The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s premier long-distance touring route, and it runs an amazing 2500 kilometres (over 1500 miles) down along the country’s breath-taking Atlantic coast. Featuring 157 discovery points, over 1000 attractions, and more than 2500 activities, it could easily take a novel to catalogue and list every part of this fantastic adventure, and it would take a lifetime to visit and experience it all.
So, to help break it down a little for newcomers, we asked our customers about some of their experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way and now present it here to hopefully help future visitors make the most of their vacation.
During 2015, more than 25% of customers who rented a car with Europcar drove along a part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The most popular section was the Mayo to Clare section.
This meticulously planned out tourist trail stretches up the entire west coast of Ireland. It begins in Kinsale, just outside of Ireland’s Second City, Cork, and continues through many of the Emerald Isle’s most southerly and westerly points, along the rugged, ocean-battered and enchanting Atlantic coast, before ending at the country’s furthest northern tip, Malin Head.
The Wild Atlantic Way Discovery points:
The suggested route travels almost 2500 kilometres but, on the way, it’s lined with amazing side trips designed to take visitors no more than an hour out of their way, as well as 53 Blue Flag Beaches, 120 golf courses and something like 50 looped walks of varying degrees of difficulty. Using some 3850 new signs to steer visitors in the desired direction, along with a newly designed smartphone app, the Tourist Board for The Republic of Ireland expects the Wild Atlantic way, the ‘world’s longest defined coastal driving route’, to compete with South Africa’s Garden Route and the Pacific Coast Highway in California.
- Kinsale, Co. Cork.
- Mizen Head, Co. Cork.
- Dursey Island, Co. Cork.
- Skelligmichael, Co. Kerry.
- Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry.
- Loop Head, Co. Clare.
- Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare.
- Derrigimlagh Bog, Co. Galway.
- Killary Harbour, Co. Mayo.
- Keem Bay, Co. Mayo.
- Downpatrick Head, Co. Mayo.
- Mullaghmore Head, Co. Sligo.
- Sliabh Liag, Co. Donegal.
- Fanad Head, Co. Donegal.
- Malin Head, Co. Donegal.
Best Tourist Attraction along the Atlantic Route
Based on Europcar customers’ experiences in Ireland from 2015
Cliffs of Moher
Slieve League Cliffs
Slea Head Drive
A bit of history of about the Wild Atlantic Way
Billions of years in the making, Ireland’s Atlantic coastline has long been regarded by visitors and seasoned travellers alike as being among the most dramatic and picturesque settings in the world. With views and scenery powerful enough to inspire some of humanity’s most epic poetry and song, countless locations up and down the country’s western seaboard have also been used for film backdrops in major productions such as The Princess Bride; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, among others.
The Irish Government and Tourist Board doesn’t go so far as to claim that they had any part in the creation of such a fantastic environment, but they have spent upwards of €10m signposting the route, upgrading the attractions, and promoting it around the world. Fully implemented in early 2014, major tour operators in the US, Germany, Great Britain and France already market holidays that revolve around the Wild Atlantic way, catering to visitors who want to spend the time and money to experience the entire tour in a luxury car or on a Harley Davidson, as well as those who prefer to do smaller chunks, focusing on different aspects ranging from cultural and heritage attractions to bird watching and angling, adventure sports or festivals.
Customised tours are available with Tour Operator Ireland.