What is the Wild Atlantic Way?
If you haven’t been to Ireland in the last three years, you may not be familiar with this term. The Wild Atlantic Way is a stretch of 2,500km or (roughly 1,500 miles) that runs along the western or Atlantic coast—hence the name. The Ireland tourist industry touted it as “the world’s longest defined coastal route.” In addition to the route itself, there are hundreds of built-in attractions from Downpatrick Head to Blasket Island—along with plenty of delectable dishes at local restaurants and enough festivals and events to give you something to celebrate almost every day of the year.
Where exactly is this located?
The route stretches from Donegal in Northern Ireland to southern Cork by meandering down the western coastline.
Valentia Island in Country Kerry, Ireland
What’s the best way to see the Wild Atlantic Way?
The best way to see (and experience) the Wild Atlantic Way is your way. You can start at the northern-most point and follow the trail south, or you can simply visit different areas based on what you enjoy and what your time allows. There’s no wrong way to see the Wild Atlantic Way!
What are some of the things you can do there?
The vast expanse is broken into six regions: the Northern Headlands, the Surf Coast, the Bay Coast, the Cliff Coast, the Southern Peninsulas, and the Haven Coast. Based on what you enjoy, here are a few of our picks.
If you like SIGHTSEEING
Rent a car and drive as much (or as little) of the trail as you like. With forests, beaches, mountains, headlands, and more, there’s plenty to see as you wind your way down the coast.
If you like RIDING THE WAVES
Focus your time on a three-and-a-half hour route that begins in Ballyshannon and ends in Erris Head. Billed as the Wild Atlantic Way’s “Surf Coast Driving Route,” this Northern Ireland stretch offers waves for both beginners and seasoned surfers.
If you like FEELING THE WIND BLOW THROUGH YOUR HAIR
Rent a convertible and choose one (or more!) of the amazing road trip driving routes suggested by the National Tourism Development Authority. Click here to view suggested routes.
BONUS: If you like making memories and getting a little credit along the way, pick up a Wild Atlantic Passport. Participating post offices along the route offer these passports, which can be stamped at 188 signature points on the trail. Collect the stamps as you follow the route and you’ll have a book of memories to recount your travels once you return home. Learn more at wildatlanticway.com/passport.
To learn more about this area of Ireland, visit their official travel, wildatlanticway.com.