This looped route takes you through the towns and villages of Kinsale, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, Clonakilty, Rosscarbery, Glandore, Union Hall, Castletownshend, Skibbereen, Baltimore, Ballydehob, Schull, Goleen, Crookhaven, Mizen Head, Durrus, Drimoleague, Dunmanway, Ballineen, Enniskeane, Bandon, Innishannon and returning to Kinsale. It covers a distance of over 264km.
Start Your Journey
Beginning and ending in the historic town of Kinsale this route enjoys dramatic coastal scenery, rich natural scenic beauty, charming towns and colourful villages. Your first stop should be at the Old Head of Kinsale, a Signature Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and a truly remarkable dramatic piece of Ireland which protrudes more than 3km into the Atlantic Ocean.
Continue on see the ruined Franciscan Abbey in Timoleague, close to beautiful Courtmacsherry on the Seven Heads Peninsula. Follow this coastal route to Clonakilty and then Rosscarbery and visit Drombeg Stone Circle, taking time to stop off at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, the majestic tidal sea water lake of Lough Hyne and picturesque Baltimore, overlooking Carbery’s Hundred Isles.
Stop at the pretty harbour town of Schull and take in the view of the famous Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Afterwards visit Mizen Head, another Wild Atlantic Way Signature Point, where you can explore the Signal Station which is accessed via an arched footbridge linking the headland to the mainland.
Back on the road, follow the R591, skirting Mount Gabriel and marvel at the beauty of Dunmanus Bay. On the Sheep’s Head Peninsula visit the cheesemakers at Durrus Dairy and sample their award-winning produce before returning to Kinsale via Drimoleague with its Heritage Walkways and the riverside town of Bandon or, if you prefer, via Skibbereen and the coast road again.