We Follow The Atlantic Coastal Route In Ireland

The more than 2000 kilometers of the Coastal Route of the Atlantic in Ireland go a long way. It is a memorable journey through exciting corners.
We follow the Atlantic coastal route in Ireland

The Coastal Route of the Atlantic in Ireland, or Wild Atlantic Way, is a fantastic tour to see all the greatness of the Emerald Isle. This is an incomprehensible territory without the presence of the sea and full of wonders of nature, architecture, music, legends or literature. In short, it is a most complete trip.

Coastal Route of the Atlantic from south to north

It goes without saying that the Atlantic Coastal Route can be done in both directions, but we propose you from south to north for logistical reasons. You can fly to the attractive city of Cork, in the southern part of the island, to start the tour. Meanwhile, the return can be made through Dublin International Airport, closer to the northern end of the route.

However, we also warn you that you either have a lot of vacation days, or the safest thing is that you consider this trip in several stages. After all, the Atlantic Coastal Route stretches for about 2,500 kilometers. It is a considerable distance, which together with all its attractions, makes this one of the most spectacular road itineraries in the world.

Beginning of the Atlantic Coastal Route

Kinsale Cliffs
Kinsale Cliffs

As we have said, the start of the route can be to rent a car in Cork and from there we can go to the Atlantic Coastal Route, whose true beginning is in the town of Kinsale, on the Haven Coast.

There the Old Head of Kinsale awaits us, a place steeped in history due to its medieval port where Vikings and whaling ships once passed through. In fact, a tourist activity nowadays is going out to watch whales.

But, in addition to that, you have to get closer to discovering other beautiful rural towns such as  Clonakilty, a site that transmits all the essence of rural and seafaring Ireland. And, of course, the best places to feel those sensations are the local pubs .

The hand of God

Now we have a very short section of the Atlantic Coastal Route. If we look at the map of the island, we will see that all its extreme southwest are continuous peninsulas. They are like the fingers of the island, so that legend has it that God placed his hand here, leaving his mark.

So you have to prepare to avoid curves and stop at the viewpoints that rise above the coast while you travel the peninsulas of Mizen, Sheep’s Head, Beara and Iveragh. There, one of the wonders of the Atlantic Coastal Route awaits us: the Ring of Kerry. It has been a magical place since ancient times, as its megalithic remains attest.

Cliffs of moher

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

We continue up the Wild Atlantic Way, across the River Shannon and into County Clare. And the wonders are happening. First we will see the beauty of Loop Head and then the beach of Spanish Point, an unfortunate memory for the Armada of Felipe II.

After that, finally, we will arrive at one of the most beautiful corners of the European coast: the incredible Cliffs of Moher. From them, if the weather is good, there are unforgettable views. But if there is temporary the images are creepy.

Gaelic culture

Connemara National Park Landscape
Connemara National Park

About halfway there is the attractive city of Galway. It is a good stop and also a port to go by ferry to the Aran Islands, the great bastion of Gaelic culture. Although, afterwards the itinerary will take us through the Connemara region, where these ancient customs are also jealously guarded.

In addition, this region offers us a spectacular itinerary that passes through the monumental Kylemore Abbey, the Killary Fjord (it is the only one in Ireland), the cozy town of Westport and the Croagh Patrick mountain, a very prominent point on the hiking route of St. Patrick.

Surf and Yeats

Our next prominent place is known as the surf coast, where surfers can find fantastic waves. Meanwhile, lovers of Irish literature can discover one of its great poets, Yeats, whose grave and curious epitaph can be read in Drumcliff Cemetery.

Northern Ireland, end of the Atlantic Coastal Route

Fanad Head Lighthouse on the Atlantic Coastal Path
Fanad Head Lighthouse

We are coming to the end of the Coastal Atlantic Road, which is located in County Donegal. Not to be missed here are the Slieve League cliffs, as well as the end point of the trail – the graceful Fanad Head Lighthouse.

However, if you have more desire for the road and the coast, you can cross the neighboring border with Northern Ireland and follow the path until you reach another of the wonders of the island: we are talking about the Giant’s Causeway.

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland: discover this beautiful place

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