Cruit Island, Co. Donegal.
Car Rental, Motor bike or Motorhome
Anxious to leave no road untravelled? Renting a car or motorbike will get you exactly where you want to go on precisely your own terms.
Car hire companies are generally based in airports or ferry ports or the city centre. In Ireland, the majority of rental cars will be standard shift (not automatic). However, there are automatic cars available. Should you require one, it’s advised to book well in advance of travel to avoid disappointment. It is also good idea to book a satellite navigation or GPS system to get your bearings.
For travel tips on driving in Ireland see our Travel Tips section
Travelling by train is one of the most relaxing ways to see the countryside. With no maps, no traffic jams and a cup of tea from the trolley, a train trip could be just the ticket.
Dublin’s Heuston Station has regular direct trains to access the regional stations in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway and Mayo, providing a gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. Book your tickets here.
A fascinating rail tour is also an option for your west coast travels, see Irish Rail for more details.
Bus and Coach trips
Getting around Ireland has never been easier. Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery without the hassle of maps or parking. With bus stations in all major towns across the country and a new comprehensive road network, there has never been a better time to travel by coach or bus.
To book your trip see Bus Eireann.
For maximum choice and flexibility choose an Open-Road Travel Pass. The Open-Road bus pass allows you unlimited travel on all Bus Éireann scheduled services including Expressway, local, city and town services. These tickets are easy to use, you simply decide when you want to travel and then write the first and last dates of travel on the ticket.
Bus Éireann also have a special Wild Atlantic Way Open-Road Travel Pass that tourists can avail of. With this hop on and hop off 'Open-Road' ticket you’ve got the freedom to explore the way you want to. To find out more and book your ticket see here.
A good option for visitors looking to co-ordinate public transport in Ireland is transportforireland.ie. This website brings together service information, directions and time estimates for bus, train and rail transport.
Explore the Aran Islands on a bike.
Hiring a bike is an easy way to cycle sections or all of the Wild Atlantic Way. Feel the wind in your hair as you experience the Atlantic breeze whether you bring your own bike or hire one while you're here. Sections of the Wild Atlantic Way route have dedicated cycling paths, such as the Great Western Greenway in Mayo, otherwise there are numerous self-guided cycle tours or cycle tour operators who will happily show you around.
There are lots of bicycle hire companies around, and many offer great deals.
Travelling to the Islands
The Wild Atlantic Way boasts a collection of beautiful islands, with each reached via a variety of transport. For some you'll drive across causeways and bridges, while most are accessed via the island's own ferry. For the likes of Dursey Island, you even board Ireland's only cable car.
To explore the island it's best to leave your car behind, as most ferries don’t take cars and the islands themselves are quite small. The ferry rides (from luxury boats to simple fishing ones) are a wonderful addition to your adventure, with many of them wheelchair accessible. The ferries depart from various small ports along the coast.
West Cork's main ferry port for the islands is the village of Baltimore, for trips to the Aran Islands depart from Rossaveal and Doolin, for Inishturk and Clare Island you'll leave from Roonagh Pier, and for the north west islands of Tory and Inishbofin, departure is from Magheroarty.
Be sure to check sailing times with the ferry or boat operator before travelling and to book your journey in both directions in advance, or as advised by the boat operator. See here for the route's boat and ferry operators.
Taking your bike on public transport
If you chose to bring your own bike with you, you can take your bike on trains and buses with some restrictions.
All InterCity trains have bicycle carriage facilities, on InterCity routes the bicycle spaces are within the passenger compartment. These routes are restricted to two bicycles per service. Bicycles that are folded and covered can be carried on all services free of charge. Charges apply on all intercity routes.
A bicycle can be carried up to a maximum of 1.8 metres in length and up to 0.865m in width. It is recommended that customers reserve their bicycles spaces online where available in advance of travel. Just select the bicycle option when you are reserving a seat.
On buses, Bus Éireann carry normal bikes for a fee in the luggage compartment.