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5 Beautiful Weekend Road Trips



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Nothing heralds the onset of spring like an easy, breezy drive down a sun-dappled scenic route.

As the days get longer and brighter and the flowers and trees begin to bloom, the urge to get out and explore can prove irresistible, and what’s better than knowing that the freedom of the open road can be yours on the Wild Atlantic Way?

You don’t have to take a tonne of time off work in order to make great road trip memories - all you need is a weekend, a map, and a sense of adventure. After all, the Wild Atlantic Way’s most beautiful drives are practically right on your doorstep. And with our curated driving itineraries providing you with insider tips and must-see spots along your preferred route, now is the perfect time to plan your springtime getaway.

Check out five of the most beautiful Wild Atlantic Way weekend road trips:

 
  • A Rainbow Over County Donegal
 

NorthWest Wanderings: Donegal

2hr 58min | 125km

Take the road less-travelled from the tawny-coloured sands and surfers of Rossnowlagh to charismatic Kilcar. This three-day journey through remote County Donegal is a feast for all the senses. Weave your way leisurely through the picturesque Glengesh Pass, and, down by Fintra Bay, see if you can spot the distinctive peak of distant Benbulben. Clocking in at just under three hours’ total driving time, it’s an itinerary that’s tailor-made for taking it slow, soaking in the stunning scenery, and snapping plenty of pics as you go.

 
  • Kinsale, County Cork
 

Land’s End: West Cork 

4hr 16min | 178km

So much more than its laid-back reputation would have you believe, far-flung West Cork is an explorer’s paradise. Discover pulse-pounding panoramas beside the Baltimore Beacon and the Old Head of Kinsale, step into the not-so-distant past at the Lusitania Museum, and get up close and personal with the titans of the deep, with Whale Watch West Cork. You’ll be amazed by what you can see and do in just two days on the coast of Cork. 

 
  • Sky Road, County Galway
 

Bay Coast Break: Galway & Mayo 

6hr 23min | 293km

Something of a Wild Atlantic Way celebrity, the Galway and Mayo coastline offers up sensational scenery that attracts weekend holidaymakers from all over the world. Boasting such breathtaking beauty spots as Connemara, the Great Western Greenway, and pretty Westport, this two-day itinerary is sure to stun, peppered as it is with offshore islands, atmospheric ruins, and towns and villages that seem plucked from the pages of storybooks. 

 
  • Downpatrick Head, County Mayo
 

Seaside Sojourn: Sligo & Mayo

2hr 26min | 133km

If the sight of crashing waves and boundless beachy stretches are what really get your motor running, you can’t afford to miss this dual-day driving route along the scenic Sligo and Mayo coast. Discover ancient secrets at Carrowmore Tombs, Ireland’s largest megalithic cemetery, before taking in the stunning sea stacks at Downpatrick Head, a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way. From dune-backed Strandhill to the buzzing heritage town of Ballina, this trek, topping off at just under two-and-a-half hours, will be the talk of your next get-together, especially if you opt for any of the many adventure activities on offer along the way. 

 
  • View from Geokaun Mountain, towards Cromwell Lighthouse, Valentia Island.
 

Westbound Way: Kerry 

1hr 26min | 115km 

As famous for its cliffs and castles as for its countless places to kick back and relax (or indeed kick up your heels), it’s a magical must-see on the Wild Atlantic Way, complemented by an unforgettable cast of local characters and views for days. Bring the camera this weekend as you follow the mountain roads from Killorglin to Caherdaniel, capturing gorgeous gardens, impressive islands, and perfectly placed pubs sure to liven up your Instagram feed. Be sure to take the Beentee Loop Walk, pay a visit to Kells Bay Garden and see the silhouette of the Skellig Islands from Coomanaspic Discovery Point.

 
 

With no shortage of fabulous views, delightful detours and snap-worthy sights, the Wild Atlantic Way’s two and three-day road trip itineraries are your ticket to an unforgettable adventure - all achievable in just a weekend. Have more time? Check out our full list of curated routes and get planning your next trip just down the road. 

 

So much more to embrace

No matter what your tastes or passions are the Wild Atlantic Way has something for everyone


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