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The Wild Atlantic Way really lives up to its name after dark. That’s when thrillseekers, foodies and romantics all find inspiration under the stars. While there’s plenty to enjoy by day, you’ll find endless opportunities for fun and entertainment after the sun goes down. 

With live music the beating heart of the region, nights on the Wild Atlantic Way are ideal for those in search of a traditional music experience – from fireside sing-alongs to a lively pub session, to a recital in a world-class pianist’s home. The west coast has it all.

Here, we reveal some of the region’s best-kept secrets for making music and memories on the Wild Atlantic Way:

 
 
Tinteán Ceoil, a traditional Irish fireside session.
 

TINTEÁN CEOIL

Finding fun amid untamed nature is easy in Kerry, such as the popular Tinteán Ceoil, a traditional Irish fireside session led by locals in Cloghane. This charming village lies at the foot of towering Mount Brandon on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula, and is well worth a visit for the breathtaking scenery alone. The fireside session takes place in a replica Irish cottage kitchen, and offers a glimpse into what life was once like in Irish villages. The Irish tradition of storytelling has played a huge role in rural social life fadó fadó (since long, long ago), and on this warm evening of stories, song and dance the tradition comes alive once more. Pay homage to that bygone era and experience it for yourself every Monday from 7.30pm. No booking necessary.

 
 
Some of the best star-gazing in Europe.
 

KERRY INTERNATIONAL DARK-SKY RESERVE

Want more nighttime excitement in Kerry? This rugged county is home not only to Ireland’s highest mountain peak (the mighty Carrauntoohil in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks) but also to some of the best star-gazing in Europe. Southwest Kerry is a designated International Dark-Sky Reserve with Gold Tier status, meaning it is free from artificial light pollution and offers spectacular views of the Milky Way at night. 

While you’re here, why not take an introductory astronomy class in Waterville or hire a local astronomer as a star-gazing guide in nearby Caherdaniel? Remember, a clear night is always preferable and if you can, book your adventure while there’s a New Moon, as this will make stars appear even more luminous. Kerry’s unbridled natural beauty presents the cosmos at their finest.

 
  • An enchanting paddle through the stars.
 

KAYAKING UNDER THE STARS

Take star-gazing to the next level with a magical night-time kayak on gorgeous Lough Hyne in West Cork. Instructor and nature enthusiast Jim Kennedy leads groups out on to the lake for what feels like an enchanting paddle through the stars. It’s a truly unforgettable experience that National Geographic recommended as one of the top ten things to do on the Wild Atlantic Way. This is a gentle kayak on still waters (Lough Hyne is the only inland saltwater lake in Europe), and as such, is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Phone +353 (0)28 21058 or drop a mail to info@atlanticseakayaking.com to reserve your spot.

 
  • An intimate piano concert
  • Michelin-star dining
  • Bloody Foreland
 

AN INTIMATE PIANO CONCERT

World-renowned pianist David Syme and his wife Suzanne regularly welcome guests into their home, located on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in County Cork. After exploring the delights of the region (be sure to sample some tasty seafood in the nearby fishing village of Castletownbere), settle in for an intimate evening of music. David, who has played for former US President Bill Clinton and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony, serenades guests with everything from classical to popular favourites in his welcoming home setting – an experience not to be missed by music lovers. Be sure to book a place in advance though, as this unique event fills up quickly.

MICHELIN-STAR DINING

The team at Aniar, a restaurant and boutique cookery school in bustling Galway city, source their vegetables locally and their fresh fish straight from the sea along the Wild Atlantic Way. The result is a Michelin-star menu created by head chef Ultan Cooke that changes daily, but always keeps seasonality, tradition and innovation as the main course. Reserving a table couldn’t be easier, simply click here and enter your details.

CÉILÍ DANCING AT DUSK

For an authentic slice of traditional Irish culture, head north to Donegal. We suggest you start your experience with a breathtaking sunset over the rugged Bloody Foreland, a broad headland that offers amazing views of the sandy beaches of Gweedore, before following the music to a traditional céilí. This bilingual area, where most locals speak both English and Irish, is famous for its traditional Irish music heritage. After enjoying Donegal’s stunning scenery, beat a path to Teac Jack to sample some live traditional music and, of course, plenty of craic! This hotel, bar and pub offers a mix of music and dancing that celebrates the Irish language and showcases the uniqueness of the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region). Lively music sessions, set-dancing workshops and Irish language lessons combine with delicious dinners, comfortable accommodations and gorgeous views of the islands of Gola, Inis Meain and Inis Oirthir. It’s a pretty special experience that’s not to be missed, and a uniquely Wild Atlantic Way one at that.

Those are just some of the many gems hidden along the Wild Atlantic Way. Who knows how many more you’ll discover during your visit!

Find more ways to enjoy music and culture on the Wild Atlantic Way, here.

 

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