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Relaxing Walks on the Wild Atlantic Way

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Escape everyday life and slow down among some of Ireland’s most wild and breathtaking scenery.

These scenic walks showcase the Wild Atlantic Way’s beauty from the rugged Northern Headlands right down to picturesque Haven Coast in west Cork.

Here’s just a selection to get you started.

Walking in the shadow of Mount Errigal, County Donegal

Northern Headlands

Venture into the expansive terrain of County Donegal's Northern Headlands, and the tranquil surrounds of Ardnamona Woods, a 45-hectare native oak reserve on the banks of Lough Eske. Or explore parts of Slí an Earagail, a beautiful 77km-long moorland route in the shadow of majestic Mount Errigal. Tory Island is one of of the most well-known islands off the Donegal coast. Steeped in history, this gentle 4km looped walk offers fantastic views of the island’s jagged cliffs, monastic ruins and ancient round tower.

Views from Erris Head, County Mayo. Credit @Errisbeo.ie

Surf Coast

The neighbouring Surf Coast is packed with exhilarating nature. Wander one of its many headlands on the Rosses Point Slí (2.9km), an easy walk with striking views of Oyster Island. Nearby Sligo Town Slí (4km) follows the Garavogue River that runs through the town. Get off the beaten track in adjacent County Mayo on Erris Head Loop (5km), traversing grassy paths next to towering cliffs with outstanding views of dramatic sea arches from its most northerly tip.

Children of Lir Sculpture, County Mayo

Bay Coast

To the glorious Bay Coast, where you’ll find pretty beaches and gorgeous islands. Achill is Ireland’s largest island, and we recommend you explore it via the peaceful Dooagh Loop Walk (4km), walking past river, bogland and sandy pathways. Cong village straddles Counties Mayo and Galway, and on its Pigeon Hole Loop (2km) you’ll cross distinctive limestone terrain, passing through secluded woods before coming to atmospheric Pigeon Hole Cave. Finally, the remote Beach Loop (6.5km) in rugged north Mayo commands marvellous views of the area’s rocky coves and jagged stacks.

Views from Kilrush, County Clare

Cliff Coast

The Cliff Coast is home to the imposing Cliffs of Moher and the otherworldly Burren, a unique, grey-green limestone landscape featuring cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. The Kilrush Slí (4km) meanders through Cappa, the Port of Kilrush, home to a beautiful Blue Flag-awarded beach. The Doonbeg Slí (8km) is rich in history, including 16th-century Doonbeg Castle, as well as Killard Church and graveyard, dating from around 1000AD. The Ennis Slí (3km) is a calming saunter through 134 acres of idyllic woodland on the outskirts of the town.

Woodlands on the Beara Peninsula, County Kerry

Southern Peninsulas

In the Southern Peninsulas, the beautiful Kerry town of Ballyferriter contains Cosán na Naomh (the Saint’s Road, 400m), passing an ancient ogham stone and an early monastic site. Gaze out towards the Blasket Islands, the biggest of which was home to a thriving community until the 1950s. Meanwhile, Druid’s Loop (5km) passes through Bonane, a historical valley containing over 250 archaeological sites. The Bullig Bay Loop (4km) on the Beara Peninsula leads to the coast road, where you can see Bere Island before passing through serene woodland.

Old Head of Kinsale on the Becher’s Loop Walk, County Cork

Haven Coast

County Cork's Haven Coast takes in Kilbrittain Slí (4km), where you’ll see the country’s oldest inhabited castle (from the 13th century) as well as tidal mudflats. Along the Becher’s Loop Walk (13km) in Skibbereen, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Roaringwater Bay and Kilcoe Castle. Finally, the Kinsale Slí (4km) perfectly showcases this lovely fishing town with the dazzling Old Head of Kinsale.

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