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10 Places You Have to See

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Stretching Ireland’s western seaboard, the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest defined coastal touring route in the world. Over 2,500km in length, HERE you’ll discover warmth in the diverse landscape and visit the most spectacular places.

Alive with literature, music, stories, and surf, its landscape, flora, fauna, and sheer size have inspired everyone from WB Yeats to John Lennon. 

Here’s a list of 10 places you can’t afford to miss on the route:

Silver Strand, County Donegal

1. Donegal Headlands

This remote and rocky region in the far north is a world of possibilities. Witness the Northern Lights dancing in clear winter skies, explore the windswept cliffs, and see the millions of seabirds gathering in great estuaries.


2. Slieve League Coast

The Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) cliffs are among the highest sea cliffs in Europe, towering spectacularly over the Atlantic. Take to the ocean and kayak alongside these cliffs. Explore Silver Strand, a hidden beach only accessible by sea or steps, or watch local craftspeople weave classic Donegal tweed. 

Yeats Country, County Sligo

3. Yeats Country

The ocean swell beckons surfers here from all over the world, while its historic passage tombs and villages revive the spirits. No wonder Irish poet WB Yeats fell in love with its beauty.


4. Erris Peninsula

If you venture to Erris Peninsula, you’ll be struck by the expanse of open land, with contrasts of light and dark. The white sand and clear waters of the Inishkea Islands are a beachcomber’s dream. Collect seashells on Blacksod Bay, and visit Ireland’s largest colony of Atlantic grey seals.

  • Clew Bay, County Mayo

5. Clew Bay

Clew Bay has an island for every day of the year, so storytellers say. Explore the island of Dorinish, once owned by The Beatles' John Lennon, who came to "get away from it all." The Bay’s beach combines Blue Flag shores with submerged drumlins formed an ice age ago.

6. Connemara

The Atlantic surf has shaped everything from Connemara’s landscape to the spirit of Galway city. Visit Killary Harbour (‘An Caoláire Rua’ in Irish), Ireland's only fjord, or take a boat to the traditional Aran Islands to explore traditional Irish music and language.

The Burren, County Clare

7. The Burren

The Burren means ‘the great rock’ and this moonscape of karst limestone is a World Heritage Site. Between the cracked limestone that stretches over 250km, you'll find megalithic tombs older than Egypt’s pyramids as well as abundant flora and fauna.

8. Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Town is a hub of literary and creative culture in Kerry, where pubs, live music and festivals abound. Wander among long-deserted cottages on Na Blascaodaí (the Blasket Islands), take in dramatic views from Ceann Sléibhe (Slea Head), and sample the area's renowned seafood.

Na Scealaga (Skellig Islands), Ring of Kerry

9. Ring of Kerry

From exquisite national parks to Stone Age ring forts, Kerry’s boundless energy and breathtaking landscapes linger in the memory. Explore UNESCO pilgrimage site Sceilg Mhicíl (Skellig Michael), which writer George Bernard Shaw described as "part of our dream world.”

10. West Cork

In West Cork, the timeless air of the Beara Peninsula allows nature to set the pace. The Atlantic Ocean here meets the Gulf Stream, and the microclimate allows for lush vegetation. Sail around any of the 100 islands, visit castle ruins or take in one of West Cork’s stunning sunsets.

There's no end to the discoveries to be made on the route, find out more with our selection of 15 Places to Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of Life.

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