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Winter Warmers

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Winter on the Wild Atlantic Way: a chance to ramble along quiet, frosted country lanes and watch the many stoney shades of the ocean with a feeling of utter bliss.

Along this 2,600km of stunning coastline, winter delights are plentiful – whether that’s taking in the dramatic landscape from the warmth of the train or chasing away the chill winds on a walking tour, armed with a cup of hot takeaway coffee. Warm yourself this winter with some of these unforgettable Wild Atlantic Way experiences.

A stunning view of a snow capped Benbulben.

Sample Ireland’s best coffee

For a hot blend on a winter’s day, visit the quaint and pretty town of Dingle in County Kerry. On Green Street you’ll find Bean in Dingle, a café with its own roastery and some of the finest espresso this side of the Atlantic. While in Kerry, visit Mick and Jimmy’s  in Kenmare or Café Du Parc in Killarney. Artisan coffee shops like this are dotted all along the Wild Atlantic Way: avail of the skills of the O'Neills Coffee baristas in Skibbereen or The Stuffed Olive down Bantry way while in County Cork or fuel yourself in Galway at Urban Grind and Coffeewerk + Press.


Shake off the winter cobwebs by spoiling yourself at one of the magnificent spas along the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy a couple's massage as part of a romantic Valentine's Day getaway at Lough Eske Castle Hotel or enjoy a weekend of seawater treatments in the stunning surrounds of Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa. Refresh mind and body with some meditation at Cloona Health Retreat

  • A traditional music session in Donegal

Rousing trad sessions

The buzzing atmosphere of a traditional Irish music session is an experience not to be missed. Pubs are often less crowded in winter and if you’re lucky, you might nab a seat beside a cosy open fire. If you’re in Galway, for example, pop into Tig Choili: this superb little Latin Quarter pub has been known to host famous Irish musicians such as Sharon Shannon. Other great spots include Matt Molloy’s Bar in the pretty village of Westport in Mayo and Páidí Ó Sé's family-run pub in Ventry, County Kerry.

Walking in the wild

If you enjoy a good blustery day and a crisp, invigorating breeze, the Wild Atlantic Way’s beautiful and craggy coastlines beckon. Wrap up warm and make sure your route ends in a toasty coffee shop or cosy pub. If you are in the Southern Peninsulas, walkers earn fantastic views of the Blasket Islands from the Cosán na Naomh (the Saint’s Road), situated in the Kerry town of Ballyferriter. The Beara Peninsula in Cork is home to the Bullig Bay Loop, which leads to the coast road and a beautiful woodland area.

  • Relax in a rejuvenating seaweed bath

Unwind with a hot seaweed bath

To restore your energy levels, book a hot seaweed bath at Connemara Seaweed Baths, with branches in Galway and Mayo. Rejuvenate with a long relaxing soak in this mineral-rich plant nutrient, a gift from the deep waters of Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Or for a truly unique experience, check out the Wild Atlantic Seaweed Baths and, weather permitted, wallow in one of their mobile baths in a scenic location along the route.

Sample some seafood

The flavours of the Wild Atlantic Way come alive through the fresh local seafood on offer all along the coastal route. The Burren Smokehouse, just 15 minutes from the Cliffs of Moher at Lisdoonvarna, offers hot and cold smoked Irish organic salmon along with rainbow trout and mackerel. Further north, in stunning Connemara, is Killary Fjord Shellfish, where proprietor Simon has been growing mussels since 1989. The unique combination of freshwater and seawater gives the mussels in this part of the world a distinctly sweet flavour; tours of the mussel farm are available for curious visitors.

Stay at Clare Island Lighthouse

Stay cosy in an Irish lighthouse

There’s nowhere better in which to brave the winter elements than a sturdy Irish lighthouse. Expect stunning views of the formidable Atlantic coast and a distinctly different experience to a stay in a conventional hotel. Clare Island Lighthouse in County Mayo provides a six-course dinner along with B&B accommodation and makes the perfect base from which to explore the area. Elsewhere in Clare you’ll find Loop Head Lighthouse with its lightkeeper’s cottages, a fantastic vantage point for whale, dolphin and seal watching.

With this inspiration, you'll be ready to plan your next trip to the Wild Atlantic Way this winter. Find activities, attractions and events designed to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


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