Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is one of the most spectacular coastal routes in the world, taking visitors from the Inishowen Peninsula in the North to the quaint town of Kinsale at the foot of the country.
It’s quite the trip by foot, car or bike but, for many, it’s best experienced on the water. Armed with the appropriate level of boat insurance and a yearning for adventure, sea travellers can witness incredible sights from a unique angle. However you plan to travel, though, here are some of the must-see locations along the way.
Malin Head and the Inishowen Peninsula
The most northerly point of Ireland is a fantastic place to start your journey. You’ll explore a dramatic landscape along the Country Donegal coastline and down into County Sligo, with glorious natural features and beaches to enjoy.
Sligo and the surrounding areas are home to many famous archaeological sites from the Stone Age, including the mountain tomb of the legendary Queen Meave. This region of Ireland certainly has an encapsulating feel about it, despite being one of the smallest counties.
County Mayo, Clew Bay and Achill Island
One of the most stunning regions of Ireland, County Mayo offers extraordinary sights both on and off land. Clew Bay is a vast ocean bay with staggering views of and from the surrounding mountains. Round the corner is Achill Island, home to Ireland’s best beaches and some of the tallest cliffs in Europe.
Even if you don’t have a chance to cross the water, views from the mainland are still great. The summit of Croagh Patrick, for example, is a spectacular place to take in a sunset.
Galway, County Clare and County Kerry
Further along the coast you’ll enter County Galway and arrive at the smallest of Ireland’s main cities. Galway is charming, with its idyllic cobbled streets and warm Irish culture. Sing and dance to traditional music in local pubs and explore the rich history and heritage on offer.
Directly south, you’ll travel through County Clare and County Kerry, which take back you into the mystical wild lands. These rugged coastlines are truly superb, with rich scenery including the likes of the Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher, as well as an abundance of wildlife.
Copper Coast and Kinsale
You’ll be reaching the end of this wild adventure as you pass the spectacular Copper Coast en route to Kinsale on Ireland’s south coast. Named after the 19th-century copper mines that line the cliffs, this coastal stretch is a UNESCO Global Geopark with plenty to see from the water or on the walking trails.
The charming town of Kinsale is the official final destination, although you can carry on up the coast to Cork and Waterford if you’d like. There’s plenty to see and do on the south coast of Ireland, including sites with evocative Viking history plus a host of museums, art galleries and eateries.
What are you waiting for? Plan the adventure of a lifetime today.