viewpoint.
Exciting, charming and unique, explore these exceptional gems and experience your best Wild Atlantic Way holiday yet.