Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is an Atlantic route through the coast of Ireland, also the longest coastal touristic route in the world. The reason why it’s called “Wild” is because this rote wasn’t planned to be touristic, nor was changed in any way for that. It is literally a real and unchanged experience through the coast of Ireland.

Since I bought my car, I already visit most of the south part of Ireland through this route, most of West Cork, Beara peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle peninsula and part of the route to Galway, and Connemara area. I visited quite a lot already, and I can only say this route is amazing!


Directions and Information

The route is clearly signed, the majority of plates have the Wild Atlantic Way symbol point North or South of the route, and I highlight the fact that is North or South of the route and not the geographic directions, at some point it gets a bit confusing for those following the geographic coordinates as a reference. The route starts (or ends) in the beautiful town of Kinsale, near Cork, and ends (or starts) in Derry, the border with Northern Ireland, in Donegal county.

Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland
Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

In some parts of the route you also have alternative sections and detouring to capes or other highlights outside the main route. The first detour is the Old Head of Kinsale. The Republic of Ireland’s government made a huge investment to replace the signposts, but the responsibility for the roads maintenance is still for the local and regional entities.

Touristic Information

Since I found out about the Wild Atlantic Way, I always try to learn something more about this amazing route, and Ireland can be really proud about the tourism information one can find about this route. A simple internet query by “Wild Atlantic Way”, and you can find a lot of information, it gets really easy to plan a trip and know exactly where to stay. The official page gives recommendations about “hidden gems”, where to eat and stay, activities, itineraries for sections of the route so you can do it in several days in an organized way, or for those that just want to do the route by sections (like myself).

So basically, this route is the ideal option for someone who loves road trips and is coming to visit Ireland. If you have time and you want to avoid the traditional tourism, through this route you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Ireland, as some of the major highlights like the Cliffs of Moher. And obviously, here they/we drive in the “wrong” side of the road.

If you’ve done this route, or part of it, what did you like the most? Please leave a comment with your experience.


By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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