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Out of this World Instagram-Worthy Spots



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The Wild Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route, is home to towering cliffs and pristine national parks, megalithic sites, sinuous beaches, geological marvels and incredible wildlife on land, in the air and among the waves. 

One look at the unlikely puffin or the floating, furry otter; one glimpse of Clew Bay in County Mayo, with its islands strewn like spilled toys or the sharp-tipped Skelligs evoking far-gone times and far-off galaxies; one fragment of Irish as it drifts by on a Gaeltacht wind and you’ll know: this is a place unto itself - it’s practically another world. 

The Wild Atlantic Way Instagram account offers a tantalising glimpse of this beautiful, unusual and truly surprising part of Ireland, where around every bend in the coastal road a new photogenic vista is revealed. 

Here are 12 of the most out-of-this-world spots Instagrammers have captured along the route. 

 
 

1. AN GRIANÁN OF AILEACH, COUNTY DONEGAL

Calling to a time long past, when high kings and legends still ruled the land, this fascinating stone ring fort sits on an impossibly scenic hill, commanding views of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly that can only be described as celestial.

 

A post shared by Irish_daily (@irish_daily) on


2. ROCK POOLS, COUNTY SLIGO

Although it may resemble the surface of a remote exoplanet, the stony shorelines of Sligo are undoubtedly terrestrial. Formed by receding tides, these shallow pools of seawater harbour earthly life of all kinds - from mosses and algae to crabs, urchins, starfish and more.

 

A post shared by @fredcorcoranphotographer on


3. SUNSET OVER BANTRY BAY, COUNTY CORK

With colours this gorgeous, you’d be forgiven for thinking the coral and rose-streaked sunset skies over Bantry Bay on the Haven Coast were snapped on Venus or Mars. But one visit to these lush shores and mother nature’s earthly delights will have you coming back for more.

 

A post shared by Charlie (@charlie_wild_life) on


4. BROW HEAD, COUNTY CORK

There’s no better place to explore when you’re searching for that out-on-the-edge feeling than wonderfully windblown Brow Head. So it’s easy to see why the Star Wars crew chose it as one of their prime filming locations for the latest instalment in the series.

 

A post shared by Joseph (@joe_g_cummins) on


5. BENBULBEN, COUNTY SLIGO

As romantic as it is formidable, an up-close encounter with the mighty Belbulben is sure to leave an impression. Yeats Country’s star attraction offers exclusive opportunities for plant-spotting, with species living on the mountain that can’t be found anywhere else in Ireland.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lovin (@lovindotie) on


6. SUPERMOON OVER GALWAY BAY

When a moon this bright rises above the glassy waters of ethereal Galway Bay, the illuminated nightscapes below become a photographer’s dream. From Claddagh and Oranmore to the Aran Islands offshore, this bit of Bay Coast bliss feels clearly cosmic.

 

A post shared by Felix (@futterauto) on


7. ROAD THROUGH THE BURREN, COUNTY CLARE

Home to some of the strangest landscapes in Ireland, it’s certainly no surprise that the Burren is a must-visit on any traveller’s itinerary. The lunar-like uplands extend for an area of 250km2, providing a unique home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the country.

 

A post shared by Graham Kavanagh (@grakav) on


8. THE SKELLIG COAST, COUNTY KERRY

Point your scope out to sea in the Southern Peninsulas for a truly otherworldly sight; the mysterious and compelling Skellig Islands pierce the rocking waves off Kerry’s iconic Skellig Coast, inspiring explorers of this impossibly pristine part of the world - ancient truth-seekers and modern day storytellers alike.

 

A post shared by John De Vine (@travellersworld) on


9. WINTER SUNSET, COUNTY CLARE

Shrouded in mist and mythology, the beaches of the Cliff Coast, which thrum with sun-seekers in the summer months, fall silent in the winter months, creating cold water sanctuaries for sea life, solitude-seekers, surfers and stargazers.

 

Winter Sunset in county Clare, Ireland. #wildatlanticway #clare #canon

A post shared by PHILIPPE PHOTOGRAPHY (@philgosseau) on


10. DOWNPATRICK HEAD, COUNTY MAYO

With stellar scenery and a rather heavenly history (St Patrick himself once established a church here) this geological wonder boasts jaw-dropping views and a 40m sheer drop to the rolling seas below, proving that, while size may not technically matter, it still has the power to impress. A trip through hyperspace has nothing on this headland.

 

A post shared by Andrea Dalan (@andredalnet) on


11. CLEW BAY, COUNTY MAYO

With around 365 islands scattered throughout this pretty bay like galaxies captured by the Hubble telescope, you’ll wonder why you can’t spend every day gazing upon this scene, contemplating the sheer size of the cosmos and our place within it.

 

A post shared by Aerial Eye (@aerialeyeireland) on


12. DARK SKY RESERVE, COUNTY KERRY

All the depth and colour of the observable universe is yours to behold on a clear night such as this in the Southern Peninsulas, where would-be galactic travellers can visit the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve. One of only three Gold Tier reserves on the planet, it’s the place to go when you want to get truly out of this world.

 
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