Although a whole host of events take place the year round along the Wild Atlantic Way, the summer months are absolutely jam-packed with fun festivals! Celebrating everything from literature and the arts to music and food, these events are set in the stunning surrounds of Ireland’s awe-inspiring west coast. Here are just a few of 2017’s summer highlights...
1. Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann
Traditional Music festival, Clare - 13/8/2017-21/8/2017
The culmination of months of hard work and practice, the Cliff Coast’s exciting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, taking place August 13th - 21st, is the most important event in the Irish traditional music calendar. Singers, dancers and musicians alike will all compete for the title of All-Ireland Champion, while revellers will soak in the unique and entertaining atmosphere of the best traditional arts festival for all to enjoy.
Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann
2. Rose of Tralee
Misc events, Kerry - 16/8/2017-22/8/2017
To the Southern Peninsulas next, for one of Ireland’s largest and longest-running festivals, which in 2017 will celebrate a dazzling 58 years. Young women of Irish descent from around the world will come together in Kerry to celebrate Irish culture with an array of talent displays, street entertainment, carnival games and rides, live concerts, theatre and circus performances, markets, a fun fair, fireworks displays and Rose Parades. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee, where one special young woman will be crowned for 2017.
Rose of Tralee, Kerry
3. Cruinniu na mBad
Water-based Activities, Galway - 19/8/2017-20/8/2017
Out on the waters of Galway, the Cruinniú na mBád festival - or, festival of the boats - offers maritime magic for one and all. One of the finest nautical spectacles on the Wild Atlantic Way, this two-day festival full of boating tradition is a fantastic way to see out the summer.
Join the crowds in Kerry for a rip-roaring good time at the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival, an annual event honouring the pioneering spirit of a great film maker and advocate for social change. Taking place in the beautiful village of Waterville, on the Ring of Kerry in the Southern Peninsulas, there’s a hugely entertaining array of activities to enjoy, including screenings, workshops and Chaplin-themed street entertainment.
Charlie Chaplin Statue, Waterville, Kerry
5. Food Fleadh
Food & Drink festival, Mayo - 26/8/2017
County Mayo’s most scrumptious celebration of all things food and drink is returning once again to Ballina this August, where visitors will descend on the historic military barracks for an intimate and illuminating taste of the region’s best fare. The Food Fleadh is known for its friendly atmosphere, great food and fun events for adults and children alike.
Galway is the place to be later in the summer too, as the Galway International Arts Festival kicks off on July 17th - 30th. For two weeks, the city’s streets will come alive with theatre and dance, live music performances in local venues, and colourful visual art shows.
Galway International Arts Festival
7. Tread Softly
Literature festival, Sligo - 17/7/2017-30/7/2017
Fans of literature, meanwhile, won’t want to miss Tread Softly, the annual Yeats Arts Festival. This 10-day event pays tribute to WB Yeats and is set in County Sligo, where the beloved Irish poet spent much of his childhood. There’ll be exhibitions, poetry readings and guided walks around the countryside that enchanted Yeats; indeed, he penned ‘Under Ben Bulben’ as a homage to Sligo’s most well-known mountain.
Benbulben in County Sligo
Two great festivals join together this year to create a surefire favourite; on July 22nd-23rd, families and adrenaline-seekers alike will enjoy a bigger and better-than-ever Foynes Air Show, a thrilling and exciting air show of international standard, celebrating the rich aviation history of Foynes and its location in the impressive Cliff Coast region on the Wild Atlantic Way. Meanwhile, lovers of all things caffeine will have their chance to learn all there is to know about their favourite brew while sampling some of the finest beans and blends out there. It all happens in the Shannon-side city of Limerick.
Here we have featured just a selection of the many great summer festivals set to take place along the Wild Atlantic Way in 2017. Use our handy trip planner tool to put together your own unique itinerary, and find more great events in our comprehensive directory.