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11 unmissable attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way
Discover the wild landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Wild Atlantic Way colour logo
The Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal touring route in the world, stretching a total of 2,500km. While the route is officially celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, its rugged landscape and unique culture has been inspiring literary greats, music legends and everyday visitors for much, much longer.

Get to know the Wild Atlantic Way and celebrate the route's milestone birthday by paying a visit to its very best spots, from scenic cliffs and viewpoints to inviting towns.

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1Fanad Lighthouse

From lovely coastal views to sightings of the the Northern Lights during the winter months, the Donegal Headlands make for a great place to kick off an adventure on the Wild Atlantic Way. Stroll along one of the most incredible Donegal beaches at Ballymastocker Beach and visit Fanad Head Lighthouse, a popular dolphin-watching spot. 

Aerial view of Fanad Head Lighthouse in County Donegal
Soak up coastal views from Fanad Head Lighthouse.
2Sliabh Liag (Slieve League)

The Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) cliffs towering over the Atlantic in Donegal are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Take to the water and kayak along the bottom of the cliffs and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Head to Silver Strand, a hidden beach only accessible by the sea or by steps, and catch great views of Inishturk and Inishbofin in the distance. 

Aerial view of Silver Strand Beach in Donegal
Take a moment to relax on Silver Strand Beach.

Known mostly for its sea swells, Sligo is not only a hotspot for seasoned surfers but also for history buffs.  Visit scenic Mullaghmore Head and take a surfing lesson at Strandhill before following in the footsteps of W. B. Yeats, a famous native of the county. Go further back in history by checking out the ancient sites and megalithic tombs at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Surfer doing tricks in the waves in Sligo.
Surf some waves in Strandhill.
4Dún Briste (Downpatrick Head)

Towering 45m above the Atlantic Ocean, Dún Briste (Downpatrick Head) stands alone off the coast of Mayo and has become a safe haven for birdlife like kittiwakes, cormorants and puffins.

Look out for the distinct layers of rock on the stunning sea stack, each representing a period in the life of the planet over the past 350 million years. Stop by Mary's Cottage Kitchen in Ballycastle after your visit for a great cup of tea and some hearty home cooking.

People looking out at Downpatrick Head in Mayo
Go birdwatching at Downpatrick Head.
5Erris Head Peninsula

Venture to Erris Head Peninsula in Mayo, the northernmost tip of the Belmullet Peninsula. Join fellow beachgoers on a trip to the Inishkea Islands for a spot of relaxing on the white sands or collect seashells on Blacksod Bay before visiting Ireland’s largest colony of Atlantic grey seals. If you're looking to work up a sweat, walk the Erris Head Loop Walk where you'll also get to see the remains of a World War II marine and coastguard service lookout post. 

Aerial view of Erris Head in Mayo
Trek along the Erris Head Loop Walk.
6 Clew Bay

Mayo's Clew Bay has an island for every day of the year, or at least so the stories go. The Bay’s beach combines refreshing shores with submerged drumlins formed an ice age ago. Get out on the water and try some adventure activities, whether it's paddle boarding, kayaking or water skiing. If you're looking to stay dry, take a boat trip and appreciate the stunning coastal scenery.

Two people overlooking Clew Bay from Croagh Patrick in Mayo
See the stunning islands of Clew Bay.

The Atlantic surf has shaped everything in Connemara’s landscape. Visit Killary Harbour, one of Ireland's only fjords, and embark on the 9km stretch of the historical Green Road. Keep an eye out for the rows of mussel rafts peaking out of the water. Or travel back in time to the untouched Aran Islands

Go beyond Connemara on a walk of the 5km long Derrigimlagh Loop and reach the white beacon which marks the end point of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

Before you move on to your next stop, make time for the charming village of Roundstone and climb to the top of Diamond Hill. It’s a challenging hike but well worth it for the incredible view at the summit.

People at the summit of Diamond Hill in Galway
Conquer Diamond Hill and enjoy the views.
8The Burren

Explore the amazing moonscape of karst limestone in The Burren in Clare, which has been earmarked as a World Heritage Site. Take time to walk along the cracked limestone pavements that stretch over 250km and admire the dramatic rock formations. Find megalithic tombs older than Egypt’s pyramids and discover its unique ecosystem, from native Irish plants to alpine flowers. 

If you fancy learning more about the route, follow the Burren Discovery Trail and stop at each of the 11 Doorways for an interesting fact or two. 

Aerial view of the Burren in Clare
Ramble the unique landscape of The Burren.
9Dingle Peninsula

A hub of literary and creative culture, Daingean Uí Chús (Dingle) in Kerry is a beautiful place to spend some time on your short break. Stroll around its narrow streets and check out the traditional pubs, spirited live sessions and festivals. Visit the long-deserted cottages on An Blascaod Mór (the Blasket Islands), take in dramatic views from Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head) and try the area's great seafood. 

Cyclists at Slea Head in Dingle, County Kerry
Spend a lively break in Dingle.
10Beara Peninsula

The Beara Peninsula in West Cork is home to lush flora and networks of lovely islands. Spend the day sailing their shorelines, visiting castles ruins along the coastline or pick from one of the many walking trails to hike through. Once you've tired yourself out, stay overnight in one of the small towns along the peninsula. 

A cable car crossing over water in Co. Cork
Go island hopping in the Beara Peninsula.

Cap off your adventure on the Wild Atlantic Way with a visit to the colourful village of Kinsale. Popular for its great restaurants, enjoy delicious meals made by passionate chefs with fresh, local produce.

After your meal, walk the Old Head of Kinsale, a relatively flat 6km loop walk that will lead you around the edge of the head, taking in amazing cliff views and seascapes as you go.

Aerial view of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork
Ramble out to the Old Head of Kinsale.
Start planning your trip to the Wild Atlantic Way

Take a scenic road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way and discover all the incredible views and landmarks to be found along the Way. 

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