The Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland

I did this road trip in a hired campervan back in September 2015 and it is still one of the best journeys I ever took. It’s the trip that finally convinced me to start-up a blog and to try pursue a career in travel. Without being biased (honestly!), the west coast of Ireland has to be one of the most spectacular scenic routes in the world.

The route itself is 2,500km. Making it the longest defined coastal route in the world. Along the route there are 157 discovery points, 1,000 attractions and more than 2,500 activities. I added an extra 500km onto this road trip as I started in Dublin and followed the coastal road north into Belfast and through Northern Ireland before meeting the ‘start’ point in Donegal

 

The route itself is divided into six different coastal regions (as shown above).

 

1. Northern Headlands

Rocky. Remote. Romantic. Beneath skies streaked with Northern Lights, follow the curve of the coast from this island’s northernmost point at Malin Head, past lonely Fanad Head Lighthouse to the sweeping Slieve League cliffs.

 

2. Surf Coast

Wave-riding thrill-seekers and sensitive souls alike lose their hearts to the Surf Coast, where pounding waves and poetic silence exist side by side. From Mullaghmore and Downpatrick Head to Yeats Country and beyond.

3. Bay Coast

Secluded beaches? Check. Indigo waters? Check. Sheep-spotted hills? Check. Keem Strand, Killary Fjord and Derrigimlagh Bog weave between Mayo and Galway in a bountiful display of Ireland’s inherent beauty. The Bay Coast has been waiting for you.

 

Cliffs of Moher, Clare
4. Cliff Coast

This is where the island’s most improbable landscapes meet. Some were shaped by the Ice-Age, others resemble the moon, and all are worthy of pilgrimage. Take in the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and The Burren, in all their weather-beaten splendour.

5. Southern Peninsulas

The five great peninsulas of the southwest knit together like a finely tuned melody. Answer the mysterious call of the deserted Blasket and Skellig Islands; or see if you can spy Mizen Head on the horizon from the Dursey cable car…

6. Haven Coast

Stories of siege cling to the salty air at the Old Head of Kinsale. Once a Viking trading post and medieval fishing port, gourmet food and whale-watching cruises now reign supreme. You’ll leave with a sea shanty in your heart.

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